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Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island


The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama

The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama

Photo courtesy of NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development


Fort Raleigh is a National Historic Site, located at the north end of Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The historical roots of Fort Raleigh date back to the period from 1584 to 1590 when Sir Walter Raleigh's explorers and colonists ventured to New World and attempted to establish settlements. The 400-year-old mystery surrounding the disappearance of the members of the earliest settlement, known today as the Lost Colony, remains one of the greatest mysteries in American's history.

Things to See and Do:

  • Visitor Center
    Exhibits, artifacts and a 17-minute park video highlight the cultural heritage of the early inhabitants, including Native Americans, European Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island. During the summer season, park rangers provide activities and interpretive programs. The park visitor center is open year round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed: Christmas Day.
  • The Lost Colony
    The historic outdoor Waterside Theatre is home to the popular musical drama, The Lost Colony. Attended by millions since its beginning in 1937, this musical drama tells the story of 117 English settlers who vanished from the island in one of the great mysteries of American history. Combining drama, music and dance, The Lost Colony offers a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. More about the Lost Colony
  • The Elizabethan Gardens
    Located within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on picturesque Roanoke Island of the Outer Banks, the Elizabethan Gardens bloom year round as a living memorial to North America's first English colonists. More about the Elizabethan Gardens

  • Earthen Fort
    The restored earthen fort is associated with Sir Walter Raleigh's colonization of the New Word. Near the fort there is confirmed evidence of metallurgical activity from the 1585 expedition.
  • Thomas Hariot Nature Trail
    Signs along this nature trail describe the natural resources that the English explorers observed upon arrival.

  • Hiking - The Freedom Trail
    A hiking trail through the park offers a glimpse into the lives of the island's native Algonquins and explores the island's role during the Civil War. The trail is 1-1/4 miles long.

Hours of Operation:

The park visitor center is open year round, except on Christmas Day. The park grounds are open for visitation during daylight hours, from sunup to sundown, with extended hours in the summer until the performance of The Lost Colony drama is completed for the evening.


Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is located at the north end of Roanoke Island off of Highway 64 / 264.

More Information:

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