August 3, 2016 — Sometimes you visit a possible retirement town that is just so darn pretty you can’t stand it. Edenton, North Carolina is one of those.
Here is where you can find our more detailed review of Edenton. But it proved to be such a charming place to retire on a recent visit that we wanted to give you more of a description and photos too.
Where it is
Edenton is in northeastern North Carolina, about an
hour south of Norfolk (VA) and under three hours to Raleigh (NC). The town is located in northeastern North Carolina at the mouth of the Chowan River where it meets the Albermarle Sound. Cape Hatteras and the Outer Banks are to the east across the Sound.
The town is the oldest continually settled place in North Carolina. After Jamestown (VA) failed, people moved here. As such it has a long and distinguished history filled with famous colonials like Joseph Hewes, first Secretary of the Navy and signer of the Declaration of Independence. The first Tea Party protest against the British was held here by women. Harriet Jacobs was an African-American slave and famous abolitionist.
It is largely laid out on a grid with a broad commercial avenue leading down to the beautiful harbor and the famed Roanoke River Lighthouse. Shops, boutiques, the
famous Cupola House, and restaurants line North Broad Street. Running parallel and away from that avenue are quiet streets with mansions and historic homes of all types. The Chowan County Courthouse is considered the finest example of a brick Georgian courthouse in the U.S. The entire scene is picturesque and charming.
We stayed at the lovely Granville Queen Inn, a B & B located in a former mansion. The proprietors informed us that they are seeing a lot of people who use the Inn as a base to explore different retirement living options in the area. Some of those include:
– Scotch Hall Preserve – and active adult community with golf course on the waterfront
– Private homes within downtown Edenton
– Village Creek – a defacto 55+ community with minimal amenities
– Beechwood Lakes – A new CCRC and active adult combination community in Edenton
– Other active communities including some being built now
– Albermarle Plantation – about a half hour away in Hertford but also on Albermarle Sound. It offers extensive amenities such a fantastic golf course, tennis, paddocks for horses, and a large marina. It has been around since the 1980s and resales are quite inexpensive considering the value. As an older community, it is seeing some aging out – people dying or getting too old to live there creates buying opportunities.
The downtown area
Pros and Cons of an Edenton retirement
– Inexpensive – average home prices around $200,000
– Beautiful and charming
– On the water
– Milder NC climate
– Starting to attract retirees
– Conservative politics, if that is your leaning
– Quite isolated – it is a drive to any town of size
– Rural: its southern feel might be off-putting to many people from the north
– Might be hard to break into society – this town and its people have been here a long time!
Comments? Do you know what it is like to live in Edenton – if you do please share. We plan on doing a new article on the “Prettiest Towns for Retirement”. Do you have some suggestions for contenders? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
For further reading
See “Up and Coming Towns to Retire: Are You Willing to Take a Chance“, our article about nearby Elizabeth City, NC, which is also a beautiful (in many parts) town.