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“After reading other reviews of Fort Raleigh, we had to check it out.”

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Ranked #5 of 38 things to do in Manteo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Historic museum that tells the story of the 16th-century Roanoke Island colonists.
Buies Creek NC
1 review
“After reading other reviews of Fort Raleigh, we had to check it out.”
Reviewed October 17, 2011

Before making our fall break trip to the outer banks, we came to Trip Advisor and read the reviews for the area attractions. Fort Raleigh is the supposed location of the Roanoake Colony. First, the parking lot and road leading to the park are also used by Elizabethan Gardens and The Lost Colony Play, so that can be a little confusing. Once at Fort Raleigh itself, we walked through the welcome center. It is very small. Most of the welcome center is about the recent archeological digs, which you will not see... Outside there is an Earthen Fort with no explanation.
BUT I will tell you, your trip to Fort Raleigh is not in vain. If you go on a Sunday Morning in the off season like we did, you can explore the stage and amphitheater where they have the Lost Colony Outdoor Drama. Because of that, I recommend Fort Raleigh. I am also on a quest to visit all National Park & historic sites... and like another reviewer, not all parks can be the Grand Canyon!

Visited October 2011
Thank ecgodfrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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346 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Greenville, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
206 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“Embarrassing National Park”
Reviewed August 12, 2011

Don't go even though this is free. This park is embarrassing because of the pathetic exhibits that fail to tell the Lost Colony story. The Lost Colony is a FASCINATING story with intrique, mystery and historic complexities, but the musem and park certainly fail to convey a compelling story. I am a North Caroina native and I am fairly well read on the Lost Colony; there have been great exhibits at the Raleigh NC History museum that are related to this historic event. Why can't NPS do a better exhibit with the wealth of info out there? It is EMBARASSING that the NPS does such a poor exhibit job with a poor film and poor one room exhibit hall. For our visitors to the Outer Banks, please see the play the "Lost Colony" but don't waste your time at Fort Raleigh. Reportedly, the Park Service just "renovated" this building but apparently the exhibits got no dollars whatsoever. The park employees are very nice and very helpful but I am sorry the museum at Fort Raleigh is not good. My apologies to the visiting New Jersey famiy that arrived when I did and were equally perplexed at this museum. Just close the doors until a new exhibit can be designed.

Visited July 2011
2 Thank DeeDeeNC070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Ridge, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
943 reviews
427 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 735 helpful votes
“A nice little park”
Reviewed July 29, 2011

I love National Park properties, and this was a nice way to spend a couple hours while my wife was scuba diving. It is small and not an exciting park, but it was stress-free historical education. My rating of "average" is actually due to the fact that necessary construction made things a little less enjoyable, and I wasn't there for the "Lost Colony" production, which I heard is very good. Also, I am more used to larger National Parks. Though this probably suffered by comparison to (e.g.) the Grand Canyon, it was still a nice site, with pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Visited August 2010
Thank HowlnBubba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ft Worth, TX
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Keep your expectations realistic - not every national park can be the Grand Canyon.”
Reviewed July 4, 2011

I enjoy parks like this. While it's true that there's not a lot to *do* here, it is a place that will allow you to contemplate what our ancestors might have endured as they attempted to forge a life in this new land.

The park is just the land where the lost Roanoke Colony is believed to have settled. There aren't any old buildings or kid-friendly reproductions - just the place where English colonization of America began. Do start your visit by talking to the rangers and watching the film in the visitor's center. The key to understanding and enjoying this park is settling your mind and letting the history come to you. Take your time on the trail and stop to think about what you might do if you were one of the colonists - Where would you set up camp? What would you eat? What would you do if you saw a Native? The undeveloped (*boring*) nature of the park keeps lots of people away (which, to me is a good thing), but allows those who make the effort to have a meaningful learning experience.

Visited June 2011
1 Thank FtWorth_TXMDHoward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Skip this and you'll miss nothing.”
Reviewed May 28, 2011

We were SO excited to be right where the famous Virginia Dare was born. We had all ready the story in our history books and were so looking forward to visiting what were sure would be a fascinating histoirc site. Unbelievably, there is literally N-O-T-H-I-N-G there to see!! There is a poorly maintained and marked "nature trail" and that's about it. Fortunately, there was no admission or we would have had an argument about asking for a refund!

Visited April 2011
3 Thank PeteNWMass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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