buildings in downtown Manteo, NC

Explore the Historic Downtown Manteo, NC

04/19/2019 | by Madeleine Allen | Outer Banks Travel Tips

Roanoke Island may be small, but it packs in plenty of fantastic things to do and places to see. One of the top places to explore is the quaint and charming downtown Manteo, NC, waterfront! Here, you’ll find local shops, restaurants, and attractions that are perfect for adults and kids! It’s a great escape from the crowded Outer Banks beaches, especially during the summer! 

Discover our favorite things to do and places to see in our complimentary Vacation Guide!

The Best of Downtown Manteo, NC


Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop

Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop is a downtown Manteo, NC, institution. This is THE place to grab lunch while you peruse the many local shops, enjoy the beautiful waterfront setting, or explore Roanoke Festival Park. They have everything from pulled pork wraps to Italian subs to crab cake sandwiches! You can even find some good deals on domestic and imported beers after they reopen for dinner at 5 p.m.

Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe

With a selection of locally brewed craft beers and a delicious menu full of steaks, burgers, seafood, baked brie, and other specialties, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe. Whether you’re sampling their Kill Devil Hills Scotch Ale or digging into a tasty dinner, we have a feeling you’ll come back for seconds during your time in downtown Manteo.

1587 Restaurant

If you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience in downtown Manteo, NC, 1587 Restaurant is the place to go for a romantic date night. This waterfront dining establishment features fresh seafood, steaks, salads, and plenty of appetizers that will please the most sophisticated palate. It’s the perfect spot for an upscale evening on the Outer Banks.

Outer Banks Distilling

Locally crafted rum is the primary attraction at Outer Banks Distilling. While they don’t serve up any food here, you can taste four different lines of this sweet, small-batch libation and even take a bottle or two home with you to enjoy in the porch of your vacation home rental in downtown Manteo!


Roanoke Maritime Museum

You can learn about the local and regional maritime heritage at the Roanoke Maritime Museum. This downtown Manteo attraction has exhibits showcasing watercraft, restoration projects, and the rich history of boat building of Roanoke Island.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

It may not be the classic Outer Banks lighthouse that most people envision, but this reconstruction of the old Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is still worth a visit during your time in downtown Manteo, NC.

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Adults and kids will love exploring the beautiful Roanoke Island Festival Park. Several attractions including a representational ship from the 1585 English voyage to the island, a constructed American Indian town, an English settlement site, and a museum highlighting the history of Roanoke Island! There’s also a large outdoor space for concerts and events.

Historic Downtown Manteo Farmers Market

The Historic Downtown Manteo Farmers Market is a popular summertime tradition from mid-May to the beginning of October. Visitors and residents walk the streets on Saturday mornings browsing the many local produce, flower, and craft vendors! It’s a great time to pick up a souvenir to commemorate your trip!

Book Your Pirate’s Cove Resort Getaway!

The Roost rental near downtown Manteo

You don’t have to go far from downtown Manteo to find your vacation rental home. Here at Pirate’s Cove, we offer a variety of houses and condos in and around town, so that you can walk to and from the shops, restaurants, and attractions! You’re also a short driving distance from the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, The Lost Colony show, and the beautiful Elizabethan Gardens!

Book your stay and start planning your beach trip today! Didn’t find any rentals around town? We have several other locations like Shallowbag Bay and Pirate’s Cove Resort that are right around the corner! We look forward to welcoming you to Roanoke Island!