Roanoke Island Festival Park The Elizabeth II Exhibit

Elizabeth II

Date: November 2 – December 31, 2013
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily
Location: Roanoke Island Festival Park, Visitors Center Gallery
Address: 1 Festival Park, Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: (252) 475-1500
Price: Free

While on your Outer Banks vacation, don't miss the historical exhibit of Elizabeth II held at Roanoke Island Festival Park, across from the downtown Manteo waterfront. This annual event takes guests through each stage of the construction of the Elizabeth II, from the building of its frame to the day of its launching.

Here are a few features of the exhibit:

  • Photographs of the construction
  • Blueprints of the ship
  • Assorted artifacts
  • By Our Hands, a movie about the building of the ship and interviews with the shipbuilders
  • Children's letters and drawings

This exhibit is sponsored by the Outer Banks Community Foundations, Thomas and Annie Baum Memorial Fund, and the Friends of Elizabeth II.

The Elizabeth II


The Elizabeth II is a full-size replica of the 16th-century sailing ship that was designed and named after the Elizabeth, one of the seven ships used by Sir Walter Raleigh's fleet when he first arrived with colonists to Roanoke Island in 1587. The ship is a square-rigged bark (a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts). It is 69 feet long, 17 feet wide, draws eight feet of water, and has three masts. 

The state commissioned the construction of the Elizabeth II and wanted to feature the ship during the 400th anniversary celebration of founding of Roanoke and America. On July 13, 1984, the ship was presented as a State Historic Site.


Visitors can access the ship by entering the Roanoke Island Festival Park and crossing over through downtown Manteo on the boardwalk that spans the bay. At the site of the Elizabeth II, guests are free to walk around the docks and grassy areas but a small admission fee is required to board the ship and take the guided tour. Costumed crew members will be happy to answer questions and explain the daily operations on the ship while on the ocean.


During the fall and spring, a volunteer crew sails the Elizabeth II to other ports along the Atlantic coast. On these journeys, the Elizabeth II is sometimes joined by the Silver Chalice, a twenty-four-foot representation of the Elizabeth II's boats that were used to carry colonists and their cargo across the dangerous shallow waters that surround Roanoke Island.

Join Friends of Elizabeth II

Become a vital supporter of history, education, and the arts of Roanoke Island. Your membership funds the "maintenance, programming, and sailing opportunities of the Elizabeth II".

Membership Benefits

  • Admission into Roanoke Island Festival Park for one full year from the date of enrollment (based on your membership level)
  • 15% discount in the Museum Store (excludes books and consignment items)
  • Invitations to "sneak peeks" and special events at the Museum Store
  • Discounted or free admission to friends-sponsored events or programs
  • Friends of Elizabeth II membership decal
  • Email updates about activities and events at Roanoke Island Festival Park

Visit their website to learn more.

Looking for an Outer Banks vacation rental? Be sure to visit our website to see their weekly specials or call us at 866.760.3526.

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