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Bike Tours Offer Close-up View of South Carolina

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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Enjoy South Carolina’s beautiful landscape on bike tours of Charleston, Greenville, the Upstate and more.

With its beautiful landscapes, historic cities and unique Southern cuisine, South Carolina has become a favorite destination for multi-day bike tours. Adventure-minded travelers who enjoy taking in the sights at a slower pace can choose from an array of bike excursions now being offered across the state.

The fully supported trips, many of them featuring luxury accommodations and dining at top restaurants, include easy rides in Charleston, Beaufort and the South Carolina sea islands, along with tougher treks in the rolling hills and mountain roads of the Upstate. Daily rides typically cover 25 to 65+ miles, with route options for both recreational and avid cyclists. High-performance bicycles and/or electric bikes are included in some of the trip packages; others offer rental bikes. The luxury “adventure” excursions also feature admission to museums and attractions, guided walking tours, kayaking, hiking and boat rides.

Ready to saddle up and pedal forth on your next vacation? Here are 10 awesome bike tours available in South Carolina:

Trek Travel – Four- and seven-day luxury trips in the Upstate with daily ride options from 18-96 miles and 1,200 to 7,100 feet of climbing
The terrain: A favorite training destination for professional cyclists like 17-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie, the South Carolina Upstate features scenic country roads, rolling hills and epic climbs against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “Lite” bike tours are available for recreational cyclists.
Extras included: Hotel accommodations, snacks and drinks, daily continental breakfast, two to four lunches and dinners depending on length of tour, Trek bike

Bicycle Across South Carolina – Multi-day ride held annually in the fall with two routes covering 25-30 miles or 50-60 miles each day
The Terrain: Trips may vary annually and can include treks from the Midlands to the coast and the Midlands to the Upstate. Designed for bikes with wider, knobby tires, the routes include scenic, off-the-grid trails, with at least 80 percent dirt surface and 20 percent pavement.
Extras: Campsites, daily breakfast, snacks, lunch and locally sourced dinner and beer nightly, live music, kayaking and paddleboarding, boat rides, walking tours, campfires (Participants must provide their own bikes, tent and equipment.)

Backroads – Multi-day luxury trips include Charleston and Savannah Adventure Tour, Charleston Weekend Getaway, Georgia and South Carolina’s Underground Railroad Adventure Tour, and Carolinas Bike Tour from Greenville to Asheville with 9- to 29-mile routes
The Terrain: Lowcountry tours take riders through the streets of historic Charleston, Beaufort and Bluffton; the Upstate tour includes stops in Greenville, Travelers Rest, Saluda, Brevard and Ashville with optional daily routes featuring 500 to 4,800 feet of elevation gain.
Extras: Accommodations at luxury hotels (Montage Palmetto Bluff, George Hincapie’s Hotel Domestique and The Inn on Biltmore Estate), daily breakfast, snacks, three to five lunches and two to four dinners, road or touring bike, kayaking (on adventure tours), private tours at museums, historic sites and other attractions

Carolina Tailwinds –  Five-day tour through the Blue Ridge Mountains and six-day tour in the Lowcountry with 25-50+ mile rides each day
The Terrain: The Lowcountry trip is on easy, flat roads in Beaufort, Charleston and several sea islands; the Blue Ridge trip features rolling hills and challenging climbs to Caesars Head State Park, Jumping Off Rock and the 17-switchback Green River Cove.
Extras: Lodging at boutique inns, daily breakfast, snacks, four lunches and three dinners, carriage tour of downtown Charleston, guided hikes, tour of a tea farm on Lowcountry trip

USA Bike Tours – Seven-day tours from Savannah to Charleston and through the Lowcountry with easy 25-to 37-mile-a-day routes
Terrain: Enjoy leisurely rides through picturesque countryside and along salt marshes to historic cities and sea islands in South Carolina and Georgia.
Extras: Hotel accommodations, daily breakfast, two to four lunches and dinners, bike (on the Savannah to Charleston tour), kayaking, guided walking tours, tours of historic sites

Great Bike Tours – Six-day Hilton Head Island to Charleston Bike and Boat Tour with morning rides covering no more than 35 miles
Terrain: This is a good one for recreational cyclists who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the saddle. Rides are on paved bike paths, roads and the beach. In the afternoon, you’ll board a boat or hop into a kayak to cruise the local waterways.
Extras: Hotel accommodations, five breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners, bike, horse-drawn carriage ride in historic Beaufort, walking tour of Charleston, nature cruise aboard a 65-foot boat, Zodiac raft trip, Gullah-Geechee storytelling performance

WomanTours – Seven-day Lowcountry tour for women only with daily rides covering 11 to 34 miles
Terrain: Designed for women of all ages and abilities, this trip features leisurely to moderate cycling in Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, Wadmalaw Island, Beaufort and the Gullah community of St. Helena Island.
Extras: Hotel accommodations, six breakfasts, one brunch, snacks, three picnic lunches and five dinners, horse-drawn carriage ride in Charleston, tour of Fort Sumter National Monument, trolley tour of Charleston Tea Garden, kayak tour of the ACE Basin 

VBT – Seven-day bike tour from Charleston to Savannah with daily rides from 5-50 miles
Terrain: Ideal for beginner and casual cyclists, this tour offers options for easy rides with a support vehicle always available to assist you. Stops along the way include Sullivan’s Island, Beaufort and St. Helena Island.
Extras: Premier hotel accommodations, five breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners, bike, guided walking tours of Fripp Plantation, Beaufort and Savannah

Sojourn – Seven-day trip from Savannah to Charleston with daily rides from 10 to 53 miles
Terrain: Rated easy, this cycling trip takes you through and around Savannah, Beaufort and Charleston and includes walking and kayaking excursions.
Extras: Premier hotel accommodations, breakfast, four lunches and four dinners, bike, guided walking tour of Savannah, kayaking on Ebenezer Creek, tour of Fort Sumter National Monument

Cycle of Life Adventures – Six-day tour from Charleston to Savannah with daily rides from 15-60 miles
Terrain: Designed for recreational cyclists, this tour will take you from Charleston to Savannah with stops on James Island, Edisto Island, Beaufort, St. Helena Island and Hilton Head Island.
Extras: Hotel accommodations, daily breakfast, picnic lunches and dinners on riding days, walking tour of Charleston, guided kayaking or hiking tour in the ACE Basin

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.