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Manteo - The Elizabethan Gardens

1411 National Park Drive

History, mystery and fantasy are combined in these special gardens, which are a memorial to the first English colonists who came to North America in 1584-1587 and "walked away through the dark forest into history" as memorialized in Paul Green's symphonic drama, "The Lost Colony". For here and nowhere else, Sir Walter Raleigh made initial attempts to colonize the New World under Queen Elizabeth I. Truly this hallowed site is the birthplace of America.

The Elizabethan Gardens, located on this same site which the colonists first landed, is full of history and beauty in this tranquil setting on the shores of Roanoke Island. Founded and supported by the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc. and featured in many landscape books and calendars, The Elizabethan Gardens is one of the finest examples of gardens of this period. Truly, it stands out as the crown jewel of Roanoke Island.

Each season brings a fresh and exciting array of flowering plants, shrubs and trees. Masses of blooming azaleas, dogwoods, rhododendrons, herbs and bulbs can be experienced in the spring. Sweet scented roses, magnolias, crape myrtle, hydrangeas and bedding plants bring stunning color to the summer garden. Annuals and impatiens are abundant in the autumn and spectacular camellias and daphne bloom in late fall and winter. Also enjoy exquisite antique statuary, the world's largest bronze likeness of HRH Queen Elizabeth I and period buildings.


Kyle Pezzolla

Friday, March 16, 2018
One of the most beautiful gardens I have been to. It’s unique because it’s on the sea. The mix of all the different plants and then the ocean back drop is amazing.

Christian Alvarez

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
One of the most beautiful gardens on the Carolina coast. In fact, I’d consider it one of the most beautiful gardens ever in North Carolina! If you’re looking to have some engagement photos taken or even have a wedding out here, or just come to visit, this is the place to go! Just a heads up, during the colder months like Nov-Mar, the winds become more unforgiving as you get closer to the water, and they close the gardens early if the winds are too much, so I’d recommend bringing a coat.

Jojo W

Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017
I'm from out of state & was looking for plants to take home so I went to their plant sale. Had no interest in going through the gardens. Told the lady at the counter I was looking for the plant sale & she said "are you sure you're just looking for the plant sale? If you are, you can go straight there & back but you can't go walk through the gardens. If you want to do that, you need to purchase a ticket." I assured her I was just there for the plant sale & she gave me strict instructions how to go there & back & not to be walking through the gardens! Then she gave me a brown sticker & told me I needed a green sticker to tour the garden. " We go on the honor system around here" she said. I thought about asking her if she'd like to lead me blindfolded to the plant sale!

Chris Aycock

Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017
$9 for adults. I do not think that is worth the gardens view. $6 would be more accurate. What the visitor will encounter is a very nice gift shop with friendly staff. Then, just out the doors, are the seasonal flower beds and are very appealing. You will be told the gardens covers 10 acres and will take about 1-1.5 hrs to see. Obviously, you assume that they will all look like the flowers just outside the door. But that is not the case. Nonetheless, the gardens are nice. As many have mentioned, the rose garden is basically nonexistent. Roses were paltry. But there are some very nice areas within the gardens and the information audio signs are interesting. Compared to Biltmore House and Gardens you will be desperately disappointed. Compared to everything else I have seen, it is worth a visit, particularly if you can avoid visitors with children and sit and enjoy the area alone or with a loved one for a while.

Lewis Gibson

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
Beautiful, serene, a great way to spend a few hours on a beautiful day

The Elizabethan Gardens is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media