Searching for a fun beach vaction for the family that also offers a bit of history? Discover Roanoke Island, the OBX barrier island where America's story was set in motion more than 400 hundred years ago. Today, the tiny waterside town of Manteo provides travelers with a celebratory atmosphere, just right for those passionate about history, hospitality and the nearby national parks and refuges.
In the spirit of those first colonial voyages, step back in time over four centuries at Roanoke Island Festival Park across from the Manteo waterfront. Here you will see how the first colonists would have constructed their homes, worked iron at the blacksmith’s shop and shaped wood at the lathe.
All photos courtesy of the Outerbanks Visitors Bureau
On summer nights, enjoy live theater under the stars at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site as The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama continues an 85-year legacy of depicting our nation's first trials and triumphs.
As a nod to the Outer Banks' colonial past, the 16th century replica sailing ship Elizabeth II watches over the harbor and invites fans of history to learn about the earliest Atlantic Ocean crossings from her berth at Roanoke Island Festival Park.
Elizabethan Gardens, a 10-acre botanical garden adjacent to Fort Raleigh, is laced with gardens and plantings and a statue dedicated to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World.
At Bodie Island, you have the chance to climb the lighthouse at your own pace and take in the gorgeous natural surroundings of Bodie Island, the Atlantic Ocean, and Pamlico Sound.
Family-friendly beaches include rolling sand dunes to run down and the legendary Big Kill Devil Hill, in what was then the town of Kitty Hawk, where the Wright brothers first took flight. The spot is still popular for kite flyers, especially at Jockey’s Ridge, the East Coast’s largest sand dune.