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A Day Trip Guide to Manteo, NC

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

We recently made our first trip to the Outer Banks and I absolutely fell in love with the town of Manteo, NC. I just had to share this magical place here on the blog. Manteo was a bit more laid back than the other towns we visited which is why I loved it, but it was still conveniently located to a lot of the sightseeing activities that were on our list! If you're up for visiting the Carolina coast, I definitely think you should consider planning a trip to Manteo, NC. I've created a fun itinerary of things to do in a day!

We stayed at the Burrus House Inn, which provided breakfast in the mornings. So, we snagged some food and hopped on the bikes they provide for their guests and headed into downtown Manteo.

Sightseeing - While you're in town, take a short walk down the dock to the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse. Then, stroll on down over the bridge and get up close and personal the Elizabeth II. As a pirate ship lover, I was sad that we didn't get to fit this into our schedule. So, make sure you add this into yours!

Coffee Break- Take a coffee break at Island Perk. I loved their cold brew. I added in some vanilla and oat milk, of course.

More Sightseeing - If you're a Nicholas Sparks fan, take a peek at the Tranquil House Inn. Richard Gere and Diane Lane stayed there while shooting Nights in Rodanthe. Then, pop across the street to check out all the shops in town.

Grab a Drink - If you're in the mood to grab a pre-dinner drink, I've got some recommendations! You can take in a wine tasting (if you're 21 and over) at the Vineyards on the Scuppernong. Their sweets were delicious and I got a bottle of their Girls of Summer. If you're more of a beer lover like my husband, check out Lost Colony Brewing. Check out Outer Banks Distilling for a rum tasting of the popular Kill Devil Rum. They have a nice outdoor area to sit and enjoy one of their delicious slushies!

Dinner - We enjoyed the crab dip appetizer at Lost Colony Brewery before grabbing a quick bite at Poor Richard's Sandwich Shop. We got our sandwiches to go and I'm assuming it was because it was busy, but we waited a good 30 minutes before we had to go back up and ask if our order was ready. I guess it had been sitting in the kitchen for a while. That part was annoying, but the sandwich was good. We did a date night over in Nags Head for seafood, but Avenue Waterfront Grill was recommended to us, so if you'd like a little more upscale, check it out!

Nightcap - Grab your tickets to see The Lost Colony play. Such a family-friendly event, but fun for us as a couple too. Show up early so you can walk around the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and explore the Elizabethan Gardens. I loved The Lost Colony theatrics and the story about one of the biggest mysteries in the Carolinas! Just be sure to check the weather beforehand. The venue is outside. We had a couple rain delays, but the venue attendants actually came around and wiped down everyone's chairs after the delay. Props to them for that!

There you have it! A fun-filled, fully packed day in Manteo! If you get a chance to visit, let me know what you think!! For a video version of our trip guide, check out my 48 Hours in Outer Banks video below!

Other tips:

  • One of my favorite things to do in Manteo was ride our bikes around town. The Burrus House Inn has bikes for their guests to use, but you can also rent bikes by the day or week from the Manteo Cyclery.

  • Restaurants closed a bit earlier than we expected, so be sure to check closing times as you plan out your evening.


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