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With a beautiful location and quaint community feel, the Town of Manteo welcomes tens of thousands of visitors year after year. Other than its several historic sites, the main destination is the Manteo Waterfront in Historic Downtown Manteo. Manteo Waterfront is often the location of seasonal events and is comprised of a marina, waterfront gazebo, George Washington Creef Boathouse, family-run Pioneer Theater, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, and dozens of shops and restaurants.

Manteo Restaurants

Manteo Attractions

Coastal NC Refuges Gateway Visitor Center — The Coastal NC Refuges Gateway Visitor Center represents 11 different national wildlife refuges and a national fish hatchery to educate and entice visitors through an interactive exhibit, audio-visual programs in a multi-sensory theater and a virtual ride in a Cessna airplane. The LEED certified and energy efficient center also features roughly 35 acres of wild wetlands to explore over four distinct walking trails ranging from .12 to .66 miles in length. (Open daily. Located at 100 Conservation Way, Manteo, NC 29754). Admission is free. Gift shop has items for purchase and all funds proceed refuge programs.

Elizabethan Gardens — First opened in 1960, the Elizabethan Gardens were actually built in memory of the original settlers of The Lost Colony. Acting as a living museum, visitors can wander through the luxurious Elizabethan-era style gardens to view dozens of historic artifacts and a vibrant collection of local trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs. The Elizabethan Gardens are also home to the annual holiday Winter Lights festival. (Open daily except for select holidays and month of February. Located at 1411 National Park Dr. Manteo, NC 27954). Admission ticket purchase required.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site — The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is a 355+ acre park that will truly connect visitors with local history through various monuments, trails, and an informational visitor’s center. This site is home to the location of the earliest English settlements, including the infamous “Lost Colony,” the Freedmen's Colony, and site of radio transmission experiments in the early 1900s. Visitor’s can also purchase tickets to the award winning annual theater performance, The Lost Colony, performed at the adjacent Waterside Theater. (Open daily from sunrise to sunset with specific hours for the visitor center and Theater play. Located at 1401 National Park Dr. Manteo, NC 27954). Admission to the park is free but The Lost Colony requires ticket purchase.

Island Farm — The Island Farm is another hidden gem for history lovers. This living history site features the homestead of the Ethridge family (since 1757) and gives visitors an inside look into what life was like on the island in the mid-1800s. Tour buildings like a farmhouse, wood shed, and various barns while interacting with live interpreters. Demonstrations are tailored to school-aged children and range from woodworking and musket firing to farming and 19th century cooking. (Open seasonally Tuesday-Friday. Located at 1140 N. US HWY. 64, Manteo, NC 27954). Admission ticket purchase required; children 5 & under are free. 62.5% of the admission is deductible as a charitable contribution.

Jumpmasters OBX Trampoline Park — Visitors will love this trampoline park, 3-D climbing wall, foam pit, ninja obstacle course, and axe throwing center. Located at 728 US Hwy. 64, Manteo, NC 27954. *Club Seaside Partner offering a 20% discount to all Seaside Vacations Guests.

NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island — The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is a 68,000 sq. ft. complex designed to teach visitors about the Atlantic Ocean’s and North Carolina’s inland aquatic ecosystems as well as promote the importance of marine conservation. Both kids and adults will enjoy paying a visit to this modern facility with interactive exhibits, soundside pier, educational progams, and the STAR Center sea turtle hospital. Open daily 9-5. Located at 374 Airport Rd. Manteo, NC 27954. Admission ticket purchase required.

Roanoke Island Festival Park — The Roanoke Island Festival Park is a fun, interactive family attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America. Costumed interpreters are on site to teach visitors about life in 1585, especially kids who will enjoy trying on armor, practice woodworking, watch a blacksmith at work, and even play Elizabethan-era games. An American Indian Town Exhibit with will teach visitors about the history and culture of the Algonquian people and allow them to practice skills such as cordage, basket weaving and boat building. The best part of the park is the Elizabeth II which represents one of the seven ships that brought the colonists to America from England. Kids will love climbing abord the ship! *Seaside Vacations guests are eligible to receive 1 complimentary ticket to the Roanoke Island Festival Park with purchase of 1 adult ticket! Open seasonally. Located at 1 Festival Park, Manteo, NC 27954. Admission ticket purchase required.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse — The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a 37-foot tall replica of the lighthouse that was built in Wanchese in 1877 but was eventually lost to the Albemarle Sound during water transit after being decommissioned in 1955. Sitting on a 40-yard long boardwalk above the sound, the operational structure uses a fourth-order Fresnel Lens that emits a fixed white light to help boats navigate as they enter and leave the Shallowbag Bay area. Although the tower is not open for climbing, visitors are welcome to explore the boardwalk and go inside to view a small exhibit about the structure’s history. (Inside building open seasonally. Located at 300 Queen Elizabeth Ave. Manteo, NC 27954). Admission is free and the boardwalk is always open.

The Christmas Shop — The Outer Banks Christmas Shop and General Store has been an island favorite since 1967. With over 15,000 square feet of shopping space, browse Christmas décor, jewelry and gifts along with locally made crafts, art, candy, snacks, and more. There is also an awesome multi-room Halloween shop for all your costume and décor needs. Located at 621 US Hwy. 64, Manteo, NC 27954.

Manteo Events

Bluegrass Island Festival — Held annually at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, the Bluegrass Island Festival is a multi-day celebration of bluegrass by the water with dozens of locally and nationally acclaimed bands. Dozens of food and merchandise vendors are also on site. Tickets are required but they sell out fast! Individual day tickets, full event pass, and VIP backstage tickets are sold.

Christmas Tree Lighting — The annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Manteo Waterfront is another free, family-friendly event with holiday music, hot cocoa, holiday lights, and a visit from Santa!

Christmas Parade — What’s Christmas without an annual Christmas Parade? Enjoy an array of floats and performances with spectacular holiday music and decorations winding through the streets of Manteo.

Dare Day Festival — The Dare Day Festival is a free family-friendly annual celebration that takes place on the Manteo Waterfront on the first Saturday in June featuring food, drinks, crafts, music, shopping, and more.

Downtown Manteo Farmer’s Market — Opened May through October on Saturdays between 8AM – Noon, the Dowtown Manteo Farmer’s Market offers visitors everything from crafts, jewelry and art to pastries, preserves, and fresh local produce.

Fourth of July — The Fourth of July Celebration in downtown Manteo features everything from contests and live music to food/craft vendors and fireworks over the water, with free admission.

New Year in the New World — The New Year in the New World is a huge annual (and free) bash celebrating New Year’s Eve in downtown Manteo. Visit for family-friendly fun including games, great food, live music, an early ball drop for the kids, and fireworks over the water at midnight!