In this online guide, we refer you to three main areas of Roanoke Island: Main Highway, Manteo Historic Waterfront Area and Wanchese.
The main road, U.S. Highway 64, is not your typical high-speed highway. This two- (sometimes three) lane road traverses the island, with traffic cruising at the leisurely pace of 35 or 45 mph. Many of the island’s attractions, accommodations, restaurants and shopping are on or just off this road. When you drive onto Roanoke Island from either the mainland or the beaches, you’re already on U.S. Highway 64. Several attractions (the North Carolina Aquarium, The Elizabethan Gardens, The Lost Colony, etc.) are clustered at the north end of the island (closer to the mainland) and are easy to find thanks to numerous signs along U.S. Highway 64.
The town of Manteo is in the middle of the island, with the downtown area on the east side, along Shallowbag Bay. You have to turn off U.S. Highway 64 to get to the Manteo historic waterfront area, and signs will lead you there. Fernando, Agona, Sir Walter Raleigh or Budleigh streets will take you right into the heart of downtown.
Wanchese is on the south end of the island. To get there, take N.C. Highway 345, which winds through several miles of marshland before reaching the village. N.C. Highway 345 intersects with U.S. Highway 64 at a stoplight on the south end of Roanoke Island (closer to the beaches) near the entrance to the new bridge coming from the west.