If you’re in need of a day’s diversion, the northern Outer Banks and Roanoke Island offer an incredible range of activities for every interest.
The first stop for history buffs is Roanoke Island, home of the first attempted English settlement in the New World. This fascinating history is retold at many of the island’s attractions, where learning about the past is really fun. Roanoke Island Festival Park, 252-473-6000, tells the story of the early colonists with the Elizabeth II, a replica 16th-century sailing ship, a Settlement Site, a historical film, a museum and more. They also offer a Summer Children’s Performance Series along with other events throughout the year. The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama, 252-473-3414, offers the ultimate explanation of this piece of history through song, dance and a well-told story. It’s performed under the stars, Monday through Saturday in the summer. There are also special children’s performances.
Adjacent to the Lost Colony Theater is the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, 252-473-2111, featuring exhibits and interpretive walking trails related to the early colonists and other local history.
The Outer Banks is also the home of the most important event in aviation history. The Wright Brothers National Memorial, 252-473-2111, in Kill Devil Hills features exhibits and programs about Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first flights.
There are many great outdoors and wildlife places to explore. Jockey’s Ridge State Park, 252-441-7132, in Nags Head is the East Coast’s largest sand dune, perfect for hiking, flying a kite or learning to hang glide. Nature programs are offered in the summer.
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, 252-475-2300, houses a large variety of fish and sharks, along with alligators, turtles, otters and other creatures, as well as daily programs.
The Elizabethan Gardens, 252-473-3234, pays homage to America’s first English settlers, with plants and trees of many varieties, plus statuary and fountains. Historical plays are presented in the summer months.
The northern Outer Banks also has several shopping hot spots. You’ll find brand-name stores and good deals at Tanger Outlet Mall in Nags Head. The Duck Waterfront Shops and the Manteo Waterfront are great walkable shopping areas.
All family members will find things to do, from mini-golf to bumper boats, wild horse tours to kayak tours, and everything in between.
For additonal information, please visit the Northern Outer Banks portion of our website.