From Manteo take Rt. 64 to Rt. 264 follow 264 until Rt. 94 just past New Holland and into the Lake Mattamuskeet Nature Preserve. Ride 94 to Columbia and Rt. 64 once again. Take a right on Rt. 64 to head back to Manteo. Left will send you to Plymouth, Williamston and Edenton.
You have nothing but scenery on this ride. A few great views of the Croatan and Pamlico sounds. Thick forest and a lot of open sky make this a nice ride, especially if your not familiar with the coastal region.
There's a few questionable areas on this ride. Nothing major. A few pot holes and more than a few "buckles" in the road (a flaw in the road that mimics a speed bump). They have been doing major road improvements in the past years, and road conditions could be greatly improved by now (9/20/11)
This is the most sparsly populated area in North Carolina. After Manteo, Engelhard is your best bet for gas/food until Columbia. There are portions of this ride that are very remote. Engelhard has a good resturant just on the outskirts of town on the southern side of town on right heading south. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
Motorcycle Road Additional info
A majority of this ride is either a nature preserve, Federal property or farmland. You may very well see a bear on this route, and also the red wolf, slightly larger than a fox. Make sure you have a full tank before you start.
My wife and I have ridden this route several times. Quite varied scenery; shrimp boats can be seen at their moorings in Engelhard and Stumpy Point, and the ride across Lake Mattamuskeet on the causeway offers a unique perspective of NC's largest natural lake. Services are very scarce, so begin with a full tank of fuel.
For an added treat, continue on from Columbia, NC on NC94 towards Edenton. Avoid the 70 mph 4-lane in favor of NC94. You will be rewarded with a breathtaking ride across the Albemarle Sound.