Location: Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, tucked away from the cottages, drive-thru beer stores, and fudge shops of the nearby vacation towns is the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Looking at all of the attractions that are there today, it’s hard to believe that the Wright Brothers chose Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina as the place where they would pioneer aviation because of its seclusion. Of course, back in 1900, the Outer Banks was the farthest thing from the modern beach getaway it is today. Back then the OBX was the perfect place to work out the mysteries of flight.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is one of the more engaging national memorials. You can walk the path that the Wrights took on their flight, view replicas of the brothers’ hangar and living quarters, and take a look at actual tools and designs Orville and Wilbur used in their work. Once you’ve taken in the sights of the memorial, head a few miles south to Jockey’s Ridge State Park, where the barren dunes provide a little taste of what it would have been like for the brothers to be alone on the Outer Banks with their dreams of flight.