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Site of Wright Brothers first flight makes a great vacation stop

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The next time you get on a flight from your hometown to wherever, stop for a minute to think. Think about the fact that you are getting on a large tube with wings and engines and will be speeding across the country to your chosen destination.

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It's such a common occurrence today we don't even think about it. Frankly, the hardest part of the flying experience today, is getting through a TSA line.

If you want to gain a little perspective on how man got in the air and how thousands of aircraft take to the air and land each day, you should wing your way to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Operated by the National Parks Service, the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk shows the steps two self taught engineers and gear heads took to putting an airplane in flight.

The education and memories you get from this well laid out memorial in the Outer Banks of North Carolina are priceless.
From how the idea hatched, to why they picked Kitty Hawk and the Kill Devil Hills area, and even how they learned how to steer their craft are covered as you wind your way through the visitor's center which houses full-scale replicas of the Wirght's glider and 1903 flyer.

More exhibits, movies and opportunities to learn about the first flight are offered in the Centennial Pavilion.

Walk up Big Kill Devil Hill for a 360 degree view of the area from sound to sea. There resides the 60 ft. Pylon - the exact site where Wilbur and Orville conducted their glider experiments. (Although due to the fact that the land in the Outer Banks is constantly changing, this hill has been moved by Mother Nature about 100 yards or so from where it was in the early 1900s.

Stand on the exact spot where the tandem made their first flights. A large granite boulder with a sign marks the spot where the first plane left the ground.

You can walk the path where Orville and Wilbur took four flights on that fateful day. It's inspiring and a piece of history everyone who has even flown in an airplane should experience.

Wilbur and Orville Wright may have started out as bicycle mechanics, but they had a dream and solved a riddle that existed for centuries. They not only built and flew the first plane, but also figured out the engineering about how to control it when it was airborne.

While there is a lot to see on your trip to the Outer Banks, the one thing you don't want to miss, is this park and memorial dedicated to something we all take for granted today.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located at: 1000 North Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The official website is http://www.nps.gov/wrbr/index.htm.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is open seven days a week, all year round. The visitor center and Centennial Pavilion are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. (closed Christmas Day, December 25). Admission is $4.00 and children under the age of 15 are free.

If you are going to the Wright Brother National Memorial in Kitty Hawk:

Hotels:

Sanderling Resort

Located at 1461 Duck Rd. in Duck, NC. Phone (252) 261-4111. Website: www.sanderling-resort.com.

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk

Located at 5353 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk. Phone (252) 261-1290. Website: www.hiltongardeninnouterbanks.com

Private Houses/Real Estate

Tim Cafferty at Outer Banks Blue. Phone (252) 255-1220. Website: www.outerbanksblue.com

Restaurants:

High Cotton BBQ

5230 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk. Website: www.highcottonbbq.com

Aqua Restaurant & Spa

1174 Duck Rd, Duck. Website: www.aquaobx.com

The Blue Point

1240 Duck Rd, Duck; www.thebluepoint.com

Barefoot Bernies

3730 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk; Website: www.barefootbernies.com

Duck Donuts

Various locations in the Outer Banks

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