Situated on North Carolina’s serene inland coast, scenic Edenton—the state’s second-oldest town and first colonial capital—is a sight to see any time of year. But this 17th-century gem truly shines come December, when its 5,000 proud residents dress their acclaimed architecture in holiday grandeur, creating the Old-World charm of Christmases past.
Edenton is often described as “the South’s prettiest town,” and much of its unique beauty comes from an abundance of buildings, including homes and churches, dating from the 18th century to the early 20th century. The Edenton Historic District features varied architectural styles and, at Christmastime, these storied structures anchor tree-lined streets aglow with flickering lights and jolly adornments.
The city will kick off the celebration on December 1 in the heart of the historic district with its annual Christmas Extravaganza and Flotilla, complete with caroling, the lighting of the town tree, and a boat parade that showcases holiday spirit across the lovely Edenton Bay. To experience more of the extensive historic district, take a guided trolley tour that includes an overview of notable sites; afterward, explore those that catch your eye en route.