ELIZABETH CITY, NC. (WNCT) – Our Living Local segments in July are almost wrapping up. Just two days left with Thursday being a stop in Elizabeth City.

There’s a lot to love about Elizabeth City. For starters, like the Pasquotank River. Elizabeth City is aptly nicknamed “The Harbor of Hospitality.” It’s a coastal town with plenty of Southern charm. A lot of what makes this place special is the proximity to the water.

Just a few feet away, you’ll find a bustling downtown district filled with dozens of locally-owned small businesses. Also, many of those businesses are being highlighted by a new initiative, the “Sipping in Elizabeth City” trail.

“Our locally owned craft beverage establishments. And we have breweries, a wine bar, a smoothie bar, and three coffee shops. Pretty incredible for our smaller sized town.” said Corrina Ruffieuxm, executive director of Visit Elizabeth City.

You can make your way through the Sipping Trail by picking up a passport and getting it stamped at each of the eight businesses featured. If you visit all eight by the end of the year, you’ll get a special souvenir cup and be entered to win a grand prize.

(Ashley Turner, WNCT illustration)

LIVING LOCAL: What makes ENC so special

From the natural beauty along the river to the thriving downtown district to centuries of history, there’s plenty to see and do.

Obviously one of the big draws is the Pasquotank River, which will have boats out on the water enjoying a hot summertime afternoon. On a boat or along the shore, it’s a great place to relax. But just a block off the river is a bustling downtown district, highlighted by dozens of locally-owned small businesses.

These kinds of places enhance the quality of life for not just visitors but folks who live here.

“Yeah, if I could get more of that like out to people that aren’t from here or are just kind of waiting for Elizabeth City to become magical. It’s like, it is kind of magical, you just got to go look at it,” said Tabitha Reese, co-owner of Ghost Harbor Brewing Company.

“Go open your eyes and wait for that new experience and not the same old experience you get in a big town, same old chain restaurants and things. You’re going to have a better quality experience from a small town with people that are actually invested.”

With multiple breweries, coffee shops, and eclectic restaurants all across downtown, Elizabeth City gives you a bit of a big-city feel with plenty of small-town charm.

Check out our People & Places spot at WNCT.com for more on three breweries that are thriving in the city.