Charming visitors and residents alike for 300+ years

They might not have been called tourist, but whether they were refugees from Roanoke Island (John White’s colonists), entrepreneurs from London or adventurers from the West Indies, they started coming more than 300 years ago to what is now called Edenton.  They came in search of opportunity and freedom and they are still finding it.

It is amazing.  A 300 year old historic town with homes just as old and public buildings, still in use, that go back to the founding of the nation. 

~ Frank C.

That little “Town on Queen Anne’s Creek”, as it was called back then, now hosts the oldest house (1718) in North Carolina and the oldest in-use Courthouse in America (1767) ; but most importantly, it was the “intellectual capital” of North Carolina’s fight for American Independence.  Little ole Edenton produced signers of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the godfather of the US Navy, the mother of woman’s political liberation, one of President George Washington’s first appointees to the new US Supreme Court, not to mention a handful of US. Senators, Governors and intellectual leaders.  For more detail, visit our History page.

Today, Edenton remains a small waterfront town where everyone is welcome and engaged in the community.  It is home to high tech boat building, peanut processing (for professional baseball, Walmart, Costco and others), and a great little airport capable of handling any size private jet.  It is also a North Carolina Certified Retirement Community, one of only 18 such designated places in the state.

The North Carolina General Assembly established the N.C. Certified Retirement Community Program (S.B. 1627) as a vehicle to designate communities that offer unprecedented, quality of living that is sought by the mature community.  To gain certification, a local government must submit an application for consideration.  Initial evaluation of the community and technical assistance is provided by Visit North Carolina staff.

Edenton was one of the first towns in North Carolina to be certified.  To learn more about the criteria Edenton meets and exceeds, review the state’s criteria.

For a neat summary of what folks today find appealing about Edenton, see this UNC-TV report.

If you are looking for miniature golf courses (we have nothing against them) or gaudy boardwalks (we even like them on occasion) you will not find them in Edenton.  Come visit Edenton for a more sophisticated experience.  Learn while staying in what called “one of America’s prettiest towns.”

Visitors Founded and Continue Retiring to Edenton

Plan a Trip to Edenton

Come see Edenton and Chowan County for yourself; the very best research you can do.  If you want some clues about what’s going on, places to stay, where to eat, check out this Edenton and Chowan County travel information site.

Find Your New Home  for Weekends or Retirement

Prefer to do your own research to find property listings?  Call one of the local experts: CarolinaEast Real Estate or Perry & Co’s Sothebys International Realty.  Or, check out and Zillow  both have listing for the area.  Don’t pay too much attention to Zillow’s Zestimates® because Edenton is too small a town for their system to work reliably.

What’s the spirit of Edenton?

To get a feel for Edenton, you have to feel the important things:

  • Remember when you were a kid and the neighborhood drug store/pharmacy had a soda fountain with hand scooped ice cream? We have that pharmacy downtown plus a good ole Soda Shoppe with great lunches.
  • We have a fourth of July celebration with a band concert, parade and a fireworks display (courtesy of the Optimists Club with citizen’s donations). The fireworks can be viewed from the waterfront, in your boat in Edenton Bay or maybe from your front porch.  If Norman Rockwell was alive today, he would sketch that scene of our small town’s celebration on the 4th of July.
  • Our houses of worship regularly join with one another to present seminars, charitable events and more. You’ve never seen such inter-faith cooperation.
  • Driving the streets of Edenton harks back to the 50’s where courtesy and friendliness were the rule of the road.  Ever now and then we have two or three cars lined up for a stop light.  We always have people stopping in the middle of downtown Braod Street to allow pedestrians to cross.
  • Remember party-line telephones, well we don’t have any of those.  Instead we have multiple suppliers of high speed Internet and all of the ways you might want to connect to the world.

We Don’t Pay People to Move to Edenton

Did you see the interesting article in the Wall Street Journal?  It reports on cities and towns paying people to move and live there. “We don’t pay people to move here!” said retiree Bob Quinn.

He added: “Where else can you find multiple choices of 3,000+ sq. ft. historic homes within walking distance of downtown, near Edenton’s beautiful waterfront, (etc., etc.), at a price half of the rest of the national market average.

If you don’t need a job come here!  If you need a job, come here even faster.  Bring your business, work from home, be creative!  Live well.  Live cheaply in the home you never thought you could afford and they are not all historic. Low taxes and still close to the rest of the world!  Heavy traffic and congestion is only an hour away (if you must have it).  DC and such just far enough away to not affect your life!  But, within easy driving distance when needed. Weather you can love 80% of the time. Where 4 cars in a row is considered a traffic jam!

Save on home cost and buy a boat!  Save money to travel the world anywhere you choose.  Meet neighbors; enjoy a hand wave from passersby.  Join in making things happen, learn gardening, floral design or play golf, learn bridge.  Meet great people, join and volunteer with historic non- profits, do something meaningful.  Make your friends envious; show them pictures of where you chose to live!  Make the right decision, get off your butt and come see what I am talking about.  You deserve it!”

Edenton per Boom Magazine

Wonder what it is like to visit Edenton? Here is a comprehensive report from Boom Magazine, written by Greg Petty, in just two pages. (Use > arrows to the right of the picture to navigate to page 8.)

We’ve got it all

From the oldest house in North Carolina (privately owned and not for sale) to some of the newest, you’ll find them all in Edenton and Chowan County.  Farms, condos, small lots or acreage, all options other than high-rises exist.

It is amazing how far a housing dollar will go in Chowan County, even in the historic district of Edenton.

~ recent retiree

Because Edenton has an unusually large historic district, as a percentage of its total size, there are many historically significant homes available at reasonable prices.  Most have been restored with modern plumbing, updated electrical and HVAC. They are all within walking distance of downtown and the waterfront at Edenton Bay.

Edenton’s sunsets are famous, like this one from Thanksgiving evening, 2017:

Why do they retire to Edenton?

A significant portion of the population of Edenton relocated to enjoy this environment. Why?

  • It is a charming place
  • Newcomers are welcomed and integrated into community life – some own shops, join golf or Bridge groups, mentor students and constitute the large volunteer squad
  • Edenton is one of America’s most historic towns, the first colonial capitol of North Carolina
  • Go out your back door and instantly you’re an eco-tourist
  • Chowan County has human-scaled health care
  • The ocean is 90-minutes east, 90-minutes north is Norfolk or a little over 2 hours has you in Raleigh
  • Penelope Barker and fifty friends started women’s liberation before it was even called that when they told the King NO! and “leaked” it to the press in London.  Her home on the waterfront is the town’s Welcome Center, with retiree docents in what is called Edenton’s Living Room
  • Fishing just doesn’t get any better, or sailing or cruising
  • Golfing at three fantastic courses is within a 10 to 40-minute drive
  • We’re home of historic Hicks baseball field and the champion Steamers baseball team

Hopper’s Tour Guide of Edenton, NC

Jessica Wei, Hopper Editor, offers her view of a visit to Edenton.  She discusses food, accommodations and side trips using Edenton as home base.

Retirees are Involved before they Can Unpack

With 15,000 folks in Chowan County, of which 5,000 live in Edenton, it does not take long to get to know your neighbors and even less time to get involved in social/civic organizations, historical groups, churches and schools.  These are great places to meet local folks and learn more about Edenton.

There are many reasons to retire to this area where seasons still exist, but hard winters or scorching summers are illegal (well they just don’t occur very often). And yes, there are a number of reasons this might not be a good retirement decision. For elaboration on both see Retirement Facts

Videos about Edenton and Chowan County…

The Reality of Edenton – in 90 seconds

Video of the Elizabeth II’s port call at Bath, duplicating a trip to Edenton

Wes Johnson’s 2011 visit to Edenton

ElectriCities’ five-minute video about Edenton

What they’re saying about Edenton and Chowan County…

Interesting Information:

Learn more:

4.5 hours

Edenton to Washington DC

6 hours

Edenton to Philadelphia

2.3 hours

Edenton to Raleigh

$0.745 per $100 assessed value

Chowan County Property Tax
A tax rate lower than most areas.

$0.40 per $100 assessed value

Town of Edenton Real Estate Property Tax, which even when combined with the County tax rate remains one of the lowest in low-taxed North Carolina.

$0.055 per $100 assessed value

Chowan County
Fire District tax rate, only applies to some parts of Chowan County.

1.15 minutes

Edenton to Hatteras, Nags Head, Manteo’s Lost Colony or other North Carolina Atlantic Ocean beach areas.

30 miles

Edenton to Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Farm Fresh, Lowe’s, Belk Department Store, and Panera Bread in Elizabeth City, NC.

283 Volunteers

Actively involved in leading and working to make the hospital, schools, college, and the many historic sites even more effective.

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