The Village of Wanchese

Wanchese, NC is located away from other typical beach towns. It has lots of residential homes, grocery stores, and little boutiques. Stop by the restaurants for fresh, local seafood, or try the marinas for some fishing to get a catch all your own. Local attractions include gardens, waterfront shopping, and places to visit in nearby Roanoke. Find out more about Wanchese and some of the ways to have fun on your visit.

The Village of Wanchese

The Village of Wanchese, NC is at the end of Roanoke Island, opposite Manteo which is north. Wanchese is a fishing village that prides itself on old-world charm away from the bustling towns and beach areas nearby. Get away for a summer vacation but also have some quiet time away from the larger crowds while here in Wanchese. The village is named after a Native American Indian chief that met John White from Britain in 1585. Chief Manteo was one of the chiefs. Wanchese is not immune to fresh fish showing up on its restaurant menus. Everything from fine dining by the water to laid-back casual-style dining is on order. There is a lot to do in Wanchese along with proximity to Roanoke and Manteo. Cottages, Bed and Breakfast spots, and rental cottages makeup many of the best places to stay on the island.


Wanchese, NC is an unincorporated village at the southern end of Roanoke Island. Wanchese is a smaller village with fewer visitors than other neighboring towns. This is one of the last of the old, original villages. Take the big intersection at Highway 64 then go left onto Highway 64, left at NC 345 and you’ll find yourself in Wanchese.

Wanchese Restaurants & Attractions

A handful of restaurants are open to the public down in Wanchese. Most of them exist in Manteo or greater Roanoke. Here are a few of the options to get fresh fish or seafood or try something new:

The Landing Grill

serves southern food, located on Mill Landing Road (harborside). Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu includes biscuits and breakfast food, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salads, and more. Local watermen and tourists love to come to start the day here or end with a bite to eat at the waterfront Steam Bar with seafood and other bites.

Great Gut Deli

lunch at this deli is a treat for visitors to Wanchese. The name comes from what the locals call a water feature nearby. Offers meats, cheeses, sandwiches, and homemade cooking. Look for daily specials and offer boat dockage to eat on the water.

Photo Credit: (O’NEAL’S SEA HARVEST)

O’Neal’s Sea Harvest

Is known for its commitment to harvesting and selling fresh seafood. Stop by their fish-house docks where fresh catches are unloaded each day. Stay for the wholesale seafood market to take advantage of the many foods on offer and try some in their restaurant. Crabs, shrimp, scallops, and clams are their specialty.

Tiki Bar at OBX Marina

Tiki Bar at OBX Marina is a local favorite on the docks. Serving cold brews and a local food truck with southern-style food. See charter boats coming in and unloading catch-of-the-day varieties of food. Live music Wednesday and Friday nights.


Other places to eat on Roanoke Island or in Manteo can offer a variety of cuisine as well but Wanchese has its unique places to eat dockside as well. 

At the southeastern point of the village is the North Carolina Seafood Industrial Park. This fishing hub has shrimp trawlers and vessels that head out to gather seafood that ends up in markets and on restaurant tables. Traveling up and down the Eastern seaboard and coastal or inland waterways, the fresh catches are delightful. 

In and around Wanchese, Elizabeth Gardens, Fort Raleigh Historic site, and Bodie Island Lighthouse are just ten to fifteen minutes away. Stay in a nearby cottage or Bed and Breakfast while exploring. Stop by the North Carolina Aquarium, home to huge tank anchor exhibits filled with fish and other water creatures from the North Carolina waters. Visit Island Farm, a living-history museum with buildings and costumed interpreters to discuss what life was like on the Outer Banks. Stop by Mothervine, the oldest cultivated grapevine in the U.S. growing near the water. Nearby attractions across the island include some shopping in the main district on Roanoke, visiting Manteo for some boutiques, or taking in the sights around the island before heading over to other towns in and around Outer Banks.


When staying in or near Wanchese, there are a few options available. Unique smaller accommodations are the mainstay on Roanoke Island. Sized for families of all sizes or individuals traveling, lodging in Wanchese offers quaint, old-style accommodations. Explore the options with some options like The Refuge on Roanoke Island overlooking the water. Full-service bathhouse, laundry, and pool open in summer. The canal is open for water sports if people want to kayak or canoe to enjoy Roanoke Island from the water. A few other options include smaller accommodations for people to stay and enjoy a quieter place to stay away from the hustle and bustle of other towns in the Outer Banks.

Wanchese F.A.Q.

Wanchese is mostly residential without huge hotels and resorts. It is unique for its quieter feel and authenticity as part of ‘old’ Outer Banks. The town borders Roanoke Island Marshes Nature Preserve and several nature trails. There is bird watching that is popular to do but people also like to fish on charter boats and tour vessels or go out on the water on kayaks, paddle boards, or boat excursions.

Wanchese has many events nearby and is closest to Manteo which has many events as well. Popular events include the annual Dare Days Festival in June, December Christmas Parade, and the Independence Day celebration with fireworks over Roanoke Sound. Check out nearby towns for their events and local experiences happening.

Wanchese has several marinas great for fishing. Waterfront borders of Wanchese offer a short cruise to dredge spoil islands and inland waters of Oregon Inlet with a short trek through the inlet to the offshore Gulf Stream. Look at fishing charters and nearby areas which can offer more options for fishing.

Wanchese is 10-15 minutes from the beach with the closest ones being Nags Head and South Nags Head with public access points. North of Wanchese is Cape Hatteras National Seashore which offers great beach access and activities. The beach does not exist on this island as it does in Nags Head and other towns so it helps that it is so close.