What to Do in the Outer Banks this Summer

Are you planning a trip to the Outer Banks, NC this summer? Book your room at the White Doe Inn in the quaint seaside village of Manteo, and start dreaming about exploring the area and embracing the local scene through a wide array of indoor and outdoor adventures. Whether you fancy something on land or sea, or even in the air, you’re sure to find something for everyone.

Under the Sea: North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Situated 3 miles north of Manteo, this North Carolina aquarium was voted one of the 10 best aquariums in North America. Offering a variety of free programs, including animal feeding and educator-led tours and adventures, current exhibits span the spectrum of wildlife from alligators to sea turtles and much more. If you really want to get up close and personal, book a behind the scenes tour led by an aquarium educator and view the inner workings of the operation. Open Daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, admission is $12.95 for adults ages 13-61, with discounts offered to children 12 and under and seniors 62 and older. Military discounts are also available.

Among the Flowers: Elizabethan Gardens

If you have a horticulturalist in the family, be sure to plan a day at the Elizabethan Gardens, just a few miles north of the Inn. Established in honor of the first English colonists, the gardens tickle all your senses. Photographers capture birds and butterflies in flight and beautiful blossoms throughout the seasons. Stop and smell the roses, the wisteria, jasmine and magnolia. Listen to the sounds of nature above and below. And birdwatchers take note: the Gardens are on the North Carolina birding trail. Check the website for seasonal hours and current ticket prices.

Up in the Air: Bodie Island Lighthouse

Black and white striped lighthouse surrounded by white picket fence with bright blue clear skiesIn season (late April to Columbus Day), hearty adventurers can climb the 214-step spiral staircase to take in the view from the top of the Bodie Island Lighthouse for a small fee. Completed in 1872, the lighthouse is one of only a few remaining brick tower lighthouses still operating in the U.S. Often photographed for its distinctive horizontal stripes of black and white, its beacon is visible from as far as 19 miles away. This became an important factor when originally deciding where to locate the structure as according to those charged with finding the best spot on dangerous coast “more vessels are lost there than on any other part of our coast.” Tours of the structure depart every 20 minutes beginning at 9:00 AM, with the last tour of the day departing at 4:30 PM.

Messing About in Boats: Paradise Dolphin Cruises

Watching bottlenose dolphins frolic in the wild is truly one of the most unique experiences you’ll ever have the pleasure of enjoying. Aboard the Kokomo in Roanoke Sound, a two-hour tour with Paradise Dolphin Cruises will find you spotting the friendly faces of curious dolphins along with osprey, the ever-present gulls, and other shorebirds. This popular excursion runs in season (mid-April through October) and comes with a guarantee. If you don’t see dolphins you’ll ride again for free. Reservations are recommended. Tickets are $25 per adult, $15 for children. Discounts are offered for seniors and active military.

Located in the picturesque waterfront village of Manteo, NC, the White Doe Inn is the perfect hub for your summer of adventure in the Outer Banks. Immerse yourself in the luxury of spa-quality private baths and pamper your taste buds with our innovative cuisine offered throughout the day. Tell us, what’s your favorite spot on Roanoke Island to visit during the summer?

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