Roanoke Island Attractions

Including Manteo Attractions

World-class Roanoke Island attractions are what lure many people here. Many attractions celebrate Roanoke Island’s history as the site of the first attempted English colonization of America such as Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, The Elizabethan Gardens, The Lost Colony outdoor drama, the Elizabeth II sailing ship and the Roanoke Island Festival Park. There are other Roanoke Island attractions, too, that you will not want to miss like the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, musical events such as the Shallowbag Shag Beach Music Festival or the Mountain Music by the Sea bluegrass festival at the beautiful outdoor amphitheater, the North Carolina Maritime Museum and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. You can also step back to the mid-1800s at Island Farm or to a more simple time in Manteo's history by just walking or biking the streets and looking at the restored homes. With all these attractions and the many sites that capture Roanoke Island’s history, you’ll find that a day trip is never enough. In part due to these Roanoke Island attractions, more and more visitors are choosing this island as their vacation destination.

Roanoke Island Attractions by Location or Category

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Roanoke Island Attractions
Milltail Road, off U.S. Highway 64, Manteo
(252) 473-1131

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion of Dare and Hyde counties. It was established in 1984 to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type, the pocosin, and its associated wildlife species. Pocosin is a Native American word meaning ‘‘swamp-on-a-hill’’ and is characterized by poorly drained soils high in organic material. The... read more

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 159,000-acre refuge... read more

Elizabethan Gardens

Manteo Attractions
1411 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64) next to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
(252) 473-3234

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English colonists, The Elizabethan Gardens is a rare treasure and a beloved Outer Banks attraction. It’s a haven of verdant, flourishing growth and natural prosperity. The gardens are in bloom year round with azaleas, dogwoods, roses, camellias, daphne, a variety of annuals and herbs and much more. Adding exquisite touches are... read more

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English... read more

Island Farm

Manteo Attractions
1140 N. US Highway 64, Manteo
(252) 473-6500

A living history site, Island Farm interprets daily life on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s. Visitors feel as if they’ve stepped back more than 150 years as they explore the farm and see interpreters dressed in period attire carrying out the daily activities of the time – tending animals, blacksmithing, hoeing corn, doing laundry, making corn cakes. Hands-on activities and demonstrations may include woodworking, textile... read more

A living history site, Island Farm interprets daily life on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s.... read more

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Manteo Attractions
374 Airport Road, Manteo
(252) 475-2300
(800) 832-3474 x4

The North Carolina Aquarium remains one of the most popular attractions on the Outer Banks, and it got a fantastic renovation that was completed in the summer of 2016. Yes, it's perfect for a rainy day, but you will also appreciate the cool, quiet environment when you've had enough of the sun. Just stepping into the aquarium’s lobby is like diving into the ocean’s depths.... read more

The North Carolina Aquarium remains one of the most popular attractions on the Outer Banks,... read more

Outer Banks Tastes and Tales Guided Walking Tours

Manteo Attractions
399 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo
(252) 489-5959

Walking tours are a great way to get to know a town and its history. Strolling at a leisurely pace through town, you'll soak up the sights and sounds of the local Manteo landscape while at the same time learning about the town's history from experienced local tour guides. Outer Banks Tastes and Tales makes the walking tour experience all the better by adding food... read more

Walking tours are a great way to get to know a town and its history.... read more

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Manteo Attractions
1 Festival Park, across from the Manteo Waterfront, Manteo
(252) 475-1500

Experience a new adventure in an old world at Roanoke Island Festival Park. This 25-acre historic site allows guests of all ages to experience first-hand what life was like for the first English settlers in 1585. Historic costumed interpreters are featured through Indian Town, the Settlement Site and the Elizabeth II ship to show and tell how the first settlers lived worked and played on... read more

Experience a new adventure in an old world at Roanoke Island Festival Park. This 25-acre... read more