Roanoke Island Things To Do

All the Roanoke Island Things to Do

No matter what Roanoke Island things to do you choose during your stay here, one thing is certain, you’ll never be bored. Manteo's recreation is more varied than Wanchese's recreation, which is pretty much all fishing centered.

Whether you crave relaxation or high-energy adventure, it’s all here. Roanoke Island things to do include sailing along the sound or taking a dolphin-sighting cruise. Go crabbing from a dock or fight a marlin on an off-shore charter fishing trip. Parasail high above water or take a bike ride along the island. Watch the sun set from the decks of a beautiful boat or zip through the sound on a Jet boat. Stroll along the Manteo boardwalk and enjoy the island’s quaint beauty or enjoy a modern movie in an old-fashioned theater. Join the local kids at the town-built skatepark, or take the little ones to the waterfront playground. As you can see, Manteo recreation opportunities run the gamut!

And when you look beyond Manteo things to do to other Roanoke Island recreation possibilities, you’ll find air tours, fishing, backwater kayak tours, head boat excursions, Pirate Boat trips, yoga and Pilates classes, scuba trips and more.

See our Attractions section for more about Manteo things to do and all the places to visit on the island, places like the North Carolina Aquarium, Roanoke Island Festival Park, The Elizabethan Gardens and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Roanoke Island offers numerous special events, festivals, programs, performing arts, summer camps, children’s programs and more all summer long. If you are here in the off season there are still lots of interesting events year round too. See our Annual Events.

Roanoke Island Activities by Location or Category

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

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

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 154,000-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 Refuge's diversity... read more

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 154,000-acre refuge on the... read more

Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours

Manteo Thing To Do
400 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront, Manteo
(252) 473-1475
(866) 473-1475

It’s very exciting to watch bottlenosed dolphins frolicking and rolling through the water. Dolphins live in the sounds and from June through October frequent the local waters. Capt. Stuart Wescott, a ninth-generation Roanoke Island native, is now entering his 23rd season of conducting dolphin watch tours in the Roanoke Sound aboard the 53-foot pontoon-type boat Capt. Johnny. If you miss the dolphins on your first... read more

It’s very exciting to watch bottlenosed dolphins frolicking and rolling through the water. Dolphins live... read more

Charter Boats on the Outer Banks

Charter fishing on the Outer Banks is one of the most popular activities. Thousands of visitors and locals take advantage of the excellent fishing these waters offer, so not surprisingly there are many businesses that can connect you with the sort of charter you're interested in. Without a doubt, the offshore charter boats that go after the Gulf Stream big game of tuna, wahoo, mahi... read more

Charter fishing on the Outer Banks is one of the most popular activities. Thousands of... read more

Country Girl Head Boat

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina
Roanoke Island Thing To Do
1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina, Manteo
(252) 473-5577

The Country Girl can be chartered for full-day Gulf Stream trips for parties of six or more people. Call for rates and schedules. These Outer Banks charter fishing trips usually yield tuna and mahi-mahi, wahoo, king mackerel, marlin or sailfish depending on the season and conditions. The Country Girl also offers head boat-style wreck fishing. The 57-foot sportfisher can accommodate up to 27 passengers and... read more

The Country Girl can be chartered for full-day Gulf Stream trips for parties of six... read more

Crystal Dawn Head Boat

Pirate's Cove Yacht Club & Marina
Manteo Thing To Do
1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina, Manteo
(252) 473-5577

Whether for head boat fishing or cruises, you will enjoy the 65-foot, big and comfortable Crystal Dawn. You will fish in the inlet or sound for a variety of fish such as flounder, croaker, spot, trout, sea mullet, sea bass and more, depending on the season and conditions. All bait, tackle and licenses are furnished. Cost for head boat fishing is $48 for adults and $38 for... read more

Whether for head boat fishing or cruises, you will enjoy the 65-foot, big and comfortable Crystal... read more

Elizabethan Gardens

Manteo Thing To Do
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

Grandpa's Charters

OBX Marina
Wanchese Thing To Do
708 Harbor Road, Manteo
(252) 473-9991
(866) 473-1475
(252) 305-8862

See how the local seafood is caught. On these tours, the captain pulls a small, commercial-type shrimp net behind the boat. Passengers get to sort the catch and examine the shrimp, fish and crabs that are harvested — and they get to take home anything that's of legal size. Grandpa's also offers offshore and inshore fishing trips, spear fishing and shark fishing. This is a... read more

See how the local seafood is caught. On these tours, the captain pulls a small,... read more

Island Farm

Manteo Thing To Do
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

Kitty Hawk Kites

Manteo Thing To Do
307 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo
(252) 473-2357
785L Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village, Corolla
(252) 453-8845
819 Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza, Corolla
(252) 453-3685
1216 Duck Road, Wee Winks Square, Duck
(252) 261-4450
3933 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 12.5, Nags Head
(252) 449-2210
24502 N.C. Highway 12, Waves Village, Rodanthe
(252) 987-2297
39432 N.C. Highway 12, Island Shops, Avon
(252) 995-6060
58848 Hatteras Landing, Hatteras Village
(252) 986-1446
(877) 359-8447

Kitty Hawk Kites specializes in kites, from the single-lines for kids to high-tech stunt varieties. The stores also sell fun things like flags, toys, boomerangs and games. You’ll find the Outer Banks’ largest selection of beach sportswear and footwear from Crocs, Sanuk, Chaco, Southern Fried and Life is Good apparel, the coolest selection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, outdoor clothing, sunglasses, sandals and more. KHK stores also... read more

Kitty Hawk Kites specializes in kites, from the single-lines for kids to high-tech stunt varieties.... read more

Lost Colony

Manteo Thing To Do
1409 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64), Waterside Theatre, Manteo
(252) 473-2127

More than 400 years ago, 117 men, women and children sailed from Plymouth, England, in an attempt to settle on Roanoke Island. They vanished just two years later. The only clue left behind was the word “CROATOAN” carved in a tree. The Lost Colony is their story. This outdoor drama is the longest-standing Outer Banks attraction, celebrating its 80th season in 2017!

Written by Pulitzer... read more

More than 400 years ago, 117 men, women and children sailed from Plymouth, England, in... read more

Manteo Cyclery

Manteo Thing To Do
312 U.S. Highway 64, Manteo
(252) 305-0306

You can't miss the bright blue building that's home to Manteo Cyclery. They're locally owned and operated by people who are passionate about all things bicycles. The trusted experts at their shop can perform a full range of bicycle repairs and gear installation, so you can get back on the road (or the trail). If you're just here for a visit, they've got plenty of bikes... read more

You can't miss the bright blue building that's home to Manteo Cyclery. They're locally owned... read more

Manteo Preservation Trust's Holiday Tour of Homes

Manteo Thing To Do

Manteo Preservation Trust is a group dedicated to bringing awareness to the public of the cultural, architectural and historic heritage of Roanoke Island. Every year, its central fundraiser is the Holiday Tour of Homes, during which homes and other structures on the island are beautifully decorated and open to tour. The tour route is usually easily walkable, and a local bike shops also donates bikes... read more

Manteo Preservation Trust is a group dedicated to bringing awareness to the public of the... read more