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Museums & Aquariums

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, located in Hatteras Village, is a unique museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the rich maritime history of the Outer Banks. This area of coastal North Carolina got its name "The Graveyard of the Atlantic" from the more than 2,000 known shipwrecks that rest off the Outer Banks.

A a section of the museum is open and a portion of its collections are on display, though portions of the museum's interior are still under construction. Some artifacts available in the musem include the "Lost Lens" from the first Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Enigma machine from the U-85 (the first U-boat sunk by the Allies), Billy Mitchell's historic bombing achievements off the Cape Hatteras coast, the Union gunboat Huron, the famous Ghostship Carroll A. Deering, ship models and more.

Location: End of Hwy. 12 in Hatteras Village, next to the Ferry Landing.

Contact Information: (252) 986-2995

Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center

The Frisco Native American Museum is home to a nationally recognized collection of Native American artifacts, exhibits and natural history displays. Visitors enjoy galleries filled with native art, all of which offer information on Native Americans from across the United States, as well as artifacts from the first inhabitants of Hatteras Island. This museum is designated as a North Carolina Environmental Education Center and a Historic Albemarle Tour site, and also is home to a newly opened bird observation room and several acres of nature trails winding through a lush maritime forest. Trails include exhibits and accommodations for visually impaired persons (VIPS.)

Location: Hwy 12, Village of Frisco

Hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday. Mondays by appointment. Winter hours adjusted.

Admission: $5 per person, $15 per family, $3 for Seniors

Services: Guided tours and lectures for school and youth groups are available with notice.

Facilities: Newly expanded history center and bookstore.

Contact Information: (252) 995-4440

Outer Banks History Center

The Outer Banks History Center, located within the Roanoke Island Festival Park complex, is a regional archives and research library administered by the North Carolina State Archives (Department of Cultural Resources.) Located across from the Manteo Waterfront, the History Center has a mission of collecting and preserving the history and culture of the North Carolina coast. Collections available at the Outer Banks History Center include personal and organizational papers, books, photographs, periodicals and newspapers, maps (1584+) and drawings, public records on microfilm, oral histories and other audio and video recordings, ephemera, and original works of art. Visitors can enjoy the exhibits presented in the History Center Gallery throughout the year on topics as varied as the history of the region itself.

Location: Roanoke Island Festival complex

Hours: Reading Room open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays, except state holidays, and the gallery is open 7 days a week with hours changing seasonally.

Admission: Free

Contact Information:
Route 400, Ice Plant Island
P.O. Box 250
Manteo, NC 27954
(252) 473-2655

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Roanoke Island Festival Park, located across from the beautiful Manteo Waterfront, is an interactive family attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America. The centerpiece of the 25-acre park on Roanoke Island is Elizabeth II, a representation of one of the seven English ships from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585. At this fun attraction, sostumed Elizabethan sailors greet visitors and help them experience 16th century seafaring life. While you are at Roanoke Island Festival Park, you will also want to visit the Settlement Site, Roanoke Adventure Museum and see "The Legend of Two-Path" film.

Roanoke Island Festival Park also celebrated the recent opening of the American Indian Town and Cultural Education Center. The Town Site offers a wide variety of activities, including building a dug-out canoe, working a fish trap, planting and harvesting crops and more.

The on-site art gallery, fossil pit, museum store and marsh-side boardwalks are free and open to the public.

Location: Across from the Manteo Waterfront and 5 miles from the beaches.

Hours: Open mid-February to December 31. Hours vary seasonally.

Adult: $8
Student (6-17): $5
Child (5 and under): Free
Tickets are good for two consecutive days.

Contact Information: (252) 475-1500

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, an attraction that is enjoyed by all who visit, presents the aquatic environments of coastal Carolina through its theme, "Water of The Outer Banks." A variety of exhibits are on display at the aquarium, which promise to educate and entertain visitors. First, you will enjoy a journey through coastal freshwaters to see river otters, turtles and American alligators. Next, you and your family can explore saltwater habitats from grass flats to Gulf Stream waters. During your journey at the aquarium, gently stroke a stingray or touch a hermit crab at the touch tanks. Watch as fish and sharks cruise by the 35-foot long viewing window of the 285,000-gallon "Graveyard of the Atlantic" tank. History buffs will marvel at the one-third scale replica of the USS Monitor.

Step into the "Storms" exhibit to get an informative look at Outer Banks hurricanes and Nor'Easters. Visit "Aquarium Confidential," which is the new exhibit that captures the behind the scenes life at the aquarium. The North Caorlina Aquarium at Roanoke Island is a Member Site of Historic Albemarle Tour.

Location: Just off of Hwy. 64/264, Airport Road on the north end of Roanoke Island.

Hours: Open daily year-round, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day.

Adults: $8
Seniors: $7
Children: Ages 6-17: $6
5 and under: FREE
North Carolina Aquarium Society members: FREE
North Carolina school groups that register in advance: FREE

Services: Special programs daily.

Facilities: Gift shop, restrooms, waterfront picnic area, food service (summer only), parking.

Contact Information: (252) 473-3494

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