Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo

#4 of 25 in Museums in Outer Banks
National Park · Historic Site
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site preserves the location of Roanoke Colony, the first English settlement in the present-day United States. The site was preserved for its national significance in relation to the founding of the first English settlement in North America in 1587. The colony, which was promoted and backed by entrepreneurs led by Englishman Sir Walter Raleigh (ca. 1554–1618), failed sometime between 1587 and 1590 when supply ships failed to arrive on time. When next visited, the settlement was abandoned with no survivors found. The fate of the "Lost Colony" was a celebrated mystery, although most modern academic sources agree that the settlers likely assimilated into local indigenous tribes.

The historic site is off U.S. Highway 64 on the north end of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the town of Manteo. The visitor center's museum contains exhibits about the history of the English expeditions and colonies, the Roanoke Colony, and the island's Civil War history and Freedmen's Colony (1863-1867).
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Fort Raleigh National Historic Site reviews

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  • This fort showcases England’s first New World settlement and was created to preserve the heritage of Native and African Americans. Two of the most interesting things to see here is the Earthworks and....  more »
  • This is a nice, educational and quick stop for a history lesson. There isn't too much to see right now since Covid has several exhibits shut down as well as the outdoor drama featured. Inside are...  more »
  • This place was awesome! Has a very nice museum with a great 17 minute movie that plays every half hour. Outside there is an earthen fort and a nice nature trail that you can walk. There is also a nice little gift shop. Enjoyed my visit there very much, and admission is free! Highly recommended!
  • Absolutely beautiful area to walk around, the coastline was stunning. They have a daily educational talk around 230 I think, unfortunately we missed it. We had to skip the gardens due to a storm but I hear they are amazing. Everything is free to walk, around except the gardens. They also have a play they put on about the original settlers, not sure of the schedule or cost, if any.

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