Outer Banks: Wright Brothers National Memorial, North Carolina

As a travel enthusiast, I couldn’t be more thankful for the invention of flight. History buffs know that the first successful flight occurred at Kitty Hawk, a town in the Outer Banks, by the Wright brothers in 1903. Visiting the Wright Brothers National Memorial was at the top of my list during my visit to the area. The first thing I noticed was the wind – no coincidence as the brothers knew it was one of the conditions necessary for experimenting with flight.

I was drawn first to the monument up on the Kill Devil Hill, and anxiously walked up the paved path – 90’ elevation.

Atop is the impressive monument, a sleek 60’ mass of granite.

From up here you can see out into the town and ocean. It is also extra windy up the hill – if you’re planning on taking a picture by the monument and have longer hair, pro tip – bring something to pull it back with. I couldn’t help but do the appropriate airplane yoga pose everywhere at the site, but the wind was so strong on the ledge I almost felt I myself was going to blow away!

Next I walked down to check out the sculpture of first flight – the Wright’s were helped by many friends in the community to achieve their goal.

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Next up I went to the actual sight of the first flight line from ground level.

Since the ground at the time was made of soft sand, a launch rail was built for a better runway. Here you can walk the first four flights and see the progress.

Just down the line is the hangar where the brothers worked testing their experiment, and see what their living conditions were like.

Good to know:

+Current admission is $7 fee for 16+, free with America the Beautiful

+The Visitor’s Center is under construction

+Walking around the paths there are interesting informational plaques, but you can also drive to the different areas and park closer to them

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3 Responses to Outer Banks: Wright Brothers National Memorial, North Carolina

  1. julieovaltrades says:

    Such sweet memories! I hope you have a great time.

  2. Debbie L says:

    We love this area. It’s been just over 30 years since we visited it with our then toddler. We’ll be nearby for a week with our 4 year old and 2 year old grandsons. We’ll take them there!

  3. The location of the first flights is now pretty far inland .

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