Visit Roanoke Island North Carolina

Visit Roanoke Island, North Carolina, the Crown Jewel of the Outer Banks.

About Roanoke Island

About Roanoke Island – Imagine an island surrounded by gently lapping waves. Early risers watch the sun emerge majestically over the gentle morning swells.

At day’s end, a glorious riot of color lights up the North Carolina sky as the sun magnificently drops into the water.

Visit Roanoke Island on North Carolina’s Outer BanksWalking around Olde Towne Manteo will take you back to a simpler time as you see white picket fences with climbing roses and profusely blooming magnolias and camellias.

Stop for a latte. Get a fabulous new read at the bookstore.

Go to the Wanchese docks to see career fishermen and their seaworthy vessels. Take a deep breath. Smile. You are going to love it here.

You have to experience the magic of Roanoke Island to believe it.

And getting around is a breeze.

It’s perfect for walking–we even have a walking/bike trail that runs the length of the island.

If Visit Roanoke Island on North Carolina’s Outer Bankswater activities appeal to you, hop aboard one of our tour boats on the pristine Manteo Waterfront in Olde Towne Manteo.

Want something more adventuresome? How about a parasail ride high above the water?

Or take a fishing charter with licensed captains and crew out to the ocean blue and almost certainly go home with bragging rights.

When you return, satisfy your hunger at any number of our award-winning eateries. Breakfast to dinner, the food on Roanoke Island is unrivaled on the Outer Banks.

Take time out to shop in our boutiques, unique galleries, and specialty shops.

You’ll want to visit them all. Then treat yourself to a good night’s rest at one of our truly wonderful bed and breakfasts or inns.

They treat you so well, you’ll be tempted to just stay put and be pampered!

Olde world charm we have, but should you need any services while you are here, you will be taken care of in the most modern, professional way.

Pampering services for hair and body, medical care for humans and their pets, car needs, even a modern small craft airport await you.

Of course, no visit to Roanoke Island is complete without visiting the world-class attractions.

The Roanoke Island Festival Park offers history, shopping, art, and music that will give you memories for a lifetime.

All ages become kids when they pet the sting rays at our world-class North Carolina Aquarium.

The Elizabethan Gardens will take your breath away with it’s stunning beauty.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site will teach you things about our history that will leave you in awe.

And don’t even think of leaving without going to see the longest-running outdoor theatre production in America–The Lost Colony.

The businesses of Roanoke Island welcome you–again, and again. Because no one comes to Roanoke Island just once.

Calendar of Events


We celebrate the First Friday of every month in Downtown Manteo from April through December just because we enjoy a good party!

The sounds of the night come alive once a month with a mix of terrific live music, the friendly voices of neighbors and visitors, and the tantalizing aromas of our wonderful local restaurants.

Wide open doors and bright, welcoming lights from the myriad of wonderful shops invite strollers to come, visit, chat, and look around.

Fabulous food and drink appear everywhere as shopkeepers offer an astounding menu of everything from elegant jalapeno crabcakes to oysters and ribs roasting in the night air.

Across Shallowbag Bay, the Elizabeth II makes an elegant backdrop in the evening light.

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse–our newest attraction–dominates the waterfront, inviting you to ponder how the sea has shaped this island community.

And in the summer, this is a great first stop for refreshments and fun before an evening performance of The Lost Colony.

Join us from 6 until 8 PM on these dates for live music, great food, unqiue shopping, and fun in the streets of downtown Manteo.


A & A Atlantic Outer Banks Cruises
Stuart Wescott
Slip 52 – 53 Manteo Waterfront Marina
Queen Elizabeth St.
PO Box 816 Manteo NC 27954
252-473-1475 or 252-489-9151
The Capt. Johnny is a 49 passenger tour cruise vessel that departs from the Manteo Waterfront. Guaranteed Dolphin Watch, sightseeing, eco tours, private cruises. Since 1995.

Crystal Dawn-Country Girl
Vanessa Foreman
100 Patty Lane
Manteo, NC 27954
FAX 252-473-9444

Down East Rover Sailing Cruises
Captain Mark Kopp
207 Queen Elizabeth Street, Slip #50
P.O. Box 0368
Manteo, NC 27954-0368
Toll free 1-866-SAILOBX
The Downeast Rover is a 55-foot topsail schooner that operates three sailing excursions per day from the Manteo waterfront. Trips depart at 11 AM, 2 PM, and 6:30 PM, weather permitting, and all of our sailings are two hours long (or longer). Daytime cruises are $15 for children, $25 for adults. Sunset Cruises are $30 per person. Children under 2 sail for free on our two daytime cruises. The Downeast Rover’s berth is on the Manteo waterfront, adjacent to the Tranquil House Inn and directly across the creek from the Elizabeth II.

The Elizabethan Gardens
1411 National Park Drive
Manteo, North Carolina 27954
Fax: 252-473-3244
History, mystery and fantasy are combined in these special gardens, which are a memorial to the first English colonists who came to North America in 1584-1587 and “walked away through the dark forest into history”. In 1951, The Garden Club of North Carolina adopted The Elizabethan Gardens as a project. The Gardens were designed by two of the nation’s foremost landscape architects, M. Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel and display a collection of ancient garden statuary from the John Hay Whitney collection. There is beauty for all, year round, in this lovely garden in its tranquil setting on the shores of Roanoke Sound.

Elizabeth R & Co.
Joanne Williams
P.O. Box 1718
Manteo, NC 27954
Elizabeth R, the international hit one-woman show about England’s Queen Elizabeth I, plays at The Elizabethan Gardens on Tuesdays, 3 June through 12 August. All performances are INSIDE in the air-conditioned hall. Curtain for the 1-hour play is 2:30 pm. The production, now in its 11th season stars noted English actor Miss Barbara Hird. $10 matinee tickets includes admission to the Gardens for a self-guided tour. Bloody Mary and The Virgin Queen is an outrageous musical comedy about England’s popular monarch Queen Elizabeth I, and her infamous sister Queen Mary. The production, now in its 7th season, has a limited run on the Outer Banks on Wednesdays 9 July through 13 August. For times, locations and tickets, contact the production office at 473-1061.

The Lost Colony
1409 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 27954
252-473-2127 office
252-473-3414 tickets
FAX 252-473-6000
A 400 year-old mystery haunts Roanoke Island. Here, 117 men, women and children lived for a short time and then vanished without a trace, leaving historians with a mystery that has never been solved. Witness their hopes and dreams come to life in a dazzling spectacle of song, dance, drama, comedy and special effects–performed on the very site they settled over 400 years ago. The Lost Colony is a compelling story that has been seen by over 4 million visitors since 1937. Performed nightly June thru August, Monday-Saturday under the stars at picturesque Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island.

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
P.O. Box 967
374 Airport Road
Manteo, NC 27954
FAX 252-473-1980
On a beautiful site overlooking the Croatan Sound, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is one of three state-operated aquariums on the North Carolina coast. The Aquarium on Roanoke Island features the 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic saltwater tank exhibit, interactive exhibits, two touch tanks, a theater and our new exhibit, “Aquarium Confidential,” A Look Behind the Scenes. Throughout the aquarium are exhibit tanks filled with fish of North Carolina coastal habitats, including sharks and rays. See eels, sea turtles and over 200 fish in a shipwreck habitat displaying a 1/3-scale replica of the USS Monitor. In the Wetlands on the Edge sky-lit atrium, you will see river otters, alligators and turtles lazing on rocks in the sun. Aquarium Confidential, /A Look Behind the* *Scenes/, is a fun exhibit looking at the day-to-day activities of the aquarium staff. Each day at the aquarium there are educational programs, fish feedings and demonstrations. Hours of Operation: Daily, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Open until 9 p.m. Thursdays in July. Admission Fees: $8 adults; $7 seniors; $6 children (6-17); children 5 and under are free. Closed: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Free: Registered North Carolina School Groups, North Carolina Aquarium Society Members. Discounts: Registered Tour Groups

North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island
Barry L Wickre, Curator
P.O. Box 907
104 Fernando Street
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: 252-475-1750

Outer Banks History Center
Festival Park Island
P.O. Box 250
Manteo, N.C. 27954
FAX: 252-473-1483
In July 1986 Outer Banks historian and businessman David Stick donated his personal library, an extensive private collection of North Caroliniana, to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Utilizing this core collection, the department built a unique, regional research facility in Manteo—the Outer Banks History Center.

The Pioneer Theatre
H.A. Creef, Jr.
113 Budleigh Street
P.O. Box 39
Manteo, NC 27954
First-run movies shown at 8:00PM nightly at this landmark theatre. Islanders know it’s THE place to be every week. $4 adult tickets, 50 cent popcorn, family environment.

Roanoke Island Festival Park
Scott Stroh, Executive Director
One Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
Events line: 252-475-1506

History, Art & Fun All Rolled into One! Learn of America’s first attempts at colonization by boarding Elizabeth II, a representative 16th century sailing vessel, and then visiting with soldiers in the Settlement Site. The Legend of Two Path film recounts the Roanoke story from a different perspective – that of the Algonquians living here when the English first arrived in 1584. In the Roanoke Adventure Museum, interactive exhibits travel beyond America’s beginnings to explore the next 400 years of Outer Banks history – from boat building to shipwrecks, from pirates to lighthouse keepers, from The Lost Colony to the Freedmen’s Colony. Performances and art gallery exhibits are scheduled year round. Add picnic areas, marsh side boardwalks, a fossil pit, museum store, and an art gallery – and you’ll have a day to treasure.

The Roanoke Island Freedman’s Colony
During the Civil War, Union-occupied Roanoke Island became home to thousands of former slaves. Initially these refugees settled near the Union headquarters, creating a community that included churches and a school. But in the spring of 1863, this camp evolved into a government-sanctioned colony. This interersting period in the history of Roanoke Island is commemorated at this web site and with a special heritage trail on Roanoke Island.

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
Town Of Manteo
PO Box 246
Manteo NC 27954
F: 252-473-2135

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