Fort Raleigh National Historic Site


Fort Raleigh National Historic Site protects and preserves known portions of England's first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590. This site also preserves the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island. The first English attempts at colonization in the New World are commemorated here. These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearance of 116 men, women and children (including two that were born in the New World). The fate of this "lost colony" remains a mystery to this day. The Park was established in 1941, and enlarged in 1990 to include the preservation of Native American culture, The American Civil War, the Freedman's Colony, and the activities of radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden. The park is also home to the outdoor symphonic drama "The Lost Colony," performed in the Waterside Theatre during the summer since 1937.


Seasonality / Weather

The park visitor center is open year round (except for Christmas Day) from 9 am to 5 pm. During the summer from June through August, the visitor center is open until 6 pm.
The park grounds are open for visitation during daylight hours, from sunup to sundown. In the summer, the grounds are open until the presentation of The Lost Colony drama is completed for the evening.
THE LOST COLONY outdoor symphonic drama runs nightly (except Sundays) from early June to late August. Check with the visitor center or the Roanoke Island Historical Association's website for opening night/closing night dates.



From the North via Richmond, VA or Norfolk, VA take I-64E to US-168 South or US-17 South to US158 East to US-64/264 West. 3 Miles north of Manteo, NC. From the West, US-64 East from Raleigh, NC. 3 miles North of Manteo, NC. From the South I-95 to Rocky Mount, NC to US-64 East. 3 miles North of Manteo, NC. By Ferry boat from Cedar Island, NC or Swan Quarter, NC to Ocracoke Island, to Hatteras Island again by Ferry boat, to NC-12 North to US-64 West. 3 miles North of Manteo, NC.


Nearest International Airport is in Norfolk, VA, 100 miles to the north. Raleigh, NC, 200 miles to the west is also available. Dare County Regional Airport, 2 miles from the park on Roanoke Island can land commuter airlines and private jets. Rental cars available.