Vacations in the Eastern U.S.A.
Outer Banks Bicycle Tour
A bicycling vacation of Ocracoke Island and North Carolina's Outer Banks
Sparkling sandy beaches, delectable seafood, relaxing ferry rides, and extraordinary biking await you on this special tour. We visit in the spring and fall, when the crowds are gone and the weather is perfect for bicycling. The famous picturesque lighthouses of the North Carolina seashore complete our adventure in the historic islands haunted by Blackbeardís legend!
We meet in New Bern, North Carolina's second oldest town, at the Courtyard New Bern Riverfront, a waterfront hotel in the heart of the historic district. Arrive early to tour Tryon Palace, the colonial governor's mansion just a few blocks away. At 3:00, we will take a casual bike tour of the historic downtown, led by your guides. New Bern's history dates to the late seventeenth century, and it has stories to tell! We'll have an orientation meeting over wine and cheese prior to walking a few blocks to dinner at the historic Harvey Mansion Restaurant.
Biking away from New Bern, we make our way south toward the ocean. We will pass fields of cotton, soybeans, and tobacco. Our catered picnic lunch will be enjoyed in historic Swansboro, after which you may bike east on Bogue Banks, or shuttle ahead to Beaufort in the van. Optional activities in Beaufort include walking the fascinating 18th century historic district. Lodging is The Inlet Inn, and dinner will be at the wonderful Beaufort Grocery Company, which has earned a loyal following. Preview the menu: click here.
After a full hot breakfast, we embark on a 1 hour morning sail from the Beaufort waterfront (weather permitting) with chances to see the ponies in the distance on Shackleford Banks. Our bike route takes us through the breathtaking salt marsh expanse of the Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge and past tiny coastal fishing communities to the first ferry of the tour. This 2 hour trip transports us across sparkling Pamlico Sound, providing time to enjoy a delicious catered lunch. We land in the quirky fishing village of Ocracoke with time to explore the village on bike and walk the sandy side streets, shop artists' shops which line the village roads, or relax by the heated pool at the inn. Later, we'll recap the dayís adventures over wine and cheese on the rooftop widow's walk at the Castle, prior to walk to our favorite Ocracoke restaurant, the Back Porch, for another gourmet dinner.
After an optional early morning beach walk, we will enjoy a bountiful hot breakfast at the Castle. You may spend the day browsing Ocracoke and relaxing at the Castle's heated pool, or take part in a supported bike ride to the Cape Hatteras Light and back. In the middle of the route each way is a 40 minute ferry ride across Hatteras Inlet. At the lighthouse, you may climb to the top for an amazing 360 degree view. When you come down, a catered lunch will be ready at a nearby picnic table. Then, it's back to Ocracoke for another rewarding sunset. Dinner is on your own at any of several great restaurants within walking distance.
Rising early, we will catch the
first ferry back to the mainland, on which we will have a catered
breakfast. Landing in Cedar Island we will bike southeast,
back across the numerous salt marshes. Lunch will be enjoyed at a
picturesque spot overlooking the water. We'll shuttle briefly from
there to the 15 minute ferry across the Neuse River. Upon landing on
the north side of the river, we will resume biking, pedaling on into the
town of Oriental. Explore
this quircky little town on foot or relax at River
Neuse Suites, our final lodging.
We'll bike away Oriental, and across the bridge with a beautiful last view of the marina. As we continue bicycling west, waterfront views give way to farmland and forest as we get closer to New Bern. We'll arrive around lunchtime. One final catered lunch together and showers are provided prior to departure.
"Thanks for an enjoyable vacation. Your attentiveness to the details made us feel special and pleasantly pampered. It was great to not have to think about any meal, any snack or drink along the way, admission fees, sun screen, bug spray, etc. You provided it all. We relaxed and enjoyed the week." -- Jim, Goshen, IN
The New Bern Area: There is a lot to do in and around New Bern if you have time. Tryon Palace, the meticulously reconstructed and furnished colonial era capitol and governors mansion provides a fascinating look back in time through guided tours. Admission to several nearby historic homes are included with admission to the Palace, as is admission to the 1809 New Bern Academy, which now houses exhibits about the history of New Bern.
Aviation buffs will want to visit the Havelock Tourist & Event Center, which houses Marine Corps aviation exhibits. Havelock, a 20 drive from New Bern, is home to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, and the 2nd Marine Air Wing.
Shoppers will enjoy downtown New Bern's many and diverse shops in a walkable, pleasant environment.
Call 888.251.3206 (local number is 336.794.1054) or click here to make your reservation today!
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Carolina Tailwinds P.O. Box 24716 Winston-Salem, NC 27114-4716 888.251.3206 or 336.794.1054