Elizabethan Gardens, 1411 National Park Dr., reached by the park road into Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, were developed as a memorial to the first English colonists who arrived in America in the late 16th century. Laid out in the formal style of a 16th-century English garden, this exquisitely landscaped green space bursts with color that changes according to the season.
Azaleas, dogwoods, rhododendrons and bulbs bloom in the spring. In summer it's magnolias and crape myrtles, along with hydrangeas, beds of annuals and the sweet scent of roses. Fall features masses of mums, and in late fall and winter camellias put on a spectacular show. Other highlights include a thatched gazebo overlooking Roanoke Sound, lovely antique statuary, a bronze likeness of Queen Elizabeth I and an ancient, spreading live oak believed to be more than 400 years old.