Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

August's Must-Stay Parks:
The Colonists at Roanoke May Have Disappeared, but Your Money Won’t…When You RV at The Refuge

So you want your kids to become American history buffs (or you’re a buff); you really should take them to Roanoke Island, and let them discover all there is to know about the group of colonists who tried to establish a permanent English settlement. Yes, “tried to” are the operative words.

This group of English (wanna-be colonists), led by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, tried to set up shop in what eventually became the Virginia Colony. As you probably know, long story short, they all disappeared. Why? How? No one knows. It’s one of the great mysteries in the founding of the United States of America, and it’s one that mesmerizes both kids and adults to this day.

When you visit Roanoke you’ll find there are several attractions geared around its intriguing history, and this period of our nation’s early development. Everywhere you look, something of interest about the lost colony of English settlers will grab your attention.

For example, The Lost Colony outdoor play is considered a must see by those in the know. You can also visit the lovely Elizabethan Gardens, and Roanoke Island Festival Park. Festival Park has a new exhibit that focuses on the Native Algonquin Culture, set up as a reproduction in American Indian Town.

They’re recreated a native community that closely resembles what the early English explorers might have seen during their voyages to this area. All in all, you’ll feel like you’re in another world and another time exploring Roanoke Island. Actually, you are. But, there’s more than land to the history of the area, seeing as how it’s an island and all….

You can tour an awesome sailing ship, the Elizabeth II, which holds major appeal for all ages. You can help set the sails and swab the decks (in case you desperately miss cleaning your kitchen or the RV), and learn how to plot a course, all with the help of the “sailors” dressed in 16th century clothing. For many, just staring at all the lines and rigging in the Elizabeth II is an exercise in befuddlement. While we’re talking about ships and water, you might give some thought to visiting the North Carolina Aquarium.

The aquarium is well worth your time, as are the maritime museum and the Roanoke Lighthouse. There’s more: you can also choose from among dolphin-watching tours, Pirate Adventures, a cool art studio, and a great bicycle path on the island. The downtown parking is free, the downtown is cool, and there’s incredible dining in the area.

Eventually you’ll wind your way back to the comfort of your RV, where you’ll appreciate The Refuge’s waterfront and interior sites, the lovely grape vines, fig trees and blackberry bushes, and the natural environment of the marsh area (with wheelchair accessible walkways and benches). Speaking of nature, The Refuge has fish in their pond and crabs in the canal.

Between the American History, the water based activities, and nature, you’ll love visiting this part of North Carolina, and saving your money staying at The Refuge while you’re doing it. Contact them at their website www.therefuge-roanokeisland.com. Watch your family line up to thank you.

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