Kill Devil Hills, NC Vacation Guide Tips | OBX Stuff (2024)

Kill Devil Hills, NC Vacation Guide Tips | OBX Stuff (1)

Situated north of Nags Head and south of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills is the epicenter of the central Outer Banks beaches.

A town whose name origination is still up for debate to this day, there is a whole to love about this slice of paradise on the East Coast. Inhabited by likely more year-round residents than any other town on North Carolina’s barrier islands, Kill Devil Hills is known for having fun things to do and exciting places to visit.

The most notable landmark in Kill Devil Hills has to be the Wright Brothers National Memorial, an impressive 60-foot granite monument that sits atop a 90-foot-tall mound of sand and dirt known as Kill Devil Hill.

History books will tell you that Wright’s 1903 first successful, sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine took place in Kitty Hawk. Those books are not mistaken; where the monument sits and where the first flight took place was once part of the town of Kitty Hawk.

Interesting Facts

  • If you turn off Highway 158 (or, as many call it, the bypass) onto Colington Road, you can travel several miles inland along a winding road that thousands of area locals use every day to access the rest of the Outer Banks. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of the OBX, most homes in Colington Road are not available for weekly rental.
  • On December 17, 2003, the Centennial of Flight celebration took place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. President George W. Bush, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Chuck Yeager traveled to the Outer Banks to pay homage to the two brothers from Dayton, OH, who changed the world forever with their flying machine.

Top 3 Attractions in Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Hills, NC Vacation Guide Tips | OBX Stuff (2)

Wright Brothers National Memorial

The most prolific and historical event ever occurred in Kill Devil Hills has to be the Wright brother’s “First Flight” in 1903. History books will tell you aviation history took place in Kill Hawk and not KDH – which is true!

Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted their experiments in Kitty Hawk at the time, but the area has since been re-zoned to Kill Devil Hills since then. You’ll head to about milepost eight on the bypass, and you’ll come across Wright Brothers National Memorial, which is in Kill Devil Hills. This attraction is well worth a visit if you have the time!

Learn about two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, who changed the world forever with their flying machine. Climb to the top of Kill Devil Hill to marvel at the monument at the apex or make your way through the visitors center and check out the replica of the brother’s historic flying machine.

1000 N Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 473-2111

Kill Devil Hills, NC Vacation Guide Tips | OBX Stuff (3)

Avalon Fishing Pier

One of many all-wood boardwalks along the coast of North Carolina, Avalon Fishing Pier is photographed by thousands of area vacationers annually. So if you want to go fishing during your stay on the Outer Banks, this Kill Devil Hills attraction is a worthy choice.

In addition to the pier, where anglers can cast out into the Atlantic without needing a North Carolina Fishing License, Avalon Pier has a tackle shop and arcade in the pier house. Purchase some fresh or artificial bait or enjoy a pinball game or round of pool with friends.

This local favorite is a super-chill place to hang out on summer nights. And if you like to bodyboard or surf, the waves near the pier are challenging to ignore.

Please be advised that swimming close to the pier is dangerous, so be cautious! Open year-round and 24 hours a day during the majority of the months out of the year.

2111 N Virginia Dare Trail
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-7494

Kill Devil Hills, NC Vacation Guide Tips | OBX Stuff (4)

Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve

Although most people vacation in Kill Devil Hills to enjoy the area’s pristine beaches, some would somewhat get lost among the trees and leaves – we hear you!

That’s why we wanted to include Nags Heads Woods on our list of top attractions. This wooded haven offers outdoor enthusiasts seven different trails to explore.

The beautiful and secluded woods consist of diverse ecosystems home to more than a thousand species of flora and fauna. Bring your dog along for a quick hike or traverse the entire preserve.

In total, there are five miles of trails to explore! Each course is open daily from dawn until dusk. Note that dogs are welcome on most but not all paths.

701 West Ocean Acres Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-2525

Need more inspiration on what to do while vacationing along the Outer Banks? Check out our list of 9 awesomethings to do in Kill Devil Hills!

5 Great Places to Eatin Kill Devil Hills

Kill Devil Grill

If you could only choose one restaurant on the Outer Banks to go to, we’d highly suggest that you consider Kill Devil Grill. With an old diner theme and a menu of offerings prepared impeccably, there’s so much to like and appreciate about this eatery across the street from the Atlantic along NC 12.

Their specials menu changes daily, and many entrees expire before the dinner service is over because the items are so popular—lots of craft beer options from the bar and top-notch wait staff.

From the outside looking in, you may not think Kill Devil Grill would be at the apex of Outer Banks culinary excellence – think again! Arrive early for lunch or dinner to beat the crowd.

Open most months out of the year, but be sure to check ahead of time if you’re planning a shoulder season getaway to the area.

2008 S Virginia Dare Trail
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 449-8181

Mama Kwan's Tiki Bar & Grill

Caribbean-inspired offerings and a menu that’s got something for everyone. Their specialties are the mahi-mahi tacos and ahi tuna plate.

Mama Kwan's is open for lunch and dinner every day during the summer with limited hours during the winter months: full bar and cozy dining room with either surfing or sports videos displayed on the TVs.

1701 S Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-7889

Food Dudes Kitchen

A super laid-back restaurant with a surf shack vibe located at milepost nine on NC 12 in Kill Devil Hills. Food Dudes Kitchen was established in 2008 and had been feeding hungry groms with fresh ingredients and locally-sourced seafood since induction.

Their offerings have a Caribbean and Mexican inspiration unlike any other on the Outer Banks.

1216 S Virginia Dare Trail
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-7994

JK's Restaurant

Upscale eatery without the stuffiness found at most white-tablecloth restaurants. JK’s offers some of the best steaks on the Outer Banks and some seafood favorites that are best when paired with the proper wine – which your waiter or waitress will be happy to suggest!

Reservations are not required but are highly encouraged. Enjoy a libation from the bar while waiting and bring someone special for a date night you won’t soon forget.

1106 S Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 441-9555

The Saltbox Cafe

Located on Colington Island, it’s easy to overlook The Saltbox Cafe – which would be a huge mistake! Farm-to-table offerings are both creative and well-executed by the restaurant's talented chefs. Not a super big dining room, so plan and make a reservation if you can.

Soundfront views are abundant, and there are plenty of unique choices on the diner menu to satisfy your taste buds.

1469 Colington Road
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 255-5594

Where to Stay in Kill Devil Hills, NC

When planning a stay in Kill Devil Hills, many lodging options are to consider – condos, hotels, camping, and vacation rental homes are all possibilities.

There aren’t many hotels on the Outer Banks, and the ones that do exist reside primarily in this town. Options like Comfort Inn, Best Western, and Ramada are great options, and some locally-owned choices like Sea Ranch Resort and Shutters on the Banks. Hotels are probably the best option if you only plan on staying between one and three consecutive nights in Kill Devil Hills.

From oceanfront to sound front, you don’t have to look hard to find a pool of many rental condos to choose from in Kill Devil Hills. These are great options if you have a small group and plan on vacationing for a week instead of just a couple of days.

Vacation rental homes are where it’s at if you have a large family or group of friends! Find a cozy two-story bungalow within walking distance to the beach, or settle for a sound front estate with breathtaking sunsets nightly and a short drive to the nearest public beach access. Hundreds of rental homes are available for qualified renters in Kill Devil Hills.

Kill Devil Hills, NC Vacation Guide Tips | OBX Stuff (2024)

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