Kill Devil Hills on North Carolina’s Outer Banks
Kill Devil Hills is the largest municipality in Dare County, North Carolina, geographically situated between the Outer Banks towns of Kitty Hawk to the north and Nags Head to the south. It’s centrally located in the region known as the Northern Beaches.
The name Kill Devil Hills has some legend and lore behind it. It’s obviously an unusual moniker, but from where did it originate? There are several theories on this, but one thing they all seem to have in common is strong drink. One theory suggests pirates on shore leave here coined the term after a night of overindulgence in moonshine "strong enough to kill the devil.” Another suggests that it came from the writings of William Byrd of Virginia in the 1700s. He stated that "most of the rum they get in the country comes from New England, and is so bad and unwholesome that it is not improperly called "Kill Devil." (It should be noted that he was not a big fan of the Carolinas in general.) Finally, other lore and legend suggests that the name came from a brand of rum that washed ashore locally on the dunes after a shipwreck. The rum was purportedly the only surviving cargo.
Though the true origin of the name may never be known, Kill Devil Hills is most certainly known as a historic site in the Age of Aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright proved successful in making four flights at the base of the hill where the Wright Brothers National Memorial now stands today. It’s also home to the first heavier-than-air powered flight, where the "Wright Flyer” made history with a 12-second, 120-foot flight over the sand dunes in 1903.
Kill Devil Hills offers a nice variety of restaurants, plenty of public beach accesses off of Highway 12, in addition to a public bathhouse and lifeguard station at the intersection of Highway 12 (Virginia Dare Trail) and Ocean Bay Drive.
Vacationers enjoy this quintessential Outer Banks town for its stunning coastal scenery, pristine beaches, and its wide array of shopping, dining, galleries, sports outfitters, surf shops, nightlife, coastal attractions, and abundant recreational facilities and parks.
Kill Devil Hills Attractions
- Wright Brothers National Memorial
- Avalon Fishing Pier
- North Carolina Marionette Theatre
- Theatre of Dare
- Dare County Recreation Park
- Aviation Park
- OBX Winery