Visit the Shores of English America's Beginnings at Roanoke Island Festival Park.
Welcome to Roanoke Island Festival Park, a 27-acre island across from the Manteo waterfront, where history comes alive, the "natives" are friendly, art and nature surround you, and there's big fun for everyone--rain or shine--year round. Featuring a representative 16th century ship, settlement site, an interactive museum and a variety of performing and visual arts, Roanoke Island Festival Park is a celebration of Roanoke Island's place in history as the birthplace of English-speaking America and is a cultural hub for the Outer Banks.
In 1584, 23 years before the Jamestown settlement, the dream of an English-speaking colony began on the shores of Roanoke Island. This small island was home to the first temporary English settlements in the New World, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh during the years 1584 to 1587.
On Elizabeth II, a representative 16th-century sailing ship, you'll meet sailors like those who sailed across the Atlantic in 1585. Dressed in Elizabethan garb and engaging in period activities, these interpreters bring the history of the voyages to life. At the Settlement Site, you'll encounter tradesmen who faced the challenges of the New World. By viewing the film The Legend of Two Path, you'll discover how the arrival of the English in 1584 changed the life of the native Roanoke Island population, the Algonquians.
In the Roanoke Adventure Museum, interactive exhibits explore the 400 years of Outer Banks history since the Roanoke Voyages. You can site a star with an astrolabe, meet Algonquians through John White drawings, climb aboard a spritsail skiff and hoist her sails, meet a pirate who sailed with Blackbeard, learn about lighthouses and lifesaving, experience duck hunting and a take a shopping trip to a 1900's general store.
The spacious Art Gallery features monthly changing exhibits by artists from both far and near. The Museum Store offers distinctive gifts, books, jewelry, toys, nautical gifts and more--all with the flavor of the Outer Banks. A variety of performing arts events take place year round at Festival Park.
To all this add picnic areas, marsh-side boardwalks, a fossil pit, expansive lawns--and you'll find history, art and fun all rolled into one at Roanoke Island Festival Park!