Things to Do in Manteo, NC: Nature & Outdoor Oriented

To experience the bulk of Roanoke Island things to do, activities and attractions, you have to be willing to go outside. Walk the streets of the picturesque downtown waterfront before strolling along the soundside boardwalk. Charter a fishing trip out of Wanchese. Enjoy a guided cruise to see the sunset or dolphins playing in the sound. Rent a standup paddleboard, Jet Ski or kayak, and take in the sights from a watery vantage point. Go for a hike in wildlife refuge. Visit a working 1850s-era farm. There’s no shortage of things to do in Manteo, NC, that embrace the great outdoors.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Nature & Outdoor Oriented in Roanoke Island, NC
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 refuge's diversity of habitat... read more

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

Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours

Nature & Outdoor Oriented in Manteo, NC
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, has been conducting dolphin watch tours in the Roanoke Sound aboard the 53-foot pontoon-type boat Capt. Johnny for nearly 25 years. If you miss the dolphins on your first trip,... read more

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

Elizabethan Gardens

Nature & Outdoor Oriented 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, 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

First Fridays in Manteo

Nature & Outdoor Oriented in Manteo, NC
Downtown Manteo, Manteo
(252) 473-5558

First Friday is a family-oriented festival held in downtown Manteo on the first Friday of every month from April through December. From 6 to 8 p.m. downtown Manteo’s sidewalks come alive with a wide variety of musical performances and festive activities for all ages. Individual shops and restaurants frequently do their own celebratory activity such as live music, special sales, refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Dare County... read more

First Friday is a family-oriented festival held in downtown Manteo on the first Friday of... read more

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Nature & Outdoor Oriented in Manteo, NC
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