Twenty-three years before Jamestown, there was Roanoke Island, and while the settlement didn’t survive, the history, adventure, and family fun did.
Roanoke Island Festival Park is an interactive family attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America.
The centerpiece of the 25-acre island park, located across from the Manteo waterfront, is the Elizabeth II, a representation of one of the seven English ships from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585.
Visitors can climb aboard and help set the sails, plot your course and swab the decks, before visiting the park’s Settlement Site and trying out the straw and feather beds, woodworking, and games of centuries ago for themselves and watching the park’s resident blacksmith fashion his vintage 16th century wares.
While at Festival Park, you can also explore 400 years of Outer Banks history in the interactive Roanoke Adventure Museum for all ages.
Sit back and cool off while watching the Legend of Two-Path film, and then venture out to the American Indian Town, featuring opportunities for guests to learn about the vital and vibrant culture, heritage, and traditions of the American Indians in our region. It includes a wide variety of true-to-scale structures, role-play environments, and places to explore, plant, dance, build, and play.
Each year, the park invites you to experience the Roanoke Island Festival Park Performance Series – from mesmerizing musicians to amazing magicians, and delightful dancers to soulful singers, a variety of performances are scheduled year round.
The series is available to all campuses of the University of North Carolina system, meaning the talent is top-notch, and the drama, music, and dance performances are free and open to the public.
The Museum Store at Roanoke Island Festival Park is more than your typical tourist shop, featuring a wide variety of park-inspired items and souvenirs, including nautical gifts, period toys, and games, as well as jewelry, North Carolina books, local art, and crafts.
Young explorers especially enjoy the Fossil Pit, while parents like the relaxing shade of the marsh-side boardwalks that surround the site.
Finally, for history buffs there’s no better place in Dare County to learn about OBX history than the official Outer Banks History Center, also located inside the Festival Park.
Watch Roanoke Island Festival Park Communications Director Tanya Young as the special guest on our Outer Banks web series OBXE TV in the player below!
To learn more, visit RoanokeIsland.com.