Manteo is a town on Roanoke Island, the site of the first English colony in America. It is home to historic sites, beaches and parks, most of which are dog-friendly and pawrfect for their outdoors-loving humans. The island, which also houses the town of Wanchese, wraps around Shallowbag Bay and is a short distance by bridge from the mainland and the Outer Banks peninsula. A note in case your fur-buddy becomes ill or injured: Manteo has two veterinary hospitals, and there are others on the Outer Banks and mainland.
The Roanoke Island Festival Park is a popular destination for visitors and residents alike, and offers a view into what life was like for the original English settlers on the island. Historically accurate depictions with real people as butchers, blacksmiths and candlemakers dressed in historical garb perform their tasks exactly as they were done in the 1500s. In addition, nature trails, piers and boardwalks offer an experience of the town like no other. Your fur-pup is welcome on leash on the Pavilion lawn for some cavorting and relaxing, but needs to be left home during special events at the Pavilion. There is even a restored Native American town with artifacts and rebuilt native homes. Woofderful!
Whether you are a resident of or visitor to Manteo, you’re sure to find lots to do with your furry bestie!
Manteo is home to the unique and beautiful Elizabethan Gardens, where your pooch is welcome on leash for a small fee. Boasting seasonal flowers, shrubs and trees, along with sculptures in the Elizabethan style, this is a place to renew and recharge with your furry pal. With meandering paths and birds flitting in the trees and on the ground, you may be transported back to a quieter time when gardens provided locations for private conversations and contemplation. They are open all year and are ever changing with the seasons. Barktiful! Fido will be delighted at the ambling walk with his human, not to mention the small animals he may see, smell and hear on the way. Arf!
Wanchese is another town on Roanoke Island, just to the south of Manteo, that hosts the Roanoke Island Marshes Dedicated Nature Preserve, a marine protected area. The Preserve is dog-friendly and consists of several unpaved trails where your pup can walk with you, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the marsh. Also at Wanchese is a furbulous campground called the Refuge. This is a newer, pet-friendly campground that features grassy campsites for RVs, campers and tents. The RV sites are all equipped with water, power, sewer and cable hookups, and there is a hot water shower facility. A host is on site at all times in case you and your fur-baby run into any issues. The views from some of the sites that back up to the sea wall on the sound are spectacular! A perfect place to camp while you and Fido explore what Roanoke Island has to offer.
Nags Head is just across Roanoke Sound by bridge from Manteo and Wanchese, and is home to Jockey’s Ridge State Park. This park is open to leashed pups, who can run off leash on the sand dunes. It also features three trails that take you and the pooch off the beach, into wetlands, up onto sand dunes with benches to contemplate the view, and over to Roanoke Sound. The trails total about 2.5 miles and are great when you and your fur buddy are tired of lying around on the sand. When hunger pangs appear, there is a picnic shelter and open picnic area near the parking lot. Or, head on over to one of the several restaurants waiting with mouth-watering fare and outdoor tables for your canine date’s comfort. South Beach Grille serves up seafood meals that are pawlicious, as well as sandwiches, and they even have a special doggie menu! Pawsome! There is a lot to see and do at Nags Head and you and Fido will enjoy every moment!
As you approach the bridge across Croatan Sound on the way to Roanoke Island, you will pass through the tiny town of Manns Harbor, former home to the ferry that was the sole route to the Island. It is also host to a portion of, and access to, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Developed to protect and preserve the wildlife found in its wetland, it also provides many opportunities for you and your doggo to kayak, hike or take a tour to learn more about the habitat and its protected occupants. And yes, there are alligators, and also snakes, so a leash is a safety necessity! Be sure Fido has it on at all times.
Just north of Nags Head on the Outer Banks is Kill Devil Hills, where you’ll find the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park, a huge open field where your pup is welcome on leash. Walk, run or stroll through it, or up the high hill where the actual memorial sits, showing where the first successful airplane flight began. The site inspires feelings of awe as you imagine the challenges and elation felt by the brothers as they launched the first and many subsequent flights. When you’ve had your fill of history, be sure to head over to Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar, where there are outdoor tables so you can share your meal with Fido. Arf! Seafood, steaks and other delectable American style food awaits you and the fur-pup. Bone appetit!