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“A Step Back in History!”

Roanoke Island Festival Park
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US$79.50*
and up
Outer Banks Paddleboard Eco Tour
Ranked #5 of 39 things to do in Manteo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: History comes alive with a replica of Elizabeth II's era and costumed-sixteenth-century characters.
Manteo, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A Step Back in History!”
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We enjoyed the interpreters in costume. They make you feel like you really are going back in history. There are lots of hands on activities and the new museum is wonderful. My kids loved it! The site is beautiful. We can't wait to do it all again!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank TravelingMomFromOBX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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386 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
159 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
“Lovely Educational Historical Park”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Spent a rather dreary afternoon at the Festival Park recently. The March of Dimes run/Walk was that day, so first we walked around the compound, down the boardwalk to the conservation area where they are trying to reestablish the local flora and fauna (including aquatic fauna) to the waterfront. Boardwalks, through natural marshes, surround much of Roanoke Island Festival Park making it totally accessible to those with mobility limitations and those in wheelchairs. We spent some time walking along the entire boardwalk enjoying the view and the waterfowl.

Inside the visitor center there are exhibits that explain the festival park, how it came to be and an extensive exhibit about the construction of the Elizabeth II - the reproduction of a 16th century ship.

The film when we were there was The Legend of Two-Path is a docu-drama illustrating the American Indian perspective of the Roanoke Voyages, that captures the main themes of the history and dramatizes the meeting of two very separate and distinct cultural groups. From the Indians, they were faced with a choice of embracing the western culture or rejecting it. The choices they made then, the path they chose, helped determine their history. We found this a very engaging presentation, given from a very different perspective than what is normally presented. One example: The English were enraged that an Indian "stole" something from them, but the Indians did not know what stealing was. They shared everything within the tribe, and people took what they needed so "stealing" was an unknown idea. Don't miss the film. . .it will make you think.

The park contains a small Indian village. Two longhouses represent the historical homes of American Indians from the region. One of the longhouses interprets the home of a leader from the community,as well as a smaller longhouse. There are a number of placards and interactive exhibits, but it would have been nice to have an interpreter there as well. We enjoyed the stories about the bears and other animals that were recorded for you to listen to as you explored the village.

There is an English Settlement Village. The interpreters there were quite good, and were very knowledgeable about life in the 16th century. There is a blacksmith shop, and a woodcarving area.

The centerpiece for most people is the reconstructed 16th century ship. Built just across the way in the Shipyard Museum in Manteo, The ship is constructed to represent one of the seven English merchant vessels from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585. There is just something about a ship with costumed interpreters that attract people like a magnet. It is very interesting, and the crew is very well versed in hat life at sea in such a vessel was like. They will answer any questions you have, all the while keeping in character.

In all this was unexpectedly much more enjoyable than what we anticipated. We spent several hours between the visitor's center, the film and wondering about the grounds. Do not short change yourself and try to run through it quickly. Walking slowly and enjoy all it has to offer.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Mrs-K-albany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auburn Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
36 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Fun & History”
Reviewed 16 November 2013 via mobile

We visited this beautiful park and museum. There was a small fee and we got there late so we didn't get to spend the time we would've liked to. The time we did spend was fun and like a step back in time (Way back). We met some interesting characters there who made the experience fun as well as a learning experience.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank FunfromMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Va
Level Contributor
138 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Interesting. Worth a visit!”
Reviewed 13 November 2013

The ship and the rest of the exhibits were inhabited by guides in period costume who wouldn't break character. We really enjoyed asking them questions, etc.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Florencia49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Va
Level Contributor
138 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Very interesting and entertaining.”
Reviewed 13 November 2013

I loved the guides who were seemingly transplanted here right from the 15th Century. And never broke character. Very good experience. Worth seeing this and the rest of the Festival Park exhibits if you're in the area.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Florencia49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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