Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Your Best Casual Vacation Bike Excursion (Suggestions)

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Your Best Casual Vacation Bike Excursion (Suggestions)

Old 03-29-21, 06:40 AM
  #1  
m2244
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Vermont
Posts: 69

Bikes: Felt Breed 30

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 11 Posts
Your Best Casual Vacation Bike Excursion (Suggestions)

Good Morning,

I couldn't decide where to make this post, I hope the general discussion area is acceptable.

Anyway, my wife and I are trying to plan a week-long vacation to include 2 to 3 days on our bikes. I'm having a tough time deciding where to go. Right now I'm leaning toward either the coast of North Carolina or somewhere in the Utah area (considering Utah due to everything I've heard about gravel biking out there).

We'd like to find a place with shops, restaurants, maybe marinas (obviously not in Utah). We're 50 and 47, so we like the laid back scene for the most part. Although I still like a healthy mix of "let's get out there and give it hell!"

As far as overall distance in 2 to 3 days, maybe 40 to 50 miles but who knows.

Basically just wondering if anyone knows of a good area for a couple days of biking, dining, beverages, sites, etc.
m2244 is offline  
Old 03-29-21, 06:59 AM
  #2  
shelbyfv 
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 9,158
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2575 Post(s)
Liked 2,837 Times in 1,513 Posts
IMO, Utah by a clear margin. I've done a supported road bike tour from Moab to Zion and loved it. With research you can choose some "base camps" and venture out for the day on pavement or dirt. Spectacular scenery and much less traffic than you would find on the Outer Banks.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 03-29-21, 07:18 AM
  #3  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,026
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13737 Post(s)
Liked 6,607 Times in 3,357 Posts
Day rides from Burlington, VT, including the Island Line Trail out into the lake? Burlington is a college town with a nice public beach and lots of places to eat and drink, including several lining a pedestrian mall. Think you can also hop a ferry to the NY side of the lake.

https://www.railstotrails.org/trailb...s-island-line/
indyfabz is offline  
Old 03-29-21, 07:31 AM
  #4  
m2244
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Vermont
Posts: 69

Bikes: Felt Breed 30

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Day rides from Burlington, VT, including the Island Line Trail out into the lake? Burlington is a college town with a nice public beach and lots of places to eat and drink, including several lining a pedestrian mall. Think you can also hop a ferry to the NY side of the lake.
Funny you mention this, we're planning on hitting this trail the next good weather weekend we get. We live in Vermont.
m2244 is offline  
Old 03-29-21, 08:14 AM
  #5  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,026
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13737 Post(s)
Liked 6,607 Times in 3,357 Posts
Originally Posted by m2244 View Post
Funny you mention this, we're planning on hitting this trail the next good weather weekend we get. We live in Vermont.
Heh. Back in early June of 2018 I took Amtrak from Philly up to St. Albans and rode home, making a stop in Deerfield, MA, for my 35th high school reunion. I have a friend who has a second place in Burlington. On Day 1 I rode to Burlington for two nights. Planned to ride the section of the trail out into the water. Unfortunately, a freak spring storm had damaged that part of the trail and it was closed.

Another suggestion if you will be renting a car is Missoula, MT. There is a 40+ mile, paved trail south from the city through the Bitteroot Valley to Hamilton. It parallels U.S., but it's still nice with some great mountain views. With a vehicle you could drive a relatively short distance to the Clinton area and ride up and back as much of Rock Creek Rd. as you would like. The first 10 miles are paved, but then it becomes dirt. Gentle grade through Lolo National Forest that runs along a blue ribbon trout stream. You could als drive to Hamilton and climb MT 38 towards Skalkaho Pass. Very pretty ride that is paved at first then becomes dirt/gravel. A ways before you get to the pass there is a neat waterfall. Missoula is alos a college town with lots of places to hang out. Cool river running through town with bike/walking paths. Also the headquarters of Adventure Cycling Association.

Bike path to Hamilton:





Rock Creek Rd.:





Skalkaho Falls (It was raining pretty heavily so I didn't get a good photos):



Last edited by indyfabz; 03-29-21 at 08:18 AM.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 03-29-21, 08:29 AM
  #6  
Ironfish653
Dirty Heathen
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,515

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 Softride

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 561 Post(s)
Liked 297 Times in 204 Posts
I'd take a look at Hilton Head, SC..
Great restaurants, beaches, and very bike friendly; in fact there are bike paths, trails and dedicated bike lanes covering pretty much the whole island. The north end of the beach is very wide, flat and hard-packed; you can ride 'regular' bikes right on the sand.
The island is about 4 x 7 miles, so you could reach pretty much anywhere on your bikes. It's the kind of place that encourages you to leave your car behind.
​​​​​​Also, Savannah,GA is about a 45-minute drive away. The Historic District and Tybee Island would make a good day trip, although I'd suggest shuttling the bikes over, as it's a longer trip than it looks on the map.
Ironfish653 is offline  
Likes For Ironfish653:
Old 03-29-21, 08:41 AM
  #7  
m2244
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Vermont
Posts: 69

Bikes: Felt Breed 30

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 11 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Heh. Back in early June of 2018 I took Amtrak from Philly up to St. Albans and rode home, making a stop in Deerfield, MA, for my 35th high school reunion. I have a friend who has a second place in Burlington. On Day 1 I rode to Burlington for two nights. Planned to ride the section of the trail out into the water. Unfortunately, a freak spring storm had damaged that part of the trail and it was closed.

Another suggestion if you will be renting a car is Missoula, MT. There is a 40+ mile, paved trail south from the city through the Bitteroot Valley to Hamilton. It parallels U.S., but it's still nice with some great mountain views. With a vehicle you could drive a relatively short distance to the Clinton area and ride up and back as much of Rock Creek Rd. as you would like. The first 10 miles are paved, but then it becomes dirt. Gentle grade through Lolo National Forest that runs along a blue ribbon trout stream. You could als drive to Hamilton and climb MT 38 towards Skalkaho Pass. Very pretty ride that is paved at first then becomes dirt/gravel. A ways before you get to the pass there is a neat waterfall. Missoula is alos a college town with lots of places to hang out. Cool river running through town with bike/walking paths. Also the headquarters of Adventure Cycling Association.
Thank you for taking the time to post this. I would love to do a longer trek out west, those mountains have a way of reminding a person of something we can't seem to define. But I don't think I will be able to convince my wife to do something like this.

Hmmm, maybe my sons would like to.... See, now you really have my wheels turning, so to speak.
m2244 is offline  
Old 03-29-21, 08:54 AM
  #8  
DangerousDanR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Fargo ND
Posts: 297

Bikes: Lynskey R350, Ritchey Breakaway, Ritchey Double Switchback, Lynskey Ridgeline, ICAN Fatbike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 71 Posts
Consider Minnesota! The North Shore of Lake Superior is scenic and flat. Start in Duluth and ride as far as you feel comfortable. Mostly separated bike trail. Some nice touristy towns along the way. You could even stay in one town and drive to different places along the North Shore to do day trips, or if you want some off road fun, head up to the Iron Range.
DangerousDanR is offline  
Old 03-29-21, 09:16 AM
  #9  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,026
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13737 Post(s)
Liked 6,607 Times in 3,357 Posts
Originally Posted by m2244 View Post
Thank you for taking the time to post this. I would love to do a longer trek out west, those mountains have a way of reminding a person of something we can't seem to define. But I don't think I will be able to convince my wife to do something like this.
They can all be done as day rides if you have a vehicle for relatively short drives from Missoula. I just happened top include them in week+ loop tours. Other than Skalkaho, there is no real climbing. Skalkaho to the falls from U.S. 93 is 2,700' in 21.5 miles, much at a gentle grade. (2.8% average.)
indyfabz is offline  
Old 03-30-21, 08:34 AM
  #10  
FelixScout
Rider who can know more
 
FelixScout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lehigh Valley
Posts: 90

Bikes: 1995 Trek 850 Mountain Track turned trail and road bike, 1989 Centurion Le Mans RS, 1993 Bianchi Advantage. Dead: 1982 Schwinn Traveler

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
You are looking for casual riding I'm not a huge fan of riding for fun on the Outer Banks of NC around Kitty Hawk/Corolla. The views are mostly houses since the oceanfront it behind a barrier sand dune and the bay side is built up for the most part. There are plenty of exceptions to this but I'm kinda meh for riding this area until you get to bay side of Kitty Hawk. Now riding instead of driving to get somewhere I feel is a good idea there especially since it is a place full of:

shops, restaurants, maybe marinas

And staying in Southern Shores or Corolla and ridding to the kitchy cute shopping area of Duck NC is completely doable and a pleasant ride. And Duck Donuts is worth the hype.


I actually found an new neat place for casual riding: Cape May NJ. There is a decent local bike culture, multiple actual bike shops, dedicated trails with good views of ocean and inland, and several breweries if that is your thing.
FelixScout is offline  
Likes For FelixScout:
Old 03-30-21, 08:51 AM
  #11  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,026
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13737 Post(s)
Liked 6,607 Times in 3,357 Posts
Originally Posted by FelixScout View Post


I actually found an new neat place for casual riding: Cape May NJ. There is a decent local bike culture, multiple actual bike shops, dedicated trails with good views of ocean and inland, and several breweries if that is your thing.
Plus there is the ferry to Lewes, DE. Cape Henlopen State Park is a terrific place to explore by bike and is a great example of a military base repurposed for public use. Trails inside and outside the park. Dolphins often spotted from the beach. You can ride to Rehoboth almost completely on trails and in bike lanes. Great beach town for lunch. Lewes is home to Dogfish Head Brewery.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 03-30-21, 09:03 AM
  #12  
FelixScout
Rider who can know more
 
FelixScout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lehigh Valley
Posts: 90

Bikes: 1995 Trek 850 Mountain Track turned trail and road bike, 1989 Centurion Le Mans RS, 1993 Bianchi Advantage. Dead: 1982 Schwinn Traveler

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
I just was there a couple weeks ago and I did not get to take the ferry but that sounds great too.
FelixScout is offline  
Old 03-30-21, 09:52 AM
  #13  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,026
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13737 Post(s)
Liked 6,607 Times in 3,357 Posts
Originally Posted by FelixScout View Post
I just was there a couple weeks ago and I did not get to take the ferry but that sounds great too.
Send me a PM if you ever go back. There is some really neat riding that you can start after about a 25 mile drive from town. Belleplaine State Forest in Woodbine, Heislerville Widlife Management Area (how to many osprey and even bald eagles) out to East Point Light House, where you can see horseshoe crabs mating at the right time of year, and historic Mauricetown (pronounced Morristown) with its sea captains houses dating back to the early 1800s. Muaricertown used to be the base of an oyster dredging fleet (originally sail powered) that would sail down the Maurice River into the Delaware Bay. The oyster population was eventually killed off by a parasite starting in the 1950s. Just can't go during greenhead fly season or you will be eaten alive.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 03-30-21, 11:26 AM
  #14  
Bill in VA
Senior Member
 
Bill in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 697

Bikes: Current: 2016 Bianchi Volpe; 1973 Peugeot UO-8. Past: 1974 Fuji S-10-S with custom black Imron paint by Stinsman Racing of PA.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 128 Posts
Originally Posted by FelixScout View Post
You are looking for casual riding I'm not a huge fan of riding for fun on the Outer Banks of NC around Kitty Hawk/Corolla. The views are mostly houses since the oceanfront it behind a barrier sand dune and the bay side is built up for the most part. There are plenty of exceptions to this but I'm kinda meh for riding this area until you get to bay side of Kitty Hawk. Now riding instead of driving to get somewhere I feel is a good idea there especially since it is a place full of:


And staying in Southern Shores or Corolla and ridding to the kitchy cute shopping area of Duck NC is completely doable and a pleasant ride. And Duck Donuts is worth the hype.

I actually found an new neat place for casual riding: Cape May NJ. There is a decent local bike culture, multiple actual bike shops, dedicated trails with good views of ocean and inland, and several breweries if that is your thing.
I was going to say the Outer Banks. We also do the Cape May, NJ ride. For both I HIGHLY recommend the off seasons AFTER Labor day and BEFORE Memorial day and neither of those weekends.

OBX can be real interesting in the early spring and later fall for fishing, bird watching and riding and it is the land of good restaurants and lots of places with a great beer and/or wine selections and I do not mean Miller. Lots of galleries. A car drive from Duck to the Oregon inlet is 40-45 minutes in the fall at legal speeds. During the tourist season it is a 2.5 hour nightmare.

Cape May, NJ is similar. We like the weekend a full week before Memorial day.
Bill in VA is offline  
Old 03-30-21, 12:01 PM
  #15  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 31,026
Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13737 Post(s)
Liked 6,607 Times in 3,357 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill in VA View Post
I was going to say the Outer Banks. We also do the Cape May, NJ ride. For both I HIGHLY recommend the off seasons AFTER Labor day and BEFORE Memorial day and neither of those weekends.

Cape May, NJ is similar. We like the weekend a full week before Memorial day.
Probably impossible to get a place in Cape May for those weekends. Several reports on local news in Philly about how rentals have been being booked at a crazy pace "down the shore." Agree that before Memorial Day is nice. The S. Jersey shore towns have been trying to extend their seasons into October over the years by holding events, mostly on the weekends. One October long weekend I was touring/camping inland and ended up riding to Stone Harbor for the day on Saturday. They were having a grape festival, complete with a contest to see who could crush the most juice out of grapes with their feet. I remember thinking "WTH do grapes and the Jersey shore have to do with each other?" It was just something to bring people into town.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 03-30-21, 12:11 PM
  #16  
Notso_fastLane
Senior Member
 
Notso_fastLane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Layton, UT
Posts: 1,596

Bikes: 2011 Bent TW Elegance 2014 Carbon Strada Velomobile

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 622 Post(s)
Liked 687 Times in 411 Posts
Check out the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound. Beautiful scenery, lots of trails and roads, light traffic.
Notso_fastLane is offline  
Likes For Notso_fastLane:
Old 03-30-21, 04:04 PM
  #17  
Bill in VA
Senior Member
 
Bill in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 697

Bikes: Current: 2016 Bianchi Volpe; 1973 Peugeot UO-8. Past: 1974 Fuji S-10-S with custom black Imron paint by Stinsman Racing of PA.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 128 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Probably impossible to get a place in Cape May for those weekends. Several reports on local news in Philly about how rentals have been being booked at a crazy pace "down the shore." Agree that before Memorial Day is nice. The S. Jersey shore towns have been trying to extend their seasons into October over the years by holding events, mostly on the weekends. One October long weekend I was touring/camping inland and ended up riding to Stone Harbor for the day on Saturday. They were having a grape festival, complete with a contest to see who could crush the most juice out of grapes with their feet. I remember thinking "WTH do grapes and the Jersey shore have to do with each other?" It was just something to bring people into town.
Generally, Philly references to the shore are Wildwood and points North

But true, we do not do the weekends. We go down on Wednesday and depart on Saturday. That way even if there is traffic, is is going against us. We also like using the Lewes, Delaware / Cape May Ferry, but you have to really watch Maryland construction projects that can create miles long backups. We always did mid-May, and no problems with finding lodging, and have talked about a fall journey, but that is also OBX for us.

We usually reserve around the first of May. Out first year we went up to Wildwood, NJ, a hangout when young (Wildwood Blues) and since it was before the season very little was open but the white construction and seasonal business set-up vans were numerous. Looked for some old lodgings and campgrounds we stayed at as teens, but they are gone, gone, gone....

The road out to Cape May Point was so windy one year I was almost blown into the marsh. It was like watching the TdF riders climbing the Col de Tourmalet in France, but flat. Riding out was incredibly fast, but coming back was a real beast that made me happy I had a triple in the front.

Last edited by Bill in VA; 03-30-21 at 04:11 PM.
Bill in VA is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.