The first English attempts at colonization in the New World (1585-1587) are commemorated here. These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearance of 116 men, women and children (including two that were born in the New World). The fate of this "lost colony" remains a mystery to this day.
The Park was established in 1941, and enlarged in 1990
to include the preservation of Native American culture, The American Civil War, the Freedman's Colony, and the activities of radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden.
The visitor center offers a 17-minute film providing the background history of the Roanoke Voyages and Sir Walter Raleigh's efforts to establish a colony in the New World. Museum exhibits tell the story of the colonization effort and of other historic events for which the park has been set aside--the Outer Banks theater of America's Civil War, the Freedman's Colony, Fessenden's experiment with radio, and the story of the beginning of America's first outdoor symphonic drama.
THE LOST COLONY outdoor symphonic drama plays during summer season evenings beginning early in June and ending late in August at the park's Waterside Theatre.
The Elizabethan Gardens, located inside the park, provides a stroll and look and an accurately reproduced early English garden.
From the North via Richmond, VA or Norfolk, VA take I-64E to US-168 South or US-17 South to US158 East to US-64/264 West. 3 Miles north of Manteo, NC.
From the West, US-64 East from Raleigh, NC. 3 miles North of Manteo, NC.
From the South I-95 to Rocky Mount, NC to US-64 East. 3 miles North of Manteo, NC.
By Ferry boat from Cedar Island, NC or Swan Quarter, NC to Ocracoke Island, to Hatteras Island again by Ferry boat, to NC-12 North to US-64 West. 3 miles North of Manteo, NC.