Roanoke Island Recreation (Including Manteo Recreation and Wanchese Recreation)
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.
- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Buffalo City Road, off U.S. Highway 64 (Dare County Mainland)
- (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 (there used to be a logging town out here in the middle of nowhere). Choose from two-hour or three-hour tours. The two-hour tour is held on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon in the months of June, July and August. This tour costs $25 per person ($15 for children 12 and younger). The three-hour tour is held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon from May through September. This tour costs $35 per person ($20 for children 12 and younger). Reservations and footwear are required. Call for reservations and information. Hats, sunscreen, insect repellent and drinking water are recommended. Meet at the south end of Buffalo City Road off U.S. Highway 64 in East Lake.
- 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 still 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 learn about. 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 the 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 the Alligator River Refuge also manages Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge on Hatteras Island; see our Hatteras site’s Recreation chapter for more information.
- 1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate's Cove Marina
- (252) 473-5577
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 $110 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.
- 1 Sailfish Drive, Docks at Pirate’s Cove Marina
- (252) 473-5577
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 $40 for adults and $30 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 $15 adults and $10 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.
- 711 N. Highway 64
- (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 in the Waterfront Shops overlooking picturesque Shallowbag Bay in Downtown Manteo, Grace Bodywork offers a variety of rejuvenating massage therapy options only steps away from a multitude of shopping and dining venues. Owner Gina 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.
- Downtown Manteo Waterfront
- (252) 473-2007
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 $20/person, $12 for children age 2 and younger. On Saturdays and Sundays take advantage of discounted Weekend Warrior rates of $15/person with $12 for children age 2 and younger. Reservations are strongly recommended.
- 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport
- Roanoke Island
- (252) 678-JUMP (5867)
Attention all thrillseekers! Jumping from a plane at 9,000 feet should get your endorphins flowing — and you get the bonus of a bird’s-eye view of Roanoke Island. Skydive OBX offers tandem skydives for ages 18 and older. You jump strapped in a harness with an instructor, so the adventure requires only minimal training for the customer. The free fall is 30 seconds and the entire ride is about 5 minutes long. Expect the entire process, with training, to take about an hour. Reservations are required.
Air Adventures by Luckey Aviation
- 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport
- Roanoke Island
- (704) 668-9655
Bob Luckey, a pilot with more than 33 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.
- 404 U.S. Highway 64
- (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
- (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.
- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Highway 64, Dare County Mainland
- (252) 216-9464
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the largest population 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 Wolf Howling program, so you could feasibly do both.
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, pregnancy, relaxation and customized massages. She also has her cosmetology license, specializing in facials and body treatments.
Bodywork for Balanced Health
- (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 and she will come to you.
Broad Creek Fishing Center Ships Store
- 708 Harbor Road, Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park
- (252) 473-9991
Located in the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park, the ship’s store at Broad Creek Fishing Center offers everything you need for a day of fishing. Pick up your snacks, beverages and ice here before heading out. They also stock boating accessories and maintenance supplies. Broad Creek offers a large selection of seasonal tackle and frozen bait. Don’t forget to check out their sunglasses, T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. Broad Creek offers centralized booking for offshore and inshore charter fishing. They have nine boats in their fleet, and their booking service offers hassle-free, book-where-you-board convenience. Diesel and gas are also available.
Captain Johnny’s Dolphin Tours
- 309 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront
- (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. Since 1995 Capt. Stuart Wescott, a ninth-generation Roanoke Island native, has offered 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). Expect to pay around $30 for adults and $20 for children 12 and younger. Sunset cruises, bird-watching tours and shrimping/crabbing cruises are also offered. Stop by the dock site on the Manteo waterfront, click their information on this website, go to their Facebook page 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 Dock and Pier
- Beneath the Washington Baum Bridge (Nags Head/Manteo Causeway)
Beneath the Washington Baum bridge on the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway is an extensive public dock that makes a great spot for fishing or crabbing. Just bring your own tackle and supplies and drop your line. A two-slip boat ramp and ample parking for vehicles and trailers are available.
Charter Private Sailing Aboard the Sea’scape/Sail Outer Banks
- Tours leave from the Manteo waterfront boardwalk behind Poor Richard's Sandwich Shop
- (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 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
- (252) 475-1506
The Children’s Performance Series at Roanoke Island Festival Park 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 2013 season includes Kids Jazz Excursion and Workshop, Luna, Storybook Theatre Tales from Around the World Part II, Broadway For Kids and Charlotte’s Web. The series is very popular so arrive early to ensure a seat. The series is held April 20 through July 20. Performances are held in the Film Theatre. Tickets are $5 for ages 6 years old and older. Ages 5 and younger get in free. For show dates, times and other details visit the Roanoke Island Festival Park website. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Visitors Center or the day of the event. Check www.outerbanksthisweek.com for specific show information.
- 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport
- Roanoke Island
- (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
- (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
- (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 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free.
Dare County Old Swimming Hole
- Airport Road, next to the Aquarium
- (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.
Diving at Roanoke Island Outfitters
- 312 U.S. Highway 64
- (252) 473-1356
Diving at Roanoke Island Outfitters is a true outfitter specializing in diving, spearfishing and kayak tours for children and adults. They’re located in Manteo but offer activities all over the Outer Banks, including the central beaches of Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. Ask about their children’s activity tours, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge tours, naturalist-led eco-tours, biolumenescence or full moon tours, sunrise or sunset tours or Your Family Only! tours. For rentals, they offer free delivery on Roanoke Island, will deliver to Nags Head, Pea Island or Alligator River for a fee, or you can take the kayak on your vehicle. They also offer scuba diving lessons, referral dives, beach dives and kayak dives and have a full-service scuba shop. They also have the largest selection of spearfishing guns and supplies on the Outer Banks. They offer NAUI certification courses from open water to instructor level. Online classes are now available. Don’t want to bring all your camping gear but want to camp? Roanoke Island Outfitters rents tents, bags, pads, cooking stoves and other camping gear. The store also rents scuba gear and spearfishing equipment. Adult bike rentals provide visitors an opportunity to take advantage of the island’s well-maintained bike path and shady side streets to tour Roanoke Island the best way, by bicycle. They also rent bikes for adults.
- 307 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront
- (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 27 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.
Elizabeth R Productions
- Various Locations
- (252) 473-1061
Elizabeth R Productions presents historically based dramas written by historian lebame houston and performed in part by acclaimed actor Barbara Hird as Queen Elizabeth I. Hird is committed to authenticity in her interpretation of the character of Queen Elizabeth I, and houston is committed to historical accuracy. The dramas have received international acclaim, but their home base is here on Roanoke Island.
In Elizabeth R, Hird gives a commanding performance as Queen Elizabeth I. It’s a one-woman, hour-long performance in which the Queen spills the intimate details of her life, including her likes and dislikes, the reasons for making her decisions and information about her parents, her lovers and Sir Walter Raleigh’s colonies.
Shepherd of the Ocean is whimsical comedy about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh. The play premiered in 2006 at the international Sir Walter Ralegh Festival in Youghal, Ireland, receiving rave reviews during its three-week run. Set primarily in a time warp, the play is a flashback of Raleigh’s most cherished moments with Queen Elizabeth.
Bloody Mary and the Virgin Queen is an outrageous musical farce based on the fact that Queen Elizabeth I and her half-sister Mary Tudor absolutely loathed one another during their lives, yet they were buried in the same tomb at Westminster Abbey. The show, set in present day, begins when the tourists have left the Abbey, allowing the ghosts to start their vocal bantering and arguing. The dialogue is a blend of contemporary issues and political satire about world and Roanoke Island events.
All of these productions are recommended for ages 14 and up. For the schedule of performances, call the number above or check www.outerbanksthisweek.com.
For historical entertainment of a more recent era, be sure to check out Portrait of Patsy Cline, a musical tribute to the legendary Country and Pop music star produced by Elizabeth R Productions and featuring talented local vocalist Laura Martier in the title role at the OBX Jubilee in Kitty Hawk each Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. from June 12 through August 14 (except July 3). Tickets are $25/person. For more information call (252) 473-1061 or visit the Elizabeth R Productions website.
- 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 fun events week days during the summer. For 2013, here’s what you can look forward to:
Minty Monday: Looking for a refreshing afternoon adventure? Children aged 6 to12 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 provided by Mabel’s Scoop Shop. This event is limited to 30 participants and is indoors and outdoors, June 3-August 26, Mondays 2-3 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Storybook Tuesdays: It’s story time in the tree-shaded Woodland Gardens. Sit around story stumps and enjoy tales about butterflies, bees, frogs, trees, flowers and other garden friends, and snack on cheese crackers provided by Downtown Books. Afterward, root a plant to take home to your garden. This programs is outdoors, weather permitting, June 4-August 27, Tuesdays, 10-11 a.m. All ages are welcome (accompanied by an adult).
The Tale of Peter Rabbit: Hop over to see this children’s play at The Elizabethan Gardens and meet lovable Peter Rabbit in this one-act musical play. Come early and enjoy a stroll through The Gardens prior to the performance. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m., June 19 to August 15 on The Overlook Terrace in The Elizabethan Gardens, Wednesdays 9:30-10:30 a.m. This program is for all ages and is free with garden admission, Thursdays 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Tea with the Queen: Have an audience with Queen Elizabeth I in the beautiful setting of The Elizabethan Gardens where you will enjoy her Majesty’s sumptuous desserts, refreshing iced tea and delightful antics. The Queen’s tea also includes admission to The Gardens. 24-hour advance reservations required. Tea is served Thursdays on June 27; July 11,18 and 25; and August 1,8 and 15 from 2-4 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for youth (7-18 years). For tickets, cal (252) 473-3234 or visit www.elizabethangardens.org
Fragrant Fridays: Engage young senses in discovering a diversity of plants by touching, smelling, hearing, tasting and seeing in this one-hour discovery for you and your child. In addition to exploring with their senses, all participants will plant something to take home. This program takes place outdoors, weather permitting, June 7-August 30 on Fridays, 10-11 a.m. It’s designed for ages 6-14 (accompanied by an adult).
Ghost Fleet Dive Charters
- 219 Thicket Lump Drive, Thicket Lump Marina
- (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 Just 4 Diving is docked at Thicket Lump Marina in Wanchese.
Grandpa’s Shrimping and Crabbing Tours
- 708 Harbor Road, Broad Creek Fishing Center
- (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.
- 1140 U.S. Highway 64
- Roanoke Island
- (252) 473-6500
Roanoke Island’s Island Farm is a re-creation of the Etheridge family’s 1850s Roanoke Island working farm. 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 here several times a year. Standard admission costs $6 per person, with children 5 and younger admitted for free. After opening day for the season, which was April 3, 2013, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday to 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)
- (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.
Kitty Hawk Kayaks Kayak & Surf School
- MP 1, 6150 N. Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk
- (252) 261-0145, (866) 702-5061
Enjoy a kayak tour to some of the finest flat-water kayaking destinations on the Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School offers multiple specialty tours across the Outer Banks, including tours in Kitty Hawk Woods, ocean paddling, night paddling on Roanoke Island, Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges and in Corolla. New this year is a night-time Bioluminessence Tour in Nags Head. Surf kayak and standup paddleboard lessons and rentals are also available. Ask about the overnight trips on the Roanoke River and their Coastal Explorer Camps for kids with field trips, surfing lessons and kayaking. The Surf School offers daily lessons and three-day surf camps throughout the summer, plus yoga and surf retreats during the fall and spring. Surfboards are available for rent as well. All instructors and guides are ACA and NSSIA certified. The friendly, professional staff promises your entire family will have fun.
Kitty Hawk Kites
- 307 Queen Elizabeth Street, Manteo Waterfront
- (252) 473-2357
Stop by the Manteo Kitty Hawk Kites store for all of your adventure needs. Parasailing trips go out on the water just behind the store, and they also offer kayak tours around Roanoke Island Festival Park and the surrounding marshes. If you feel like going out on your own, feel free to rent a kayak from this location as well. Ready for a little amped-up adventure? Try the new JetPak, which allows you to fly through the air at speeds up of to 30 mph with jets strapped to your back! With a reservationist on site, you can book other adventures such as dolphin tours, hang-gliding lessons or kiteboarding sessions.
Kitty Hawk Kites Parasailing
- Manteo Waterfront
- (252) 441-4124, (877) 359-8447
Kitty Hawk Kites takes several parasailing trips a day from the Manteo waterfront, launching fliers anywhere from 600 to 1,200 feet above the water. This is a safe, experienced, trusted company. You can fly solo or go with one or two other people. The hour-long trips accommodate up to six fliers at a time, with each flier getting about 10 minutes in the air. Trips are booked through Kitty Hawk Kites, and advance reservations are recommended. The boat is docked on the Manteo waterfront. Call Kitty Hawk Kites to reserve.
Kitty Hawk Kites’ Kayak Tours
- (252) 441-4124, (877) FLY-THIS (359-8447)
To see a totally different side of Roanoke Island, slip back into the marsh creeks and coves on a kayak. Kitty Hawk Kites offers kayak tours leaving from the Manteo waterfront and winding through the salt marshes into the sound. Guides point out features of the area ecology and wildlife and talk about the history of Roanoke Island. Tandem and single kayaks are available. Expect to pay around $34 to $49 per person for a guided tour. Tours leave from the Kitty Hawk Kites store on the Manteo waterfront. Kitty Hawk Kites offers kayak tours of many areas of the Outer Banks. One that we highly recommend is the Alligator River Tour through the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the mainland; the meeting place is about a 20-minute drive inland from Manteo. You must make advance reservations for guided kayak tours.
- Waterside Theatre, 1409 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64)
- (252) 473-6000
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.
- Corner of Queen Elizabeth Street and Ananias Dare Street
- (252) 473-2133
The Town of Manteo offers a covered open air space that’s available for public use. It’s great for things like art shows, small performances, shows and gatherings. It’s located just across from the Manteo waterfront. Call the town to inquire about reserving the space.
Manteo Bike/Multi-Use Path
- U.S. Highway 64
A wonderful asset to Roanoke Island is a paved, 7-mile multi-use pedestrian path that runs the entire length of the northern part of the island alongside U.S. Highway 64/264. It’s perfect for bicycling, walking, jogging, in-line skating, baby strolling and dog walking. On all but the nastiest days, the path is filled with a blend of Roanoke Island residents and visitors greeting one another. The path winds all the way to the north end of the island, canopied by shady trees along much of the route. At the north end, the path ends at a little beach on the Croatan Sound. There are a few picnic tables, a sandy beach, a pond and a National Park Service interpretive exhibit about the Freedmen’s Colony.
About midway along the path, you come to an entrance to Roanoke Gardens on Mother Vineyard Road. This neighborhood, known as Mother Vineyard, provides a delightful detour from the main path. In this neighborhood grows the largest scuppernong grapevine on the island, the mother of all vineyards, said to date to the 1500s. If you turn east onto Mother Vineyard Road, you’ll do a nice loop through this beautiful and serene section, getting a peek at some local homes, well-manicured yards and the vineyard, and also catching views of Roanoke Sound, Nags Head and Jockey’s Ridge along the back stretch. The full loop will bring you around to Scuppernong Road, which leads back to the bike path.
If you’re headed to Roanoke Island just to use the bike path, you can park your car at Roanoke Island Festival Park or in downtown Manteo. Downtown Manteo’s quiet residential streets are also perfect for running, walking and biking.
- Manteo Waterfront
- (252) 473-1233
A great place to stroll and pass some time is the boardwalk that winds along most of the Manteo waterfront. One end is quiet, with benches that look out over the sound and marsh grasses tickling the edges of the walk. The boardwalk stretches from Marshes Light development marina to downtown Manteo, past Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and a children’s playground with swings and a pirate ship for climbing on, past a gazebo that hangs over the water, past the busy waterfront docks, where transient and resident sailboats and motorboats fill the slips, and ends at the Cora Mae Daniels Basnight Bridge that leads to Roanoke Island Festival Park. Alongside the public docks, storefronts and restaurants line this portion of the boardwalk, and their customers spill out onto the boardwalk to enjoy the breeze. Boat and kayak tours leave from this area of downtown.
A delightful stroll over the Cora Mae Basnight Bridge provides you with a commanding view of the Elizabeth II, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, the Manteo waterfront marina and the working waterfront on Dough’s Creek. At the end of the bridge, follow the sidewalk to the boardwalk at Roanoke Island Festival Park. The trailhead is reached by a crosswalk to your left through the parking area. A sign announces the entrance to the boardwalk.
This relaxing nature walk weaves its way alongside a tranquil waterway used by local watermen to access Shallowbag Bay and Roanoke Sound. To your left, you will observe the expansive vista of a black needle rush salt marsh that provides habitat to numerous aquatic species. Continuing along, you are surrounded by a maritime forest of Atlantic white cedars, red cedars, loblolly pines, live oaks, myrtles and hollies before the boardwalk pauses at a dock overlooking Jockey’s Ridge and the soundside shore of Nags Head.
Continue left along the paved walkway that circles the Pavilion lawn to the second path to your left. A sign announces the entrance to the park’s award-winning Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project. This shoreline restoration project is a collaborative effort among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Wilmington District, State of North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Division of Water Resources and the Roanoke Island Commission. Other federal, state, local and non-profit agencies played major roles in restoring the shoreline by building a rock sill, planting marsh grasses and maritime forest and creating a one-acre oyster reef outside the sill.
This pathway and boardwalk lead to a dock on Shallowbag Bay. Interpretive signs placed along the path illustrate the unique components of the project through photographs, sketches and descriptive text. This self-guided tour provides visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the value of environmental restoration and management of aquatic and maritime forest resources, a first-hand look at the beneficial effects of restoration methods and information to assist in identification of aquatic plants, animal and native tree species found in and around the Roanoke Island Festival Park.
From here you can walk back to Manteo’s downtown area, or stay and explore all of the great activities at Roanoke Island Festival Park (see Attractions).
Manteo Skate Park
- Uppowoc Street, behind the College of the Albemarle on U.S. Highway 64
- (252) 473-2133
Manteo built a killer skatepark for the local kids (and the few adults who are still at it). It’s free to skate here, but be sure to bring protective equipment. The park is located behind the College of the Albemarle campus. There are usually experienced skaters there who are willing to offer newcomers to the sport helpful advice, and these same long-time skaters regularly organize competitions.
Manteo Waterfront Boat Ramp
- At the end of Ananias Dare Street, Waterfront
A free public boat launch is located at the waterfront, right beside the short Cora Mae Daniels Basnight Bridge that leads from downtown Manteo over to Roanoke Island Festival Park. Parking is on site, but there are not any long spaces for boat trailers.
Manteo Waterfront Playground
- On the waterfront beside the Weather Tower
- (252) 473-2133
Manteo provides a nice playground along its waterfront right beside the Weather Tower and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. Here, caregivers can relax on one of the benches and enjoy the panoramic view of the sound, Nags Head and beyond while keeping a watchful eye on their charges. Swings, a play ship and slides keep the wee ones happy.
Miss Broad Creek
- 708 Harbor Drive, Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park
- (252) 473-5344
The Miss Broad Creek, a 61-foot head boat, offers fishing trips for the entire family. Trips include all bait and tackle and a first mate. The boat carries 46 anglers, which allows for plenty of fishing room. They offer two bottom fishing trips a day, both half-day, from 8 a.m. to noon or from 1 to 5 p.m. Fishing costs $40 per person or $30 for children 12 and younger, and they offer discounts if you pay in cash. They also offer private trips and specialty cruises.
Nags Head Diving at Roanoke Island Outfitters
- 312 U.S. Highway 64
- (252) 473-1356
Nags Head Diving at Roanoke Island Outfitters offers scuba diving lessons, referral dives, beach dives and kayak dives and has a full-service scuba shop carrying Sherwood, Tusa and Cressi scuba gear. They also have the largest selection of spearfishing guns and supplies from Cressi, Omer and JBL. You can also take NAUI certification courses, from open water to instructor level. Online classes are also available. Nags Head Diving is based at Roanoke Island Outfitters on the main highway in Manteo. They also offer kayak rentals and tours, bike rentals and camping gear rentals. Stop by or call the shop.
- Elizabethan Inn, 814 U.S. Highway 64
- (252) 473-2103
Nautics Hall at the Elizabethan Inn is a fitness site offering a well-maintained regulation-size indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a weight room with free weights, machines and cardio equipment, a sauna and a whirlpool. Weekly passes are available; call for prices.
- 410 Airport Road, Dare County Regional Airport
- Roanoke Island
- (252) 216-7777
Take a dream flight in an open-cockpit Waco biplane with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. This beautiful airplane looks like an antique, but you’ll be glad to know that it is modern, manufactured in 1990 with all the safety amenities that will put your mind at ease. Don your flying helmet (goggles and long scarf optional!) and enjoy your spot in the front seat while the pilot does his work from the back. The plane can take up to two passengers (including young children if they’re accompanied by an adult) on this thrilling ride. The shortest tour is around Roanoke Island. The Barnstormer Tour is approximately 20 minutes and the Deluxe Tour is approximately 30 minutes, but there are hourly rates if you want to go a little longer. Tours start as low as $49 per person. OBX Biplanes is a sister company to Coastal Helicopters.
Olde Towne Creamery
- Corner of 500 U.S. Highway 64/264 and Ananias Dare Street
- (252) 305-8060
Olde Towne Creamery rents bicycles for kids and adults including tri-bikes with three wheels. While you’re there you might as well enjoy something sweet and delectable—delicious premium hand-dipped ice cream, smoothies, sundaes, milkshakes, banana splits, fudge, gourmet chocolates, true Italian ice, and gourmet desserts like cannolis, triple chocolate cheesecake, caramel apple pie and over the top brownie sundaes.
Outer Banks Air Charters and Tours
- 400 Airport Road
- Roanoke Island
- (252) 256-2322
Charlie Snow, who owns Outer Banks Air Charters, offers standard and custom air tours of the Outer Banks, but mostly his business is an air charter service. An FAA-certified air carrier, Outer Banks Air Charters flies to and from airports all over the country or to other specialized locations. He brings a lot of people to the Outer Banks from Norfolk, Raleigh, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York and Boston, but he’ll fly anywhere. Consult the company website for detailed information on tours, charters and prices. Outer Banks Air Charters also has an extensive Facebook presence. Snow is a retired National Park Service engineer and experienced pilot.
Outer Banks Sporting Events
- 2234 S. Lark Avenue, Nags Head
- (252) 255-6273
Outer Banks Sporting Events is an event-planning nonprofit that organizes the pirate-themed Flying Pirate Half Marathon and First Flight 5K, the extremely popular Gateway Bank Outer Banks Marathon and Southern Fried Half Marathon, the Outer Banks Triathlon and the Storm the Beach obstacle course/adventure race. The Gateway Bank Outer Banks Marathon Weekend, always held on Veteran’s Day weekend (November 8 through November 10 in 2013) is full of events, including the 8K, 5K and Family Fun Run on Saturday. The full marathon from Kitty Hawk to Manteo, the Southern Fried Half Marathon from Nags Head to Manteo, and the Southern 6 run take place on Sunday.
Storm the Beach (June 15 and 16 in 2013) combines 5-mile, 3-mile and .75-mile distances with obstacles and challenges on the beach. The Outer Banks Triathlon (September 21 and 22 in 2013) is held on Roanoke Island and includes Sprint, Olympic and Half distances. The Flying Pirate Half Marathon Weekend (May 3 and 4 in 2014) includes the Half Marathon from Kitty Hawk to Nags Head, the First Flight 5K and the Double Dare Challenge for those who run both days. One hundred percent of net proceeds of all these events go to support two Outer Banks nonprofits — Outer Banks Relief Foundation and Dare Education Foundation.
Paradise Dolphin Cruises
- 4457 Mill Landing Road, Wanchese Marina
- (252) 573-0547
Paradise Dolphin Cruises has the area’s newest dolphin boat, the Kokomo, which carries up to 40 passengers and offers a comfortable ride with a canopied top, cushioned seats and a restroom. The boat’s location at Wanchese Marina in Wanchese offers the closest access to the waters where these amazing creatures are most often found. Paradise offers daily dolphin trips plus sunset cruises. Every Monday is family day; ask about family prices. The boat is handicapped accessible and is available for private parties and catering. Call for reservations.
- 113 Budleigh Street
- (252) 473-2216
The Pioneer Theatre represents all that was good about the good old days. Fair prices, wholesome entertainment and friendly folks are the hallmarks of this theater that dates back to 1918. (The original building burned, and this one was built in 1934.) The theater runs one first-run movie per week, with show times at 8 p.m. nightly. All the movies are suitable for families. Tickets cost $5, and the snack prices are the best you’ll find anywhere. (We mean it — $5 is usually all you need for popcorn, candy and a drink!) Locals cherish this theater and go even if they’re not particularly interested in the movie. The owners recently installed state of the art digital equipment, so the picture and sound are amazing! For a movie preview, call the number above and listen to the recording.
Pirates Cove Marina
- 1 Sailfish Drive, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway, off U.S. Highway 64
- Roanoke Island
- (252) 473-3906, (800) 367-4728
Escape from the same old beach routine and head over to Pirates Cove Marina and Yacht Club. Experience the thrill of a lifetime fishing from one of their offshore charter boats. Your adrenaline will be pumping listening to the scream of the drag while you are reeling in your tuna, dolphin, wahoo and marlin. Or book a near-shore trip and drop deep to catch tile fish, sea bass, trigger fish and grouper, or troll for Spanish mackerel and bluefish. No matter what you choose, Pirates Cove’s charter fleet will show you a great time. Back at the docks you can stop by the Pirates Cove Ships Store, where you will find a great selection of T-shirts, resort wear and one of the best selections of sunglasses on the Outer Banks.
Red Wolf Howling Safaris
- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Highway 64, East Lake (Dare County Mainland)
- (252) 216-9464
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is the only place in the world where endangered red wolves still exist in the wild! To learn about the wolves and hear them howl, you can attend a Howling Safari. Howlings are held from June through August on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. Programs last about two hours. Bring a flashlight and wear insect repellent in the summer and fall. Summer Howling Safaris cost $7 per person, with children 12 and younger going for free. Reservations are not required. Free Saturday howling dates for 2013 are April 27 (7 p.m.), May 25 (7 p.m.), October 12 (6 p.m.), November 15 (5 p.m.) and December 7 (5 p.m.). Meet at Creef Cut Wildlife Trail parking lot, at the entrance to Milltail Road about a 20-minute drive from Manteo on U.S. Highway 64. Howling Safaris will take place except during lightning, heavy wind or rain, or impassable road conditions.
Roanoke Island Festival Park Performance Series
- 1 Festival Park Road, Roanoke Island Festival Park, across from Manteo Waterfront
- Roanoke Island
- (252) 475-1506
Some of North Carolina’s best young talent performs at Roanoke Island Festival Park during the Performance Series. Offering music, dance, drama, opera and children’s shows for the community to enjoy, the series invites performing arts departments from all campuses of the University of North Carolina system to participate. These performances promise great entertainment for people of all ages. The 2013 season runs from April 20 through July 19 and includes the East Carolina University Jazz Ensemble, Best of Broadway, the July 4th Celebration with music and fireworks (free and open to the public) and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 6 to 12 years (unless stated otherwise). Ages 5 and younger are free. For show dates, times and other details visit the Roanoke Island Festival Park website or check the By Day and Nightlife listings at www.outerbanksthisweek.com.
Roanoke Island Historical Tours
- Meets at 105 Sir Walter Raleigh Street, near Duck's Cottage Books and Toys
- (252) 573-9612
Take a historical walking tour with a costumed interpreter. On the History Tour, you’ll learn how Manteo formed, about the great fire and all the floods and how the town used to look long ago. On the Ghost Tour you’ll learn about the ghosts and historical characters of Manteo’s past. The 45-minute tours are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with the History Tour at 7 p.m. and the Ghost Tour at 8 p.m. Other tour nights and possibly some daytime tours will be added in the summer months. Check their Facebook page or call for details. Tours cost $10 per person, with ages 10 and younger getting in free.
- (252) 216-9283
Sail aboard the Lele Kaia, a classic 1966 Cheoy Lee sailboat, in the pristine Croatan Sound. The boat is available for charter with an experienced, friendly captain who loves to share the sport of sailing. Feel free to take the helm as you head out on a sunset cruise, half-day or whole-day charter. Learn about cruising or just sit back and relax in a beautiful natural area. The boat can accommodate up to six people. It’s docked at Wanchese Dock & Haul, which is a little difficult to find, so the captain will arrange a meeting place when you book your charter.
Shallowbag Bay Marina
- 1100-B South Bay Club Drive
- (252) 305-8726
The Shallowbag Bay Marina has a reputation of being a friendly marina on the Outer Banks. They offer 72 slips from 25 to 60 feet with electric and water hookups. Slips are available to rent year round, and transient boaters are welcome. Slip renters and transient visitors may choose to have access to the clubhouse, swimming pool, exercise room, showers and washers and dryers. The ship’s store is well stocked with beer and wine, drinks, snacks, staple food items and toiletries. Stripers Restaurant is also located here, which means you can enjoy a great meal on site. Short-term dockage is available for customers coming to Stripers by boat. Shallowbag Bay sells ethanol-free gas and diesel and has one pumpout. Downtown Manteo is within walking distance of this marina.
Tennis players will find non-lighted courts at the College of the Albemarle on U.S. Highway 64, at Manteo Middle School on U.S. Highway 64 and at Manteo High School on Wingina Avenue. The COA courts are available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The school courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis after school hours and when the students are not practicing.
Thicket Lump Marina
- 219 Thicket Lump Road
- (252) 473-4500
Way down on the south end of Wanchese in a beautiful location that’s only 5 miles from Oregon Inlet via water, Thicket Lump Marina sells gas and diesel fuel and has one of the best lunch spots on the island — Great Gut Deli (see Restaurants). If you’re out in your own boat, definitely stop here to fill your gas tank and your belly. Several charter boats use these marina docks too.
Tram Tours of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
- U.S. Highway 64, East Lake
- (252) 216-9464
Take a tram trip around the refuge and learn about the wild lands and wildlife. Bring your binoculars and camera, drinking water and insect repellent. Dress for the weather. Summer tram tours cost $7 per person. Children 12 and younger ride free with a paying adult. Reservations are recommended. Unreserved seats will be filled on a first come, first served basis on the morning of the tour. June through August, tours are offered Tuesdays from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. In the off-season, tours are offered one Saturday a month for free (May 11, September 14, October 12, November 9 and December 14 in 2013). Meet at Creef Cut Wildlife Trail parking lot at the intersection of Milltail road and U.S. Highway 64 in East Lake. The program will occur except during lightning, heavy wind or rain, or impassable road conditions. Call (252) 216-9464 for reservations and information.
Tuesdays in Manteo
- Downtown Manteo Waterfront
Tuesdays are special in beautiful downtown Manteo, with a variety of activities going on all day. You could easily spend the whole day here.
Start your day at Roanoke Island Festival Park, then head across the bridge to downtown Manteo for lunch in one of several restaurants. Then it’s time for some fun: great educational games and toys, not to mention good reads, at Duck’s Cottage Downtown Books and Toys; Scavenger Hunts and Chalk Art contests for the kids; Pirate Ship tours for families; and jewelry, weaving and pottery demonstrations. Other options for fun in downtown Manteo include watersports, sailing tours, parasailing, dolphin tours and much more. Check out the Downtown Craft Market in the Manteo Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. And don’t forget the daily Art Walk — pick up a map at the Dare County Arts Council.
In the afternoon enjoy a brewery tour and beer tasting at the Full Moon Cafe and Brewery (reservations required, call 473-6666). Take a tour of the exciting galleries and boutiques that dot the town. There are no chain stores here, just quaint, local shops that appeal to everyone. Enjoy live music scattered throughout the town. Go for a free sail on the shad boat at the Creef Boathouse. End your day at Poor Richards where you can catch the best local live music.
Some activities are free, while others charge a fee. Some activities require advance reservations. The best way to find out what’s happening in Manteo on Tuesdays is to check the Imagine Manteo Facebook page: www.facebook.com/imaginemanteo or go to www.outerbanksthisweek.com.
Weaving Studio at Endless Possibilities
- 105 Budleigh Street
- (252) 475-1575
This shop offers a truly unique concept in creativity and fund-raising. The goods sold here — rugs, purses, pillows and more — are hand-woven and handcrafted out of recycled clothing that was donated to local Outer Banks Hotline thrift shops. The creations are amazing, colorful and original. The shop also offers the work of talented artists on consignment. The knitters, jewelers and sculptors who display their wares here all work with other found or recycled materials. Proceeds of the goods go to Outer Banks Hotline, a local nonprofit organization, to help local women and families on the Outer Banks.
Weavers are at work on the looms right in the store, and they welcome volunteer weavers. (They’ll teach you what to do.) Private weaving classes cost $65 to learn to make rugs, table runners, etc. You can also come in and pay a fee to make your own woven items. This is a great activity for young and old alike — just call ahead to check for loom availability.
Youth Sailing Program at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum
- 104 Fernando Street, Manteo Waterfront
- (252) 475-1750
For youth who want to learn to sail, Roanoke Island Maritime Museum offers a Youth Sailing Program from June 10 to August 2. Youth ages 8 to 16 can learn to sail with certified instructors in week-long (Monday to Friday) sailing programs. Depending on their age and skill level, kids are taught on Optimist, Sunfish or Club 420 sailboats. Students should be able to swim, but no previous sailing experience is required. Advance registration is required.
The museum has a number of programs and workshops to celebrate maritime heritage. Check their Facebook page or the Town of Manteo web site for more information. They also offer Shallowbag Bay Sail-Abouts and Open Sails on Tuesdays starting at 6 p.m. throughout the summer, weather permitting. Registration is required for programs and Open Sails as well.
Zumba, Pilates and Yoga Fitness Clasess
- 1000 Westcott Park Road
- (704) 998-1323
AFAA and ZIN certified Instructor Maria Williamson holds Zumba, Pilates and yoga fitness classes in Manteo at Westcott Park. Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on strengthening, flexibility and a mind-body connection, and Maria believes that being in control of your body makes all the difference. You can expect an invigorating yoga practice taught on all levels with an emphasis on breathing and relaxation techniques. Maria teaches these classes with the hope that you will achieve increased strength, balance and flexibility that will spill over into your daily lives. In Zumba, you can let loose, have fun and dance! Anyone from any background and any level of ability can do Zumba. Private or semi-private classes are also available. Meet in the comfort of your home or at the studio. Pilates is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:15 a.m. Zumba is on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8:15 a.m. Check out OBX Zumba on Facebook for updates. Drop in class rates are $10 per class.