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Southern 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!

See also our 4 day version of this tour, and our 5-Day Northern Outer Banks Tour.

Tour Fast Facts:
Highlights Dates: Price:

Flat coastal cycling along miles of undeveloped seashore

Historic New Bern, NC

Fresh local seafood

Guided Kayak tour

Sunrise beach walk

4 waterfront inns

6 days / 5 nights
( Sun. - Fri )

2018 Dates:

April 15 - 20

Oct. 7 - 12

Opt in for email date
announcements here:


2018 Price:
$ 2,025 - 2,125 / person

Price range reflects 
early to late enrollment.  

Bike rental: $100
Single occupancy room supplement: $475

Tour prices
subject to change

Dates with an asterisk * have a solo traveler hoping for a roommate--  Call for details
RESERVE YOUR SPOT (click here)  

Day 1:   

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.

Day 2:  

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.

Day 3:  

After a full hot breakfast, a brief van shuttle takes us to Harker's Island.  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 one of our favorite Ocracoke restaurants for another dinner with delicious fresh local seafood options.

Day 4:   

Multiple activities will keep you on the move today.  Enjoy and early beach walk before breakfast, or sleep in as you see fit.  After a spectacular breakfast at the Castle on Silver Lake, we take a guided kayak tour on beautiful Silver Lake Harbor and nearby creeks on the island.  Later, you'll have time to bike to the north end of Ocracoke Island and back, paying a visit to the wild ponies of Ocracoke Island along the way.  The evening is yours to enjoy at any of the numerous restaurants on your own, including Howard's  Pub, boasting great food, over 200 beers, and the island's only raw bar.

Day 5:  

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.

Day 6:  

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


Night 1:  Courtyard New Bern.  Your balcony overlooks the Neuse River in the heart of New Bern's historic district.  Modern and up to date, this hotel offers a pool, fitness center, The Bistro restaurant and bar, and a business center.


Night 2: Inlet Inn, Beaufort, NC.   Walking distance from everything in the heart of the historic district, the Inlet Inn boasts large balconies with the best views of the Beaufort waterfront, and spacious rooms.
The Castle on Silver Lake, Ocracoke, NC Nights 3-4: The Castle on Silver Lake, Ocracoke, NC.  You will not want to leave the island hospitality provided by this beautifully restored bed and breakfast!  Relax with friends by the private heated pool, on the widow's walk, or in the parlor complete with billiards table.
Night 5:  River Neuse Suites, Oriental, NC.  Enjoy your last night sharing a brand new luxury condominium with your new friends.  In downtown Oriental, all units overlook the picturesque Neuse River and each has a spacious balcony.  Walking distance to shops and marinas in this laid-back village.
Designed for flexibility, our routes offer 15 - 50+ miles each day (at your option).  Stronger cyclists may bike over 50 miles on each day of the tour, including up to 75 on one day.  Less ambitious cyclists take advantage of short cuts and "leap frog" van shuttles along the route to tailor the route to their needs.  Because the route distance options are so flexible, this is one of the best tours for bicycling companions of differing riding styles.

The terrain is flat, making it accessible to all ability levels.  Strong coastal winds sometimes present a minor challenge, but they are just as likely to propel us along our route!  Several ferry rides are scattered throughout this tour, allowing pleasant opportunities to relax.  Along the way, observe coastal wetlands as you bike through the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  See the Cycling Miles section on our What to Expect page for more information.

All meals are included, with the exception of one "on-your-own" night in Ocracoke.  This includes substantial breakfasts, picnic lunches, gourmet dinners and abundant snacks and beverages.

Extend Your Vacation:  
After our activity packed tour, you may want to relax for a few days.  Perhaps in the historic district of Wilmington.  Or continue your visit of the coast by driving up to Manteo and Kitty Hawk.  There is plenty to see and do in eastern North Carolina.  We'll be happy to make suggestions for you and help with arrangements.

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.

Getting to the Tour Start (New Bern, NC):

Driving:  New Bern is 281 miles from Charlotte, NC,  94 miles from Wilmington, NC, and 216 miles from Richmond, VA.  

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) in New Bern, NC is 10 minutes from the inn!  
American Airlines
provides 5 daily flights from Charlotte.  AA reservations: 800-433-7300
Delta Airways flies twice daily between EWN and Atlanta.  Delta reservations: 888-736-3738

Albert J. Ellis Airport  (OAJ) in Jacksonville, NC is approximately a 40 minute drive away.  American Airlines provides 3-5 daily flights from Charlotte.
Delta Connection connects daily to Atlanta.

* Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) is approximately 2-1/2 hours away.  It is served by most major airlines.

Wilmington International Airport
(ILM) is approximately 2 hours away.  Service provided by US Airways and Delta.   

* Ground Transit:  With advance coordination, Carolina Tailwinds can provide airport shuttle from/to Raleigh-Durham Airport.  We pick up there between 9:15 and 9:30 on the morning of Day 1 of the tour.  Return to RDU is by 6:30 p.m. on the last day. 
We are happy to pickup and drop off at any RDU airport hotel as well.  Alternatively, a rental car is your best option to get from RDU to New Bern. 

Arrival Timing in New Bern:  Try to arrive no later than 2:45 p.m., or 1:30 if you are renting a bike from us.  That means a morning arrival at RDU, and a morning or early afternoon arrival at EWN.   Departure time from New Bern on the last day is between 1-2 p.m.

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