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Kill Devil Hills: The Town Where Wright Brothers Made Their First Flight on North Carolina Coast [Next to Kitty Hawk]

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Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills is the town where Wright Brothers made their first flight on North Carolina coast.

The date of the Wright Brothers' first flight was December 17, 1903.

Kill Devil Hills is located in Dare County on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

It is known for its beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and historical significance.

Features of Kill Devil Hills include as follows.

  • Wright Brothers National Monument: Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates Orville and Wilbur Wright's first powered airplane in 1903. The memorial at Wright Brothers National Monument includes a museum, a recreation of the Wright Brothers' 1903 camp and hangar, and a 60-foot (18.3m) granite monument atop Big Kill Devil Hill.
  • Beaches: Kill Devil Hills has miles of pristine coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, offering sunbathing, swimming, surfing, beachcombing, and other water activities. Beaches are popular with tourists and locals alike.
  • Outdoor Activities: In addition to the beach, visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and parasailing. The area's diverse ecosystems, including soundside wetlands and maritime forests, offer opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.
  • Restaurants and Shops: Kill Devil Hills offers a variety of restaurants serving fresh seafood and local cuisine. Stores, boutiques, and art galleries are also available for visitors' enjoyment.
  • Tourism: As part of North Carolina's Outer Banks, Kill Devil Hills is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months. Visitors come to enjoy the beaches, historic sites, and outdoor recreation.
  • Weather: The climate in Kill Devil Hills is generally hot summers and mild winters, making it a year-round destination for those who enjoy coastal activities.

Overall, Kill Devil Hills offers a mix of history, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities.

Kill Devil Hills is a favorite spot for vacationers seeking a coastal getaway in North Carolina!

Kill Devil Hills is the neighbors of Kitty Hawk, the town named for U.S. Navy's supercarrier "Kitty Hawk", and Nags Head, a coastal vacation town famous for its sand dunes.

To learn more about Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, click the following.

Click the following to watch videos introducing Kill Devil Hills.

North Carolina license plates feature the Wright Brothers' "First in Flight" and an illustration of an airplane.

We're proud of you, Wright Brothers!

A video of car license plates from 1975 to the present is shown below.

The license plates of the Wright Brothers are shown in the thumbnail.

Origin of The Name "Kill Devil Hills"

The following is the origin of the name "Kill Devil Hills".

The origin of the name Kill Devil Hills is basically from the book The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is available for reading the following.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina

Devil-Killing Rum

The name is said to derive from the "devil-killing rum" that originated in the Caribbean Islands and New England.

The most plausible explanation, and one officially endorsed by the town, is that it originated when a ship carrying rum ran aground on a dangerous barrier island during the British colonial period.

Another theory is that the rum bottles recovered from the wrecked ship were stored in the dunes by the locals.

In 1728, William Byrd of Virginia, no fan of North Carolinians, wrote “Most of the Rum they get in this Country … is so bad and unwholesome, that it is not improperly called ‘Kill-Devil,".

There is a story that a ship carrying this 'Kill Devil rum' was shipwrecked on the other side of the dunes, hence the name.

Local Bird called Killdeer

The name comes from the local bird, Killdeer.

Because of the abundance of killdeer in the area, the area is nicknamed "Killdeer Hills".

It is quite possible that someone misheard "killdeer" for "killdevil" due to dialectal differences repeated in both spoken and written language, resulting in "Kill Devil Hills".

The Legend of Devil Locked Away

There is also a mythological, though less credible, explanation.

Legend has it that a local man, in an attempt to rob the devil of his gold, trapped him in a deep pit atop one of the many high dunes that make up the town's desolate landscape.

It is said that the trapping (defeating) of the devil gave the town its name, Kill Devil.

The Infamous Coastline Surrounding Barrier Islands

Some believe it originated from the infamous coastline surrounding the barrier islands.

An 1851 article in the American Beacon (a Norfolk news magazine) stated "there is a range of sand hills called Kill Devil Hills, not because his satanic majesty was there disposed of, but because sailors say, it is enough to kill the devil to navigate that part of the sound."

The reason is that at the time of publication, the map showed that the area was already called "Kill Devil Hills."

Kill Devil Hills vs. Kill Devil Hill

We have been told that there has been some controversy over which name is correct, Kill Devil Hills or Kill Devil Hills, but in fact both are correct!

Kill Devil Hills is the name of the largest sand dune that runs along the western edge of town, and Kill Devil Hills is the name of the community.

NOTE: Kill Devil Hills is probably the location of Wright Brothers National Monument. At the time of the Wright Brothers' flight, the dunes were sand dunes, but now there are few sandy portions.

3 Recommended Attractions in Kill Devil Hills

Here are 3 recommended attractions in Kill Devil Hills.

Wright Brothers National Monument

Wright Brothers National Monument is the site of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

The following facilities are currently available.

  • Wright Brothers Memorial
  • First Flight Airport

Click the following to watch videos of Wright Brothers National Monument.

Nags Head Woods Preserve

Nags Head Woods Preserve protects one of the largest remaining maritime forests on the East Coast.

  • More than 550 plant species, from tall trees to shrubs.
  • More than 150 bird species, at least 50 of which are nesting birds.

Click the following for introductory videos of Nags Head Woods Preserve.

Avalon Fishing Pier

Avalon Fishing Pier is a pier located in Kill Devil Hills.

Many anglers enjoy fishing at Avalon Fishing Pier!

Click the following for introductory videos of Avalon Fishing Pier.

Summary

We introduced Kill Devil Hills, which is the town where Wright Brothers made their first flight on North Carolina coast.

Wright Brothers National Monument is located in Kill Devil Hills.

Book your travel arrangements here if you would like to learn more about it!

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