Learn About the Park

Family looks at tactile map of park inside the visitor center
Visiting family gathers around tactile map in visitor center to decide what to explore at the park first.

NPS Photo, Eden Saunders


A Moment that Changed the World... the Place that Made it Possible

Wilbur and Orville Wright made history here on December 17, 1903 by piloting four successful flights with their powered, heavier-than-air flying machine. Orville and Wilbur had been visiting the Outer Banks for three years before their successful flights. They spent those trips learning how to fly by conducting gliding experiments from the sand dunes a few miles south of the town of Kitty Hawk. These sons of Ohio traveled all the way to the Outer Banks because it had all the elements that they needed to safely and secretly learn how to fly: wind, sand, and isolation.

Wright Brothers National Memorial encompasses the spot where Wilbur and Orville made their world-changing first flights, the historic sand dune where they did most of their gliding, and the location they lived while they were experimenting in the Outer Banks.

Use the links below to explore the rest of Orville and Wilbur's story, learn about how they unlocked the secrets of flight, or discover things you can do at the park with your friends, family, or school group.


Last updated: April 18, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Wright Brothers National Memorial
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


(252) 473-2111

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