Don't let the advertising fool you, the place is terrible. A 297-year-old town that never went anywhere due to its terrible location, the town lacks a good nightlife, and restaurant options are limited. Its "downtown" area is composed of a couple of blocks of mostly 19th century brick buildings with a drop of its earlier 18th century buildings. This, I should point out, is the town's only interesting lure along with the rather plain looking replica of the British colonial governor's—and first government building—home which is regarded as a palace and named after the second to last colonial governor, William Tryon. The miniscule "downtown" area is basically the city's façade. This small area has been reborn as a tourist catch with antique shops, boutiques, and small private eateries, all of which appear to be privately-owned and have odd hours of operation (i.e. closed on Sundays etc.)
The rest of the town surrounding the tiny "downtown" area is composed of old rotting neighborhoods.
And as for the waterways, coming from south Florida, what a contrast: dark, murky, and shallow tea-colored waters with no chance of swimming here. The summers are hotter than Florida, over 100ºF, and stale with no breeze. Expect a coating of yellow pollen on everything during the outbreak of spring. During this time, it doesn't pay to wash your vehicle since it'll receive a nice fresh coating of the yellow stuff as soon as you've finished ringing the towel. For those with allergies, you have been warned.
Winters aren't so bad. However, the worst aspect of living here, again if you like this sort of thing, is the feeling of isolation from the outside world as nothing really ever happens here. It's ideal for those retirees and others that seek such a lifestyle but beware, I was one of those seeking such a rift from the big city but after more than a year of living here, I'm counting the days until I leave this Godforsaken place. As one neighbor said to me before she moved away a few weeks ago after having spent 9 months here, "this place was sucking the life out of me".