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Roanoke Island Things To Do (Including Wanchese and Manteo Things To Do)

No matter what Roanoke Island recreation you choose during your stay here, one thing is certain, you’ll never be bored.

Whether you crave relaxation or high-energy adventure, it’s all here. Sail along the sound or take a dolphin-sighting cruise. Go crabbing from a dock or fight a marlin on an off-shore charter fishing trip. Parasail high above water or take a bike ride along the island. Watch the sun set from the decks of a beautiful boat or zip through the sound on a Jet boat. Stroll along the Manteo boardwalk and enjoy the island’s quaint beauty or enjoy a modern movie in an old-fashioned theater. Join the local kids at the town-built skatepark or take the little ones to the waterfront playground. As you can see, Manteo recreation opportunities run the gamut!

And when you look beyond Manteo to other Roanoke Island recreation possibilities, you’ll find air tours, fishing, backwater kayak tours, head boat excursions, yoga and Pilates classes, spas, scuba trips and more.

See our Attractions section for more about all of the places to visit on the island, places like the North Carolina Aquarium, Roanoke Island Festival Park, The Elizabethan Gardens and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Roanoke Island offers numerous special events, festivals, programs, performing arts, summer camps, children’s programs and more all summer long. If you are here in the off season there are still lots of interesting events year round too. See our Annual Events.

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Alligator River Canoe Tours

  • Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Buffalo City Road boat launch, off U.S. Highway 64 (Dare County Mainland)
  • Manteo
  • (252) 216-9464

Don’t miss this chance to really get out in the wild! Take a guided canoe tour through the shady blackwater canals deep into the heart of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and learn about the fascinating history of the area along the way. Did you know that in the early 1900s Buffalo City was the largest town in the Outer Banks region? Now it’s lost to everyone but the alligators, bears, birds and other native wildlife. Who knows what you will see? From June through August choose either a two-hour or three-hour tour. The two-hour tour is held on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Cost is $30/person or $20/children 12 and younger. The three-hour tour is held on Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-noon. Cost is $40/person or $25/children 12 and younger. Reservations and footwear are required. Hats, sunscreen, insect repellent and drinking water are recommended. The refuge provides the canoes, paddles, personal flotation devices and leaders, you provide the paddle power! Call for reservations and additional information.


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Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

  • Milltail Road, off U.S. Highway 64
  • (252) 473-1131

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a 154,000-acre refuge on the mainland portion of Dare and Hyde counties. It was established in 1984 to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type, the pocosin, and its associated wildlife species. Pocosin is a Native American word meaning ‘‘swamp-on-a-hill’’ and is characterized by poorly drained soils high in organic material. The Refuge’s diversity of habitat types includes high and low pocosin, bogs, fresh and brackish water marshes, hardwood swamps and Atlantic white cedar swamps. Plant species include pitcher plants and sun dews, low bush cranberries, bays, Atlantic white cedar, pond pine, gums, red maple and a wide variety of herbaceous and shrub species common to the East Coast.

The Refuge is one of the last remaining strongholds for black bear on the Eastern Seaboard, and it is the only place in the world where endangered red wolves exist in the wild. It is home to concentrations of ducks, geese and swans, and its wildlife diversity also includes wading birds, shorebirds, American woodcock, raptors, American alligators, white-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits, quail, river otters, red-cockaded woodpeckers and neotropical migrant song birds.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has great paddling trails, a wildlife drive, two wildlife trails and all types of wildlife and habitat for you to explore. The staff offers several programs throughout the year, including Tram Tours, Canoe Tours, Red Wolf Howling Safaris and the Bear Necessities program about black bears.

The refuge is open year round during daylight hours.

To learn more about Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center. The center’s exhibits offer information about Alligator River and 10 other refuges in northeastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia. This Visitor Center is located on the north end of Roanoke Island, about a quarter-mile past the entrance to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. The staff that manages Alligator River Refuge also manages Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras Island; see our Hatteras site’s Recreation chapter for more information.

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Country Girl Head Boat

  • 1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina
  • Manteo

The Country Girl can be chartered for full-day Gulf Stream trips for parties of six or more people. Call for rates and schedules. Gulf Stream trips usually yield tuna and mahi-mahi, wahoo, king mackerel, marlin or sailfish depending on the season and conditions. The Country Girl also offers head boat–style wreck fishing. The 57-foot sportfisher can accommodate up to 30 passengers and provides plenty of room for everyone. This is a great way to get a big group of friends together for a day on the water. You’ll catch a variety of species, including black sea bass, triggerfish, gray tile fish, grouper, amberjack and more. The cost is $120 per person, with a minimum of 15 people. Bait, tackle and license are furnished. The Country Girl is also available for bird watching, marine mammal excursions, bachelor, bachelorette and scattering ashes at sea.

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Crystal Dawn Head Boat

  • 1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate’s Cove Marina
  • Manteo

Whether for head boat fishing or cruises, check out the Crystal Dawn for a fun-filled and fabulous time on the water. This 65-foot head boat makes two half-day inshore fishing trips daily (every day except Sunday). Whether you take the morning or the afternoon trip, you’re guaranteed a great time. The boat fishes in the sound and inlet for a variety of inshore species including flounder, croaker, spot, trout, sea mullet, sea bass and more, depending on the season and conditions. All bait and tackle are provided, and a mate is on hand to assist you if you need it. There’s plenty of elbow room on a boat this large, so you won’t feel cramped. Tickets are sold in advance, but walk-ups are usually accepted. Head boat fishing prices are $45 for adults and $35 for children ages 10 and younger. The Crystal Dawn also makes one-and-a-half-hour evening cruises in the sound, including commentary on the local history and ecology of the Outer Banks. Roanoke Island Cruises are $20 adults and $15 children 10 and younger. The vessel can hold up to 100 people and is available for private charters, bachelor and bachelorette parties, family functions and more. Small coolers are welcome.

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Lost Colony

  • Waterside Theatre, 1409 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64)
  • Manteo

More than 400 years ago, 117 men, women and children sailed from Plymouth, England, in an attempt to settle on Roanoke Island. They vanished just two years later. The only clue left behind was the word “CROATOAN” carved in a tree. The Lost Colony is their story. This outdoor drama is the Outer Banks’ most long-standing attraction, celebrating its 77th season in 2014!

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony is performed summer nights by a company of more than 100 actors, dancers, singers and technicians in the historic outdoor Waterside Theatre. Come see epic battles and Indian dances. Experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss. Witness the pageantry of the queen and her court, and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare. There is music, laughter, romance and dance, and Outer Banks locals and visitors have loved it for 77 years.

An Outer Banks tradition and cultural treasure, The Lost Colony educates, enriches and entertains — don’t leave the Outer Banks until you see it.

The 2014 season runs from May 30 through August 22, Mondays at 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Ticket Prices are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors (62 and older), $10 for children ages 12 and younger. Ask about the VIP package at $40 per person.  Kids get in free on Monday nights! Advance reservations are recommended. For tickets, call (252) 473-6000 or purchase online anytime at www.thelostcolony.org.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays on the Outer Banks means Family Fun Night at The Lost Colony. Character Dinners are offered prior to the performance on these evenings throughout the summer. Meet the cast before the show and have the kids’ photos taken with the actors. It’s a night of memories that will last a lifetime, and there’s no fighting traffic or rushing at the restaurant to get to the theater on time.

A trip to The Lost Colony also offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy a restaurant on Roanoke Island. Roanoke Island restaurants are less crowded than the beach restaurants on summer nights.

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Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks

  • Downtown Manteo Waterfront
  • Manteo

Pirate costumes, face painting, a real pirate ship, messages in bottles, water cannons, stinky pirate enemies and sunken treasure — need we say more to convince you that this is the ultimate kid-pleasing adventure? Starting Memorial Day weekend, the Sea Gypsy IV sails seven days a week, six times a day: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Face painting and dress up begin 30 minutes prior to departure time, so get there early. Cost is $23/person, $12 for children age 2 and younger. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays take advantage of discounted rates of $18/person with $12 for children age 2 and younger. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Air Adventures by Luckey Aviation

  • 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport
  • Roanoke Island
  • (704) 668-9655

Bob Luckey, a pilot with more than 34 years of safe flying experience, is now offering Air Adventures aerial tours of the Outer Banks. Luckey flies a Cessna Skyhawk, which can carry up to three people, and offers set tours of 15 minutes, a half-hour or one hour as well as custom tours. Seeing the Outer Banks from the air is not only a thrilling ride, but it also gives you a whole new perspective of the fragility of these beautiful islands. Luckey offers flight instruction as well.

B&R Rent-A-Car

  • 404 U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-2141

B&R has two locations: R.D. Sawyer Ford in Manteo and the Dare County Regional Airport. With no pick-up or delivery fees (if on the island or a local marina) or service fees, B&R makes it an easy and pleasant experience to rent a car. Rent for long or short term or while your own vehicle is being serviced. Be sure to call in advance to make reservations. Daily and weekly rentals are available.

Barrier Island Aviation

  • Dare County Regional Airport, 407 Airport Road
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-4247

Barrier Island Aviation offers biplane rides and air tours lasting from 10 minutes up to an hour. Three people can fly in the Cessna and two can go up in the biplane. Tours fly over the ocean shoreline, down to Hatteras or up to Corolla, over Oregon Inlet, Jockey’s Ridge and all the major attractions. Prices average $40 per person for biplane rides and $20 per person for air tours. They take reservations, or you can just walk up.

Bear Necessities

  • Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Highway 64, Dare County Mainland
  • Manteo
  • (252) 216-9464

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the largest populations of black bears in the eastern United States. Learn more about the bears and go on a scouting trip to look for the big furry creatures with a Fish and Wildlife Service staff person. These programs are held on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in June, July and August. Meet at the Creef Cut Wildlife Trail parking lot, 4 miles west of the U.S. Highway 64/264 split. Bring binoculars and insect repellent. Immediately following the bear program is the Red Wolf Howling program, so you could feasibly do both. The program is free. Call for additional information.

Better Body Massage

  • 711 N. Highway 64, Suite B
  • Roanoke Island
  • (252) 305-1176

Lori Hillyer is a state licensed, nationally certified massage therapist who has been in practice for close to 10 years. She can offer Swedish, deep tissue, reflexology, relaxation and customized massages. She also has her cosmetology license, specializing in facials and body treatments.

Bodywork for Balanced Health

  • 102 Old Tom Avenue, Suite #203
  • Manteo
  • (252) 216-8072

Massage therapist Shaena Hollomon treats clients to relaxing massages in styles like Swedish, deep-tissue and sports massage. Hollomon also offers skilled specialties like Thai massage. Call for an appointment at her downtown Manteo office or to schedule a time for her to come to you.

Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours

  • 309 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-1475, (866) 473-1475

It’s very exciting to watch bottlenose dolphins frolicking and rolling through the water. Dolphins live in the sounds and from June through October frequent the local waters. Capt. Stuart Wescott, a ninth-generation Roanoke Island native, is now entering his 20th season of conducting dolphin watch tours in the Roanoke Sound aboard the 53-foot pontoon-type boat Capt. Johnny. If you miss the dolphins on your first trip, Capt. Wescott gives you a second tour for free. Wescott shares his knowledge and history of the area on the tour as well. Dolphin tours last two hours, and there are several trips a day (morning, mid-day and sunset). Tours range in price from $10 to $35; call for details. Sunset cruises, bird-watching tours and shrimping/crabbing cruises are also offered. Stop by the dock site on the Manteo waterfront or call for more information. Note that these tours run only Monday through Friday. You can also get 24/7 recorded information about trips at (252) 480-9151.

Causeway Pier and Boat Ramp

  • Beneath the Washington Baum Bridge (Nags Head/Manteo Causeway)
  • Manteo

Beneath the Washington Baum Bridge on the Manteo side of the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway is a extensive public dock that makes a great spot for fishing or crabbing. Just bring your own tackle and supplies and drop your line. There are plenty of benches, making this a comfortable spot for old and young alike. There’s a two-slip boat ramp here, with abundant parking for vehicles and trailers.

Charter Private Sailing Aboard the Sea’scape/Sail Outer Banks

  • Tours leave from the Manteo waterfront boardwalk behind Poor Richard's Sandwich Shop
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-2719

The Sea’scape is a beautiful 41’ ketch (which means the sailboat has two masts for those of you not in the nautical know) that takes guests on daily private sail charter tours into the Roanoke and Albemarle sounds. Tours leave from the Manteo boardwalk. Captain Dan Bottjen and first mate Katherine (both Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captains) can take up to six passengers out at a time. Imagine slipping along in the water, a lovely breeze filling the sails, the quiet that comes when you leave the hubub of the shore behind…it’s perfection! The boat has a fully equipped galley, so you’re welcome to bring along food and refreshments. And there are two heads on board. Half-day sails (weekends only), lasting three to four hours, are $60 per person ($180 minimum). And daily sunset sails, which also last three to four hours, are $70 per person ($210 minimum) and are timed to return to the Manteo waterfront right at sunset.

Children’s Performance Series at Roanoke Island Festival Park

  • 1 Festival Park, Roanoke Island Festival Park
  • Manteo
  • (252) 475-1506

The Children’s Performance Series at Roanoke Island Festival Park (RIFP) features world-class entertainment for all ages, but it’s especially geared to children. The performers, students at North Carolina universities, delight and excite young audiences. The 2014 season includes Hansel and Gretel (June 18, 19 and 20), The Velveteen Rabbit (June 25, 26 and 27), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (July 1, 2 and 3), The Little Prince (July 16, 17 and 18), Don Quixote (July 23, 24 and 25). Performances are held in the Indoor Theatre at 10:30 a.m. The series is very popular, so arrive early to ensure a seat. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased in advance at the RIFP ticket office or on the day of the event. Ages 5 and younger are admitted free. Visit the RIFP website at www.roanokeisland.com for additional information. Check www.outerbanksthisweek.com for specific show information.

Coastal Helicopters

  • 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport
  • Manteo
  • (252) 475-HELI (4354)

Looking for a spectacular way to see the Outer Banks? Lift off in a helicopter for the best possible view of the Outer Banks. They’ll take you on a tour around Roanoke Island, along some of the beautiful beaches (where you’ll see shipwrecks), the Bodie Island Lighthouse, Jockey’s Ridge, the Wright Brothers Memorial, sea life and more, or you can customize your own tour. Longer tours also available to see the wild Banker ponies of Corolla, Hatteras and Ocracoke lighthouses and Portsmouth Island. The helicopter accommodates up to three passengers at a time, and the cockpit is air-conditioned for a comfortable ride. Coastal Helicopters offers charter service around the region, including Corolla, where they have a landing spot. Tours are available for less than $42 per person, and gift certificates are available.

Coastal Kayak Touring Company

  • Tours in various locations
  • Manteo
  • (252) 441-3393

You haven’t seen the Outer Banks until you’ve seen it from the water, and Coastal Kayak can take you there. They offer trips to four different areas of the Outer Banks: Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary (between Corolla and Duck), Kitty Hawk Woods, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras Island and the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the Dare County mainland. The Pine Island trip on the Currituck Sound is the closest to Duck. Tours last two to three hours. The guides offer kayaking instruction if you need it, plus they narrate about the local history and ecology along the way. Single and tandem kayaks are available. Stand up paddleboard (SUP) tours are available at Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Children are welcome as long they weigh at least 30 pounds, but certain trips are better for kids than others. Reservations are required.

Cypress Queen Yacht Charters

  • 303 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront, Slip 52
  • Manteo
  • (252) 256-7188

Pull together your favorite people and cruise the local waterways aboard a private luxury yacht for an Outer Banks experience you won’t forget. On board the 52-foot yacht Cypress Queen, you can customize your cruise experience to fulfill your wishes. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the shaded sky lounge at sunset, lunch on the deck while you look at the local scenery or a fully catered dinner in the comfort of the air-conditioned salon at night. Enjoy a post-cruise dock party on the waterfront when you get back to the dock. On a standard two-hour cruise, your host serves non-alcoholic beverages, but you are welcome to bring your own alcohol and they’ll provide all the mixers, glasses and ice. Lunch, dinner, appetizers and catering trays are available from local restaurants at an additional cost. There are up to three departures daily and cruises last for two hours. The Cypress Queen can comfortably accommodate six passengers. The captain and crew look forward to welcoming you aboard the Cypress Queen!

Dare County Airport Regional Airport Museum

  • Dare County Regional Airport Museum, 410 Airport Road, Manteo
  • Roanoke Island
  • (252) 475-5570

The Wright Brothers weren’t the only famous pilots to fly on the Outer Banks. Located inside Roanoke Island’s airport is an informative two-room museum dedicated to the rest of the story of aviation in Dare County. Learn about Dave Driskill, credited with bringing aviation to the Outer Banks in the 1930s, and how the current airport was built at the start of World War II, becoming a U.S. Navy Auxiliary Air Station and training site for World War II aircraft. A visit to the museum will open your eyes about local heroes like “Kitty Hawk Kid,” Lt. Sheldon R. “Ray” Beacham, credited with shooting down two Japanese Zero fighter planes in the South Pacific. Beacham and his VF-17 Squadron were one of the most famous Navy fighter squadrons, known for the skull and crossbones design painted on the noses of their planes. An important part of the exhibit tells the story of Coastal Patrol Base 16, based on Roanoke Island from July 1942 to August 1943. Manned by North Carolina volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol, CBP16 flew patrols over the ocean in private aircraft, looking for enemy submarines and ships and sailors in distress. The museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free.

Dare County Old Swimming Hole

  • Airport Road, next to the Aquarium
  • Manteo
  • (252) 475-5910

For a soundside swimming session, head down Airport Road to the Old Swimming Hole. The entrance is just beyond the North Carolina Aquarium on the right-hand side, just before you get to the airport. This family-oriented access is the perfect place to go after a tour of the aquarium. The Old Swimming Hole has a great sandy beach, picnic tables, grills, a picnic shelter, a playground, a volleyball court and all-new restrooms. Be aware that the depth changes fairly rapidly in places, so be very vigilant with your wee ones or with non-swimmers.

Downeast Rover

  • 307 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-4866, (866) SAIL-OBX

Downeast Rover is a 55-foot topsail schooner offering sailing tours into the Roanoke Sound daily. The tall ship’s home berth is right on the Manteo waterfront. You’ll see Roanoke Island and Nags Head from the water plus birds of all kinds and perhaps some dolphin. They also take a sunset cruise in which you’ll watch the sun setting into the sound. Day cruises are $30 for adults, and children younger than 12 are half-price. Sunset cruises are $40 for all passengers (including children). You’re welcome to bring whatever you’d would like to eat or drink (alcohol and coolers are fine). Downeast Rover is also available for private charters for up to 25 passengers at a very reasonable price. Family reunions, parties and special occasions aboard the Rover become wonderful memories not to be forgotten. Call for details and to make reservations.

Elizabethan Gardens

  • 1411 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64) next to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
  • Roanoke Island
  • (252) 473-3234

The Elizabethan Gardens offers these fun events week days (free with paid admission) during the summer. For 2014, here’s what you can look forward to:

Minty Tuesday: Looking for a refreshing afternoon adventure? Children aged 6 to 12 years will enjoy a one-hour “minty” adventure searching for and learning all about mint in The Gardens. Young learners will make mint rubbings and plant mint to take home as well as enjoy mint cookies and mint ice cream. This event is limited to 30 participants and is indoors and outdoors, June 10–August 19, Tuesdays 2-3 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Storybook Wednesdays: It’s story time in The Gardens! Children of all ages, accompanied by an adult, are invited to gather in air-conditioned Odom Hall and enjoy a garden-inspired story, snack and hands-on activity. After story time, root a plant to take home to your garden. This program is indoors and outdoors, weather permitting, June 18–August 20, Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m. Storybook Wednesday is sponsored by Duck’s Cottage Downtown Books; enjoy a discount at the downtown Manteo bookstore when you mention your visit to The Gardens.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit: Hop over and meet the lovable, adventure-seeking Peter Rabbit and the devoted gardener Mister McGregor. This one-act musical play is designed to keep young audiences engaged and entertained with a great lesson to be learned too! Come early and enjoy a stroll through The Gardens prior to the performance. Performances are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-10:15 a.m., June 11 to August 21, inside air-conditioned Odom Hall in The Elizabethan Gardens.

Tea with the Queen: Have an audience with Queen Elizabeth I and members of her court in the beautiful setting of The Elizabethan Gardens where you will enjoy her Majesty’s sumptuous desserts and other delicious treats, refreshing iced tea and delightful antics. Tea is held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, allowing time to visit the queen and visit The Gardens too. The queen’s tea also includes admission to The Gardens — 24-hour advance reservations are required. Tea is served June 19 and 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; and August 7 and 14. Tickets are $26/adults, $14/youth (ages 7-18) and $10/children (age 6 and younger).

Self-Guided Tours: Take a tour at your leisure, anytime during regular hours of operation year round.

For more information on general admission, tickets or any of these individual events, call (252) 473-3234 or visit www.elizabethangardens.org.

Ghost Fleet Dive Charters

  • 219 Thicket Lump Drive, Thicket Lump Marina
  • Wanchese
  • (252) 202-1784

Ghost Fleet Dive Charters offers dive trips in the waters off the Outer Banks, long known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic for the numerous shipwrecks. A trip with Captain Gene Berry could include one of many shipwrecks, including several U-Boats that were sunk off the coast during WWII. Or they’ll take you to some of their new discoveries that have never been fully explored. The captain knows where the best conditions are located daily, depending on visibility, currents and weather, and his experience will lead you to the best trip for your chosen day. They supply certified dive masters to assist divers.The dive boat The Poppy is docked at Thicket Lump Marina in Wanchese.

Good For You

  • 205 Budleigh Street
  • Manteo
  • (252) 564-5287

Just walking into Good For You makes you feel like you’ve done just that—something that’s good for you! You enter the yoga studio, which always has fresh flowers and beautiful spiritual images. Classes are held every day but Sunday, and you can pick up a schedule from the silver milk box by the front door or by calling. This is also the massage studio for Janet Rainey, a licensed, skillful body worker who has a great local reputation for both her knowledge and her intuition.

Grace Bodywork Therapy

  • 711 N. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 256-2717

Experts estimate that as much as ninety percent of disease is stress-related, and perhaps nothing contributes more to aging than stress. Grace Bodywork Therapy provides an effective tool for helping you manage stress and improve the overall quality of your life. Conveniently located between the Manteo Elementary School and Island Medical Center on the main highway in Manteo, Grace Bodywork offers a variety of rejuvenating massage therapy options only steps away from a multitude of shopping and dining venues. Owner Gina Booth is a state-licensed massage therapist who is also certified in integrative touch therapy recommended for cancer patients. The therapeutic massage methods she practices can help diminish stress and reduce the effects of many physical ailments. By pumping oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, massage therapy improves energy, flexibility and circulation, stimulates concentration, improves relaxation, reduces pain (even migraine pain) and helps to speed recovery from injuries and medical procedures. Massage therapy can even contribute to shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers, resulting in shorter hospital stays. Grace Bodywork Therapy offers chair massage (a seated massage focusing on relieving tension in the neck, back, shoulders and arms), deep tissue massage, geriatric massage, neuro-muscular massage, oncology massage, relaxation massage and hot stone therapy. Additional services include luxury hand and foot treatments utilizing 100% natural, plant-based emollients and pure essential oils. Bodywork therapy is an investment in your health and happiness. Regardless of your age, injury or ailment, Grace Bodywork Therapy can help return you to tip-top shape.

Grandpa’s Shrimping and Crabbing Tours

  • 708 Harbor Road, Broad Creek Fishing Center
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-1475, (866) 473-1475, (252) 305-8862

See how the local seafood is caught. On this tour, the captain pulls a small, commercial-type shrimp net behind the boat. Passengers get to sort the catch and examine the shrimp, fish and crabs that are harvested — and they get to take home anything that’s of legal size. This is a fantastic, hands-on experience for all ages and a great way to learn about life in the sea. Outer Banks Cruises/Captain Johnny Dolphin Tours is the booking agent for this tour; call them and they’ll help you arrange your tour.

Island Farm

  • 1140 U.S. Highway 64
  • Roanoke Island
  • (252) 473-6500

A living history site, Island Farm interprets daily life on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s. Visitors feel as if they’ve stepped back more than 150 years as they explore the farm and see interpreters dressed in period attire carrying out the daily activities of the time – tending animals, blacksmithing, hoeing corn, doing laundry, making corn cakes. Hands-on activities and demonstrations may include woodworking, textile work, cooking demonstrations, ox-drawn wagon rides, 19th-century toys and games and farm and garden work. Visitors take self-guided tours of the Etheridge House and Farm, interacting with interpreters along the way. Activities vary daily and by season and are weather dependent. Special events are held in the Spring and Fall. Standard admission costs $6 per person with children 5 and younger admitted for free. After opening day for the season, which was April 2, 2014, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, until closing day on November 30. Note that they’re closed on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s Royalty Salon and Spa

  • 205 Budleigh Street
  • Roanoke Island
  • (252) 473-2209

It’s Royalty is a full-service hair salon and a spa that specializes in bridal services. If you need wedding services, call Linda at (252) 305-4295. It’s Royalty offers full hair services as well as manicures, pedicures, facials and massage.

Jet Boat Dolphin Tours

  • Nags Head Waterworks, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway (Boarding at Broad Creek Marina in Wanchese)
  • Wanchese
  • (252) 441-0477

Jet Boat Dolphin Tours offers its dolphin tours on a 34-foot, 30-passenger boat that gives a thrilling ride at 40 knots, so they can find the dolphins fast and cover a lot of ground — or water, that is — in two hours. They start the tour with a search for the dolphins and almost always find them. Then they take you to see local attractions such as Oregon Inlet, Wanchese Harbor, the Manteo waterfront and the Elizabeth II, Jockey’s Ridge and Colington Island. The boat is U.S. Coast Guard inspected and the captains are U.S. Coast Guard licensed. Nags Head Waterworks is based on the causeway and also offers parasailing, Jet Ski rentals and kayak rentals. Boarding for the Jet Boat Dolphin Tour is at Broad Creek Marina in Wanchese. Call for reservations and directions.

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