Vacations in the Eastern U.S.A.
Lowcountry Bicycle Tour
A bicycling vacation of Charleston and coastal South Carolina
This tour packs the best of the South Carolina Low Country into a fabulous 6 day multi-sport vacation. Bike the idyllic islands of the South Carolina coast under stands of live oaks and wispy Spanish moss. Learn about the history of the Palmetto State's plantation past. Walk the beaches with gentle sea breezes and stroll past architectural treasures on the streets of Charleston and Beaufort, SC. And, of course, experience the legendary warmth and charm of southern hospitality in gourmet restaurants and cozy inns.
(**Note: Itinerary Details are subject to change)
We meet at mid-day at the lovely Beaufort Inn in the heart of the historic district. After orientation and bicycle fittings, we'll pedal Beaufort's lovely neighborhoods where quiet streets between stately antebellum homes and Live Oaks draped with Spanish moss give us our first taste of South Carolina's charms. You'll learn about Beaufort's and South Carolina's colorful history before biking back to the inn. We relax before dinner as a group this evening, where we'll experience our first taste of the savory Lowcountry cuisine for which the area has become famous.
Bicycling Distance: 10 - 20 miles, flat terrain.
We picnic at Hunting Island State Park where opportunities abound to walk isolated sandy beaches, bike the extensive park road network and climb the historic Hunting Island Lighthouse for a fantastic view of the SC coast. After lunch, you may opt to kayak the lagoon and sound waters protected by this barrier island. Your local guides will stop on a sandbar to throw the cast net, walk on the beach, and explain how the migratory nature of barrier islands shape our area. Return at your leisure to Beaufort and savor the soft sea breezes along the waterfront park. Dinner is on your own this evening, with numerous good options within walking distance.
Bicycling Distance: 32 - 49 miles, flat terrain.
After breakfast, we'll shuttle north, commencing our bike ride of the tour on remote country back roads near old plantations and cypress swamps. Most of the ride is on exceptionally quiets roads lined with live oaks. We pedal near sites that have been the setting or inspiration of award winning movies such as Forest Gump, Prince of Tides, The Big Chill and countless others.
We'll then shuttle the rest of the way to downtown Charleston, one of the most charming waterfront towns you'll ever see. Home base for the next three nights will be the Ansonborough Inn, a beautifully-appointed, all-suite inn centrally located near the Market and Aquarium Wharf in the midst of the historic downtown. Dinner is as a group this evening at one of Charleston's famous restaurants.
Bicycling Distance: Many options from 18 - 45 miles, flat terrain.
Today is a flexible day for you to explore Charleston in the way you see fit. Opt to join us on a guided ride that features the thrilling bike path over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Completed in 2005, this beautiful structure over the Cooper River dominates the Charleston skyline. From there, we'll explore Sullivan's Island, home to the oldest beach resort in the area. At its point is Fort Moultrie where you can learn about three centuries of coastal military history. The Fort defended Charleston's harbor from the Revolutionary War through WW II. You may prefer to explore downtown Charleston on bike or foot on a self-guided tour. Visit the Citadel, Magnolia Cemetery and the College of Charleston at your own pace.
Bicycling Distance: Many options from 0 - 41 miles, flat terrain (except for one noteworthy bridge).
Today finds us on one of the loveliest sea islands in South Carolina. We pedal our way through the shady island back roads under arching live oaks full of Spanish moss. We visit the Angel Oak, a live oak believed by many to be over 1500 years old. Our side routes today offer brief glimpses of the salt marshes which define the coastal Lowcountry landscape. We will have a picnic lunch today at America's only tea plantation, and afterwards tour the factory and plantation grounds.
Bicycling Distance: 25 - 40 miles, flat terrain.
Rising early, we start with a 45 minute morning shuttle after breakfast. Our bicycling mission today is to explore the quiet and remote area of the A.C.E. Basin, an enormous expanse of protected water and land resources that is home to an enormous variety of wildlife (expect to see alligators!) A local naturalist will explain local ecology during our catered lunch.
A brief shuttle that returns us to the Beaufort Inn. Showers are available prior to departure.
Bicycling Distance: 16, 32 or 42 miles, flat terrain.
Nights 1 & 2: The Beaufort Inn, Beaufort, SC. Located in the heart of Beaufort's landmark historic district and a member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Beaufort Inn's historic architecture, curved balconies, verandas and gardens capture the essence of a gracious southern coastal town. Winner, Tripadvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence.
Nights 3, 4 & 5: Ansonborough Inn, Charleston, SC. Awarded AAA's Four Diamond Award, the Inn is one of the historic district’s truly unique properties. It was completely remodeled in 1999 by owners George & Sandra Fennell in keeping with the nautical heritage of namesake Admiral George Anson. You’ll notice their attention to detail…handsome historic antiques and reproductions and a vast collection of original oil paintings throughout the guest suites and common areas.
Extend Your Vacation: Before or after our activity packed tour, you may want to tack on a few days. There is a lot to do in and around nearby Savannah if you have time. Carolina Tailwinds will provide a courtesy shuttle from downtown Savannah on Day 1 and/or back on Day 6 if requested.
Of course, you may want to continue your visit of the coast by driving down to the pristine beaches of Kiawah Island, SC or Hilton Head Island, SC.
Driving: Approximate travel distance to Beaufort:
Ground Transit: Taxi cabs are available at the
Savannah airport. The approximate rate for one person to
Beaufort is $80. Each additional person is $10.
Parking: We have arranged for long term parking there for the duration of your tour. We will end the tour at the same inn with an opportunity to shower there prior to departure.
Arrival/Departure Timing: Arrival time of the first day of the tour is 12:00 noon if renting equipment from us, or 1:00 p.m. if bringing your own bike. Guests will want to meet us at these times dressed in bike clothes, or ready to change into them.
We plan to wrap up around 3:00 p.m. Your return flight should be no earlier than 7:00 p.m. that evening.
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