This colonial town sits at the mouth of the Roanoke River at the Albemarle Sound. Because Edenton was easily accessible, it developed early in the history of the state and was the state capital for 20 years. Tourists are attracted to the 18th & 19th Century public buildings and homes. The downtown still has the character of a small town. Although it is only a few hours from Raleigh, I recommend staying overnight. Part of the charm is to take a leisurely walk rather hurriedly drive from venue to venue.
Several years ago, my friends and I made another trip to West Virginia. This time, it was to a quaint little town close to the Maryland border and right on the upper reaches of the Potomac River. The town is about 90 miles northwest of Washington, DC so we stopped at Harpers Ferry Historic Site enroute.
Founded in 1762 as “Mecklenburg,” the name was later changed to “Sheperdstown.” It has about the same population as in 1850 (1,800) when the C&O Canal was operating at its peak. It includes a small liberal arts college called Sheperd University (3,000 students.)
The phrase, “Wonderful West Virginia,” is used by their tourism department, but the phrase is not an exaggeration. The state truly is wonderful with modern highways, scenic vistas, and historic sites. Our trip ran from Beckley to Lewisburg, in the southern part of the state. Beckley is served by Amtrak’s Cardinal route with a stop in Prince, which is several miles away along the winding river and is no longer a town. When you get off the Interstates, you have more opportunities to get to roadside observation points with grand vistas. This isn’t a mountainous region, but it has large rolling hills.