Elizabethan Gardens

1411 National Park Drive (off U.S. Highway 64) next to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo
(252) 473-3234

Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English colonists, The Elizabethan Gardens is a rare treasure and a beloved Outer Banks attraction. It’s a haven of verdant, flourishing growth and natural prosperity. The gardens are in bloom year-round with azaleas, hydrangeas, roses, camellias, flowering trees, a variety of annuals and herbs and much more. Adding exquisite touches are imported Italian Renaissance fountains, garden ornaments, a waterfront gazebo, benches, statues, an expansive lawn and some of the most amazing live oaks you’ll ever see. The large shade canopy overhead provides a cool oasis even on the sunniest summer day. The Garden Gift Shoppe sells books, gifts, herbs and plants. This is a trusted plant source for many locals, as the garden staff nurtures their plants with great care.

New at The Elizabethan Gardens is the John White Butterfly Center. Guests are welcome to walk through the indoor greenhouse, which houses butterflies from May through September. The Elizabethan Gardens also has many new family-friendly aspects, including The Discovery Cottage, an indoor/outdoor educational play area and a location for summer programs. The play area offers a large play ship reminiscent of the ship that carried the colonists to the New World, swings, slides, Elizabethan-style playhouses, educational signage, a koi pond, sandpits, a fossil pit, outdoor picnic tables and room to run.

The Elizabethan Gardens holds outstanding events such as horticulture education workshops and summer programs for kids. Seasonal events throughout the year include Easter Eggstravaganza (day before Easter); Butterfly Festival (month of April), Virginia Dare’s Birthday Celebration (August), Peace, Love and Dogs (September), Harvest Hayday (October) and WinterLights (December and January).

The gardens open at 9 a.m. seven days a week throughout most of the year and at 10 a.m. in December and January. They are closed to the public in February for maintenance. Closing time varies according to the season. Admission (pre-tax) is $10 for adults, $7 for youth ages 6 to 17, $3 for children ages 2 to 5 and free for children younger than 2. Dogs are admitted for $3, but service dogs get in free. Organized tour groups can apply for reduced admission rates in advance. Tickets are for timed entry admission and are purchased online at elizabethangardens.org.

The gardens make a beautiful setting for photographs, bridal luncheons, weddings, receptions, retreats or meetings. Choose from a variety of backdrops for an unforgettable day. An on-site Reception Hall, tent and Rose Garden accommodate parties large and small. Rental information is posted online.
From late June through mid-August, on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Elizabethan Gardens offers these fun, kid-friendly events with paid admission. Events are weather-dependent and limited to 10 participants outdoors at the Discovery Cottage. Tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance of the date.

Backyard Birds: Discover more about the birds in your own backyard with educational and hands-on activities for inquisitive minds. Participants will explore about birds with a guided art craft and create a bird snack to take to home.  
Fun with Frogs: Discover the exciting life cycle of frogs with educational and hands-on activities for inquisitive minds
Butterflies: Discover the exciting life-cycle of butterflies with educational and hands-on activities for inquisitive minds.
Helpful Bugs: Learn about the beneficial insects in the gardens. 

Self-Guided Audio Tours: Take a tour at your leisure using your mobile device, anytime during regular hours of operation year-round.