Fort Raleigh Historic Site

Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo, NC, and What You Need to Know

08/24/2019 | by Joseph Mitchell | Outer Banks Museums and Historic Sites

The Outer Banks is full of natural beauty, beach activities, and history. Most visitors know the importance of the Wright Brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk, but Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo, NC, is home to the founding history of the area. England attempted to settle its first colony in the Americas on Roanoke Island in the late 1500s at this site, and today it serves as a beautiful destination.

If you want to discover more fun and exciting things to see and do in the Outer Banks, request our free Manteo Vacation Guide.

The Story Behind Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo, NC

The Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo, NC, preserves the area of England’s first colony in North America. This beautiful stretch of land on Roanoke Island does not actually have any structural remains of the settlement. Around 600 soldiers and sailors made the journey across the Atlantic in 1585 to establish a fort for a future colony.

Families then moved to the settlement in 1587, but a lack of food proper living conditions led to a need an aid expedition to return to England. The disappearance of the settlers is still a mystery to this day and highlighted in The Lost Colony play at a theatre in the park.

Visiting Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo, NC

All that’s left of the structure on Roanoke Island are mounds of earthwork that indicate the site of the fort. There is a surprising collection of things to do around Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo, NC. 

Several trails weave through the woods and along the shores of the island, which are great for an afternoon hike. The 1896 Monument commemorates the first year that conservation efforts began. The Visitor Center gives you an in-depth history of the expeditions, settlement, and the fort along with information on the local Native American tribes inhabiting the area in the 16th and 18th centuries. The Elizabethan Gardens and Waterside Theatre are two great pieces of this area. The garden is a stunning place to relax. If you want to experience a fantastic award-winning performance, make sure you put The Lost Colony on your itinerary during your Outer Banks visit.

Fort Raleigh Historic Site in Manteo is only a six-minute drive from the heart of town, so it’s easy to explore for a couple of hours or half of a day. It’s a must-see in the Outer Banks, especially for history buffs and families with kids.

Plan Your Outer Banks Itinerarya beautiful poppy flower garden

Pirate’s Cove has everything you need to plan the ultimate Outer Banks vacation. Our extensive collection of condos and homes on Roanoke Island have an array of amenities and location that make for incredible getaways for couples and large families. Our private gated community is also only 10 minutes away from the beach!

Start planning your getaway today by booking your Pirate’s Cove rental. We look forward to welcoming you to our island.

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