We thought you might enjoy knowing about the locals’ favorite picnic spots. You can get take-out from most the restaurants we list in this section, so why not grab your feast and head out for a true outdoor dining experience?
1) Manteo Waterfront Boardwalk
Manteo Historic Waterfront Area
All along the Manteo Waterfront there are benches and tables that invite an outdoor meal. You can also sit under the gazebo, out on the pier or just plop down on the edge of the boardwalk and let your feet hang out over the water. At George Washington Creef Memorial Park, next to the Maritime Museum, there are picnic tables and grills. There’s also a great playground and swings along the boardwalk.
2) Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
1410 U.S. Highway 64/264
Low-slung live oaks, perfect for climbing, tall pines and grassy expanses provide the perfect picnic setting at Fort Raleigh. There are a few picnic tables, but you can also just spread out on the grass. Have a picnic dinner here before The Lost Colony, which starts at 8 p.m.
3) Old Swimming Hole
Airport Road next to the North Carolina Aquarium
After a visit to the aquarium, head over here for lunch and a swim. There are picnic tables and grills, restrooms, playground equipment and a volleyball court.
4) Roanoke Island Festival Park
Across from the Manteo Waterfront
The grounds at Festival Park welcome picnickers with picnic tables and a wide-open lawn. The best time to picnic here is just before or during a performance at the Outdoor Pavilion.
5) Freedmen’s Colony Road
At the northernmost end of the Manteo Bike Path
At this little park-like area, there are a few tables, a sandy beach by the sound and some benches surrounding an interpretive exhibit about the Freedmen’s Colony that was here during and after the Civil War. There is parking for cars, but it’s more fun to ride a bike here, stop for lunch and a stretch on the beach, then ride back home. It’s about 3 miles from downtown Manteo.