Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

sights / Architecture

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site information

Lonely Planet review

In the late 1580s, three decades before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, a group of 116 British colonists disappeared without a trace from their Roanoke Island settlement. Were they killed off by drought? Did they run away with a Native American tribe? Did they try to sail home and capsize? The fate of the 'Lost Colony' remains one of America's greatest mysteries, and the vis-itor center has exhibits, artifacts, maps and a free film to fuel the imagination.

Attractions at the site include the Lost Colony Outdoor Drama . This beloved long-running musical from Pulitzer Prize–winning North Carolina playwright Paul Green dramatizes the fate of the colonists. It plays at the Waterside Theater throughout summer.

The 16th-century-style Elizabethan Gardens include a Shakespearian herb garden and rows of beautifully manicured flower beds.