Family Vacations: Roanoke Island

Today Roanoke Island is a fishing community and home to shopkeepers and artists.

In 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh of England sent an expedition to the New World to Roanoke Island, a 27-acre isle in Croatan Sound off what is now the North Carolina coast. About 116 settlers, mostly families, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and established a village there. But they arrived too late in the year to plant crops, and their leader, John White, returned to England for supplies. Because of tensions between England and Spain, White couldn't return to Roanoke Island until 1590. When he arrived, the village was deserted. Roanoke became known as the "Lost Colony." The mystery remains unsolved to this day.

Modern Roanoke Island is home to a historic park that tells this story and others through living-history demonstrations, a replica of a 16th-century sailing ship, and an interactive museum. A walk along the boardwalks and nature trails reveals native wildflowers and protected maritime forest. There's also an outdoor pavilion that hosts a performing arts series.


Roanoke Island Information

Roanoke Island Information

Address: 1 Festival Park

Manteo, NC

Telephone: 252/475-1500

Hours of Operation:

  • Feb - Mar: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily
  • Apr - Oct: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., daily
  • Nov - Dec: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily

Admission: $8 adults; $5 kids

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • North Carolina State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in North Carolina, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that gĀ­etting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.