Are you looking for the best place to take a romantic vacation near Raleigh-Durham? Just a three hour drive away from the Triangle, you’ll find the quaint town of Manteo, NC, with everything you could want for a much-needed escape. Pack your bags, hop in the car and follow the smell of sea air until you reach our relaxing bed and breakfast. From there, you can explore all that the area has to offer with these awesome Outer Banks road trips from your comfortable home-away-from-home in our small, seaside town.
Hang Out in Manteo to Just Relax and Have Fun
Situated on a pristine coastal island, you’ll be close to all of the fun things to do on the Outer Banks. Here are a few of our favorite things to do near Manteo, NC during your getaway from Raleigh.
- Spend some time outdoors at the Elizabethan Gardens, on the links at Nag’s Head Golf Course, on our beautiful beaches, or out on the ocean for a sunset cruise.
- Soak up the small town charm while exploring Manteo’s quaint downtown shops by foot, or on one of our complimentary cruiser bikes.
- Savor delicious food and drink at our local restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and rum distillery.
- Just relax on property in your luxurious guest room or in our private garden, with lots of secluded outdoor sitting areas and a cozy fire pit.
Take a Day Trip from Manteo to Add to the Adventure
No matter which direction you go, you’re sure to find something new and interesting on an Outer Banks scenic drive! When you stay at our romantic Manteo inn, it’s easy to head out for a day of discovery, then return for the rest and relaxation you desire. Here are a few of our favorite points of interest to help you plan your day-trip itineraries.
1. Discover Your Wild Side with a Trip Up North
Head North on US 158 to Visit These Popular Destinations:
- Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where, after four years of scientific experimentation, they achieved the first successful powered airplane flights on December 17, 1903. With courage and perseverance, these self-taught bicycle engineers relied on teamwork and application of the scientific process. What they achieved changed our world forever and is an important part of Outer Banks history.
- Currituck Lighthouse
Climb to the top of the majestic, red brick lighthouse – it’s a whopping 220 steps! First lit on December 1, 1875, the beacon filled the remaining “dark spot” on the North Carolina coast between Cape Henry and Bodie Island Lighthouses. It is one of the only lighthouses in America that still houses its original first-order Fresnel lens. The light continues to flash today at 20-second intervals, serving as a navigational aid. The beacon, which can be seen for 18 nautical miles, comes on at dusk and ceases at dawn.
- Whalehead Club
Beautifully restored, this 1920s Art Nouveau style residence is open to the public for tours. The grand residence is part history, part romance, and part mystery, that harkens back to a 1920 past in Heritage Park, overlooking the Currituck Sound. Formerly the Whalehead Club, invites visitors to experience its intriguing past and hear its fascinating story with museum tours.
- Wildlife Resources Corolla Visitor Center
The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education invites you to explore coastal North Carolina’s wildlife, natural history and cultural heritage. The museum is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus.
- Corolla Wild Horses
Along the northern stretches of the Outer Banks lives a relic of a time long since past. With an ancestry tracing back to the very first days of European exploration in North America, the legendary Corolla wild horses still roam the beaches, dune fields, and maritime forest as they have for hundreds of years. The elemental forces that sculpt these islands, are the same forces that have created a breed of horse unlike any other in the world. Wind, waves, storms, sand, and salt have coalesced into sculpting this truly remarkable breed known officially as the “Banker Horse” – Banker, as in the Outer Banks. DNA testing has determined they are directly descended from Spanish Mustangs. Tours are available to travel by 4-wheel drive to see these beautiful creatures.
2. Soothe Your Soul with a Southern Excursion
Venture South on NC 12 to Explore These Unique Places:
- Chicamacomico Life Saving Station
With its two stations and five outbuildings, Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station (pronounced chi-ka-ma-COM-i-co) is the most complete life-saving station remaining in North Carolina and one of the most complete sites in the nation. This site and museum tells the story of early heroes, the early history of US Life-Saving Service/US Coast Guard in North Carolina and the home of the state’s first trained, shore-based rescue responders. It was the first of seven Life-Saving Stations built in North Carolina in 1874 and is one of the most unique historical maritime sites on the east coast. The original building at Chicamacomico, commissioned Dec. 4, 1874, was the first Life-Saving Service station staffed in North Carolina.
- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Originally lit on December 16, 1870, the Lighthouse received its famous black and white stripe daymark pattern in 1873. Standing 193 feet (above ground), the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, NC is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States. The climb is temporarily closed due to coronavirus, but the grounds are open!
- The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
The study of maritime history is essential to understanding global and national history. North Carolina’s maritime history is rich with vital links to the first people, first colonists, piracy, first Union-won battle in the Civil War, first safe haven for African-Americans in North Carolina, Torpedo Junction and the war between Germany and allied forces during WWII, and the thousands of historic shipwrecks that lay off the coast. The mission at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is to advance, interpret, present, and preserve this history and culture from the earliest days of exploration to modern day and the relationship to that of the United States and the broader history of seafaring. Check the Graveyard’s website for hours and coronavirus impacts.
- Ocracoke Island
From Hatteras, take a free ferry and cross over to Ocracoke Island. A delightfully trip in and of itself. Sketched into the southern tip of the Outer Banks, Ocracoke has a raw, untamed pirate spirit, but it’s so beautiful it can easily lull you with its sun-soaked charms. The feeling starts from the sea, rolling inward. The island, though relatively small, initially looks expansive due to its miles and miles of pristine beaches, all owned by the National Park Service. Ocracoke twinkles like a bright lure for a summer day trip from other, nearby Outer Banks destinations, and it glides lazily and romantically along for couples looking for a sail, a sea kayak excursion, or a walk to the Ocracoke Lighthouse.
3. Give Yourself a Thrill on Roanoake Island
Head West on I-64 for a Day in Nature
- Alligator River Wildlife Refuge
Crossing west over the Virginia Dare Bridge, North Carolina’s longest bridge, you’ll enter the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge. You’ll find lots of trails and excursions that offer a look at another change in the environment as the landfall moves westward. The Refuge offers a chance to see and observe birds, black bears, red wolves, and of course alligators, plus much more! As you move westward from the barrier islands to Roanoke Island to the mainland, observe the changes in each environment. Kayak and canoe tours can be reserved by contacting the National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on Roanoke Island, just check ahead for current availability, or you can travel and explore on your own.
Make White Doe Inn Your Home in the Outer Banks
Our luxury boutique inn in Manteo, NC is ideally located to explore all the wonderful things to do on the Outer Banks. Let us help you plan your perfect getaway from Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill. Trade the crowded city and your same four walls for coastal air, outdoor fun and a change of scenery in a safe and clean setting. We’ll provide the romantic accommodations, a gourmet breakfast, afternoon treats, and the gracious hospitality you’ve been craving. Come escape to the Outer Banks with a getaway to White Doe Inn!Book Now