[Roanoke Island] The Lost Colony
Elizabethan Gardens
Elizabeth II Historic Site
NC Aquarium
Roanoke Island Festival Park
Located west of Nags Head on U.S. 64 is home of another Outer Banks mystery, one that has baffled scholars around the world: Roanoke Island. More than 400 years ago, two explorers returned to England with tales of the "godliest land under the cope of the heaven." Soon after, the first permanent European settlers to the "New World" arrived at Roanoke.
[Lost Colony photo] A 400 year-old mystery haunts Roanoke Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks. There, in 1587, about 120 men, women and children established the first English colony in the New World -- then vanished without a trace, leaving historians and archaeologists with one of America's most perplexing mysteries.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony tells their story in the dramatic setting of historic Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island. Since The Lost Colony was first performed in 1937, audiences of all ages have been thrilled by a production performed on the very shores where the colonists made their home over 400 years ago.

Now in its 68th season, The Lost Colony has been attended by millions and brings all the elements of family entertainment together for an unforgettable evening under the stars.

Reserve tickets at www.thelostcolony.org or 1-800-488-5012. Tickets may also be purchased at www.ticketweb.com or 866-468-7630 (toll-free).

You can literally stop and smell the roses at this unique American Garden. An enchanting combination of plants, herbs, wildflowers, and statuary, the Elizabethan Gardens were created by the Garden Club of North Carolina in 1951 as a living memorial to the English Colonists. A showplace 4 seasons of the year! Located near Manteo, adjacent to the "Lost Colony" waterside theater and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Call 252-473-3234.

Elizabethan Gardens Hours:
January: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week; Closed New Years Day
February: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week
March: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week
April: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
May: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
June: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Saturday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays
July: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Saturday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays
August: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday - Saturday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays
September: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
October: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week
November: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week; Closed Thanksgiving Day
December: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., seven days a week; Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Elizabethan Gardens
[Elizabethan Gardens photo]
Adults 18 and older - $6.00
Seniors (62 and over) - $5.00
Students 6 thru 18 - $4.00
Children 5 and under - free w/parents

Roanoke Island Festival Park
[Roanoke Island Festival Park Photo]

Children 5 and under...Free

Each ticket is honored for two consectutive days to allow visitors unhurried enjoyment of all the attractions.
Tours/Groups eligible for discount rates.
Call 252-475-1500

Located opposite the Manteo waterfront, the park offers plenty to do and see throughout the year.
  • The Exhibit Hall offers interactive, hands-on exhibits tracing the history of Roanoke Island. 
  • Watch "The Legend of Two Path", a portrayal of the native American civilization at the time of English arrival. 
  • The Arrival Center includes displays and information about historic sites throughout the Outer Banks and nearby communities. 
  • Boardwalks running canal marsh-side along the north and east sides of the park offer an opportunity to enjoy the setting's natural beauty and to observe the fine balance between water and land ecologies.
  • See art exhibits and performances in The Gallery. Each exhibit opens with a traditional Afternoon Tea.
  • Dance, a variety of orchestral, jazz, and other musical and choral forms, drama, and other events are offered in the outdoor Pavilion, The Film Theater and The Auditorium.
  • Experience life in a military encampment, much like that of the early Roanoke Voyage soldiers, at The Settlement Site.
  • The Museum Store offers a wide range of gifts, educational games, souvenirs, and other items especially themed tot he historic aspects of the site.
  • The North Carolina Maritime Museum (located across the bridge in downtown Manteo) is a "teaching museum" that restores, rebuilds, and constructs boats vital to the economy and the history of the area.
  • The Outer Banks History Center (on the park site but not part of the Festival Park) contains a comprehensive regional historic library staffed by experts and volunteers. 
[Elizabeth II photo]
The Elizabethan II State Historic Site, also located in Manteo, is the berth for a ship identical to the one that brought the colonists to what would eventually be called America. Once on board, you will be transported back to the 16th century as the sailors, dressed in authentic garb and speaking in the traditional 16th century English accent, tell of their experience on the three month trip to this land. Call 252.475.1500

After two years of expansion construction, the new North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island opened its doors Friday, May 19, 2000. At approximately 68,000 square feet, the "new" North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island will be twice its former size and will feature hundreds of animals found in North Carolina's diverse aquatic environments. The Aquarium will also be home to the state's largest ocean tank. [shark]
Natural settings featuring the animals that reside in the near-shore habitats such as inlets, jetties, surfs and reefs are featured in the Saltwater Gallery. Bluefish, drum, pin fish, eels and other near-shore creatures will be exhibited in the gallery. The nearby Discovery Gallery will provide visitors with a "hands-on" learning experience where skates and rays, crabs, sea stars, urchins and other invertebrates can be handled. Call 252.473.3493 for additional information [otter]
[aquarium 1] [crab] [aquarium 2]

Adults: $7
Seniors & Active Military: $6
Children: Ages 6-17: $5
5 and under: FREE
North Carolina Aquarium Society members: FREE
North Carolina school groups that register in advance: FREE

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily year-round
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day

Martin Luther King Birthday
Valentine’s Day
Veteran’s Day
Christmas Eve Day

Save Up To 25% Off Admission Prices With The Roanoke Island Attractions Pass & Queen's Pass

With the Roanoke Island Attractions Pass, visitors save up to 25% on admission prices to the N.C. Aquarium, The Elizabethan Gardens and Roanoke Island Festival Park. The Attractions Pass provides one-time admission to each attraction between the date of purchase and Dec. 31, 2002. An Attractions Pass adult ticket is $17 and a youth ticket (ages 6 – 18) is $8.25 Children age 5 and younger are admitted to the attractions at no charge.

During the summer months, the Roanoke Island Queen’s Pass provides visitors with the benefits of the Attractions Pass, but includes additional savings on a ticket to see The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama, also located on Roanoke Island. A Queen’s Pass ticket is $31 for adults and $16.25 for youth. Arrangements should be made for children age 5 and younger by calling The Lost Colony ticket office at (252) 473-3414.

The Roanoke Island Attractions Pass & Queen’s Passes are available at each admission-based attraction, the Aycock Brown Welcome Center in Kitty Hawk, the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau in Manteo and other area businesses. The Passes are good for one-time admission to each attraction and may be used through December 31, 2002.

For more information about the Roanoke Island Attractions Pass or Queen’s Pass, call (252) 475-1500.

Upon leaving the mystery of Roanoke Island, venture to the most pristine stretch of beach on the East Coast, Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

*Photographs courtesy The Dare County Tourist Bureau & Roanoke Island Festival Park

   [Dare Tour]

[National Seashore]

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