Things to Do in Manteo, NC: Attractions

Including Elizabethan Gardens & The Lost Colony

Roanoke Island things to do include some of the Outer Banks’ premier attractions. English-inspired botanic gardens and historic sites preserve colonial history. Aquariums celebrate marine life and aquatic environments. Evidence of escaped slaves and early colonies for freed men and women pop up across the island. The impressive operating marina and shipyards showcase the area’s renowned commercial and recreational fishing industry. Some of the top Roanoke Island attractions include The Elizabethan Gardens, The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama, Roanoke Island Festival Park and Island Farm, but that's not all so prepare for a full day of exploring the island. 

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

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

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 164,000-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 of habitat...read more

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a more than 164,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion...read more

Elizabethan Gardens

Attractions in Manteo, NC
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, hydrangeas, roses, camellias, flowering trees, a variety of annuals and herbs and much more. Adding exquisite touches are imported Italian Renaissance...read more

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

Lost Colony

Attractions in Manteo, NC
1409 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64), Waterside Theatre, inside Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
(252) 473-2127
Tickets
(252) 473-6000

In July of 1587, 117 English men, women and children came ashore on Roanoke Island with the commission from Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in the New World. They vanished just three years later. The only clues were “CROATOAN" carved into the surface of an abandoned structure and the letters "CRO" carved into a nearby tree. After nearly 450 years, the...read more

In July of 1587, 117 English men, women and children came ashore on Roanoke Island...read more

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

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

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is one of the most popular attractions on the Outer Banks. With more than 200 species of animals, including otters, sand tiger sharks and jellyfish to see, the aquarium is a wondrous place to explore. 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....read more

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is one of the most popular attractions on...read more