Is Manteo, NC a Family Friendly Vacation Town?

Manteo is one of North Carolina’s popular family friendly vacation towns that visitors always find worthy of a second trip. As soon as you enter this gorgeous waterfront town, you will never want to leave again. When it comes to family vacation destinations, Manteo is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Especially during summer, when you’ll see vacationers enjoying  the charming and historic streets of downtown Manteo, NC. Visitors are captivated mainly by the town’s impressive history, but also the countless family friendly attractions that are perfect for the height of summer. So if you are looking for an easy getaway with your friends and family, plan for a  visit to the beautiful seaside town of Manteo, North Carolina.

About Manteo, North Carolina

Manteo is located on the eastern part of Roanoke Island in Dare County, North Carolina. In 1870, it was appointed as the county seat of Dare County and was eventually incorporated in 1899. It is considered one of the state’s oldest communities and still stands as part of the Outer Banks community. 

The island was named after Chief Manteo, a Native American from the Croatan tribe, one of America’s first travelers to Europe who lived in the community of Roanoke Island.

If you’re coming from the west side of North Carolina, you can get to Manteo through U.S. Route 64.

What’s the weather like in Manteo?

Summer is the best season of the year to visit Manteo because of the warm and sunny weather. Come early May to late October and enjoy the pleasant weather in Manteo. During this time, you can experience summertime  events hosted by the community and keep your family entertained with summer activities.

Manteo, NC Attractions to Visit

Make the most of your stay and say hello to these popular attractions in Manteo.

The Lost Colony

Every year, the Waterside Theatre presents the state’s longest-running and oldest outdoor symphonic drama, The Lost Colony. The theater is celebrating its 84th season in 2021, with this year’s production featuring a  reimagined take on Paul Green’s original symphonic drama.

Sit under the stars and immerse yourself in this wonderful musical with jaw-dropping choreography, glamorous costumes, and beautiful music performed by the troupe of Waterside Theatre. This musical drama takes place in an open-air theater and on a grand theatrical stage bigger than most Broadway stages.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

A visit to the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site will take you to the site of one of America’s greatest mysteries: the Lost Colonists in Roanoke Island. Here, you’ll be able to explore multiple historic sites that tell more about this  fascinating mystery, and the early history of the island. 

Stop by the Visitors Center, and you’ll be able to view artifacts excavated from the site of the first English settlement in Roanoke Island. Also found nearby is the original site of the English military fort built during the 1580s.

Go further in, and you will find the Freedmen’s Colony Monument, Thomas Hariot Trail, Elizabeth Gardens, and the preserved Maritime Forest open for all visitors to explore.

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Visitors of all ages look forward to a delightful trip to the Roanoke Island Festival Park. Travel back in time to the early 1500s and get your round-way ticket to the origins of modern America.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Located within the Roanoke Island Festival Park, you can visit Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse near the Manteo waterfront. The lighthouse is easy to miss because of its location, but if you are on the waterfront, you can easily find it, standing at the height of 37 feet.

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is the only surviving river lighthouse in Dare County. It was built to replicate the original lighthouse constructed in 1877. Enjoy the historical exhibits inside the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse or admire the exterior’s stunning waterfront view. Then finish your day with a walk along the wooden boardwalk.

But since Manteo abounds in wonderful places to visit, you might want to book with one of these properties to continue your Manteo adventures the next day. We selected the ones with the highest ratings so you’re assured you will be experiencing premier accommodation. Whether you’re looking for a cabin or a waterfront property, we got you covered!

North Carolina Aquarium

One of the Outer Banks’ most admired tourist sites is the North Carolina Aquarium. Vacationers, especially the young ones, love seeing the variety of aquatic life inhabiting the aquarium. Here, you will be able to view up close and even touch some of the marine species like sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, stingrays, white-spotted bamboo sharks, sea urchins, sea stars, hermit crabs, and more.

By the end of the tour, you will witness the famous Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit, where you can see large marine animals such as the nurse shark, sand tiger, and sandbar sharks. You can experience this amazing exhibit from a 35-foot-long glass viewing window.

Kitty Hawk Kites

Join in an epic adventure with Kitty Hawk Kites Outer Bank water activities. Available every day from 9:20 AM to 6:00 PM, you can choose between various activities to enjoy with a friend or two. Are you up for the challenge? Here is the list of activities :

  • Parasailing in Manteo – starting at $75 per person
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding Tours – $65
  • Roanoke Island and Lost Colony Sunset Tour – $45
  • Roanoke Island and Lost Colony Kayak Tour – $30 to $45
  • Sailing Cruises – $79 to $99

Kitty Hawk Kites also offers rentals for stand-up paddleboards, tandem kayaks, and single kayaks, with delivery available.

Shops and Restaurants in Manteo

The town of Manteo is not only famous for its historic sites and attractions, when it comes to great shopping and dining experiences, it has a lot to show its visitors. Manteo is very well-known for its gift shops, antique stores, art galleries, thrift stores, and restaurants. Most of the shops and restaurants are located in downtown Manteo.

Upcoming 2021 Events in Manteo, NC

Go all-in for the ultimate Manteo experience, and don’t miss these upcoming highly-anticipated events this 2021.


Town of Manteo Independence Day Fireworks

Celebrate the 4th of July with your loved ones and witness the spectacular display of fireworks in the night sky. The Town of Manteo hosts this event as part of the Independence Day celebration in Manteo, North Carolina. 

The fireworks display will take place in the Roanoke Island Festival Park. The Independence Day Fireworks is open to all visitors and residents with free admissions, so make sure to reserve a spot because the event is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival

Have the time of your life in the Bluegrass Island Festival set to happen from Oct 21 – Oct 23, and at the perfect venue in Roanoke Island Festival Park.

The Bluegrass Island Festival has been a long-standing tradition of the Outer Banks community. Expect stunning performances from regionally and nationally famous bands and musicians as they take the stage for this year’s festival. You don’t want to miss this highly-anticipated event, so get ready for a music-filled weekend during your stay in Manteo.


If you are looking for a family-friendly vacation town, then Manteo is the perfect place for you. With a lot of attractions, activities, and events to offer, your stay in Manteo, NC, will be full of surprises. Plan your vacation and let your family and friends tag along because you will want to share a memorable experience like this with your loved ones.

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