Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, NC on the Outer Banks

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse located in Buxton, NC is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States and has a history dating back to the late 1700s. Find out more about them, other activities and things to do, and additional information to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

46379 Lighthouse Road,
Buxton, NC 27920
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The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Buxton, NC. The lighthouse helps ships as they navigate what is known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, a 12-mile long sandbar that hundreds, if not thousands, of ships, have run aground on. The history of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse dates all the way back to 1794 and offers a very unique and suspenseful story. After the first lighthouse was built too short causing the ships at sea to not be able to see it, efforts were put into increasing the height from 90 feet to 150 feet. Even after the lighthouse had 60 feet added to it, eventually it needed so many repairs, the Lighthouse Board decided to build a new one. Upon completion of the new one, after several years, the beach near the lighthouse started to wash away and the threat of losing the lighthouse to the sea was looming. The light at the top was moved to a steel tower for the time being and the lighthouse structure was moved almost 3,000 feet inshore. Once the lighthouse move was complete, the light was placed back at the top and it stills stands in that very spot today. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in the United States standing just shy of 200 feet.

The Lost Colony in Manteo, NC on the Outer Banks

The Lost Colony is an outdoor production with over 120 crew members and has been performed at the Waterside Theater in Roanoke Island for over 80 years. Find out more about them, other activities and things to do, and additional information to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

Scene from The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony

1409 National Park Drive,
Manteo, NC 27954
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The Lost Colony was first performed in 1937 as a way to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English-born child in America. The show is performed at the Waterside Theater on Roanoke Island and typically runs through the summer months. The Lost Colony was recently named one of Summer’s 10 Best Outdoor Theater Experiences by Fodor’s Travel and has been seen by over three million people in its years of being performed.

A few fun facts about The Lost Colony performance: The stage is over three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York City; It is the nation’s longest-running outdoor performance; The production has over 120 actors, technicians, designers, and volunteers.

While visiting the Outer Banks, come witness the compelling production about an English colony that settled on Roanoke Island many, many years ago.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, NC on the Outer Banks

The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse extends about 40 yards into the Roanoke Sound and is helpful for sailors and fishermen as they enter the waterway. Find out more about them, other activities and things to do, and additional information to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse

104 Fernando Street,
Manteo, NC 27954
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The story of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse that stands today is quite interesting and unique. It doesn’t stand 50+ feet in the air, it is not along the coast to guide ships, and it hasn’t been around for years and years. However, it does hold value to the waterways of the Outer Banks, even if it isn’t shining its light many miles into the distance off the shore. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse that is located in downtown Manteo is not the original, it’s not even the second edition – it is the fourth lighthouse to be named Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and was constructed to help guard the entrances to inland rivers and harbors. River lighthouses are much smaller in size, which explains why it is so different from the other lighthouses along the Outer Banks. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is built about 40 yards into the Roanoke Sound and can be walked to via a boardwalk. Its construction was complete, and it was dedicated in September 2004.

Ocracoke Lighthouse in Ocracoke, NC on the Outer Banks

A piece of Outer Banks history, the Ocracoke Lighthouse is located on Ocracoke Island and has been helping boats navigate the tricky waters of Ocracoke Inlet since the early 1800s. Find out more about them, other activities and things to do, and additional information to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

Ocracoke Lighthouse

Ocracoke Lighthouse

360 Lighthouse Road,
Ocracoke, NC 27960
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The Ocracoke Lighthouse, located in Ocracoke Village, stands 75 feet tall and has been guiding mariners through the Ocracoke Inlet since 1822. Ocracoke is a small island south of Hatteras and north of Portsmouth Island. To get to the Ocracoke Lighthouse, you have to ride a ferry through the Hatteras Inlet, and then continue driving to the southern end of Ocracoke Island. Visitors are not able to climb the Ocracoke Lighthouse due to safety concerns with the 200+ year old spiral staircase, but remains a fascinating piece of history to see. Its white exterior differentiates it from the other lighthouses along the Outer Banks.

3 Tequilas in Kill Devil Hills, NC on the Outer Banks

Whether you’re looking for quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, or chimichangas, you will find it at 3 Tequilas, a traditional Mexican restaurant, located in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Find out more about them, other bars and restaurants, and all you need to know to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

3 Tequilas Mexican Restaurant

Family-friendly atmosphere serving traditional Mexican dishes.

3 Tequilas Mexican Restaurant
Photo: 3 Tequilas Facebook

804 S Croatan Hwy 
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
252-715-3604
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If you enjoy Mexican cuisine, you’re in for a treat when you visit 3 Tequilas in Kill Devil Hills. They serve lunch and dinner seven days a week. The menu includes burritos, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, quesadillas, nachos, and more! The appetizer and drink menu offers an array of options that are sure to start your dining experience off the right way. The bright colors and captivating artwork throughout only escalate the positive energy you are sure to experience.

The Pony and The Boat in Kitty Hawk, NC on the Outer Banks

Centrally located on the Outer Banks in Kitty Hawk, NC, The Pony and the Boat brings comfort food and coastal cuisine together to provide a unique menu in a relaxed atmosphere. Find out more about them, other bars and restaurants, and all you need to know to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

The Pony and the Boat Comfort Kitchen

Comfort food with a twist served in a relaxed atmosphere with modern decor.

The Pony and the Boat Comfort Kitchen
Photo: The Pony and the Boat Facebook

3712 N Croatan Hwy 
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
252-715-2991
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The Pony and the Boat Comfort Kitchen, located at milepost 4.5 in Kitty Hawk, takes comfort food up a notch with its twist on classic cuisines. You can enjoy anything from fried chicken to Outer Banks seafood, chicken pot pie to Saint Louis style toasted ravioli. Guests can choose to dine at the bar, in a private booth, or in their open dining room, all of which feature unique décor. Come one, come all – there are options on the menu for everyone including vegans, vegetarians, and children.

Vacation Safety On The Outer Banks

Outer Banks Vacation Safety

Please review this important information before your visit, and share the link with the rest of your vacation group. Thank you, and have a wonderful stay! 

General Safety

Know your vacation home’s address.
The address is located on your lease, your check-in packet, and on signage outside the home. If your home has an elevator, the address will be posted inside the elevator car as well.

Children should never be left unattended near elevators and must always be accompanied by an adult when on elevators.
If your home provides an elevator, it’s important everyone in your vacation group understand that children cannot use the elevator unattended. Do not press elevator buttons on different levels at the same time, and always firmly shut interior and exterior elevator doors after exiting the elevator car.

Remember to lock your vehicles and secure your vacation home.
Our vacation home keyless locks do not lock automatically. To lock your home’s keyless lock from the outside, touch the keypad portion of the lock with the back of your hand, which causes the locking mechanism to activate.

Do not over-occupy the home.
Please note that extra bedding isn’t allowed (such as air mattresses or cots). Only the maximum allowable number of occupants can use the home during your stay, including you, your family, all children, and guests who may be visiting you during the day even if they are not sleeping at the house.

No Carolina Designs Realty homes are ADA compliant.
If you have questions about your home’s entrance/exit widths, elevator dimensions, or any advertised “special access” amenities in your property’s description on our website, please contact our reservationists.


Fire Safety

When you check in, locate the home’s fire extinguishers, familiarize yourself with the home’s exits, and discuss an evacuation plan with your vacation group.
Fire extinguishers will be mounted on the wall in plain view or stored in clearly labeled cabinets.

Grilling cannot take place on decks and are not to be moved.
To mitigate fire risk, Carolina Designs Realty prohibits grilling on decks and places grills away from structures.

Smoking/vaping is not allowed inside any Carolina Designs Realty vacation home or outside on any decks. Please be sure to dispose of cigarette butts properly and safely.

Advertised fireplaces are only available October 1st – March 31st and are not to be used while the air conditioner is running.
Many fireplaces are not available for guest use. Please check your home’s property page before attempting to use your home’s fireplace(s) between October and March.

Please note that firepits are not allowed unless provided by the homeowner.
Many communities on the Outer Banks prohibit the use of firepits at homes and on the beach.

You must secure a permit to have a fire on the beach in Nags Head. Beach fires are prohibited in the towns of Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills.
To have a beach fire in Nags Head, obtain a permit for a nonrefundable fee from the Nags Head Fire Department website between 5:30PM and midnight on the same day you intend to have the fire. Rules and restrictions include:
1. A picture ID, address of the applicant and address or location of the requested fire must be provided to the Nags Head Fire Department.
2. If winds are 11.5 miles per hour or more, you cannot have a fire.
3. The fire cannot be built within 50 feet of combustible materials, including sea grass.
4. The pit for the fire must be no larger than 3 feet in diameter and no less than 1 foot deep.
5. At all times, the fire must be attended by a competent person 14 years or older. The emailed permit must stay with this person and the fire at all times if it active or hot. It is this person’s responsibility to attend the fire and ensure it is completely extinguished with water prior to leaving the site. All trash should be removed, and all holes should be filled in.
6. Only leaves, branches, or other plant growth can be burned. Burning trash, lumber scraps, and anything other than plant growth is illegal.
7. Note that special conditions may exist that could prevent the fire department from issuing beach fire permits in addition to wind speed, such as state-issued fire bans.

Most fireworks (and sky lanterns) are illegal on the Outer Banks.
Fireworks that leave the ground or make a loud sound (bottle rockets, mortars, roman candles, aerial fireworks, firecrackers, M80s, etc.) are illegal in North Carolina, as well as the release of sky lanterns. Pyrotechnics that do not leave the ground and emit sparks/smoke from a stationary position (such as caps, snakes, fountains, and sparklers) can be used in the towns of Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, but are prohibited in the other towns on the Outer Banks. Never allow children to light these devices, and only use them outside on a level area away from ignitable materials. Always have water ready and available in case of fire. Thoroughly soak devices in water prior to disposal.


Pool & Hot Tub Safety

If your home provides a private pool or community pool, please abide by all additional posted onsite rules.
1. Never leave children unattended in the pool area.
2. As required by the NC Pool Safety Act, all private pools are either fully fenced in with a self-latching gate, have an audible pool alarm, or have high handles on doors with direct access to the pool area. Please report any broken latches or alarms to our maintenance department right away.
3. If your entire private pool is cloudy and you can’t see the main drain, discontinue use and contact our maintenance department. (Note that sand in the pool is very common in our area due to high winds and shifting dunes, and does not alter the chemical balance of the water.)
4. If anyone in your vacation group has an implanted device sensitive to electricity, please contact our office for further information.
5. Be extra careful on wet, potentially slippery surfaces.
6. If your home’s pool is heated, note that the maximum pool heat temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. (Many pool heaters are heat pumps that require an ambient air temperature of 60 degrees or higher to heat the pool, meaning that if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, the pump will not continue to heat.)

If a hot tub is provided at your home, please follow these rules:
1. Never leave children unattended in the hot tub area.
2. Children under 12, elderly persons, and those with health issues should not use the hot tub. (Please note that children have an increased risk of skin irritation from hot tub use.)
3. Always have someone with you while using the hot tub, but don’t overcrowd it. Water can spill over the sides and damage the motor.
4. The temperature should not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures are recommended for extended use exceeding 10-15 minutes.
5. Do not stay in the hot tub for more than 30 minutes. Do not use the blowers and high jet settings for more than 30 minutes as it can cause overheating and motor damage.
6. Shower before and after using the hot tub.
7. Do not remove the chlorine floater. Note that the hot tub’s water may appear cloudy until chemicals have properly dispersed after it is serviced on check-in/check-out day. The hot tub will be checked mid-week by the vendor.
8. Leave the hot tub on low jet settings and replace the cover when not in use. Please use care when removing and replacing the fragile hot tub cover, and never sit on it. If the hot tub cover is found damaged, please contact our maintenance office.
9. Be extra careful on wet, potentially slippery surfaces.


Beach Safety

Love The Beach, Respect The Ocean: Be safe while having fun!
1. Never swim alone or leave children unattended by an adult.
2. Always swim with flotation.
3. Know Before You Go: The National Weather Service provides a beach forecast which includes rip current risk. Note that low risk does not mean no risk.
4. Sign up for daily Outer Banks beach and ocean condition text alerts from Dare County by texting OBXBEACHCONDITIONS to 77295. (It’s easy to unsubscribe after your stay, simply text STOP to the same number.)
5. Do not get in the water when red “No Swimming” flags are flying.
6. Be extremely cautious and consider staying out of the water when yellow “Dangerous Current” flags are flying.
7. Learn about rip currents and backwash. If caught in a rip current, remain calm, yell for help, stay afloat, and swim parallel to the shore rather than fight to swim straight back to shore.
8. Do not swim when a storm is near, or at night. Vacate the beach if you hear thunder.
9. Do not dig holes in the sand deeper than knee-to-thigh deep due to collapse risk, and always fill them in afterward for safety.

Protect yourself from the sun.
Use sunscreen (don’t forget to frequently re-apply!), UV-protective clothing, find shade, take breaks, drink water, and avoid the hottest part of the day when possible (10:00 AM-4:00 PM). Always keep a pair of flip flops or shoes handy while you’re at the beach. Remember, if it’s too hot for you to go barefoot, it’s too hot for dog paws too. It can take less than one minute for dog paws to blister. If it’s 77 degrees outside, asphalt and sand is 125 degrees. If it’s 87 degrees outside, asphalt and sand is 143 degrees. Never leave children, pets, or anyone else in a locked car due to the risk of heatstroke. Vehicle temperatures can rise rapidly.

Stay hydrated – dogs, too!
Whether you’re spending time in the hot tub, at the beach, or by a pool, always keep water handy. Be sure to make fresh water available to the four-legged friends in your group.

Remove all of your beach gear each evening. Fill in holes, and knock down sandcastles.
Any beach gear (including beach chairs and canopies) must be removed each day, or the town may dispose of the items. The beach must be left clear of obstructions, holes, and debris to help emergency vehicles and protect fragile wildlife.

Nags Head, NC on the Outer Banks | History, Attractions & More

Discover Nags Head, NC on the Outer Banks. The history, directions, things to do and more. From your friends at Carolina Designs.

Nags Head, NC on the Outer Banks

History, Things To Do, Frequently Asked Questions & More

One of the first tourist destinations in the United States, the town of Nags Head has a long history of welcoming visitors. When Francis Nixon built a vacation cottage for his family in the 1830s so they could escape the oppressive heat, humidity, and malaria of a North Carolina summer, he started a trend that continues to the present day. The community and citizens of Nags Head remain as welcoming to visitors today as they were 180 years ago.

Welcome to Nags Head Town Sign

Where to Stay in Nags Head

View our selection of great vacation rentals in Nags Head.


Attractions to Nags Head

There is so much to do in Nags Head that it could be considered a singular vacation destination. There is a unique historic district, great shopping and natural beauty everywhere.

Beach: With an 11-mile shoreline, Nags Head has more beaches than any other town on the Outer Banks. The beach, especially around Jennette’s Pier, is very wide with lovely, soft sand. Many CAMA parking facilities are adjacent to the beach, with several providing showers and a few with restroom facilities. South of Jennette’s Pier there is no commercial development, and public parking is much more restricted.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park: The largest sand dune on the East Coast, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is well worth a visit and a few hours of exploration. It is considered one of the finest places in the world to fly any size and style of kite, from a simple diamond shaped kite to the largest and most powerful. The highest elevation on the Outer Banks, this dune is absolutely barren. With no vegetation there is nothing to block the breathtaking panoramic views of the sound and sea. There is also nothing to block the wind, which creates perfect kite flying conditions.

Fishing Piers: There are three fishing piers in Nags Head. From north to south they are: Nags Head Pier, Jennette’s Pier and the Outer Banks Fishing Pier.

Nags Head Fishing Pier is located at Milepost 11.5 on the Beach Road. A very traditional wooden pier, it has a restaurant and tackle store, and the pier extends over 750 feet into the ocean.

At the other end of Nags Head, the Outer Banks Fishing Pier is found at Milepost 18.5 on the Beach Road in South Nags Head. It’s been around for almost 50 years and extends 600 feet into the surf zone, giving anglers a great chance to hook larger fish running farther offshore.

Jennette’s Pier is the most spectacular pier on the Outer Banks. When Hurricane Isabel destroyed the original pier, there was concern this local icon would be gone forever. Fortunately, the NC Aquarium Society stepped in, bought the property and created an amazing 1,000 foot concrete pier that includes a small aquarium, event area and fully stocked gift shop.

Nags Head Links Golf Course: A true links style course, Nags Head Links parallels the Roanoke Sound and features beautiful vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and sound. This 6,126 yard, par 71 course changes dramatically with the wind. Reports indicate finesse players have much success here.


Brief History of Nags Head, NC

The first European settlers arrived at what is now Nags Head around 1700. Legend holds that the first settlers were survivors of shipwrecks. There is little historic evidence to support that claim and there is equal evidence to deny it. What is known is that the first residents earned a living through subsistence farming, hunting, fishing and salvaging the debris from shipwrecks.

After Francis Nixon built the first vacation getaway on the soundside, Nags Head quickly developed into a small but thriving tourist destination, and by 1840 the Nags Head Hotel had accommodations for more than 200 and a wooden walkway leading to the ocean. Its location at the south end of Jockey’s Ridge sealed its fate—by the end of the 1870s the building was abandoned due to ever-shifting sands.

Nags Head’s reputation as a vacation destination was already well established when in 1855 oceanside development began in Nags Head. It was started by Elizabeth City physician, Dr. W.G. Pool, who bought 50 acres of beachfront land for $30. He built his cottage then proceeded to sell lots for $1 apiece to his friends and neighbors, insuring they could all take advantage of the Nags Head lifestyle. His plan worked. By 1885 there were 13 homes lining the beach, but the real boom came when Elizabeth City builder, S.J. Twine, came to Nags Head at the turn of the 20th century. Twine’s homes featured many of the distinctive design characteristics still used in beachfront cottages today.


Where is Nags Head?

Nags Head is the southernmost of the three largest towns that occupy the northern Outer Banks—Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are the other two. The town limits begin at Milepost 10 or ten miles south of the Wright Memorial Bridge. Coming from the west on US 64, Nags Head begins at the eastern end of the Washington Baum Bridge—the bridge that connects Roanoke Island (Manteo) with the Outer Banks beaches. That strip of road between the end of the bridge and Whalebone Junction is often referred to as the Causeway.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drive on the beach in Nags Head?

Beach driving is allowed in Nags Head between October 1 and April 30 with a town permit.

Are dogs allowed on the beach in Nags Head?

Dogs are allowed on the beach when on a leash. We recommend you remain mindful of the temperatures of the sand during the summer months, as it gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. Picking up after your pet is required – burying in sand or throwing in the ocean is prohibited.

Is there public parking with beach access in Nags Head?

There are several public parking lots along the beach, some offering showers and restrooms. As you make your way south into Old Nags Head (south of Jennette’s Pier), public parking is much less abundant, if at all.

Why Is It Called Nags Head, NC?

No one is quite sure how either Nags Head or Jockey’s Ridge got their names. The most colorful tale holds that during storms, early residents of the area would strap a lantern to a horse’s neck and walk the horse back and forth on Jockey’s Ridge. The motion would mimic the motion of a ship at anchor, and then ships at sea would make for the anchorage, only to wreck on the shoals and sandbars. The residents would then salvage the goods. A good story, but it is hard to imagine a horse allowing a lantern with a flame to be attached to its head or neck.

What is the Best Time to Visit?

While many would say “there is no bad time to visit the beach”, we understand there are better times than others. Keeping in mind that everyone is different, we will just go through each season starting with the most popular — summer! Summertime on the Outer Banks is exactly how you’d expect a beach destination to be in the warmest months of the year. It is a bit more crowded than the rest of the year, but you’re nearly guaranteed the best beach days, the sunniest skies, and the warmest weather (remember, there are no guarantees when it comes to Mother Nature). Spring and fall, the shoulder seasons, are not to be overlooked though. They also offer up some epic beach days, fall more so than spring. The beauty of these seasons is that the beaches and roads are less crowded than the summer. Winter on the OBX is, again, how you’d expect a beach destination to be in the coldest months of the year. A lot of locations have closed for a couple months to get some R&R after a busy season and to gear up for another year. Winter nearly empties the beaches (with the exception of that one-off slightly warmer, sunshine-filled winter day).

How Do I Get to Nags Head?

Getting to any of the towns on the Outer Banks is as simple as driving north or south. If you are coming from the east, after going over the Wright Memorial Bridge, you continue through Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills to get to Nags Head. Coming from the west, you will go past Roanoke Island, over the Washington Baum Bridge, and you will have arrived.


Come Join Us In Nags Head!

Currituck Maritime Museum in Corolla, NC on the Outer Banks

The Currituck Maritime Museum offers its visitors a unique experience to learn more about the history that built the area. Find out more about them, other things to do, and all you need to know to enjoy your stay on the OBX at CarolinaDesigns.com.

Currituck Maritime Museum

Fascinating exhibits are displayed to showcase the region’s unique maritime history.

Currituck Maritime Museum

1140 Village Lane
Corolla, NC 27927
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Water has always had an influence on Currituck County – whether it be the ocean, the sound, or somewhere in between. Located in Corolla, NC across from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, the Currituck Maritime Museum offers the community an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the history of the area and how it has become what it is today. Different exhibits throughout the museum cover topics such as historical boats and the boat-building industry, fishing, lifesaving stations, lighthouses, decoy carving, weather, and more!

Kill Devil Hills, NC on the Outer Banks | History, Attractions & More

Discover Kill Devil Hills, NC on the Outer Banks. The history, directions, things to do and more. From your friends at Carolina Designs.

Kill Devil Hills, NC on the Outer Banks

History, Things To Do, Frequently Asked Questions & More

Kill Devil Hills is the most central town on the Outer Banks and offers an array of restaurants, shops, and things to do while visiting. This stretch of beach on the Atlantic Ocean offers several public access points, some with parking, bathhouses and special accessibility. For convenience and safety, lifeguards are stationed every half-mile during the summer season.

Welcome to Kill Devil Hills Town Sign

Where to Stay in Kill Devil Hills

View our selection of great vacation rentals in Kill Devil Hills.


Attractions to Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills offers a wide array of things to do across the town from north to south, but also from the ocean to the sound. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Kill Devil Hills, but don’t forget to grab a beach chair and an umbrella and make your way to the biggest attraction to the area… the Atlantic Ocean!

Wright Brothers Monument: First time visitors should be advised that this is an important part of your Outer Banks experience. Located in the heart of Kill Devil Hills, the Wright Brothers Monument is located on top of Kill Devil Hill, a massive sand dune that was stabilized in 1932 for the construction of the iconic monument. The view from the top is spectacular, and it is worth the walk, which is somewhat strenuous.

Albemarle Sound: Bay Drive parallels Kitty Hawk Bay, which is part of the Albemarle Sound. Visitors who take this route will experience a beautiful drive and pleasant contrast to the Atlantic. Although there are no beaches on the soundside of Kill Devil Hills, there are four maintained water access points.

Nags Head Woods: The preserve encompasses parts of Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills. However, the entrance is located in Kill Devil Hills. Owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, Nags Head Woods is a 1,100 acre maritime forest. There are a number of hiking trails throughout the park, and the terrain is surprisingly rugged and hilly.

Multi-Use Trails: The town of Kill Devil Hills has made a conscious effort to create and maintain interconnecting multi-use trails designed for biking, walking, jogging, and skateboarding. The trails are part of a series of interconnecting trails that run from the Currituck County line to South Nags Head.


Brief History of Kill Devil Hills, NC

Kill Devil Hills was the first town on the Outer Banks to incorporate, but it almost was the town that wasn’t. The town incorporated in 1953 amidst concerns that the county would not protect its familial and residential nature with the emerging tourist industry surrounding the Wright Brothers Monument.

The nearest town was Kitty Hawk located five miles away with 300 residents and sporadic supplies. There was a Kill Devil Hills Lifesaving Station not far from their camp, and Orville continually cites their aid in his letters. It was Surfman John Daniels who took the iconic picture of the Wright Flyer lifting off the ground.

In spite of the fame of the Wright Brothers and their flight, the area around the Monument remained isolated and undeveloped until bridges connecting Nags Head to Manteo in the south and a wooden bridge connecting Kitty Hawk to Currituck County in the north were built. The Manteo bridge was constructed in the late 1920s, and the wooden predecessor to the Wright Memorial Bridge was built in 1931. With the completion of two bridges, North Carolina paved a road connecting the two spans.

Although the population remained relatively modest, Kill Devil Hills was becoming an important tourist destination. One of the town’s first employees, George Frank, was hired as Chief of Police, Building Inspector, Supervisor of Streets and “other duties as needed.”

The town was growing and thriving though. The Sea Ranch Resort, one of the original beach motels, opened in the 1950s. In 1962 the Avalon Pier was completed. In 1988 the Dare Center, the first shopping center on the Outer Banks, was completed, and by 1990 there were almost 4300 permanent residents in the town. The population today is a little over 7000.


Where is Kill Devil Hills?

If there is a population center on the Outer Banks, it’s Kill Devil Hills. It is both the most centrally located of the major towns and the most largely populated. Kill Devil Hills is located to the south of Kitty Hawk, and to the north of Nags Head.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed on the beach in Kill Devil Hills?

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach between 9am and 6pm. Dogs are required to be leashed any time they are on the public beaches.

Can you drive on the beach in Kill Devil Hills?

Beach driving is allowed in Kill Devil Hills during the off-season (October 1 – April 30). A beach driving permit is required before driving on the beach. Obtaining a permit for Kill Devil Hills also allows beach driving in Nags Head.

Do you have to pay to park when you go to the beach in Kill Devil Hills?

All public beach accesses in Kill Devil Hills (and all of the Outer Banks towns) are free to park at.

Why Is It Called Kill Devil Hills, NC?

The name is certainly distinctive and wrapped in mystery; no one is sure of its source. The most colorful tale would ascribe the name to a comment from Governor Byrd of Virginia in 1728. No fan of his neighbor to the south, he wrote, “Most of the rum they get in this country comes from New England, and is so bad and unwholesome, that it is not improperly called ‘Kill-Devil…”. Not quite as colorful but certainly possible, is an explanation that David Stick proposed, referencing that early sailors reported it “was enough to kill the devil” to navigate the seas in the area. The third possibility is a shorebird, the killdeer, once populated the area which gave way to the large sand dune being referred to as “killdeer hill” and finally Kill Devil Hill.

What is the Best Time to Visit?

While many would say “there is no bad time to visit the beach”, we understand there are better times than others. Keeping in mind that everyone is different, we will just go through each season starting with the most popular — summer! Summertime on the Outer Banks is exactly how you’d expect a beach destination to be in the warmest months of the year. It is a bit more crowded than the rest of the year, but you’re nearly guaranteed the best beach days, the sunniest skies, and the warmest weather (remember, there are no guarantees when it comes to Mother Nature). Spring and fall, the shoulder seasons, are not to be overlooked though. They also offer up some epic beach days, fall more so than spring. The beauty of these seasons is that the beaches and roads are less crowded than the summer. Winter on the OBX is, again, how you’d expect a beach destination to be in the coldest months of the year. A lot of locations have closed for a couple months to get some R&R after a busy season and to gear up for another year. Winter nearly empties the beaches (with the exception of that one-off slightly warmer, sunshine-filled winter day).

How Do I Get to Kill Devil Hills?

Kill Devil Hills sits squarely in the middle of the Outer Banks. The town boundaries are placed at Milepost 5 on the north side where Kitty Hawk begins and Milepost 10 to the south where Nags Head begins. Almost all businesses are located along the Beach Road (NC 12) or the Bypass (US 158), although unlike any other beach town in Dare County, there are some businesses on streets immediately adjacent to the Bypass.


Come Join Us In Kill Devil Hills!