News flash, summer is not over! Now is the time when we move from Summer into our “Endless Summer” A time when the harsh hot and rainy days move into warm and breezy days. The Outer Banks is still welcoming visitors to our shores where they can enjoy the beauty of nature, delicious seafood in our great restaurants, begin your early shopping for Christmas in our unique shops, or just relax. We’ve prepared a list of our favorite “Endless Summer” activities on the Outer Banks for our guests; see everything there is to look forward to on your next getaway to Manteo, NC.
STROLL BY THE WATER’S EDGE
In Downtown Manteo, head across the bridge to Roanoke Island Festival Park and take their nature trail to experience island nature, stroll along the Manteo Marina Boardwalk where boaters come for a visit, or drive 6 miles to Nags Head and dip your toes in the sand and water on the beautiful beaches along the Atlantic. A little further north explore the natural wonders at the Nags Head Nature Preserve, the Atlantic’s largest Maritime Forest. And, for a bit more adventure, check out Jockey’s Ridge State Park to saunter along a path that meanders up the tallest sand dunes on the east coast to catch a sunset.
Delight in the little things with a trip to Downtown Manteo Waterfront. Savor a cup at local coffee houses, tour the Dare County Arts Gallery, and shop at our unique local boutiques. Some of our favorite spots include:
Originally opened in Manteo, NC, in 1918 by George W. Creef Jr. It moved to it’s current location in 1937 and was owned and operated by George’s son Herbert Creef, Sr. It has been continuously owned and operated by the Creef family ever since, now being operated by H.A. Creef, Jr., with the help of his son Buddy (Herbert Creef III). The Pioneer Theatre caters to the local community and shows no R rated movies to maintain its predominantly family, teen, and child patronage. It is a home town, large single screen movie house of days gone by and still reflects the past in it’s family-friendly pricing.
TOUR THE GARDENS
If the gardens at the inn don’t fill your need for floral & fauna, then a walk through the Elizabethan Gardens is in order. The Gardens are located on the northern end of our island. You’ll get to tour through a wide variety of garden displays, from the Great Lawn to the Sunken Gardens. There is always something special to see as each season brings new and unique blooms and plants representative of our seasons on the Outer Bank. During the month of December, an illuminated winter wonderland awaits in the enchanted Elizabethan Gardens. Stroll garden paths alongside blooming camellias under a canopy of the stars for a magical holiday experience. The radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday décor and fantastical displays are an Outer Banks holiday tradition. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse and Reception Hall. A crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn, marshmallows provided. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide.
SOAK UP THE CULTURAL & NATURAL HISTORY
Roanoke Island Maritime Museum & Marshes Lighthouse
In Downtown Manteo, visit the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum and learn the history of boat building on the Outer Banks. They have an amazing Volunteer Program where you can spend some time in the boat shop restoring boats, or on their free sailing trips for an adventure on Shallowbag Bay! It’s a great immersive experience that you’ll want to return for again and again! And, Roanoke Island Marshes Lighthouse adjacent to the Museum. Instead of a brick beacon towering over a barrier island beach, this lighthouse looks more akin to a lightkeeper’s house perched over water; and indeed, the original screw-pile lighthouse that once aided mariners in Croatan Sound was a cottage built over the water, with the lighthouse serving as both beacon and residence. Stroll to the end of the pier on the Manteo Waterfront to see this lighthouse, containing exhibits highlighting Roanoke Island’s maritime history and information on the lighthouse and its keepers.
Roanoke Island Festival Park
Roanoke Island Festival Park offers a new adventure in an old world. This 25-acre historic site allows guests of all ages to experience first-hand what life was like for the first English settlers in 1585. Historic costumed interpreters are featured throughout the Settlement Site and on the Elizabeth II ship to demonstrate how the first settlers lived, Indian Town which feature interactive exhibits for all ages.
Roanoke Island Historic Farm
The Farm is the living story of the everyday Outer Bankers, living on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s. Here, an island family experienced the impacts of the Civil War, performed harrowing rescues as members of the US Life-Saving Service, and assisted the Wright Brothers in their dream of achieving powered flight, all while feeding chickens, fishing the sounds, and growing corn for grinding at the windmill.
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
The “Waters of the Outer Banks” are waiting to be discovered. Marvel at the largest group of sharks in the state. Witness our conservation efforts in the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center,. Interact with scuba divers. See an alligator. Touch the stingrays. Wonder at the playful river otters.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
England’s First Home in the New World. Fort Raleigh protects and preserves known portions of England’s first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590. This site also preserves the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island. It is also home to The Lost Colony, an outdoor drama that has run annually each summer since 1937, except for 2 seasons. One necessitated by WWII; the other by the Coronavirus this summer.
National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Roanoke Island
Through interactive exhibits, audio-visual programs, and even a virtual airplane ride, visitors may experience a field trip with the hope to entice them to visit. See how the Outer Banks will change as the sea level rises. Sit for a spell in the old Dare Forest Supply Store and experience life through a short multi-sensory film, when Buffalo City (on the Mainland) was a bustling logging and moonshining town! In this small theater you will also have an opportunity to watch 2 other nature and area-related films. In the main lobby, try to find 37 critters hiding in the pocosin diorama. Peek into a red wolf den. Have a picture taken of you as a genuine wild lands firefighter! A short interpretive nature trail wanders through the woods behind the center. The visitor center is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus. Trails are open.
SAIL AT SUNSET
Hop aboard a 55-foot topsail schooner for a memorable OBX Sunset Cruise. The “Downeast Rover” sailing company encourages you to bring your own drinks and snacks – luckily the White Doe Inn has Wine & Cheese Baskets ready to go. Place your order to pick up just in time to set sail for fun and a little romance!
EXPERIENCE THE PURPLE MARTIN MIGRATION
This little-known event is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Head over to the lookout at the Old Manns Harbor Bridge to watch theses charming birds roost, fly and feed when they stop here on their annual migration to Brazil. You can only catch this unique experience at sunset in late-July, August, and early September – book your room now at the White Doe Inn so you don’t miss it. Sometimes the flocks are so large that they can be seen on Doppler Radar!
BREWERY & DISTILLERY TOURS
Outer Banks Distillery
Even though their distillery tours are temporarily suspended, you can still head to the Outer Banks Distillery to taste and purchase their Kill Devil Rum. This local rum maker with a seafaring pirate theme is just around the corner from the White Doe Inn –they’ll make sure you ARRRRRG having a good time! We love these guys! They renovated one of the town’s historic buildings, started a rum distillery which we are so proud of. They have contribute so much to our community and THEY MAKE AWSOME RUM AND WHISKEY. They promote a part of Outer Banks history through their products. They are fun and dedicated.
The Lost Colony Brewery and Café
Located in downtown Manteo and specializing in British and Irish style beers. The brewery uses Marris Otter malt as our base and then add various combinations of Black Patent, Brown malt, Crystal malt, and Roasted Barley depending on the individual beer. Hop varieties include Fuggles, East Kent Golding and Challenger. Their brewery in Stumpy Point is housed in a 10,000 square foot former boat shop, capable of producing 1,000 gallons of beer at a time. Tours at the Stumpy Point facility are temporarily unavailable due to Coronavirus; however, beer is available at the café.
SAVOR LOCAL FLAVORS
Our wonderful local eateries and Outer Banks waterfront restaurants have reopened with limited seating and/or take out, they are waiting to serve you! Some of Our favorite restaurants include:
Overlooking Shallowbag Bay and the Manteo harbor, this Outer Banks waterfront restaurant offers finely crafted, chef-prepared dishes for seafood lovers, meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free eaters alike in a laid-back, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Enjoy a Full-Service Bar at an Outer Banks Boat-Up Restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner. There’s something for everyone!
Olives Greek Taverna
Deciding to spread the love, Nick and Gayle have now come to share their love for food with the people of the Outer Banks. Join them in their adventure and taste the flavors of Greece right here in Downtown Manteo. Relax and enjoy lunch or dinner on the patio or overlooking Shallowbag Bay.
Stripers Bar & Grill
Get ready for three floors of great waterfront views with a classic seaside menu. Get your award-winning clam chowder, land-lover favorites like meatloaf and enchiladas, and the best local seafood – they’ll even prepare your own fresh catch!
Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar
Overlooking the docks at Pirate’s Cove Marina, this restaurant with a relaxed feel offers everything you would want at a great seafood price and more! Check out their tiki bar on the water’s edge for good drinks and a good time.
This casual restaurant with a southwestern flair is a great spot for anyone looking for a flavorful meal. Not only will you find the best tacos in town, but you can also choose from Burgers with a twist, Crab Mac N Cheese, Rib Eye Steak, festive Salads, and much more.
Lost Colony Café & Brewery
Grab a pint and get ready to dive into a delicious meal. Their spectrum of pub-style favorites, that all pair with your favorite brew! Right next door is our tasting room, a cozy bar where you can enjoy funky and chill atmosphere while sipping on homemade, award-winning beers.
Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop
The pub-style restaurant mimics the interior of a ship’s cabin: To enter, you climb the sloping ramp and make your way down the narrow, wood-paneled hall to the counter where you’ll place your order. Slide into one of the cozy booths or better yet, sit at one of the tables on the open air back porch. Views of the docked ships and Manteo Waterfront make the experience all the more nautical, as you can almost pretend the ground is rocking rhythmically along with the waves. Poor Richard’s is a regular local nighttime hangout in Manteo. Evening visitors congregate in the pub instead of the deli. There, they sip and swap stories over domestic and imported beers as they overlook downtown Manteo’s bustle. Local and regional solo artists and bands make frequent appearances at Poor Richard’s, boosting the scene with nighttime entertainment. Whether you’re a longtime local or fresh-faced visitor, Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop is a place you should know not to miss.
Hungry Pelican Deli and Ice Cream
Fresh and filling best describes the menu at this locally-owned sandwich shop. Grab a steak and cheese sandwich, gourmet grilled cheese, a home-made soup, or a healthy salad. Top it off with a sweet treat, like ice cream, a cookie or fresh-made cinnamon roll. A great place to eat in or take out.
STAY IN THE HEART OF IT ALL
The White Doe Inn in Manteo, NC is centrally located on the Outer Banks to explore and experience all the many things available to our guests. We also offer concierge services to help you. Our comfortable rooms, delicious breakfasts and afternoon refreshments are swooned over by our guests. Plus, with our enhanced cleaning and safety procedures, and our flexible cancellation policies, you can be confident in your lodging choice. We can’t wait to host your next getaway and help you get ready to enjoy your “Endless Summer”!