Capital of the NC Colony: You Should Move to Edenton, North Carolina!

There are so many amazing communities with pockets of well-preserved homes around the country, and one-off old house gems found on rural stretches are certainly irresistible to me. When stunning homes just start ROLLING in from the same town, though, I have to investigate. If it’s spectacular, I’ll then try to convince you to move there.

Let’s not pretend like Edenton, NC is a well-kept secret. It’s been voted the best, the prettiest, and most charming by publications aplenty and it’s steeped in pretty significant history as a former capital of the North Carolina province and title-holder as first permanent European settlement in the state. The sheer density of 18th century homes in the area is staggering and there are nationally registered properties out the ears, especially considering its size. North Carolina’s oldest courthouse, and arguably one of the most impressive examples Georgian architecture in the South, is Chowan County downtown. It’s quiet there, though. You know your neighbors, you buy your coffee at the local shop, and the landscape provides plenty of motivation to get outside.

By Leah Rucker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The community prioritizes preservation in a way that has shaped the town ethos and really ignited heritage tourism in the area. It’s located on Albemarle Sound in a region referred to as the “Inner Banks,” (many of you have probably heard of the lovely beach destinations in the region known as the “Outer Banks” of North Carolina, same banks!) and town life seems, still, to revolve around the waterfront. A lot of the best homes, keep in mind, are just a little outside of town on roaming tracts that harken back to agricultural life.

The Wessington House, Built 1851 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Edenton is also *pretty* well known as a retirement destination…and by pretty well known, I mean a Certified North Carolina Retirement Community. That’s a title. I’m not just recommending Edenton as a quaint old town to live out your glory days, though. Move there now. Must one be retired to enjoy walks along the waterfront and lanes studded with well-loved and storied homes? Does a town need a microbrewery to be relevant with the working-aged crowd? I say take a closer look at Edenton and its surrounding areas – it could be home.

CIRCA listings in Edenton:

Inner Banks Inn, a gorgeous B&B that includes FOUR distinct homes in the sale. $2,499,000

Bloom Farms, including the Houghton-Hassell House, cottage and guesthouse on 15 acres. $794,00

Athol, a truly jawdropping Greek Revival mansion. $499,900



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Alix is CIRCA’s Properties Manager. She relishes working directly with homeowners and real estate agents to track down new stewards for homes with secrets to keep and stories to tell! On a lifetime mission to visit every great flea market in the world, she’s probably going to need a bigger old house soon.

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