When my folks made their first southbound transit of the Intracoastal Waterway from Annapolis, to Hilton Head, South Carolina, in the late ’80s, they couldn’t say enough nice things about Elizabeth City, North Carolina. I remember them writing in a letter, “You’ll never believe what happened.
After a long day in the Dismal Swamp Canal, we pulled up to this nice little city dock for a free tie-up, and in the evening we were visited by a couple of gentlemen who gave us roses, wine, and cheese.” Today, thanks to the generosity of those two gentlemen (and by continuing to provide free 48-hour tie-ups for visiting boaters), Elizabeth City is widely known as the “Harbor of Hospitality.” Well, things just got even friendlier.
The city recently announced the addition of a new restroom/shower facility only a handful of footsteps away from the Mariner’s Wharf docks, which adds the promise of a hot shower to the list of reasons to stop in Elizabeth City.
According to a blog post at elizabethcityhasit.com, “Recreational boaters who cruise into Elizabeth City now have a place to freshen up and take a hot shower. Just in time for the spring travel season, new restroom and shower facilities have just opened in the Mariner’s Wharf building along the downtown waterfront.
Steps from the docks, the new facility includes separate men’s and women’s restrooms, one large shower room with a commode and sink, as well as a second shower room that is accessible for people with disabilities. The restrooms are free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There is a $5 cash fee to use the showers, payable at either the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau office or the Elizabeth City Downtown Inc. office. These offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Both the restroom and shower facilities are heated.”
I’m not sure about you, but the idea of a nice, hot shower after a day of motoring sounds good to me, especially if your facilities onboard are limited. While I’ve never stopped in Elizabeth City on my wanderings down the ICW (I’ve always been in a time crunch and taken the North Carolina Cut route), it’s at the top of my places to stop on my next, hopefully more casual, trip down the ditch. Tell us about your experiences in Elizabeth City in the comments section below.
For more about the money-saving virtues of Elizabeth City and the Dismal Swamp Canal, pick up a copy of the May-June 2014 issue of PassageMaker magazine.