One of the most popular attractions in the Outer Banks, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island has a fascinating history that dates back to the 16th century. The history of the island laid the foundation for the earliest colonies in North America, and it is famous for the “Lost Colony” which continues to befuddle historians today. Take a trip to the Outer Banks to enjoy the mysterious history of Roanoke Island and the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and you’ll find yourself transported to a time long since passed.

History is literally just the beginning of all the great things to do in North Carolina’s Outer Banks! And, here at Shoreline OBX, we know exactly where you should go when you’re on vacation here. That’s why we’ve put together this free Vacation Guide just for you. You’re going to love it here!

The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Story

The first English colony in North America was created in the 16th Century on Roanoke Island with colonists attempting to claim land for Great Britain. Ralph Lane was the first to attempt to establish a colony in 1585 after being dispatched by Sir Walter Raleigh. Supplies were limited and delayed after Sir Richard Greenville was delayed in returning from England with the necessary supplies. Facing attacks from natives and low rations, the colonists returned to England.

Later in 1587, John White established a colony, but after settling the colony returned to England. His return trip encountered delays due to England’s war with Spain at the time. White would not return back to the island until 1590 to find all of the colonists had disappeared. No one was left in the colony with no trace as to where they went. However, one clue was found. The word, “CROATOAN” was carved into a tree. No other clue or location was left by the 110 colonists. White never found the colonists and had to return to England. Hence, the “Lost Colony” legend was born.

Roanoke Island Today

The island commemorates this part of its history with The  Lost Colony play. The play is the second-longest running historical outdoor drama, running since 1937. You can see the play from May through August at Waterside Theater at 1409 National Park Drive in Manteo. The Lost Colony is based on this mystery and features several top performers and has been a long-time tradition on Manteo.

Amazing History and More in the Outer Banks

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is just one of the many things you’ll enjoy here in the Outer Banks. But, let’s start with where you’ll stay. For the best vacation rentals in the Outer Banks, Shoreline OBX has got you covered. We are confident that we can provide you a memorable experience by providing quality OBX vacation rentals anywhere you want to be in OBX. So, browse our available vacation rentals and see for yourself how great your vacation here can be. Then, contact us today to book your stay! You can also check our favorite things to do in the Outer Banks and download our free OBX vacation guide to help you begin planning your vacation today!