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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Seagarden Cottage in Historic Downtown Manteo, just steps from Shallowbag Bay

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

2 bedroom, 2 bathroom with private garden in historic Downtown Manteo

Our charming 1930s bungalow was fully renovated in 2012 but retains period details that make it one of the town's historic homes. And Seagarden Cottage is furnished with all the comforts of home because it truly is one-- ours-- when we're not sharing it with you.

The master bedroom has a Queen-sized bed and light-filled private bath with a claw-foot tub and decorative arch that was preserved from the kitchen and relocated during the renovation (the master bath, it's consistently remarked, is the best room in the house). The second bedroom also features a queen-sized bed, and is serviced by the hall bathroom, just outside the bedroom door.

The living room and the dining room are appointed with antiques and family heirlooms, and the sun room has a wide-screen TV (updated since photos were taken) and cozy couches and chairs for lounging when it's time to relax with a good book or watch a movie. The kitchen is fully equipped with a farmhouse sink, 4-burner stove, microwave, full-sized fridge, and Keurig coffee maker (with refillable filters and a coffee grinder if you prefer freshly ground coffee to single-use K-cups).

And perhaps most notably, located across from Shallowbag Bay and just steps from the Manteo Waterfront, Seagarden Cottage has a wide front porch with comfortable seating, while a private garden affords plenty of privacy in back. The house's original owner, Mrs. Sybil Jones, made a name for herself with her lovely garden, for which she often received Roanoke Island Garden Club's "Garden of the Month" distinction. Our mother, with love and hard work, has continued that garden tradition, and hopes that 'Miss Sybil,' as she is still known around town, would have been proud.

More Details

Ashley Whitfield Donovan
Member since: 2015
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great traveler experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 18, 2018

About Ashley Whitfield Donovan

Seagarden Cottage, which was completed in 1936, has always been a family home. It was built by Ray Jones, Sr., and his wife, Sybil, who raised their son Ray Jr. there, and in 1999, when Ray Sr. and Sybil were gone, Ray Jr. passed it along to our family (although he is known to stop by for a visit on occasion).

My sister and I were raised on the Outer Banks' northern beaches, in Southern Shores, just south of Duck, and at the time our parents acquired the cottage, we were students at Manteo High School, some 23-odd miles from home. There was a saying echoed by MHS students from the beach, back then, when Manteo had the only high school, and the only courthouse, for a stretch of 40 miles: there were only TWO reasons you went to Manteo-- because it was a school day, or you'd gotten a speeding ticket. Obviously, we were of the opinion that when you lived on the beach, you didn't up and MOVE to Manteo.

But our parents, who had started to look ahead to the time when our two-story house in the Southern Shores woods would be empty of children and they might prefer the advantages of walking everywhere they wanted to go, intended to do just that. And so against our will, it might be said, we came home from college to Manteo, and to our surprise, Seagarden Cottage has felt like home ever since.

Ashley Whitfield Donovan purchased this cottage in 1999

Why Ashley Whitfield Donovan chose Historic District

16 years in, Seagarden Cottage has been home to our oyster roasts, birthday dinners, and baby showers; we even had a wedding reception in the back yard last autumn, when my sister was married at Roanoke Island Inn, just over the garden wall; we've spent long days together working in the garden, and late nights chatting by the fireplace; cheered on friends from the front porch as they approached the finish line of the Outer Banks Marathon; enjoyed a glass of wine in the backyard while listening to blue grass or classical music as it floated over from annual events at Roanoke Island Festival Park; all the things that make a house a family home.

But as our mother spends more and more of her free time making trips to see us (and more importantly, her grandson), where we now live in South Florida, the thing we wish most is that someone was home to enjoy the house.

Which is where you come in...

What makes this cottage unique

Seagarden Cottage is unique among downtown Manteo's many lovely vacation rentals in that it's more than just a place to spend a week; it's a place to spend a week feeling perfectly at home. The house is decorated with antiques and family heirlooms, and always with an eye toward comfort. (Admittedly, you might not see replicas of our grandparents' pair of blue La-Z-Boy recliners featured in next month's Coastal Living Magazine, but with a good book, there's no place I'd rather spend a rainy afternoon).

Whether you're sipping a glass of something cool in the green rocker on the front porch, or having a soak in the master bathroom's claw-foot tub, or enjoying dinner together, we want you to feel at home. Just as we would, if we were there.


Historic District Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Max. adults: 4
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only
  • Fireplace is non-operational
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 4 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Master Bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower , claw-foot tub
    Hall Bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Master Bedroom - 1 queen
    Guest Bedroom - 1 queen
  • Both bedrooms have queen-sized beds with premium linens.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • miniature golf
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • kayaking
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(43 traveler reviews)

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16% Complete
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Seagarden Cottage in Historic Downtown Manteo, just steps from Shallowbag Bay
average rating of 4.6976743 based on 43 reviews
Science Hill, KY

Great home, close to town

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay here at the cottage. The home has a very comfortable feeling and the owners have put that "come home" touch in every room in the house. Beds were comfortable, showers great, relaxing room to wind down in at the end of the day. We loved being able to just walk down the street and be at all the nice little shops and restaurants. We especially love hanging out on Poor Richard's back deck and eating dinner. There are several little antique stores downtown that are neat to browse. We will definitely come to this home again.

  • Submitted: Oct 8, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Charming cottage

  • 5 of 5

Very cozy and charming house and yard. within walking distance) to Festival Park and shops. Beds were comfortable, air-conditioning worked well.Great natural lightning. We enjoyed sitting on the porch. Not much water view but pleasant

  • Submitted: Oct 1, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Lovely home 2 mins from waterfront

  • 5 of 5

We had a lovely stay in Seagarden Cottage. The property is pretty, homely and comfortable - very much like the owners just popped out and told us to make ourselves at home! The location is great, just a moment from the boardwalk and waterfront businesses in Manteo and a short walk from the festival park. The levels of equipment in the cottage are good - comfortable beds, clean bathrooms, plenty of towels and linens (including some beach towels and chairs), pots and pans in the kitchen, good laundry room etc. We did overlook the lack of dishwasher but we managed to survive!

This was our first trip to the OBX and we really loved it - we spent several days on the beach in Nags Head as well as taking a kayaking trip from Kitty Hawk, going up to explore Duck, and visiting the NC Aquarium. If you are visiting with kids be sure to check out the activities that the aquarium offers in addition to the general admission - we did a 'Breakfast with the Rays' one morning which was really cool (they are listed on We also found some good restaurants including great gluten-free choices (which is essential for a good holiday if you have a coeliac in the family) - Avenue Grille on the waterfront does an amazing GF burger and Coastal Cravings in Duck was tricky to find (it's in an old gas station building!) but worth it for the fabulous GF crab cakes. Would also highly recommend visiting Downtown Books in Manteo if you like a good old-fashioned bookstore (with a resident foster cat we unfortunately could not take back to England with us!).

It was a very relaxing time and we hope to be back one day. Thanks for sharing your lovely home with us and introducing us to a fabulous part of the world.

  • Submitted: Sep 14, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Charming little cottage

  • 4 of 5

Enjoyed staying in this little cottage for a long weekend. Everything in walking distance! Appreciated how clean the cottage was kept. There are a few improvements that could be made but overall a comfortable home. Thank you!

  • Submitted: Sep 4, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Quaint cottage right in the middle of Historic Downtown Manteo close to Nags Head beaches

  • 5 of 5

My family (including two boys aged 7 and 5) greatly enjoyed our 6 day/5 night stay at Seagarden Cottage. The cottage is perfectly located walking distance to downtown Manteo and the boardwalk, while also a short drive to the Nags Head beaches. Using the cottage as home base, we went everywhere from Corolla to Ocracoke and everywhere in between, and we all agreed that we had chosen the best spot to stay. The house itself is surprisingly large with a nice size den and two nice bedrooms. We would definitely go back!

  • Submitted: Aug 20, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Comfortable home away from home and a fun location for kids

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed at the cottage with our children ages 5 and 3 and had a wonderful week. The cottage had plenty of room and everything we needed for an enjoyable stay. My kids particularly liked the childrens' playground that was within walking distance on the waterfront. The shops and restaurants are a short walk away. There is a lot to do in town, but we also took road trips to explore the area because this was our first time to the Outer Banks. We were surprised at the close, free parking at many nearby beaches and the number of restaurants in the area. We explored the dunes at the park in Nags Head, spent a day in Duck shopping, went to the beach at Jennette's Pier, explored Roanoke Island including the aquarium, Elizabethan Gardens, took a dolphin watch boat ride, saw two lighthouses, and were able to visit Ocracoke Island on our last full day. It was a fun trip. The only caution I would state about the cottage is that the mattresses are rather firm and it is not particularly child-proofed, but neither were a problem for us that would prevent us from returning.

  • Submitted: Aug 17, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
96.3 Miles
Norfolk International Airport
Nearest Barpub
0.2 Miles
Poor Richard's Pub
Nearest Ferry
64.3 Miles
Hatteras Ferry Terminal
Nearest Golf
6.9 Miles
Nags Head Golf Club
Nearest Train
112 Miles
Newport News Amtrak
Nearest Motorway
0.2 Miles
US 64
Nearest Restaurant
0.2 Miles
Poor Richard's Sandwich Shop
Nearest Beach
5.7 Miles
Jennette's Pier, Nags Head
Car: recommended

Manteo, on Roanoke Island, is centrally located for day trips to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands to the south; Duck, Corolla and Corova to the North; and everything in between. Nags Head and South Nags Head beaches, which feature ample public parking, are just a short drive over Washington Baum bridge, as are Jennette's Pier, Jockey's Ridge, and Nags Head Woods. When you venture out, keep in mind that no trip to the beach is complete without a quick breakfast at Sam & Omie's at MP 16.5 on the Beach Road (Highway 12), which has been serving breakfast to fishermen since the 1940s, and a stop at Cahoon's Market across the street for picnic supplies. Cahoon's sandwiches, salads and dips, made fresh daily, are the best around, and they sell groceries, sunscreen and beach chairs to boot.

But OUR favorite thing to do is stay put, for at least a day or two, as Roanoke Island itself has plenty to offer. Stroll the boardwalk, which begins just across the street from the house, past the Maritime Museum and around Marshes light, to the heart of downtown and over to Roanoke Island Festival Park, home of the Elizabeth II. If you take this walk on Saturdays during the summer months, you can visit the Manteo Farmers' Market, which features produce grown nearby, baked goods fresh from the oven, and crafts from local artisans.

Spend a few hours browsing the town's boutiques and antique stores (our favorites include Downtown Books, Wanchese Pottery, Nest, Odds n' Ends, and Outer Banks Quilts and Antiques), then enjoy lunch at Poor Richard's Sandwich Shop, Full-Moon Café and Brewery, or Ortega'z Southwestern Grill.

If you have kids, Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks is NOT to be missed, and kayaking and para-sailing are also available at the waterfront. If you don't have kids (or if you've got a few hours to yourselves-- hooray for you!), a sunset cruise on the Downeast Rover is a must, followed by drinks and dinner at 1587 Restaurant, located in the Tranquil House Inn. Swing through Poor Richard's, which becomes an After-Hours pub after the Sandwich Shop closes, for a night cap on the walk home. Downtown is also home to the Pioneer Theatre, the country's oldest continually operated family-owned movie theater, where the price of a ticket ($5) and popcorn ($1) is as charming as the setting.

On the island's north end, just a couple miles up Highway 64, are attractions such as Island Farm, the NC Aquarium, Elizabethan Gardens, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Sight, home of the Lost Colony. If you haven't got a car at your disposal (or would simply prefer not to use one), there is a bike path the runs the length of the island, making it possible (and safe), to reach everything on foot, or by bike. (Bikes can be rented at Olde Towne Creamery and Roanoke Island Outfitters, both of which are located on Highway 64).


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $59
Pet Fee $75 + Tax
Cleaning $75 + Tax
Tax Rate 12.75%

Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. Please email owner for information on monthly rates.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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