Moving from the very outer edges of the Outer Banks of Kitty Hawk I drove north and west along 158, towards more Coastal North Carolina Best Places To Live.
The road was two lanes and most of the way it was nearly deserted.
Old barns dotted the side of the road, broken down or burned out. Held up by vines that spread through the frames, holding up what was left of the buildings even as they overtook them.
The air stayed cool and tinged with the smell of salt as I moved through the Coastal North Carolina Best Places To Live which was still bordered by the ocean and bays.
Coastal Elizabeth City NC is located near the Albermarle Sound, right on the Pasquotank River.
Boats bobbed in the water, resting in their slips along the edges of the town.
The water was a deep sparkling blue, with stands of trees rising up in spots like buoys.
Elizabeth City was quite busy in the middle of the day, deliveries were being made, people were heading to restaurants during their lunch break.
A popular place was the relaxing City Wine Seller… a wine and cheese shop with a Boar’s Head Deli where art covers the walls and there is live music on the weekends.
Getting back on 158 as I had many Coastal North Carolina Best Places to live to visit. I pointed the car west towards Edenton and then south on 17.
The road became more rural as I passed farm upon farm. And I thought should this be on the list of Coastal North Carolina Best Places to live?
Refineries and endless fields of low, clinging tobacco. The town of Edenton was smaller than Elizabeth City and consisted of one main road that dropped into the downtown.
From downtown, several smaller roads intersected, finally ending at the water front docks.
Although Edenton was smaller, I got the sense that it was an up and coming community as well. And while not a large city this was a great small town and could definitely be on my list of the Coastal North Carolina best places to live.
The top of the commercial strip had all of the standards. Fast food and commercial chain businesses, but downtown Edenton was unique in its appeal.
It was small and homey with trees lining the sidewalks in planters and colorful buildings housing the shops.
Edenton showed pride in its history. From the statue that overlooks the harbor to the canons that remind residents and visitors of a once necessary means of protection.
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As I walked through the downtown, I noticed several new restaurants and shops opening up.
They were all specialty restaurants, far from the themed restaurants at the top of the strip. I had lunch at Sean’s Restaurant, feasting on a platter of shrimp fried rice, consisting of organic brown rice, lima beans, snow peas, carrots, water cress, small string beans and plenty of local bay shrimp.
Sharing the restaurant with me were two local developers, giving more evidence to the economic growth coming to the area.
A local farmer pulled up in his truck bringing watermelons and peaches into the restaurant.
I left the restaurant with the intention to continue on, but wound up lost on the country roads that surround this Coastal North Carolina Best Place to live.
Even with the help of a local map, I found myself on roads that weren’t listed. They seem to merge with one another like a snake eating itself. The roads continued to turn and wrap around each other like a maze. With the fields growing high around me, I became convinced that someone would find me weeks later, a dried husk, and shake their head solemnly…
“We loose more tourists this way than any other. Why don’t they just stay on the main roads?”
Luckily for me, I happened upon a young man and his girlfriend out for a walk.
After consulting each other for some time, they sent me to the left and from there I found my way out.
Throughout the trip I was stunned by how quickly a person could leave the main areas and become utterly lost. Surrounded by roads with no signs, decaying farms, and rising dirt.
While development may be coming to these Coastal North Carolina best places to live, I felt that for many of the surrounding areas it will be a bit longer to feel the effects of suburbanization. Which is good or bad depending on your point of view.
Once I saw the main road again, I looked to the sky and gave thanks and headed for the familiar interstate.
And so I began to head west to continue journey. But for now, goodbye to the Coastal North Carolina best places to live. It’s time to explore and find Piedmont North Carolina best places to live. Raleigh NC and the research triangle here I come.
Don’t miss my next stop!
Robert Bencivenga is a professional site locator for major corporations. Bob finds affordable best places to live in North Carolina and South Carolina. Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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