There is probably no place in America that is as well known as Manteo. From the pages of "Early American History," we learn about Virginia Dare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Pirates like Captain Kidd, Henry Morgan, the Spanish Main, Blackbeard and Bonnet. As children, at least for the boys, we play Pirates, and everyone wants to be Blackbeard. We performed the stories of the first colony in skits as 1st graders.
It's just a part of our culture and in keeping with our past, we put on pageants and festivals to commemorate our early history, usually held during a certain time of year. However, there are places where our history is relived on a daily basis for all to see. Williamsburg, Virginia is all about our first successful English Colony and Roanoke Island is all about our first Colony that disappeared for reasons unknown.
We do know that the first English child in America was born here on Roanoke Island and the first freedoms, unknown in England, were established here. There is an ongoing open air theater performance known far and wide as the Lost Colony that is presented every night during the summer months on Roanoke Island. It's music and dance as well as excellent acting that depicts our early ancestors trials, tribulations, successes and failures and gives us a peek into what our first ancestors went through. They came to America with dreams, and were willing to put their life on the line for principles, freedom and a new way of life. Life was not good as they faced many hardships, hostile natives, possible starvation and the first winter without too much of anything, but they had dreams.
Today, the citizens of Manteo and Roanoke Island continue that dream, recreating the past for all to see. They have refused to create a commercial environment but have maintained the steadfast desire to preserve history as it was 400 years ago. You can enjoy what these fine citizens have created by visiting and exploring Roanoke Island and the town of Manteo, which became a household word made famous by our own favorite son, Andy Griffith (Andy Griffith Show) and his wife Cindy. They make their home in Manteo and have been the guiding light, financial and inspirational backbone of the Lost Colony Drama since the early fifties that has become an American icon in entertainment.
Manteo and Roanoke Island are different from most American towns and villages because the good citizens have tried to maintain the early American small town flavor, retaining the uniqueness of beautiful homes, gardens and living styles, but different from Williamsburg, Va. they dress as you and me.
The fine folks of Manteo and Roanoke strive to give a daily message to all visitors of friendship, courtesy and above all southern hospitality. They want you to enjoy your stay on Roanoke Island and Manteo, tell your friends and come often, not necessarily for commercial reasons but to continue the traditions that have made the American way of life the greatest asset that we have. Roanoke Island has so much to give and folks here are not selfish in sharing their dreams and American heritage. To list all the various commercial attractions would detract from the historical significance of Roanoke and the Lost Colony, but most have been merged into the historical aspect to give you that perfect vacation.
I will leave it to you to come, enjoy, explore, partake of our hospitality and then take the message home to your friends because to visit Roanoke is a pilgrimage that every American should take. You will go home a better person.