Charleston by Bike: Pedaling the Holy City

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

One extremely nice and convenient amenity offered by both of the places we stayed in Charleston was the fact that all guests had complimentary use of the hotel bikes. Now, I admittedly don’t do much biking at all as an adult—unless the stationary one at the gym counts—but I loved nothing more than zipping around town on two wheels as a kid. And while we didn’t have time to take advantage of the bikes at the Vendue, I was happy to see a pair of beach cruisers parked out front the Zero George when we checked in on the third day.

Biking around Charleston

I had planned a nap before our afternoon boat ride but that idea was quickly thrown out the window; as soon as I saw the bikes, I knew we’d be forgoing resting in order of a little cardio activity. We headed out with no map or direction in mind—Charleston is relatively easy to navigate, particularly when you’re on two wheels and not worrying about one-way streets—clocking several miles as we sped down East Bay Street and around the Battery before heading back.

Biking around Charleston
Biking around Charleston

We had just gotten the new GoPro Hero 4 Session in the mail days prior, and as tiny as that little thing is, it was the perfect opportunity to take it out for a spin on a bike.

Charleston by Bike

Charleston by Bike

Fun fact: Charleston is dubbed “the Holy City” due to the vast number of churches the town boasts and their towering prominence with such a low skyline, and I’m pretty sure we whizzed past every last one in town.

Charleston by Bike

In other places, like New York or even Nashville where we’re not accustomed to sharing lanes with bikers, I’d probably be pretty skeptical about biking out on the streets among the traffic, but in Charleston, people gave us the right-of-way and also the streets are so tight that drivers can’t really get their speed up on any of the roads (at least downtown) so I never felt like my safety was at risk.

Charleston by Bike

We had so much fun—plus the fact that I wasn’t worrying at all about getting hit the whole time—that it made me want to buy a bike for getting around Nashville with as bad as our traffic has gotten.

Charleston by Bike

The next morning, we had brunch plans at Cannon Green, sister property to the Zero George, and as it was just three miles away on Spring Street, once again we opted to take the bikes rather than to struggle to find street parking in Charleston.

Cannon Green in Charleston

Let’s pause for a moment and talk about how awesome Cannon Green is. This “gathering ground,” they’re calling it, has been many things over the years but opened last December as a restaurant and private events venue.

Biking around Charleston
Biking around Charleston

Cannon Green in CharlestonCannon Green in Charleston

The whole place resembled a large, open greenhouse and was very tastefully decorated.

Cannon Green in CharlestonCannon Green in Charleston

Biking around Charleston
Biking around Charleston

Seeing the courtyard and event space made me want to get married all over again. SVV, what do you think—perfect setting for a 10-year vow renewal?

Cannon Green in Charleston

Cannon Green in Charleston

We were there for brunch with my parents, which was every bit as good as the menu led us to believe. We had peach and heirloom tomatoes to start, along with two rounds of cocktails, and it would have taken me another two rounds to try all the drinks on the menu I wanted to try. But alas, Sunday morning, so I refrained (for once).

Cannon Green in CharlestonCannon Green in Charleston

Biking around Charleston
Biking around Charleston

From there, we were relatively close to the Citadel, so we decided to bike onward and burn off some of our breakfast. My brother-in-law graduated from there­—not to mention my ex-military husband is mildly obsessed with tanks—and we wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Citadel in Charleston

The campus is gorgeous, far prettier than I ever would have expected out of a military college. I finally see why Josh so loved going to school here (because dressing in uniform and doing all that marching doesn’t sound all that appealing to me!).

Citadel in Charleston

It was a Sunday and school’s out for the summer, so we had the place more or less to ourselves. Just as we prefer it.

Citadel in Charleston

By the time we got back from our bike ride on the second day, hours had flown by and every inch of us was drenched. July in Charleston is no joke, y’all. I’m kind of surprised we lasted as long as we did.

While the temps were cooler that week than they were in Nashville—about 10 degrees cooler, in fact—the humidity is about 10 times stronger and I was both a hot mess and ready for a(nother) drink and a dip in a pool!

Cannon Green in Charleston

So … can I pull one of these bad boys off in Nashville?

Charleston by Bike

COMMENTS
  • July 27, 2015
    Brandy

    I’m enjoying all your Charleston posts! I finally got to visit two weekends ago, and I loved it (of course, what’s not to love?). I saw a lot of people on bikes and it kinda made me want to hop on one, but I was already a disgustingly sweaty mess from the walking tour I took so I decided it would have to wait until another time. I was there for work so I really only had Saturday/Sunday to do whatever I wanted, but I definitely want to go back again sometime when it’s cooler, like November maybe.

    • July 28, 2015

      I can’t believe we were there at the same time! And yes, there was not a second that weekend we weren’t drenched in sweat =)

      November would be perfect in Charleston, I’d think!

  • July 27, 2015

    I’m loving these Charleston posts! I’m heading there in September and am super bummed that neither Zero George OR The Vendue have any availability while I’m there. Sad panda! I will definitely check out the town by bike, though. Hoping it won’t be blazing hot then, this pale nordic flower does not do well with high levels of heat, humidity, or heat+humidity.

    xox

    • July 28, 2015

      I have a HUGE dining post coming soon (probably mid-August) so I’ll be sure and get that up before your trip =)

      SO excited for you to experience Charleston! And bummer about Vendue and Zero George…but hey, there’s always next time?

  • July 31, 2015

    Great post! Nowadays articles is growing up and thanks for sharing this nice information with us.

  • August 8, 2015

    Oh wow this aroused my interest to travel and explore different places.On bike it would be full of enjoyment.
    Thank you for such a nice pix and tips.

  • August 9, 2015

    Adding Cannon Green to my “must eat” spots while I’m in Charleston. Selfishly hoping you get the Charleston Dining post up in the next week or so…

    • August 9, 2015

      Yes, definitely! It’s the best brunch I’ve had in Charleston.

      When do you leave? Right now, my eating post is scheduled for Aug. 24.

      • August 10, 2015

        GREAT timing. I’ll get there the day before you post. Maybe you can share a place for Sunday dinner 😉

  • August 17, 2015

    during my childhood days, I had this phobia for riding bikes. I would envision myself falling off to the ground. But over the years I learnt to overcome the fear of riding the bike and I got to learn how to ride one. I must say that biking is a great experience. one gets to explore the environs within and appreciate the magnificence that emanates from the place. am glad you had a great biking experience in Charleston.

    • August 18, 2015

      That’s awesome! Good for you. I have to admit I still have a similar phobia to mountain biking, but street biking I can do 😉

  • October 31, 2015

    i am visiting first time to your blog awesome post you have written, thank for sharing

  • April 18, 2016

    Hey Kristin,

    Love the images you put up there.

    After reading this post, i feel like visiting different beautiful places on my bike.

    Keep up the good work.

    Emily,

    Thanks

  • November 15, 2016

    Hey Kristin,

    Great images, Charleston looks absolutely amazing! Also looks like you had the perfect weather :). Can’t wait for summer 2017 to roll around so I can get touring too!

    Jeff.

    • November 16, 2016

      Thanks, Jeff! Also looking forward to 2017 and hoping to get to Charleston again in March =)

  • February 19, 2018

    The photos are amazing! However it looks like there is very few people in the streets. We are planning a trip to C-town this spring, hope it will be a bit more crowded! 🙂

    • February 20, 2018

      You want more people there?! Why!

      • February 20, 2018
        Mia Kulyabina

        Having lived in NYC for 7 years, I can’t help but feel very strange when visiting other cities and not seeing crowds in the streets 🙂 Besides, we enjoy meeting a few new people when we travel.

        • February 20, 2018

          Ha! Funny, I lived in NYC for two then SF for four and want to get away from people =)

          Charleston is super crowded during the spring and summer, particularly around King Street, so I promise you’ll get your wish!

Leave a Comment

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook