No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without a visit to the Wright Brothers Memorial! Located in the town of Kill Devil Hills, NC, this towering granite monument stands tall to honor the Wright Brothers as the first pioneers of aviation. Visitors come from near and far to view the monument, browse the interactive exhibits at the museum, or explore the historic planes and hangars in the 428-acre park. Whether you’re an aviation lover, a history buff, or just looking for something fun to do with the kids, this should be on every vacationer’s bucket list!
Before you visit the Wright Brothers Memorial, make sure to request access to our complimentary Outer Banks Vacation Guide! It’s full of great tips about the best area attractions, including air tours, hang gliding adventures, underwater excursions and so much more!
Everything You Need to Know About the Wright Brothers Memorial
On December 17th, 1903, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright piloted the first ever powered airplanes over the sandy dunes in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Not only was this “first flight” one of the biggest achievements in American history, but it also paved the way for the entire future of aviation! Now, you can see where it all took place when you visit the Wright Brothers Memorial. Established in 1927, the memorial pays tribute to the Wright Brothers’ many accomplishments as well as the past, present, and future of aeronautics. Words simply don’t do it justice; you’ll just have to see it for yourself!
Things to Do at the Wright Brothers Memorial
1. View the Monument
Located atop a grassy hill, the monument is an impressive sight to behold! The 60-foot granite structure is hard to miss, as it towers over everything in its path. Don’t forget to bring your camera! You’ll find plenty of opportunities to snap a great family photo here.
2. Visit the Wright Brothers Memorial Visitor Center
After you view the monument, head over to the visitor center to see life-size models of the famous 1903 flyer and the 1902 glider planes. There are also several displays showcasing the tools and machines used during the brother’s initial experiments. Park rangers host a variety of free seasonal programs here, including kite-building lessons and informative presentations.
3. Browse the Centennial of Flight Museum
The newest addition to the park is the Centennial of Flight Museum, which was built to recognize the 100th anniversary of the first flight. President George W. Bush, Neil Armstrong, and John Travolta were among the attendees of the famous 2003 celebration. Inside the museum, you’ll find a variety of engaging exhibits and NASA displays celebrating both the history and future of flight.
4. Stroll Through the Park
There are 428 sprawling acres to explore at the Wright Brothers Memorial Park. Walk through the field on the exact path where the original four airplanes were flown on December 17th, 1903. Then, check out the replica of the hangar and cabin where Wilbur and Orville lived while they were constructing planes.
5. Celebrate the First Flight
One of the best Wright Brothers Memorial events is the annual celebration of the first flight on December 17th. A tradition that is more than a century old, the spectacle includes an array of keynote speakers, patriotic music, and a wreath-laying ceremony. The ceremony always concludes with a flyover of NASA aircraft at the exact documented time of the Wright Brothers first flight (weather permitting).
Admission and Hours of Operation
The memorial is open between 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day of the year except for Christmas Day. The Wright Brothers Memorial cost of admission is just $10 and grants you entrance for up to seven days. Children who are 15 years old and younger, visitors with a Federal Recreational Lands Pass, and visitors with an Every Kid in a Park Pass may enjoy free admission to the Wright Brothers Memorial. You may also opt to take one of the commercial tours or purchase an annual for $35.
Other Must-See Outer Banks Tours and Attractions
If you had fun visiting the Wright Brothers Memorial, you’ll love these other amazing tours and attractions. Make sure to stay several days so you can experience a few of them!
- Air Tours
- Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
- Corolla Adventure Park
- H2OBX Waterpark
- North Carolina Aquarium
- Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
- Ocracoke Lighthouse
- Cape Hatteras National Seashore
- Duck, NC, Boardwalk
Plan Your Outer Banks Vacation With Paramount Destinations!
After a fun-filled day exploring our beautiful barrier islands, come relax and unwind in your Outer Banks vacation rental. Known as the premier lodging option in the area, Paramount Destinations offers a wide array of luxurious homes and condos in Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, and The Currituck Club. Whether you prefer views of the ocean, the sound, or maritime forest, we are sure to have the ideal property for your family vacation. We also offer dog-friendly rentals for visitors who are bringing the whole family along!
Each of our accommodations is conveniently located near all of the best attractions, restaurants, and shops in the Outer Banks. Just 15 minutes from the Wright Brothers Memorial, Gramp’s Dream would be an excellent option for your stay! With room to comfortably accommodate 14 guests, this lovely home is pet-friendly and located near the beach access. Walk to the shoreline, take a dip in the large, private pool, or relax on the deck and enjoy the spectacular ocean views.
Don’t wait to start planning your Outer Banks getaway! Browse all available properties and book your stay today! We can’t wait to welcome you.