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Roanoke Island

'Small Town Charm'

Roanoke Island is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

, and is about 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. It is enclosed by the Roanoke Sound and Croatan Sound and is made up of two waterfront towns, Manteo and Wanchese

Manteo, NC on Roanoke IslandWanchese, NC on Roanoke Island

Manteo is on the north eastern side of the island and Wanchese is at the southern end.  These towns still hold onto their unique charm and historic past with many attractions that draw people to the island.

roanoke-island-sign1Plan to stay awhile, because you won't have enough time to explore it all in just one day! 

Check out Roanoke Island vacation rentals!

Want to know what kind of weather we're having?  Check out the weather for Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks right here!

lost-colony-entrance As you probably remember from your history classes, in 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I, attempted to establish an English colony of America on Roanoke Island

There were 117 men, women, and children in the colony, but after a few years, the colony, along with houses and shelters were nowhere to be found.  It was a ghost town.

There are numerous theories of the fate of the colony but it still remains a mystery. The colony became known as the Lost Colony

The only thing that remains of the Lost Colony today is a fort, and it is open to the public.  Many historians still continue to come to Roanoke Island in hopes of finding answers that will solve the big question regarding the colony's fate.

Lost Colony Waterside Theatre at Ft Raleigh National Historic Site

You can see the Lost Colony story unfold under the stars at America's oldest and longest running outdoor drama at the Waterside Theatre in Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in the town of Manteo.

This should definitely be on your list of "things to do" when you visit!

Also, be sure to see the 16th century ship, "Elizabeth II" at the Roanoke Island Festival Park and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Replica of Sir Walter Raleigh Shipmanteo-lighthouse

Other popular attractions on the island include the North Carolina Aquarium, and the Elizabethan Gardens, a lovely statuary.

North Carolina Aquarium in Manteomanteo-elizabethan-gardens

Also, during the Civil War, if the African-Americans could cross over the Roanoke and Croatoan Sounds, there was a safe place waiting for them to help them escape slavery.
It is known as the Freedman's Colony, which is an honorary stop for the Underground Railroad. Wow!  All of this history comes alive in one place! 


Manteo is a peaceful, charming, southern town with art galleries, antique shops, waterfront boardwalks and southern hospitality!

It is also the home of Andy Griffith and his wife, and he has described Manteo many times as "if Mayberry is anywhere, it is Manteo". 

When you come to visit, plan on staying the night because you have so much to see!  And, if you stay awhile, you will have time to experience the quiet nights with a nice walk on the boardwalk, too! 

The accommodations are fabulous and Manteo has more bed and breakfast establishments than any other town or village on the Outer Banks.  Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Manteo

Just opposite Manteo at the southern end is Wanchese.  Wanchese is an old fishing village where "down to earth" residents fish for a living and build boats.  This village is not a tourist attraction, but it is really nice to just be among the residents and observe their everyday life.

Wanchese and Manteo are home to a great bed and breakfast establishments and they have several suites and packages to choose from with all the southern charm that will keep you coming back year after year.

Refuge Campground in Wanchese
also has great camping community at the Campground Refuge

They have 59 sites with full hook-ups, and you can stay a day, week, or a year, but make your reservations early though!

Click here to check out the fabulous VACATION HOMES AND CONDO rentals!

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