Leave Every Child Behind
Even parents of perfect angels could use a break once in a while. Here are six ideas for easy getaways where kids are refreshingly scarce, listed from west to east.
Get back in the (bike) saddle
The Concept: Take a bicycle tour of flat, paved roads.
Where: Outer Banks, N.C.
Chances You'll See a Child: Small. Tour organizer Carolina Tailwinds won't accept any participants below the age of 16. Most of your fellow bicyclists will be 24 or older.
Cost: From $995 for the four-day version, including accommodations, meals (excluding one dinner), luggage transfers, guides, a support van, and a kayaking excursion.
The Trip: The best way to see the island chain that makes up North Carolina's Outer Banks is from the seat of a bicycle. Carolina Tailwinds, a cycling company run by Anne and Greg Fleming, offers itineraries tailored by terrain and mileage to suit your skill level, typically covering between 15 and 80 miles a day. For example, its Ocracoke Bicycle Tour swings through the Southern Outer Banks over four days. Start in historic Beaufort, N.C., and pedal through the coastal fishing villages and salt marshes. Ferries will transport you to the different islands, including Ocracoke, where you'll often find wild ponies standing in the shade. Roll on to Ocracoke Village, which has several shops selling the artisanal work of potters, jewelry makers, watercolorists, and weavers. On Cape Hatteras National Seashore, pause for photos at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest in the country. Come dinnertime, tuck into local seafood specialties served al fresco in restaurants like the Back Porch. Bunk down at cushy digs, such as the waterfront Inlet Inn and the historic Castle Bed & Breakfast (the outfitter will reserve your lodging in advance).
Hot Tip: You don't need to own a bike. For $80 per trip, Carolina Tailwinds will provide (and adjust) a bike for you.
Contact: Carolina Tailwinds, 888/251-3206, carolinatailwinds.com, four-day Ocracoke tours will be in April, May, and October 2009.