The North Carolina coast has a rich boating heritage that dates back to the origins of the first English settlement in the Outer Banks. The Roanoke Island Museum commemorates the extensive sailing history in the area, along with boat building viewing sessions and classic watercraft from the Tarheel State.
If you want to discover more things to do, sights to see, and places to eat on Roanoke Island, request access to our complimentary Manteo Vacation Guide!
About the Roanoke Island Museum
The Roanoke Island Museum, also known as the Roanoke Maritime Museum, highlights the extensive boating history of the Outer Banks, specifically the town of Manteo. The museum, opened in 1998, sits in the heart of downtown, near the entrance to the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse pier and George Washington Creef Park. The structure housing the museum is a historic boathouse named after Creef, who was the creator of the Shad boat (the state boat of North Carolina). The museum itself is not large, and you should be able to tour the entire building in an hour. It’s still a fun attraction that both kids and adults will enjoy, and it’s within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants in downtown Manteo.
Visiting the Roanoke Island Museum
So, what can you expect to see when visiting the Roanoke Island Museum? Boats, boats, and more boats! This old boathouse features a collection of vessels, including a Creef Shad boat from the late 1800s, a clipper yawl, and a 1960-area hydroplane among a smattering of other small watercraft.
The Roanoke Island Museum is also home to a boat shop where staff and volunteers work together to construct a variety of vessels. The Elizabeth II replica ship docked at the Roanoke Island Festival Park across from the Manteo Waterfront Marina was one of the projects built here. Visitors can walk through and watch workers construct and refurbish traditional sailing watercraft.
Other Things to See and Do on Roanoke Island
The Roanoke Island Museum is only one of the many incredible things to do in and around Manteo. History buffs will love a visit to Fort Raleigh Historic Site and The Lost Colony show (runs through the summer). The North Carolina Aquarium, Island Farm, and Roanoke Island Festivals Park are all fun attractions for families to enjoy. Plus, there is plenty of great places to eat and shop in town!
- The Lost Colony
- Fort Raleigh Historic Site
- Roanoke Island Festival Park
- Elizabethan Gardens
- Island Farm
- North Carolina Aquarium – Roanoke Island
Pirate’s Cove offers guests visiting Roanoke Island, the ultimate home away from home. We have a collection of home and condo rentals in downtown Manteo, Shallowbag Bay, Pirate’s Cove Resort, and several other locations on the island. Each area provides a unique experience for guests, whether it’s within walking distance of shops and restaurants or a private gated community. We even have pet-friendly rentals!
Browse through our rental properties and find the one that best suits your family! We look forward to welcoming you to the Pirate’s Cove family.