Discover The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island

There are some places on the Outer Banks that are iconic and truly represent the unique and charming nature of the OBX. There are the lighthouses and their majestic beauty. Ocracoke is a destination any visitor will love. The gentle wild mustangs of Corolla have stayed in the memories of many visitors for years after. There is the history of the first flight at the Wright Brothers Memorial, and then there is the mystery of the Lost Colony in Manteo.  This week we'll take you on an adventure of a lifetime with a visit to the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. 

What Is The Lost Colony?

What Is The Lost Colony When you hear locals talk about the "Lost Colony" there are two things they are referring to; the historical mystery of the Lost Colony and the outdoor theater production that depict the events surrounding the Lost Colony. For visitors, both of these can be explored and enjoyed in one location at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. 

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

The historic site's mission is to protect and preserve the known portions of England's first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590. The site also preserves the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island.  

Many visitors are surprised to hear that the first English settlement, in what would become America, occurred right here in present-day Manteo. Did you know the first English child born in the new world, Virginia Dare, also was born here? Her name legacy is carried on today as our Dare County namesake. Today visitors can enjoy interactive exhibits in the main museum and visitor center. Children can enjoy several events and activities throughout the year. Perhaps nothing is as fun as walking the grounds of the property where there are still remnants of the original fort. Can you picture those early settlers? Do you see any clues that might tell us where they disappeared to? For more information on Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Click here.  

Lost Colony Outdoor Theater

Located on the grounds of Fort Raleigh, set on the water's edge of the beautiful Albemarle Sound, the theater is an annual production which reenacts the events which occurred at Fort Raleigh. While there is much speculation as to the exact circumstances which led to the settlers disappearance, there is no doubt they were here, interacted with the local Native Americans, and some point they disappeared never to be seen again. 

For over eighty years the Lost Colony outdoor theater has been thrilling locals and visitors alike with its stirring rendition of events on the island. The play takes place at 7 p.m. and visitors are treated to a magical setting surrounded by the sound, sand, and live oak trees. Few settings are as breathtaking as this stage for the play.  Over the years there have been changes with better lighting, sound, and stunts which will keep you on the edge of your seat as you take a walk back in time. For all the details about visiting the outdoor theater and seeing the Lost Colony. Click here. 

Plan Your Visit

Heading over to the Lost Colony and surrounding area is the perfect day trip. Don't worry about leaving too early. There is a lot to do and your day will end with a night at the theater so you'll want to pace yourself. Check out the map below and then look at the three things we suggest. If you want more great ideas about day trips and things to do on the Outer Banks check out our previous post: The 5 Best Day Trips To Take During Your OBX Beach Vacation

Getting There 

Finding the Lost Colony is easy...well at least finding the theater is. Mystery abounds over the actual location of the Lost Colony (more on that in a minute). You're not far from the theater from any of our Outer Banks vacation homes. Click on the map below for more details on directions. 

The Lost Colony 
1409 National Park Drive
Manteo, NC 
P: (252) 473-6000 Ticket

One Day: Three Great Things To Do In One Place

Elizabethan Gardens

Explore the marvelous Elizabethan Gardens. You'll stand in awe of the incredible array of flowers, shrubs, and trees. The paths meander about the property and are relaxing on a hot day. There is a lot of shade so don't worry if it is really hot outside. 

Fort Raleigh Interpretive Center/Museum 

Spend some time looking at the exhibits, watching the short film, and chatting with the park rangers and volunteers. If you have kids check to see if there are any special programs for them. Do this after lunch when things have cooled down a bit in the late afternoon before you head to the theater. 

Lost Colony Theater

End the day by seeing the  Lost Colony play at the outdoor theater. Make sure to get tickets ahead of time. Hint: it's outdoors so bring a sweatshirt and bug spray if it is really hot as well as sunglasses and sunscreen. Seating is stadium style, and there are no bad seats. Play starts at 7 p.m. 

5 Fun Facts About The Lost Colony 

1. Did you know the Lost Colony has featured famous actors like Andy Griffin.

2. The original play was written by a Pulitzer Prize Winner-Paul Green. 

3. President Roosevelt came to the see the play.

4. Terrence Mann Toni Award Winner was a director of the play.

5. The play is in its 81 season!

While you might like a day trip to the Lost Colony it would be a whole lot more fun for the family to book an OBX beach vacation for a week or more and take in all the sights and beauty of the Outer Banks. Doing this has never been easier with our flex payment plan, friendly staff and awesome inventory of vacation homes. Just give us a call today at 866-760-3526 or click the button below to plan your OBX vacation today. 

Do you have a favorite memory of The Lost Colony? Let us know about it in the comments below. 

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