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“ONLY IF YOU HAVE AN HOUR TO KILL AND NOTHING ELSE TO DO”

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Ranked #3 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.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
184 reviews
139 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 554 helpful votes
“ONLY IF YOU HAVE AN HOUR TO KILL AND NOTHING ELSE TO DO”
Reviewed September 2, 2012

Pros:

The site will only take you an hour at most if you read every single thing in the museum and walk really slowly around the trail. I did learn about the freeman's colony on the island and that was interesting. It is free (I would have been highly upset if I had to pay anything to see almost nothing), has bathrooms, and is wheelchair and stroller friendly. Elizabeth Gardens is within the site and so is the Lost Colony play (in the summer only). It is close to Roanoke Island's Old Town, Roanoke's Island Park, and Roanoke's Aquarium. You could make a day of seeing all of those places.

Cons: There is just not that much to do here. The exhibits are lacking and does not have much in terms of information on the Lost Colony. The fort itself looks is just a mound and the trail surrounding it is dull. The gift shop is small and so it does not have that much to offer. There is no place to buy food. It seems like the NPS could save a lot of money if they turned this over to a private organization instead of keeping it open.

Notes: Bring bug spray if you go in the summer. I only gave this three stars because I got to put 3 more stamps on my national parks passport.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank globaltrekster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
upstate New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

There is a 20 minute film and displays of costumes from the "Lost Colony" show, which is next door. Also included is a history of the Roanoke colony. There is a very good bookshop.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank LAC2713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level Contributor
119 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“The park rangers are fantastic!”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

Really interesting and beautiful natural park and museum. We learned about the possible new information about what might be under the patches on the original map showing the lost colony. Is it under the nearby golf course? We also listened to a talk by knowledgable Ranger Bob that thoughtfully explained the history of Roanoke Island. Beautiful grounds, great displays and enthusiastic rangers. Family fun.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Lauren H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice quick stop”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Interesting, quick visit. There are several rooms with information & artifacts, as well as costumes and props from the Lost Colony production. The earthern fort isn't anything amazing, but our children liked seeing it, as well as the Lost Colony stage. The staff is eager to share information, and their are informational videos and children's activities.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Stacy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
75 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Interesting and free.”
Reviewed July 14, 2012

Where the heck did those settlers go? Small museum area with nice graphics and displays. A twenty minute movie reviews the details of the area. There's a connection to the Freedom Trail here as well. A short walk to a building site (not much to see). Very quiet and peaceful. Bring bug spray. You can also go to Eliz Gardens from here short walk/drive. The theater for the Lost Colony show is also here--too bad the only show is at 8:30pm!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelCT354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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