Wright Brothers National Memorial#4 in Best Things To Do in Outer Banks
If you flew to the Outer Banks, you have the Wright Brothers to thank. In 1900, the two moved here from Ohio for the area's steady winds to pursue their aviation dreams. After three years of experimentation, the first flight was born in Kill Devil Hills on December 17, 1903. Today, a 60-foot monument in the shape of an airplane tail marks this significant flight. To get a glimpse into the brothers' lives, travelers can visit their restored hangar and home as well as the Wright Brothers Visitor Center, which houses exhibits detailing the men's lives in the Outer Banks and the failures they endured along the way to that historic first flight.
Recent travelers said this is a must-visit site and highly recommend taking a guided ranger tour, which reviewers described as informative and fun.
Run by the National Park Service, the memorial is open seven days a week (except Christmas Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and costs $10 for adults and is free of charge for children ages 15 and younger. You'll find the memorial at mile post 7.5 on U.S. Highway 158. For more information, check out the National Park Service's website.
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#1 Outer Banks Beaches
The beaches in the Outer Banks stretch for more than 100 miles along barrier islands that frame the eastern coast of North Carolina. These sands are known for their cleanliness and their family friendliness. Each beach has something different to offer travelers, but take note that lifeguards are on duty on all beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The shores at Hatteras Island are known for their fishing and sailing (the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras is the tallest in the United States) as well as their campgrounds and 4x4 beach driving. The northern shores (specifically Kitty Hawk and Kill Devils Hills) are ideal for water sports like surfing and skimboarding, as they see more waves than the southern beaches. Nags Head also completed a 12-mile beach nourishment program that widened the sands so visitors have more room to spread out. Travelers should be mindful that the public parking is limited in Southern Shores. Those bringing their four-legged friend can head to Duck where dogs are allowed to be off their leash as long as they're under control.
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