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My Coast Guard
Commentary | June 27, 2021

Postcards from Elizabeth City 

By  Cmdr. Morgan Holden, Office of Strategic Workforce Forecasting and HR Analytics 

About the author: Cmdr. Morgan Holden is married to Lt. Dave Holden. The couple have three children aged 10, six, and 16 months. The Holdens visited Base Elizabeth City, North Carolina March 27th-April 4th, 2021

It might sound strange to some, but my husband and I decided to take a week of leave from our active-duty Coast Guard jobs and head to … another Coast Guard unit for vacation. We are a dual active-duty family of five. In this year of multi-tasking, juggling work demands with lack of childcare for our newborn, and keeping our two elementary age children engaged in their virtual school lessons, we wanted a break from screens, a relaxing waterfront view, and outdoor entertainment for our older two kids (10 and six). Base Elizabeth City, North Carolina delivered! Base E-city has 14 RV sites spanning two camping areas. Ten of the RV spaces are paved, with waterfront views and adjoin a large open field that is perfect for kids to run around. They also have five mobile homes available to rent that come in handy during PCS season. A welcome surprise to us were the one-bedroom with  loft cabins (sleeps four) that are just steps away from the Pasquotank River. My step-dad is a disabled vet and was easily able to rent one of the three cabins for the week. Our concerns about his access to the base were put at ease when security staff recognized his VA paperwork right away. He never had any trouble.  

How we spent our time:
We truly enjoyed our stay. The kids got to watch both our Dolphin and Jayhawk helicopters and C-130 planes take off and land every day while running back and forth between our camper and the cabin. The boat ramp for the small boat station is next to the cabins where we saw all three small boats launch and recover during our week stay.  A private beach with covered picnic areas, restrooms, and white sand is just across the street from the camping area and cabins. Though it was too cold and windy for us to enjoy swimming in early April, the kids built sandcastles while watching a helicopter practice rescue swimmer pickups nearby.  

Campground amenities 

The campground has full hook ups with 30 and 50 amp power and campers back into their spacious spots. There is no wifi and no bath house so do be prepared to use your own. Cell phone service was excellent.  We also didn’t see a place for campfires so we used the charcoal grills by the cabins for s’mores.   

Cabin amenities

The cabins were quaint and very clean. There is one queen-size bed, and the mattress was brand new. My mom said it was more comfortable than her own bed practically every day. The loft is an open space with a full-size mattress laying on the floor. All three kids enjoyed that area as a playroom. The stairs are open, so we did have to hover over our on-the-go infant. There was also complimentary satellite TV, Wi-Fi, all linens provided, and a full kitchen. Base E-City had two playgrounds, a wonderful exchange, and Hanger 7 for food and drinks.  

Making reservations for your stay

Feeling welcomed is important to any trip. Ms. Valerie Phillips, from Base E-City’s MWR staff, was such a gem to work with. We booked the cabin and camping spot by calling ahead of time, and were provided with email confirmations. Valerie stopped by through the week to make sure everything was meeting our expectations and gave us recommendations for activities out on town. Getting to the Outer Banks was also easy… a quick one-hour drive for an easy day trip.  We’ll be headed back to E-City again!

Booking information:

  • Coast Guard Lodging Directory
  • Reservations: Required with advance payment accepted up to 90 days in advance (very busy April-September). For reservation or other information, contact:

MWR Office, Bldg. 5
Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City
Elizabeth City, NC 27909-5000
Phone: (252) 335-6482
Fax: (252) 335-6296
Base Elizabeth City MWR Resources 

Have you visited an MWR vacation site? We would love to highlight your trip. Tell us what you loved, how you spent your time, and how to make reservations. Send us your write up to