Not to be confused with nearby Kill Devil Hill, where the Memorial Pylon stands, Kill Devil Hills is the largest incorporated municipality in Dare County.
Kill Devil Hills is the Outer Banks' oldest township, established in 1953. But the landmark that lends the town its distinctive name has been around much longer. At one time, the northern Outer Banks was characterized by a series of sand mountains over 100 feet high. These dunes stretched from sound to sea, from Corolla south to Nags Head. Kill Devil Hill was one of the larger of the dunes, and stories about how the monolith got its name are varied and colorful; the generally accepted one is that it is named for ''Kill Devil,'' a brand of rum found washed ashore during the colonial period.
Whatever the origins of its name, the dune was the site of the Wright Brothers first heavier-than-air flight in 1903, which placed Kill Devil Hills forever in the history books. In the 1930s, workers planted hearty grasses on the dune to prevent it from continually shifting, then constructed the impressive Wright Brothers Memorial which is visible for miles.
Today, Kill Devil Hills is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the Outer Banks. With thousands of rental homes, great restaurants, sports and activities, and shopping, Kill Devil Hills is at the center of an Outer Banks vacation.