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Your Guide to Visiting Roanoke Island, NC

11/01/2022 | by Jaclyn Risser | Uncategorized

Situated just off the coast of North Carolina, Roanoke Island is a one-of-a-kind destination that inspires travelers of all types. At 12 miles long and 3 miles wide, Roanoke Island offers up a pristine setting for visitors to enjoy that also comes with a rich national history. Roanoke Island is the site of the first attempted English settlement and is also the birthplace of Virginia Dare. This tantalizing destination is a gem along the Outer Banks. It hosts stunning scenery, small-town charm, and cultural and historical attractions that are decidedly unmatched. Whether travelers have a day to explore or can spare a weekend or more in the name of exploration and fun alongside the entire family, Roanoke Island, North Carolina is a place that you simply won’t want to miss out on experiencing.

Why Should I visit Roanoke Island?

Travelers that can’t get enough of intriguing landscapes and time outdoors will find the terrain waiting to be discovered on Roanoke Island absolutely irresistible. Here, the landscape is dotted with hidden away marshlands, incredible waterways, and towering pine forests too. The maritime forests speak to eras past with some trees dating back to the arrival of the first English explorers some 400 years ago. There’s a true sense of peace across Roanoke Island that calls to travelers looking for a place where they can indulge in the feeling they’ve left the hustle and bustle of life far behind.

In addition to these amazing vistas and landscapes, those who head to Roanoke Island will also find fun in the way of activities, attractions, shopping, and dining too. From the many historic sights to check out and the cultural experiences to be a part of, it’s a place where the possibilities for fun and engaging entertainment seem endless no matter what your travel style might be.

Exciting Roanoke Island Attractions to Discover

When history buffs head to Roanoke Island, they’ll likely have a hard time narrowing down their list of must-visit attractions! Roanoke Island is home to original settlement sites dating back to the 1580s and also hosts the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. At the Roanoke Island Festival Park, guests can enjoy interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of the arrival of the colonists. There are also replicas of how communities were set up and costumed interpreters to bring the scene to life! The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama is another exciting experience that’s special to Roanoke Island and its history. This outdoor theater hosts shows every night of summer and is a fun experience for guests of all ages. It’s performed at the Waterside Theater and offers up an entertaining glimpse into the history of the region.

Those who are traveling with kids to Roanoke Island will enjoy time visiting places like the North Carolina Aquarium where everything from river otters and manta rays to sea turtles and alligators can be encountered! If you’re looking for a colorful experience, head over to the Elizabethan Gardens and enjoy a self-guided tour through meticulously maintained grounds. Those who are looking to pair the best of nature with in-town fun will find downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island to be a wonderful place to spend time. Here, visitors can find everything from gift shops and art galleries to boutique storefronts, antique shops, and a wide variety of eateries alike.

Roanoke Island is also home to the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. This captivating stop is tucked into Shallowbag Bay and offers up a great place for guests to stroll the deck boards, take in the view, and learn more about what it takes to navigate the surrounding waters safely.

Does Roanoke Island Have a Beach?

Roanoke Island is quite unique in comparison to other coastal North Carolina destinations. Instead of being bordered by stretches of sandy Atlantic shoreline made for sunbathing, this island is comprised of wooded terrain and sound beaches instead. The shorelines here tend to lean towards a more rustic and natural aesthetic, making them great for fishing and less ideal for building sandcastles. That said, a visit to Roanoke Island doesn’t keep guests far from traditional shoreline fun if that’s what they’re looking for. Roanoke Island is buffered from the Atlantic by the central Outer Banks which sit just around 5 miles offshore. While Roanoke Island is surrounded by water in every direction, it does provide access to both the Manns Harbour Bridge and the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge that runs across the Croatan Sound. This meets up with the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway, connecting visitors directly to Nags Head if they choose to traverse the route. Nags Head hosts more traditional beaches where visitors are free to soak up the sun on the sugar-white shoreline at their leisure.

Can I Stay on Roanoke Island?

In short, yes! Roanoke Island is a beautiful, welcoming, and endlessly charming place to settle in and enjoy a well-deserved getaway. Whether it’s a weekend of fun or an extended stay you’re looking forward to there are plenty of places across Roanoke Island that are worth staying. Some travelers opt to stay closer to the historic downtown, giving them easy access to Manteo attractions and activities during their visit. Those who are looking to enjoy a longer stay often focus their accommodation search around the Manteo and Nags Head Causeway. This area offers up a wonderful balance between home-inspired comforts through community alongside easy water access thanks to the nearby Roanoke Sound.

Book Your Stay Today

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When travel plans are bringing you to scenic Roanoke Island and you’re looking for amazing accommodations to top off your stay in style, the team at Pirate’s Cove has you covered. Our collection of private retreats on the North Carolina coast are one-of-a-kind and provide guests with the charming place to relax they’ve been looking for! Our luxury vacation rentals keep visitors close to the places they can’t wait to explore while infusing comfort, style, and convenience into their stay as well. Our property options range from cozy condos to sprawling homes that are sure to not only meet traveler needs but exceed expectations too. Reach out today to learn more about our exciting area rental options and how we can help you turn those travel plans into a reality soon!