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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
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 25, 2017

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 Manteo

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:
  • 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
  • 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


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(30 traveler reviews)

Seagarden Cottage in Historic Downtown Manteo, just steps from Shallowbag Bay
average rating of 4.766667 based on 30 reviews

Wonderful vacation accommodations!

  • 4 of 5

The cottage is on a nice quiet street with immediate access to the waterfront boardwalk and great shops and restaurants! We felt perfectly at home and comfortable and had everything we needed for our vacation. We would definitely stay at the cottage again!

  • Submitted: Oct 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0

Perfect Little Getaway!

  • 5 of 5

This little cottage is in a great spot location to downtown Manteo and just what we needed for a weekend getaway. The owner/property manager was extremely responsive to our questions and flexible with our booking dates/times. We were able to bring our dog who loves to travel with us and was very relaxed and at home in the space. The cottage was, as expected, a bit small; however it felt cozy rather than cramped. We hope to return again!

  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're so happy you enjoyed your getaway at our cozy cottage-- thanks for sharing our home! kind regards, Ashley
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1 0
Nashville, TN

Great property and excellent location in Manteo.

  • 4 of 5

We had a great time staying at your cottage. It was larger than we expected. Perfect for 2 couples. Had a great time sitting on the front porch. The location to downtown is fantastic. Only complaint I have is the mattress in the 2nd bedroom was horrible. Needs to be replaced. Made my back hurt, not to mention made creaks with every move made. Has to be old :) Other than that one thing, we LOVED it. Would love to come back for a longer visit.

Thanks for being a great host.

  • Submitted: Aug 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Andra-- We're glad you enjoyed the cottage and are so sorry that the mattress in the Garden room hurt your back! We really appreciate your feedback and have since replaced the mattress and box springs with a new set from Manteo Furniture, so it's all set for you on your next visit. Thanks again for staying with us-- we look forward to your return! warm regards, Ashley
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2 0
Vero Beach, Florida

The Perfect Retreat

  • 5 of 5

The cottage is wonderful! It's really clean, spacious, well-equipped, and charming. All four of us (including two young adults) had plenty of room to spread out and relax. It's quiet and comfortable yet steps to downtown historic Manteo with wonderful restaurants and shops. Avenue Grill was our favorite with great food, beautiful views, and music. And, in minutes we could be sitting on a beach in Nags Head. This was our first time staying in Manteo rather than on the beach side ... we loved it and hope to be back. Definitely recommend the cottage!!

  • Submitted: Aug 15, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We think Manteo is such a hidden treasure, Cathy, and are so glad you and your family enjoyed your stay. So many people who aren't familiar with the area don't realize how easy it is to get to Nags Head from the Island, and how wonderful it is to have restaurants and shops within walking distance. Please let us know when you're ready to return! kind regards, Ashley
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0 0
Mooresville NC

Beautiful Cottage

  • 5 of 5

My daughter and I enjoyed our stay in the Seagarden Cottage very much. The cottage was equipped with everything that we needed during our vacation. The location, right at Manteo's beautiful waterfront, was perfect for walks on the boardwalk and evening strolls through downtown. Roanoke Island is a great place to vacation, so beautiful and full of history. Will definitely return.

  • Submitted: Aug 9, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're so happy you enjoyed it and look forward to having you return! kindly, Ashley
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0 0
Shallotte, NC

Cozy and comfortable cottage

  • 5 of 5

What a beautiful property! We were only able to stay 2 nights but we wish we could have stayed longer. The home was so cozy, clean, and comfortable. You could tell the owners put a lot of thought on how to make their guests/renters feel at home. So close to Manteo you can walk downtown to the lovely shops and restaurants. Loved "Poor Richards" for breakfast and live music Saturday night. Also got a chance to walk to the Farmers Market Saturday morning. We were in Manteo to look at real estate and the only disappointment was that this home was not on the market! Will definitely return. Thanks so much for sharing your home.

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It was our pleasure, Susan. Poor Richards is one of our absolute favorite spots in town. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, as well as the cottage. We look forward to seeing you again! kind regards, Ashley
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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

Historic District Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Feb 27 2017 - May 14 2017
2 night minimum stay
High Season
May 15 2017 - Sep 17 2017
2 night minimum stay
Sep 18 2017 - Dec 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

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.

Enter dates for accurate pricing


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