24 Hours in Chowan County

Edenton/Chowan County Itinerary

History seeps from every nook and cranny of Edenton and Chowan County. Our outstanding historic 18th-century architecture includes some of the state’s oldest homes and churches. Popular sites include the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse, and the Iredell House Homesite. Discover the stories about the Maritime Underground Railroad, a historic baseball field, or schedule a guided historic trolley tour.


Breakfast: Enjoy a leisurely morning with a cup of joe or loaded breakfast bagel at the Edenton Coffee House. Are you looking for a quick take-out option before a fun day of exploring? Try fresh smoothies, fluffy pancakes, or their delicious avocado toast at Inner Banks BBQ.
Edenton Historic Trolley
Departure from 505 S Broad St.
Penelope Barker Welcome Center
For visitors wanting to experience a guided tour of Edenton and learn about its 300-year history, hop aboard the Edenton Trolley Tour. Discover what Edenton was like during colonial times when it served as North Carolina’s Colonial capital. See the restored Victorian mansions lining Edenton Bay and visit the location of the home where Harriet Jacobs hid in her grandmother’s attic as a runaway slave before escaping North via the Underground Railroad.
Trolley info: https://visitedenton.com/
Harriett Jacobs Tour
Departure from 108 N Broad St.
Visitor Center
Hear the incredible tale of Harriet Jacobs, a woman born into slavery in Edenton, who escaped to become a well-known abolitionist and author. As documented in her 1861 autobiography, “Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl,” this walking tour shares her history. The tour takes you through downtown Edenton to see many of the sites mentioned within her book, including entering historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse.
A fee is charged for this special guided tour: $5.00 per adult (ages 13 & up), $2.50 per child (ages 3-12).
Self-guided Harriet Jacobs Tour maps of Edenton are also available at the ticket desk. Tours depart from the Visitor Center at 108 N. Broad Street.


You’re in luck! Downtown Edenton has an array of delightful eateries. 309 Bistro is a perfect lunch date atmosphere, Governor’s Pub has a wide variety of brews to pair with homemade pizza, and Old Colony Smokehouse provides mouthwatering BBQ. To find the best choice of satisfying your hunger, take a look at https://visitedenton.com/lunch.


Maritime Underground Railroad Waterfront
Network of African American Watermen
The Maritime Underground Railroad was composed of a network of African American watermen who worked with individuals of other races and occupations to identify sympathetic seamen to arrange passage on ships for freedom-seekers escaping enslavement. Few written accounts of this network exist, whereas Harriet Jacobs, a woman born into slavery in Edenton, who escaped to become a well-known abolitionist and author, is here and well documented in her 1861 autobiography, “Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl.” The site is open to the public without charge and included in the Harriet Jacobs Tour and Black History Tour offered at Historic Edenton, State Historic Site – (252) 482-263.
Josephine Napoleon Leary & Building
423 S Broad Street
Wayfinder Sign & Self-Guided Tour
Josephine Napoleon Leary was a remarkable African American woman born into slavery and became a successful entrepreneur. The intact and classic iron-fronted building still standing on Broad Street was constructed by Theo Ralph with Mrs. Leary’s name in the pediment came from the popular “Mesker Bros. Front Builders” of St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more about the building and Joesphine on the self-guided tour.
Tour link: https://ehcnc.org/historicplaces/museum-trail/.


In Edenton, dinner specialties include fresh seafood pulled from local waters and farm-to-table produce and meat from the region’s abundant agricultural resources. Local favorites include Edenton Bay Oyster Bar, The Table, and Waterman’s Grill. Explore your options, https://visitedenton.com/dining.


Edenton and Chowan County offer a wide variety of accommodations — from quaint bed & breakfasts to quality national lodging chains. To find the best lodging choice for your time in Edenton, please explore https://visitedenton.com/where-to-stay

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