Bike By Hogan Willis, Guest Contributor 

As a downtown resident – my bike is my main mode of transportation. I love bicycling, but more than that, in Charleston there are some extreme advantages of biking vs. driving. Driving my car to work at our Broad Street office will usually take about 15 minutes, if it isn’t high tourist season and King Street is packed.  Add on about 5 more minutes to find a parking spot on a 2-hour space or an open meter. By biking to work I shave that time down by about 12 Minutes! I live only about 2 miles from work so I get an additional benefit of morning & afternoon cardio. I save time, money on gasoline and the inevitable parking tickets – bikes park FREE ALL DAY! Did you know 6% of Charleston’s working population commutes daily via bicycle? And the numbers are growing (Coastal Conservation League, 2012). Charleston has a very active, grass roots movement to increase the safety and the “bikeability ” of the city.


If you are visiting Charleston, or here on vacation, some of the best ways to explore areas of Charleston that are “off the beaten path ” of the popular tourist areas is by bike.  If you want to see all of Charleston but don’t have the time or energy to walk every street then rent a bike for a day.  You will appreciate how easy it is to get everywhere on the downtown peninsula – you can even ride over the Ravenel Bridge to explore Mount Pleasant. Rent a bike from our friends at the Bicycle Shoppe at 280 Meeting Street and get going on two wheels! Biking allows you to look at Charleston from a slower perspective.  It allows you to see all of the sights, hear all of the sounds and experience what is around you while covering much more area than if you were to walk. Experience some of the less traveled Charleston streets, see restaurants and galleries you would never have found by walking. Before you get rolling check out Charleston’s “Bike Right ” guidelines – they are important!


Have you seen a Battery2Beach Sign lately? The Battery2Beach route provides approximately 32 miles of biking paths that connect three area beaches to downtown Charleston. The path connects Isle of Palms (to the north), with Folly Beach (to the south), and goes through Sullivan’s Island, Old Mount Pleasant, Shem Creek, over the Ravenel Bridge, across the downtown peninsula, and through James Island. There is no better way to explore beyond the Holy City limits – even out to the beaches on Charleston’s barrier Islands. You can take an adventure over the Ravenel Bridge to Sullivan’s Island all while staying in a dedicated bike/pedestrian lane! It’s about a 2 hour trip, but after experiencing it, you will want to do it weekly! You will not believe the Cooper River views from the top of the Ravenel Bridge, then cross over Shem Creek and enter into the “Old Village ” of Mount Pleasant – Here you’ll find some of the area’s most sought-after homes and great views of Shem Creek and Charleston Harbor.  Just a few more miles and you’re crossing onto Sullivans Island where you can bike to the beach and hang out by the lighthouse or explore historic Fort Moultrie.


Charleston continues to develop new initiatives to support its avid biking community. The City of Charleston is planning to designate one of the four inbound lanes of the T. Allen Legare Bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley as a separate two-way bike and pedestrian lane planned to be created in the next two years.

Check out this Interactive map – created by the City of Charleston in an effort to inform residents and visitors about the bicycling infrastructure within Charleston, then grab a bike and ride – what are you waiting for?

NOTE: Planning a visit to Charleston, SC?  Stay in one of our luxury vacation rental properties and our Retreat Concierge staff will arrange for bikes to be waiting for you when you arrive.  Have a look at our luxury rental portfolio …

Browse our “Discover Charleston ” guide and start planning now!

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