Manteo : North carolina


What It Is Like to Retire in Manteo

Manteo is a village on North Carolina's Outer Banks. The population is about 1,400, although in summer it gets quite larger.  Manteo was described by a recent visitor as having cute shops which get quite busy in summer. Another visitor who was delighted with the town exclaimed: "Why didn't you ever tell me about this place?" This area near Elizabethan Gardens is rich in colonial history with the Lost Colony and the famous early settler Virginia Dare. When the colonists disappeared after supplies from England were delayed for three years, the ongoing mystery of "The Lost Colony" began.

While not for everyone, Manteo would make an excellent seasonal retirement spot for someone looking to be near the beaches and yet live in a cute little town. Year round living would definitely be quiet in the off season. Hurricane season can be dangerous. There are other towns on the Outer Banks such as Kitty Hawk, Duck, Hatteras, and Ocracoke Island. But Manteo is probably the nicest town. Pictured is the Roanoke Marshes light and the downtown.


Where to Retire in Manteo and Home Prices

Home prices will vary tremedously by location. The Zillow Home Value Index was $417,971 in late 2021.  Homes on the water can go into the millions.


What Is Special about Manteo

This is an old waterfront community - in fact it is said that the earliest stores here had 2 doors - one for people coming by land and another for those entering from the sea. The nearby Hatteras beaches are some of the nicest in the world. It is the County Seat of Dare County. The climate tends to be mild. And the town is Manteo is very cute.


What Is Not Special about Manteo

The town is small and even smaller in the off season. It is a bit remote. Hurricane season can mean evacuations.


Who Will Like Retirement in Manteo

People who like the beach and yet want to live in a cute little town will like it. Boaters, windsurfers, and fishermen will be in heaven.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism is the driver.


Climate and Physical Environment

Manteo is Roanoke Island that is connected to the Outer Banks (Cape Hatteras) of northern North Carolina.  Winter temps are in the mid 40s and the average July temp is about 80, moderated by ocean breezes. This is a frequent landfall for hurricanes.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are numerous restaurants since this is a tourist center. Lone Cedar is particularly nice on the causeway between Manteo and Nags Head.  There are several festivals including Dare Day. The New World Festival of the Arts is a two-day outdoor art show held on the Manteo waterfront and features over 80 selected artists displaying and selling their work. Roanoke Island Festival Park has events. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is part of the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The Waterside Theatre welcomes singers, dancers, and actors back to town every summer.



As is the case with many tourist areas, the crime rate is higher than average.


Medical Facilities

The Outer Banks Hospital in nearby Nags Head provides medical services. The nearest bigger hospital in Elizabeth City, 44 miles away on the mainland.



To get here you need to come by car or by boat.


Valuable Links

Town of Manteo website.


What people are saying about Manteo

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