Manteo: Quintessentially Quaint

By Jennifer Armstrong

When people describe the coastal town of Manteo, North Carolina, they often use the word quaint. Quaintness calls to mind old-fashioned sensibilities and a seemingly simpler time. It’s more than that, though, for quaintness suggests not just simplicity but also elegance and singularity, qualities one finds in abundance in Manteo. In this place, quaintness isn’t mere ornamentation; it’s part of the town’s character. This is a place where old and new exist side by side. Handcrafted sailboats dock alongside sleek catamarans. Potters and jewelers create in their downtown studios where they bring new life to old buildings. Boutique owners enliven the town’s appearance with their design sense. The satisfying smells of burgers and fries and fresh-caught local seafood linger in the air. 

Manteo is a place where locals and tourists mingle, exchanging friendly hellos before entering into deeper discussions. People come to town for the Saturday morning farmers’ market, for the art galleries, for the fine food and for the special events. As you stroll the waterfront boardwalk to look at the boats and watch the sunset, you experience the defining qualities of Manteo. Ambling along the streets of the waterfront historic area reveals charming front porches and eclectic architecture. This is a place that exists on a map but that will earn a place in your heart, a place where quaintness is not just an adjective but a state of mind.


iced coffee drink and a cookie at Island PerkCoffee, cookies, bagels, smoothies & wine ... ‘nough said

Island Perk Coffee Shop
(252) 423-3565 | 101 Budleigh Street | islandperkobx.com

 

 


Scarborough InnStay in Outer Banks charm amidst island history

Scarborough Inn
(252) 473-3979 | 524 U.S. Highway 64 | scarboroughinnmanteo.com

 


 

straw hat, frangrances and walletsElegantly eclectic treasures for you and your home

Nest
(252) 473-5141 | 
In Magnolia Market Square, across from Tranquil House Inn
roanokeisland.net/nest​

 

 

 



handmade potteryA working pottery studio

Nancyware
(252) 473-9400 | 
402 Queen Elizabeth Avenue | nancywareobx.com

 

 

 

 


sandwich at Hungry PelicanSimply delicious food

The Hungry Pelican
(252) 473-9303 | 205 Budleigh Street | thehungrypelican.com

 


room at Tranquil House InnBreezy porches, Southern friendliness & Chantilly comforts

The Tranquil House Inn
(252) 473-1404 | 
405 Queen Elizabeth Avenue | tranquilhouseinn.com