and Scenic Beauty in North Carolina
The Hidden Gem of Manteo: A Town Rich in History and Natural Beauty on the Shores of Roanoke Island
Families here fished and farmed for a living, a story more fully told at Island Farm and at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum where you can get a look at some of the boats designed and built especially for these waters. Take a walk out to the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse to see how these fishermen – and ones with larger boats – navigated these waters with the help of these screwpile lighthouses.
The Beauty of Manteo's Waterfront - A Short Walk Away from Sailing, Fishing, and Exploring the Sounds and Marshes.
Wherever you stay, you’ll be a short walk to the waterfront, where it’s possible to board a sailboat, catamaran, or pleasure cruiser for a sunset tour, a dolphin watch, or a little bit of both with some local legends and lore threw in for good measure. You can also find a fishing charter that’ll pick you up here. Still, most of those depart out of the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Pirate’s Cove Marina, and other area marinas in the neighbouring village of Wanches; still, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
There’s no beach access in Manteo or really on Roanoke Island. That’s because the beaches – sand, waves, shells – are a few minutes away in the Outer Banks towns of Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, and Duck, and along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Still, there is access to the Roanoke and Croatan Sounds and the marshes. You’ll find outfitters downtown supplying folks with kayaks and standup paddleboards if you’re ready to explore a bit by water; if you want to go by land, there’s a long mixed-use bicycle, and walking path that will take you from here to the north end of the island and these same outfitters can set you up with a bike. But before you rent, inquire with your B&B; they may have some gear reserved for the use of their guests.
Across the bay from the Manteo waterfront is Roanoke Island Festival Park, home to several festivals and gatherings each year, plus a museum, costumed interpreters showing what the early colonists had to contend with when establishing their lives here, and the Elizabeth II, a full-scale replica of the ships that brought those colonists to our shores. Climb aboard, get a look at the accommodations these men and women lived in for their journey west from England, and marvel at their mettle.
You won’t find mini-mansion beach houses or the hotels and motels typical to the Outer Banks here. Instead, you’ll find Victorian and Craftsman-style homes and, nestled among them, the largest collection of B&Bs and Inns on the Outer Banks. Staying at one of the Inns or B&Bs is a much more quaint and personal way to stay and explore Manteo, Roanoke Island, and the Outer Banks. Roanoke Island Inn, Island Guesthouse and Motel, Tranquil House Inn, Scarborough Inn, and White Doe Inn Bed and Breakfast are a few of the places to stay in Manteo.