Safe Routes and Iconic Sites to see While Biking in the Historic District of Charleston, SC

(Detailed Maps Available In-Store)

Do you want to see historic Charleston like you never have before? The vehicle of choice is a bicycle! You will go faster than walking with more ease but you will be slower and more liberated than being in a car. With the city being so flat and everything so close together, a bike is the best way to cover ground, and see the city in a more intimate way than ever before!

Start at our shop and head South to see the historic district. To avoid congested car traffic, stay off of King and Meeting St. Instead, follow Line street to St Phillip. Turn left and follow St Phillip through College of Charleston on your way to the south end of the peninsula. When you get to the intersection at Queen St, hang a right to loop around Colonial Lake! Colonial Lake is a tidal lake which means it is connected to the Ashley River with a tunnel that runs underneath the battery! The lake will lower and rise with the tides! The lake is surrounded by beautiful historic houses and lush foliage. A must see on the route!

Once you are at Colonial Lake you are very close to the mansions on the Southern coast of the peninsula. This iconic collection of houses on the coast is called The Battery. Occasionally the city is modifying the sea-wall on the Battery in which case you should bike down South Battery instead which is still splendid and safe! 

As you make your way around The Battery you will pass a beautiful park called White Point Gardens with huge oak trees and decorative cannons. This is where the first shots were fired during The Civil War. Make your way around that corner of the peninsula and you will be on East Bay St. East bay St used to actually be the eastern side of the city! This means that anything East of East Bay is all infill! Follow East Bay about 2 blocks and you will notice the famous Rainbow Row houses on your left. Original cobblestone roads are across the street on your right.

Keep following East Bay St and you will see Waterfront Park on your right. Turn on Vendue to ride right into the park. Inside the park you will find an iconic pineapple water fountain and a dock that extends into the Cooper River.

Get back on your bikes and head back to East Bay St. One more block North down East Bay St and you will end up at the City Market. This is an open air market with many local vendors selling interesting crafts and goods. This is an excellent place to lock up the bikes, walk around, do some shopping, and get some sweets.

From The Market you will make a right turn on Anson St (near the horse carriage tours) and head north, back in the direction you came from. Anson St is very safe and takes you through one of the oldest neighborhoods in Charleston as you make your way back. Turn left on Mary to get back to King St. Then make a right on King and you are 2 blocks from our shop where you started at 677 King.

Other charming roads in the historic district (South of Broad St) that are off-route but not by much
  1. Legare St
  2. Tradd St, 
  3. Water St
  4. Broad St
  5. Church St
  6. Lamboll St
  7. Atlantic St
  8. Prices Alley
  9. Ladson St
  10. Stolls Alley (narrow brick alley)


Bike Routes to Hampton Park, Magnolia Cemetery, Shem Creek, and Sullivan’s Island

Hampton Park

Hampton Park is a beautiful park reminiscent of Central Park in Manhattan. It is a peaceful enclave amongst the busy city. The park is a full mile around with a bike lane encompassing the perimeter. Inside the park there are dirt trails and paved trails that you can bike on to see the whole park and check out the various plants in bloom or see the goose pond. 

Hampton Park has a rich history as a horse racing track. The two longer ends of the park are where the horses would historically do their sprints. In the early 1900’s the park was host to a variety of interesting “world fairs” that contained eclectic acts or the swapping of exotic plants. 

After riding around Hampton Park you can easily make your way over to The Citadel military university which is right nextdoor. Many people know the Citadel from Pat Conroy’s famous book called “The Lord’s of Discipline”.

After touring Hampton Park or the Citadel you can make your way onto Hagood ave, then make a right on Fishburne, and this will take you to Lockwood Blvd. Lockwood has a wide sidewalk which bikers can take all the way down the western coast of the peninsula, past the harbor, and right into the Battery to link up with our route of the historic district. When riding this route please be careful of the one spot where cars are getting off the West Ashley bridge. The rest of the route is very safe.

Directions to Hampton Park from the Store Through Neighborhood
  1. Head East on Cannon St
  2. Turn right on Ashley Ave
  3. Take Ashley Ave all the way into the park
Alternate Directions with Food on the Way
  1. Head north on King
  2. Stop at any of these restaurants -The Daily, Leon’s, Melfis, Little Jacks, Rodney Scott BBQ
  3. Turn left on Cleveland St
  4. Enter the park
Magnolia Cemetery 

Magnolia Cemetery is for the true adventurers who want to see something a little different and bike a little more while still staying downtown. This cemetery is not creepy. It’s beautiful and awe inspiring. There are many old graves with interesting head stones and interesting mausoleums. It gives a really diverse perspective into the history and styles of the past. Some guests like to park the bikes and do a little exploring on foot here.

Directions to Magnolia Cemetery from the Store 
  1. Take King St North until you get to Cypress
  2. Right on Cypress. Follow it as it turns into Brigade St
  3. Turn left on Huguenin Ave
  4. Follow this road to the Cemetery
Food Within 5 Blocks of the Store
  1. Holey City Bagels
  2. Dallesandro’s Pizza
  3. The Daily
  4. Baba’s 
  5. Ladles Soups
  6. Xiao Bao Biscuit
  7. Fuel Cantina
  8. Callie’s Little Biscuits
  9. Felix Cocktails
  10. Big Bad Breakfast
  11. Leon’s
  12. Little Jack’s
Bilda Bikes Self Guided Beach Ride: From Downtown to Sullivans Island

(with several stops along the way)

Do you want to see Charleston for its natural beauty and escape downtown for more adventure and exploring? Look no further than our self-guided beach ride from downtown to Sullivan’s Island.

Start at 573 King St. Make your way North on King for 2 blocks and then turn right on Columbus St. This will take you all the way to East Bay at the eastern edge of the city. Cross East Bay and get onto the sidewalk. You will be able to see the big bridge in front of you. Turn left and get onto the sidewalk with your bicycle. Continue ahead and the sidewalk will turn into the bike/pedestrian lane on the bridge. The right side is for walkers and the left side is for bikers. Get in a lower gear for less resistance to make the climbing a bit easier. 

When you get to the top, pull over in one of the outlook areas. Take a picture and enjoy the view of downtown, Ft. Sumter, and Sullivans Island. Continue your ride and head down the bridge into Mt. Pleasant. 

At the bottom of the bridge you can go right and do a lap of an area called Patriots Point. It has military artifacts, a golf course, a restaurant, and an aircraft carrier that can be toured.

On the bridge there is a protected bike lane. Once you get off the bridge it is recommended that you stay on the sidewalk until a bike lane appears in the road after about 2 miles of riding in Mt Pleasant.

If you skip Patriots Point, simply continue down Coleman HWY 61. Once outside of downtown . in Mt. Pleasant, you will be fine to be on the sidewalks because the motor traffic is faster. Stay on the sidewalk and you will eventually arrive at Shem Creek. This is a beautiful tidal creek with several restaurants around it and occasionally dolphins swimming in the creek! Shem Creek is a beautiful spot to stop and have a bite or drink and just watch the water come in and out!

After Shem Creek, stay on the sidewalk and continue to follow Coleman HWY 61. When the road splits at the Exxon gas station, veer right into the Old Village neighborhood. The road will turn into Royal Ave. Follow Royal Ave and make a left on Center St. Follow Center St to Ben Sawyer and make a right on Ben Sawyer.

This road has the intercoastal waterway on both sides and it has a protected bike lane to get you into Sullivans Island. Once you arrive at Sullivans Island there are several restaurants you can eat at. If you go right you can loop the tip of the island and see Fort Moultrie. If you turn right when you get into Sullivans you can loop a place called Breach Inlet. Breach Inlet is where Sullivans Island and Isle of Palms meet each other. Water rushes in and out of the inlet and there is a bridge that goes over it. Once you cross the bridge you are in Isle of Palms. 

All in all, riding from downtown to Sullivans Island and back is a 22 mile round trip. It takes around 2 hours.

Patriots Point- This is your first stop when you cross the Ravenel Bridge. Some people bike by it and head to Shem Creek. If you want to check it out, simply make a right at the gas station when you get off the bridge. Patriots Point includes a naval and maritime museum with an aircraft carrier that you can tour. If you get too tired on the way back, there is a ferry at Patriot’s Point that can take you back downtown with your bikes. It’s called Charleston Water Taxi and their website is linked below

Shem Creek

Shem Creek is the next stop on your way out to Sullivan’s Island. Shem Creek is a historic fishing drop-off that has been home to many local fishermen for decades. Over time it became a popular hang out for drinking, eating, and watching the view. There are docks surrounding the whole area that you can bike or walk around. There are several restaurants at Shem Creek to accommodate a variety of tastes.

Red’s Ice House- Legacy business with great bar food

Tavern and Table- Nicer dinner style menu with flat bread pizzas

Saltwater Cowboys- Home for some of the cast of Southern Charm. Good for the drinkers.

Kayak Rentals- Opposite of Tavern and Table

Pitt St Bridge

After passing Shem Creek there will be a fork in the road. Stay straight/veer right and enter into the Mt. Pleasant, Old Village. There is a wonderful restaurant in this neighborhood called the Old Village Post House. The houses in this neighborhood are lovely and all very unique. At the end of this neighborhood is the Pitt St Bridge. This bridge used to extend all the way to Sullivan’s Island but most of it was destroyed during Hurricane Hugo. The city preserved what was left and turned it into a linear park of sorts. The views are wonderful. 

Ben Sawyer Causeway

After the Pitt St Bridge, make your way onto Center st which will take you out of the Old Village and link you up with the Ben Sawyer Causeway. Turn right and stay on the bike lane as you head into Sulivan’s Island. There is a draw bridge on this road that can occasionally be in action. If so, just wait a few minutes for the boat to pass and carry on.

Sullivan’s Island Restaurants

Once you are in Sullivan’s Island there will be a bunch of restaurants to choose from. Pizza, mexican, ice cream and more.

Fort Moultrie

If you have a little juice left in your legs and want to take a quick history lesson, make a right on Palm Blvd and follow it until you see Fort Moultrie on your left. This is also a nice and uncrowded spot to walk out to the beach.

Breach Inlet

If you make a left on Palm Blvd this takes you towards Isle of Palms, a neighboring island. Within about a mile you end up at a bridge called Breach Inlet where the water rushes in and out between Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. Beyond this is Wild Dunes resort which would make for a 30+ mile ride.