The Manteo Town Common.

The Manteo Town Common.

On the Outer Banks, Manteo is really the only town with an authentic downtown. Duck has a very nice shopping district, perfect for strolling and checking out the shops.

Manteo, though, with its century old brick buildings. movie theater and classic county courthouse, is everything a small town downtown is supposed to be

What has been missing, though, was open space and parking.

With the opening ceremony for the Town of Manteo Common both issues seem to have been addressed.

The Town Common, located on Budleigh Street is where the old Fort Raleigh Hotel once stood. That may take some explaining, though.

Built in 1931, the Fort Raleigh Hotel was the centerpiece of the town for a number of years, bu by the late 1960s it had fallen out of favor and was converted to a short-lived apartment building. Dare County took the building over in 1974. It worked, but it was far from perfect and the county moved out in 2011.

The Story behind the Town Common

Manteo knew they needed more parking, but as Mayor Bobby Owens said at the opening ceremony, telling the town’s residents wouldn’t work.

“Hell, that’ll never pas,” he said. “The people of Manteo will never vote for a parking lot.”

Working with the County, who owned the land, the Town Common idea took shape.

The county tore the old building down, and agreed to lease the property to Manteo for $1/year.

The plan the town came up with included 60 parking spaces and a small but wonderful area to stroll along or rest on a bench. Filled with native flowers and plants it is a colorful and restful space where something will almost always be in bloom.

The Outer Banks has so many small pleasers to explore. Begin your journey of discovery with a stay at a Brindley Beach Vacations home.