Manteo, North Carolina
Manteo is indeed the cultural, commercial, and governmental center of Dare County. By no means a huge metropolis (all of 6,000 people call it home), it nonetheless is where all Dare County citizens eventually end up, either for entertainment or business or just plain visiting. The restored waterfront is a hub of retail activity, while across the harbor, the Roanoke Island Festival Park hosts dozens of cultural events and activities year-round. The nearby Lost Colony, the first outdoor drama in the US, brings about 1,100 visitors each night, filling restaurants and shops until show time. The majestic Elizabethan Gardens are also on the island.