Carolina Tailwinds leads this six day bicycle tour of the best of North Carolina's coast, including Ocracoke Island, "the Pearl of the Outer Banks." Enjoy bicycling on flat terrain, ferry rides, the best local seafood, and charming waterfront inns.
A road bicycling tour
for all ability levels. 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.
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 Blackbeard’s legend!Day 1: We meet in New Bern, North Carolina's second oldest town, at Meadows Inn, a relaxed bed and breakfast 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 a water taxi out to Cape Lookout, and 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, we bike 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 visit the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina. Together, we kayak the sound and creeks of Ocracoke island with a local guide. If that's not your thing, you may elect to walk the smooth white sand beaches, shop artists' shops which line the village streets, or relax by the heated pool at the inn. Later, we'll recap the day’s adventures over wine and cheese on the rooftop widow's walk at the Castle, prior to walking to our favorite Ocracoke restaurant, the Back Porch, for another gourmet dinner. Day 4: 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.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 Oriental Harbor Place, our final lodging.Day 6: We'll bike away from 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.
Age range, type of group
Our groups are typically comprised of guests in their 30's - 70's. Minor guests are welcome if 16 or over and accompanied by an adult.
Sleeping and meals
This tour offers both the finest fresh local seafood and cozy seaside inns.Night 1: We enjoy two inns across the street from each other on Pollock Street in New Bern. They are at the heart of the historic district and walking distance to all the major attractions. At Meadows Inn, John and Betty Foy's casual inn environment and wonderful breakfast will get us off to a perfect start. Across the street at Howard House, Innkeepers Kim & Steve Wynn restored a 1890 Victorian home to it's original splendor in 1996. Night 2: The Inlet Inn, Beaufort, NC is 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. 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: Oriental Harbor Place, Oriental, NC. Enjoy your last night sharing a brand new luxury condominium with your new friends. All units overlook Oriental's picturesque harbor and each has a spacious balcony. Walking distance to shops and marinas in this laid-back village.
All inns we visit are non-smoking.
$1575 -1675/person, based on double occupancy. The best pricing is available for early enrollment.2009 Dates: already filled. April, May, and October 2010 dates coming soon.
New Bern, NC is easily reached by plane: Craven Regional Airport is less than 10 minutes from the inn. Or by car: Charlotte, NC is 281 miles west, and Richmond, VA is 216 miles north.
Our Early Bird Discount is $100 off/person for enrolling and paying in full 6 months prior to the tour date. This discount decreases $25/month for each month after that.
All repeat customers receive 5% off the tour price, regardless of when they traveled with us in the past.
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