Located in the central Outer Banks, Kill Devil Hills is the largest municipality in Dare County. The oldest township in the Outer Banks, Kill Devil Hills should not be confused with Kill Devil Hill, where the Wright Brothers made the first successful flight in a powered machine. The Wright Brothers Memorial Monument stands sixty feet high on the ninety foot high Kill Devil Hill.
When you come for a daytrip, you be sure to save time to visit the museum exhibits and take a ranger conducted tour of the Wright Brothers National Memorial and Museum. You may also want to check with Kitty Hawk Kites and see when they are holding lessons or competitions.
This area is typified by a string of sand mountains, some over one hundred feet high. Where the name Kill Devil Hills comes from is the stuff of local legends. A short sweet account says that the town was simply named for Kill Devil Hill where the Wright Brothers made their famous flight. One interesting story goes that it was named after a popular brand of rum called Kill Devil Rum. Another tells that the many ship wrecks in the area caught ships coming back from the tropics full of rum (enough to kill the devil!) which washed up on the shores after the shipwreck for locals to enjoy. Even more bizarre is the tale that a man tried to extort money from the devil, trapping him in one of the large sand hills. A more formal explanation is the fact that this area is home to a species of bird named Killdeer by the early natives. This name was adopted and later Hills added to the term to indicate the large sand dunes of the area. Whatever the origin of the name, Kill Devil Hills is a uniquely beautiful site to behold when the kite fliers are out on top of the large sand hills with colorful kites and hang gliders as they relax and play in the warm tropical breezes of this lovely ocean town.