Situated between Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, the town of Kill Devil Hills is located in the middle of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, or OBX to locals. While Kill Devil Hills is in the center of it all, you will find quiet beaches, secluded trails, and tucked-away harbors to explore. Visitors return to the area year after year to relax on the ocean-soaked beaches and to recharge with the gentle Southern beach-life vibe.
Things To Do In Kill Devil Hills
With miles of beautiful sandy beaches and protected reserves, Kill Devil Hills offers visitors fun in the sun for their weekend getaway. Spend time relaxing on the beach, touring on a bike, or exploring the natural beauty of the islands for your maximum enjoyment.
Hit The Beach
The beautiful, sandy beaches draw visitors to the Outer Banks from across the country. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Roanoke and Albemarle sounds on the other, Kill Devil Hills is a sun lover’s playground. Good parking access and some lifeguard stations dot the area beaches. For all the Kill Devil Hills beach-going information, visit the town’s beach information site.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first airplane on December 17, 1903, in Kill Devil Hills, changing the way we travel forever. The Wright Brothers National Memorial captures the tenacity of these daring brothers with a commemorative monument in Kill Devil Hills. You can imagine the fortitude of this pair as they worked and reworked their designs striving to keep their invention in the air.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center brings their story to life with interactive exhibits and historical items, including a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer that Orville flew on that first historic flight.
What is it about a pier that draws you to walk to the end? Avalon Pier is no exception. The 700-foot-long structure provides her guests with magnificent ocean views. Primarily a fishing pier, Avalon boasts a snack shack and bait and tackle shop. If you can’t pass up a good fishing spot, this might be the place you have been seeking. You can rent gear and purchase a daily pass for a nominal fee.
Fish that might tug your line include blues, flounder, trout, mullet, and stripers. Get out early for the best action.
Bodie Island Lighthouse
The mere 214 steps to the top of Bodie Island Lighthouse reward visitors with a spectacular 360-degree view of the Atlantic and the Outer Banks. The lighthouse is open during the summer months and charges a nominal fee for the climb.
Even if you decide not to make the hike up the lighthouse steps, the area is pretty to visit. The marsh surrounding the lighthouse is a popular place for bird watchers since it is located adjacent to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.
Nags Head Woods Preserve
A gorgeous maritime forest, Nags Head Woods Preserve offers visitors a unique opportunity to stroll through coastal forest canopies of oaks, hickories, and beech. It is a rare occurrence to have a coastal forest still intact. This protected preserve is a green oasis on a sandy island.
Traverse one of the preserve’s trails to enjoy the greenery, ponds, and ocean views. There is one short, fully accessible trail that offers pretty views and opportunities for freshwater fishing.
Go Disc Golfing
Disc golf courses are popping up everywhere. They are the bucket list experience you didn’t know you needed on your bucket list. The Casey R. Logan Disc Golf Course is a challenging disc golf course that is a fun way to test your skills.
The objective of disc golf is to throw a frisbee-like disc into a metal basket. According to the Disc Golf Association, the play is similar to traditional golf and participants of all ages are able to compete. With over 7,500 disc golf courses in the US, it is a growing sport that rewards fans with fresh air and easy fun.
Bike Around Town
Grab a bike at Outer Banks Bicycle and get peddling. The area layout is flat, the scenery is spectacular, and there are plenty of routes. Get peddling with beach cruisers, or get a little help with an electric bike, either way, you will enjoy the ride and get in a little exercise while exploring the area.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to many migratory birds, including snow geese, shorebirds, and raptors, and has listed more than 365 bird species. Additionally, the refuge provides a protected habitat for Loggerhead sea turtles. The refuge is a quiet spot for a stroll and a bird watcher’s haven.
Best Restaurants In Kill Devil Hills
The Outer Banks is a mecca for seafood enthusiasts who love expertly prepared, fresh, and flavorful offerings. Whether you prefer beachy casual or cozy luxury, you will find a dining experience to suit your desires. Don’t forget to try out the local pubs and sweet shops -- no beach vacation would be complete without a tasty sweet treat.
Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar
Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar is a seasonal staple for fresh, local seafood. Famous for their delectable oysters, perfect shrimp, and crab soup, you can also find landlubber fair. With a coastal, casual dine-in atmosphere, you can enjoy your seafood feast after a day at the beach. Awful Arthur’s is also a good place to grab a to-go bag and chow down at your beachy weekend accommodations for an at-home vibe.
Try a combo selection or two and share with your friends. How about a seaside treat of oysters, shrimp, crab legs, and lobster tail? Maybe you won’t want to share after all.
Ocean Boulevard Bistro And Martini Bar
Take a short trip down the road to Kitty Hawk for fine dining at Ocean Boulevard Bistro and Martini Bar. Sip a seasonal specialty martini in the cozy martini bar. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink or make an evening of it and stay for the musical performance.
Dine on sumptuous American cuisine with offerings from their seasonally inspired menu. Begin with a creamy oyster chowder or rice flour fried oysters. Then enjoy the likes of pan-seared sea scallops with gnocchi, oyster mushrooms, and salsa verde; or a roasted half chicken with grits, collards, North Carolina shrimp, and chorizo gravy. Top it off with a selection from their extensive global wine cellar.
Kill Devil's Frozen Custard And Beach Fries
When you are at the beach all day, you want beach food for lunch, and Kill Devil’s Frozen Custard and Beach Fries fits the bill. It is the perfect quick and casual lunch spot, offering burgers, hot dogs, BBQ, and fries. Their fresh frozen custard is like soft serve on steroids. Creamy, thick, and flavorful, the taste and texture is a classic east coast frozen treat.
Nothing says beachy getaway like saltwater taffy. The traditional, sticky-chewy treat has been satisfying beachgoers for generations. A stop at Forbes Candies, a North Carolina institution, has everything from a root beer taffy taste sensation to the classic peanut butter flavor. Be sure to check out their selection of delectable, must-have fudge too.
Outer Banks Brewing Station
Touring a brewery is a fun and tasty way to spend a few hours out of the sun. Outer Banks Brewing Station offers virtual tours on Wednesdays with a hands-on guided tasting. Stop in for one of their on-tap brews and cool, fun pub grub.
Best Hotels In Kill Devil Hills
It doesn’t matter how you like to visit, Kill Devil Hills offers all sorts of stays. Choose a private rental, national park campground, oceanfront hotel, or cozy bread and breakfast. Your stay will be just the way you like it.
Rent A Beach House
Beachfront property is at your fingertips with Airbnb and Vbro.
Rent this Airbnb Plus cottage, which is just a walk away from the beach and has two cozy bedrooms. With your own space, you can relax and spread out while enjoying everything the Outer Banks has to offer.
Look for a five-star rating with a Premier Host on Vrbo, and you will find this on-the-sand, two-bedroom property with unobstructed ocean views. Enjoy the complex pool or spend the day soaking up the rays on the beach.
The Cape Hatteras National Seashore operates four campgrounds with a total of 585 reservable sites. Some sites have access to hook-ups, and are open year-round. For a nominal cost and your tent or RV, you can sleep under the stars in the beautiful Outer Banks.
Steps from your room is the sandy beach and ocean fun. The salt-laden air permeates your stay as it rejuvenates your body and relaxes your mind. Shutters on the Banks is a classically casual oceanfront hotel offering a friendly beach stay that won’t break the budget.
The Cypress House Inn is a gem near the beach. A former sportsman lodge, the bed and breakfast is a short walk to the beach, offers guests a quaint stay with well-appointed rooms, and includes a sumptuous breakfast. The coastal casual rooms have a cottage appeal with paneled walls and pristine white decor. You will feel like a welcome guest.
Pro Tips: A visit to Kill Devil Hills, and all the beachy fun it offers, makes a perfect weekend getaway. If you can extend your stay for the week, there is so much more to see along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Check out the best beach towns on the Outer Banks for more ideas.
For more coastal North Carolina fun, consider the coastal North Carolina’s best state parks.