Sparkling sandy beaches, delectable seafood, relaxing ferry rides, and extraordinary biking await you on this special tour. We visit in May, before the crowds build and the weather is perfect for bicycling. Enjoy two nights in Ocracoke Village, "the Pearl" of the Outer banks.
We cycle 25-40 miles each day (at your option) along flat terrain. Strong coastal winds sometimes present a minor challenge, but they are just as likely to propel us along our route! Two ferry rides during the tour allow pleasant opportunities to relax. Along the way, observe coastal wetlands as you bike through the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge and charming undeveloped Ocracoke Island.
Southern Outer Banks Five Day
From North Carolina Beaufort to Ocracoke
Tour DifficultyFlat Coastal Cycling
Duration5 Days, 4 Nights
Nearest AirportEWN Coastal Carolina Regional Airport
PricingFrom $2275 per person
Dates5/1/23 - 5/5/23 5/7/23 - 5/11/23
We meet in Beaufort, North Carolina's third oldest town. Arrive early to explore the marina boardwalk and historic downtown on foot. After custom fitting your bike in the early afternoon, we'll lead you on a pedaling tour of Beaufort's waterfront and historic sites, including the Old Burying Ground. We will gather prior to dinner for wine and cheese on the waterfront at our hotel, overlooking the marina and nearby barrier islands. Our restaurant for the evening is the wonderful 34 North, featuring fresh locally caught seafood and farm to table vegetables.
Today we explore the barrier island of Bogue Banks. Home to summer vacation communities of Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Salter Path and others, this island has long been the happy place for families from near and far. Most of the island has a detached, paved bike path, so it is perfect for experiencing on two wheels. One highlight is the perfectly preserved Civil War era Fort Macon. Now a state park, it stands at the dramatic Beaufort Inlet on the Atlantic Ocean. We'll also enjoy fresh local seafood overlooking the ocean at lunch.
After 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 day’s adventures over wine and cheese on the rooftop widow's walk at the Castle, prior to walking to our favorite Ocracoke restaurant, for another gourmet dinner.
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.
We catch the early ferry, and enjoy a delicious breakfast onboard as we slip by bird-covered sandbars and formations of brown pelicans. After landing on Cedar Island, we cycle along the sparkling waters of the Core Sound prior to returning to Beaufort. We enjoy one last catered lunch together on the porch of the Beaufort Hotel. Showers are available prior to saying farewell to your new friends.
Low end of price range reflects Early Bird Discount, applied when you enroll and pay in full 6 months or more prior to the tour date.
What's Included in Your Tour Price
4 nights at lovely waterfront inns
Dinner on Nights 1, 2 & 4; Lunches on Days 2, 3 & 5; All breakfasts; snacks; and hors d'oeuvres most nights.
Services of Expert Guides
Carolina Tailwinds maintains a guest to guide maximum ratio of 7:1 on all our tours. Guides are ready to show you the hidden wonders of each and every destination.
Full Route Support & Luggage Transfer
Service of 1 – 2 support vans on route every day.
Complimentary Airport Transfer from Raleigh-Durham or New Bern
Carolina Tailwinds picks up EARLY on the morning of Day 1 in the Raleigh area and mid-day in the New Bern area. Carolina Tailwinds drops off in the late afternoon in the New Bern area and in the early evening on Day 5 at the Raleigh Durham Airport area or airport inn locations to and from our tour start in Beaufort, NC. Timing formally coordinated 2 weeks prior to tour date.
More details on what's included:
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Night 1 & 2
Beaufort Hotel, Beaufort, NC. The resort-style hotel is minutes to Beaufort’s historic district, Crystal Coast beaches, Cape Lookout Lighthouse, Shackleford Banks, and the Rachel Carson Reserve. Fitness center, pool, and onsite restaurant and bar are among the many amenities. Rooms have refined coastal decor and luxurious bathrooms.
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.
Bring your own bike, or rent one of our high quality bikes. You can read more about our rental fleet here: Our Bicycles | Carolina Tailwinds
Designed for flexibility, our routes offer up to 25 - 40+ miles each day (at your option). 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 charming undeveloped Ocracoke Island.
Tour Point of Origin:
Getting to the Tour Start (Beaufort, NC)
Driving: Approximate travel distance to Beaufort—
- Wilmington, NC: 104 miles
- Raleigh- Durham, NC: 171 miles
- Richmond, VA: 254 miles
- Atlanta, GA: 505 miles
- Charlotte, NC: 319 miles
- Cincinnati, OH: 672 miles
- Washington, DC: 364 miles
Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) in New Bern, NC is approximately 40 minutes away.
American Airlines provides 6-8 daily flights from Charlotte. AA reservations: 800-433-7300.
Delta Airways flies twice daily between Craven Regional and Atlanta. 888-736-3738.
Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ) in Jacksonville, NC is approximately 1 hour’s drive away. American Airlines provides 3-5 daily flights from Charlotte. Delta Connection connects daily to Atlanta.
Raleigh-Durham Airport (RDU) is approximately 3-1/2 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: Rental cars are available at the Jacksonville, Raleigh-Durham, & Wilmington, NC airports. A complimentary Carolina Tailwinds shuttle will be available to and from the Raleigh-Durham airport at a designated time on the morning of Day 1 and on Day 5 after the tour concludes.
Parking: We have arranged for complimentary long term parking for the duration of your tour. We will end the tour at the same inn with an opportunity to shower there prior to departure.
Try to arrive no later than 2:00 p.m., or 1:30 if you are renting a bike from us. That means an EARLY morning or day prior arrival at RDU, and a morning or noon arrival at EWN. Departure time from Beaufort on the last day is between 2 - 3 p.m. and return flights should be no earlier than 5 p.m. from EWN and 8 p.m. that evening from RDU.
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.
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