17+ Exceptional Activities in Manteo, NC

Manteo is situated on Roanoke Island, a little island that stretches eight miles and is bordered by the Outer Banks in Dare County, North Carolina. In addition to being a delightful summer resort, Manteo is one of the most intriguing historical villages on the Outer Banks.

One important occurrence in the early history of America is the “Lost Colony of Roanoke” narrative that you may have heard about. Seeking a new beginning, about a hundred pioneering English colonists came to the island in 1587. But when supply ships came three years later, they found the colony abandoned and empty, leaving a mystery.

Roanoke Island is a thriving community today that honors its rich past with immersive theatre, museums, and other events. The island is no longer uninhabited, yet its allure hasn’t diminished. A variety of outdoor activities, delectable cuisine at wonderful restaurants, and exceptional events are available to visitors. From history buffs to thrill-seekers, Manteo provides something for everyone and makes for a memorable visit to this unusual city.

Now let’s explore the activities to do in Manteo, North Carolina.

17+ Exceptional Activities in Manteo, NC

Also Read: 3 Simple Steps for Travelling from Raleigh to Asheville

THINGS TO DO IN MANTEO NC

Do you intend to visit the Outer Banks over the summer? The best spot to de-stress, enjoy the best that the Outer Banks have to offer, and unwind is Manteo. The top activities in Manteo are listed in detail below.

1. EXPLORE DOWNTOWN MANTEO

Downtown Bookstores

Situated one street from the beach is Downtown Books, a locally owned bookstore. They have shelves upon shelves of books in every imaginable genre. They also actively support Dare County Schools, offering their assistance to today’s young readers in any way they can.

NouVines

A welcoming wine bar, NouVines specializes in small-batch wines from throughout the globe. Visitors are welcome to partake in inventive cuisine combinations, sample new wines, participate in quiz nights, take in live performances, or just relax with fine company and excellent wine glasses.

Historic Walking Tour of Manteo

The respected retired chief of police of Manteo provides walking tours of the city’s history at midnight. Francis D’Ambra can recite by memory hundreds of amazing tales, ghost stories, and fascinating facts spanning almost 400 years. If you’re lucky, he may even share a few of his most amazing tales with you.

Open April through October, weekends start at 7 p.m. and last around 1.5 hours. This is the right place to start if you’ve ever been curious about Manteo’s past or would like to learn more.

The Creamery at Olde Town

A traditional soda shop, Olde Town Creamery offers ice cream, hot dogs, pizzas, and other treats. They’re ideal for a fast dinner or sweet treat, and they have a beautiful outside patio.

Farmers Market in Manteo

The Manteo Farmers Market is a seasonal event that happens every Saturday in George Washington Creef Park. There’s fresh food, baked products, crafts, vendors, and music to enjoy.

Gourmet Olives

Unique gourmet oils, vinegars, jams, spices made locally, and spreads are available at The Gourmet Olive. Visitors are encouraged to browse our unique selection of things and test samples before making a purchase.

Lollipop Laughing

The most beautiful boutique in Manteo is The Laughing Lollipop! This little mom-and-pop candy store sells delicious presents, ice cream, and handmade cotton candy in addition to all of your favorite nostalgic treats.

Charis Coffee Co.

Fresh ground coffee beans are used to create the delectable coffee beverages served by Charis Coffee, a locally roasted coffee company. Each month, they donate a percentage of their earnings to a charity that works to improve the world.

Distillery on the Outer Banks

The first licensed distillery in the Outer Banks is Outer Banks Distillery. Their specialty is small-batch rums that have a distinct nautical and beachy flavor that you have never tasted before. You may purchase a bottle of the acclaimed rum in addition to taking factory tours.

2. NORTH CAROLINA AQUARIUM

374 Airport Road, Manteo, NC 27954

The greatest and most popular aquarium in North Carolina is the North Carolina Aquarium. Thousands of aquatic animals, including sharks, turtles, jellyfish, sea otters, reptiles, amphibians, and many more, are kept at this enormous facility.

Children who are interested in science and animals may also participate in a variety of interactive indoor and outdoor educational programs offered by the aquarium. Fishing, kayaking, behind-the-scenes tours, aquarium excursions, and live feeding demonstrations are a few examples of these programs.

When in Manteo, North Carolina, make sure to visit the North Carolina Aquarium! It’s a great experience that will delight people of all ages, so put it on your list of things to do in Manteo, North Carolina.

3. ELIZABETHAN GARDENS

1411 National Park Dr., Manteo, NC 27954

A historical site, the Elizabeth Gardens are a duplicate of the garden owned by Queen Elizabeth the First. In addition to a wide variety of seasonal flowers, shrubs, and blooming plants, these botanical gardens are home to a variety of animals.

There are several themed gardens scattered around the grounds, including a sunken garden, a butterfly garden, a woodland garden, a rose garden, and others. You must visit the Royal Exchange Gift Shoppe after your tour, where you may purchase excellent toys, garden décor, artwork, and plants in addition to souvenirs.

4. FORT RALEIGH NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE/ THE LOST COLONY

1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954

The location of Sir Walter Raleigh’s first planned colony is preserved as Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. The location also acknowledges the importance of Native American and African American culture on Roanoke Island. The park has educational programs, walking paths, artifacts, and plaques.

The Lost Colony, a symphonic drama about the early occupants of Roanoke Island, is also presented at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Taking place in the expansive outdoor Waterside Theatre, which has been in operation since 1937, this production is the longest-running outdoor symphonic play in history.

5. ROANOKE ISLAND FESTIVAL PARK

1 Festival Park, Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Roanoke Island Festival Park is a must-see if you’ve ever wondered what life was like for the original inhabitants in 1585. This 27-acre park allows visitors to interact directly with history and brings it to life.

A model of the “Elizabeth II” ship, historical talks in American Indian Town, and interactive exhibits at the Adventure Museum are some of the park’s highlights. In addition, there are live performances, exhibitions, stores, and other attractions.

Live performances, concerts, and festivals are also held on the main stage at Roanoke Island Festival Park. This is where you go if you want to watch a live event!

6. ROANOKE MARSHES LIGHTHOUSE

104 Fernando Street, Manteo, NC 27954

There are five lighthouses in the Outer Banks, including the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. The lower house, which houses a modest maritime museum with exhibits and artifacts, is open to visitors.

For safety concerns, climbing the actual lighthouse is not permitted. Visit the website 5 Great Outer Banks Lights for more details about this lighthouse and the other lights in the Outer Banks.

7. ISLAND FARM

1140 US Highway 64, Manteo, NC 27954

A living history farm that recreates 1850s Roanoke Island life is called the Roanoke Island Farm. The farm offers fascinating live demonstrations of ancient farming practices, livestock feeding, blacksmithing, and other farm trades.

There will also be several practical exercises available to you. You should not miss this fantastic opportunity to learn more about the history of Roanoke Island and sample some of their delectable handmade apple butter before you depart!

8. JUMPMASTERS TRAMPOLINE PARK

Manteo, NC 27954 (728 US-64).

One of the newest attractions in Manteo is Jumpmasters Trampoline Park. Axe throwing, dodgeball, climbing walls, ninja warrior courses, trampolines, and other sports are available in the massive indoor park. The whole family enjoys Jumpmasters, including the youngest members, who may take part in toddler time every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

9. COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA REFUGES GATEWAY VISITORS CENTER

Manteo, NC 27954 (100 Conservation Way)

There are more than 152,000 acres of federally protected wetland habitat inside the Coastal Refuges Gateway. Numerous species of animals, such as fish, birds, alligators, and black bears, may be found in this region.

The nine additional coastal refuges in North Carolina are connected by the Gateway Visitors Centre. While taking you to the sights you want to see, trained staff volunteers may answer any questions you may have. They are also very educated. Along with interactive exhibits, 37 species—including a red wolf cave—photos and other materials are available at the tourist center.

10. MANTEO WATERFRONT PARK

Manteo, NC 27954 (207 Queen Elizabeth Ave #14)

Manteo’s Waterfront Marina is just a short stroll from the interesting Waterfront Park, which features a playground, picnic tables, benches, and access to the promenade. The park is a nice place to have a picnic on the lawn or have lunch by the lake. Additionally, there is a gazebo where guests may take photos.

11. THE MOTHER VINE

263 Mother Vineyard Road, Manteo, NC 27954

Presumably, the oldest grapevine in America, the Mother Vine is a magnificent 400 years old. The vine is on private property for now, however anyone is free to visit and observe its amazing root system. The proprietor frequently creates jelly to share with friends and family while the grapes are still growing on the vine.

12. ROANOKE ISLAND MARITIME MUSEUM

104 Fernando Street, Manteo, NC 27954

Situated on the downtown waterfront, the George Washington Creef Boathouse is home to the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum. Volunteers design, build, and maintain boats at The Boathouse, a fully functional boat business. This is the site of the construction of the famous Elizabeth II at Roanoke Island Festival Park.

It is open to visitors to wander about the property and see the exhibits within the boathouse. Every member of the team is eager to offer their expertise, interact with visitors, and respond to inquiries.

13. OBX AXE THROWING

728 US Highway 62, Manteo, NC 27954

The first axe-throwing facility on the Outer Banks is called OBX Axe Throwing. An enjoyable pastime that has grown in popularity recently is axe throwing. It’s a fantastic opportunity to commemorate a special occasion or do something different. Additionally, there is a tiny drink-serving concession booth at OBX Axe Throwing, and food trucks are frequently parked outside.

14. DARE COUNTY REGIONAL AIRPORT MUSEUM

410 Airport Road, Manteo, NC 27954

The vintage WWII operations center of the Dare County Public Airport serves as the home of the Dare County Regional Airport Museum. The museum displays local historical objects together with artifacts, documents, photos, and uniforms from World War II.

Helicopter Tours on the Outer Banks

From the Dare County Regional Airport, visitors may take an exhilarating helicopter trip to observe OBX landmarks from above. It’s the ideal way to see the entire Outer Banks with an educated, pleasant guide and no crowds.

Aeroplanes OBX

a tourist attraction that lets visitors take a ride in a red biplane with an open cockpit. They also provide banner towing and flight instruction. How wonderfully it enhances your Manteo activities.

15. GEORGE WASHINGTON CREEF MEMORIAL PARK

104 Fernando Street, Manteo, NC 27954

In front of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse sits a little beach area called the George Washington Creef Memorial area. On Roanoke Island, George Washington Creef was a well-known boat builder. The park is a great spot to take a stroll and enjoy a picnic while taking in the ocean view.

16. DARE COUNTY ARTS

300 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo, NC 27954

A non-profit arts organization called Dare County Arts supports local artists’ creations. Paintings, fiber arts, metalwork, ceramics, mixed media, photography, and other artistic creations are on display at the public gallery.

17. COLLINS PARK

Manteo, NC 27954 622 Sir Walter Raleigh Street

The little city park where the Herbert M. Collins Boathouse Museum is located. The final keeper of Pea Island Life Saving Station, the last all-African-American US Coast Guard station in America, was Herbert M. Collins.

DRINKS AND RESTAURANTS IN MANTEO NC

We are unable to include all of the incredible possibilities available. When searching for things to do in Manteo, North Carolina, consider these fantastic suggestions.

Tavern of the Lost Colony

208 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo, NC 27954

This well-liked local eatery and pub is located in the center of Manteo. Named for the Lost Colony, the Lost Colony Tavern offers classic tastes such as British-style beers and a range of ingredients imported from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Sandwich Shop Poor Richard’s

305 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo, NC 27954

Since 1984, Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop has been a fixture on Roanoke Island. Their extensive menu has all of your favorite sandwiches, such as Reubens, Italian subs, cold wraps, and more. Their delicious sandwiches are created using imported Boars Head meats and cheeses.

Pelican Deli for the Hungry

205 Budleigh Street, Manteo, NC 27954

The Hungry Pelican Deli in Manteo has been serving up wonderful meals for nearly thirty years. They serve hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, daily specials, and delectable handcrafted desserts.

Southwestern Grill & Wine Bar Ortega’z

Manteo, NC 27954 201 Sir Walter Raleigh St

The beaches of North Carolina now offer southwestern-style food and drinks thanks to Ortega’z. They serve a delicious selection of real Mexican food in addition to a vast wine list and inventive drinks.

Ortega’z Southwestern Grill & Wine Bar

201 Sir Walter Raleigh St, Manteo, NC 27954

On the beaches of North Carolina, Ortega’z offers southwestern-style cuisine and beverages. Along with a wide selection of wines and inventive beverages, they provide a delicious menu with authentic Mexican food.

Restaurant Darrell

521 US-64, #264, Manteo, NC 27954

Since 1960, travelers to Roanoke have been enjoying delectable breakfasts and some of the finest fried oysters in town at Darrell’s Restaurant. Their welcoming restaurant offers a wide variety of homemade dishes and sweets.

A Greek Kitchen with Olives

Waterfront Shoppes is located at 207 Queen Elizabeth Ave, 1st Floor, Manteo, NC 27954.

Olive is a charming little restaurant in the beach retail district of Manteo. They provide authentic Greek food made using family traditions, which may be savored on their lovely terrace outside.

Stripers Bar and Grille

Manteo, NC 27954; 1100A S Bay Club Dr

A must-see sight on any Roanoke Island visit is the stripers. The best locally caught seafood, freshly prepared pastries, and more are served at this three-story restaurant that has won several awards. The restaurant’s romantic section, with breathtaking views and an additional outdoor deck, is located on the third story. The first floor features an outside eating area with live music, while the second floor is more family-oriented.

THINGS TO DO NEAR MANTEO NC

Wildlife Refuge on the Alligator River

Miltail Road, East Lake, NC 27953

Approximately one hour’s drive from Roanoke Island lies the Albemarle Peninsula, home to the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge. In addition to serving as a home for river otters, black bears, alligators, and other animals, the refuge was established to save the region’s distinctive wetlands. Fishing and hunting are permitted here with licenses and limitations, and kayaking and paddling are excellent activities.

ANNUAL EVENTS IN MANTEO NC

These are a few of the more intriguing neighborhood events taking place this year on Roanoke Island.

The Dare Day Festival will take place on June 3, 2023.

Manteo, NC 27954 (downtown Manteo) 407 Budleigh Street

This enjoyable, family-friendly event kicks off the summer season each year. There will be exhibitors offering arts and crafts, food, music, games, obstacle courses, kids’ games and activities, and more. There is no need to miss this family-friendly event!

Bluegrass on the Outer Banks (October 19-21, 2023)

Roanoke Island Festival Park is the address.

One of the most anticipated events of the year is the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival. Internationally known musicians and music lovers gather to enjoy bluegrass, delicious cuisine, and good times. Famous bands including Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, and the Kitchen Dwellers will perform throughout the celebrations.

Dirty Heads – Island Glow Tour (6 August 2023).

Roanoke Island Festival Park is the address.

Over the past three years, The Dirty Heads have made several trips to the Outer Banks. The musical lineup for this year includes Lupe Fiasco, Bikini Trill, and other artists.

Music and fireworks on the Fourth of July

Manteo, NC 27954 (downtown Manteo) 407 Budleigh St

One of the biggest beach celebrations on the Outer Banks is held on July 4. All along the beach are spectacular fireworks displays, games, food, and thrilling activities. One of the most well-liked Fourth of July events in the region takes place in Manteo; it lasts the entire day and ends with spectacular fireworks.

The streets of downtown Manteo will be crowded with vendors, kid-friendly activities, face painting, food trucks, music, parades, and other festivities. After that, proceed to Roanoke Island Festival Park to enjoy live music and an amazing display of fireworks. Another excellent location to view the fireworks is Manteo Waterfront Park.

OBX Pride Festival (September 8–10, 2023).

Roanoke Island Festival Park is the address.

The largest LGBT pride event on the North Carolina coast is called OBX Pride. We will be celebrating community, love, and life for two days in September, and everyone is free to come! This welcoming and secure environment will have drag shows, music, live performances, food trucks, drinks, games, and other events.

There are new events every day, such as DJ dance parties, drag brunches, and sunset drink cruises. The major event on Saturday is family-friendly and free.

The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival will take place on April 15, 2023.

Fort Raleigh Historic Site is located at

As mentioned before, the oldest grapevine in America is found on Roanoke Island, which is honored today along with North Carolina wine. The Grand Tasting is the Waterside Theatre’s most well-liked feature. Along with fantastic wine-matched cuisine prepared by local chefs, there will be live music, a silent auction, and other events.

17+ Exceptional Activities in Manteo, NC

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Conclusion

A visit to Manteo is a must for everyone visiting the Outer Banks. There is so much history, flavor, and excitement to be found on this little but lovely island—it’s not to be missed! Manteo, North Carolina has everything one might want, including fantastic restaurants, thrilling events, live music, beach trips, and more.

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