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Biking Vacation Charleston to Savannah: A Southern Reel​

Activity Level: Easy  |  Daily Mileage: 13 – 28 mi  |  Daily Biking: 2 – 3 hr
Land only
7 days from only
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Detailed Itinerary

Please note: For those traveling in 2015, your itinerary may vary slightly from what is presented below. 

Day 1 - Arrive Ansonborough Inn / Warm-up ride / Welcome reception and dinner

Travel to Charleston and meet us at the Ansonborough Inn, our first hotel on your Southern Reel. If you're flying in, you might meet VBT's complimentary shuttle upon your arrival at Charleston International Airport at 2:00 pm. Please call Mount Pleasant Shuttle at 843-971-4901 or toll-free 866-223-7226 to make a reservation, clearly stating you are a VBT guest. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your travel. Mount Pleasant must have your names and the airline and flight number you will be arriving on. If you are arriving after this shuttle departs or your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to reach the inn. For guests who are driving to the tour, parking will be available at the Ansonborough Inn for the week at a charge of $15 plus tax per day. Parking is also available at the Charleston airport for $8 per day.

Meet your VBT Leaders at 3:30 pm for bike fittings, followed by a warm-up ride. Please contact the Ansonborough Inn to advise us of any travel delays or changes; they will pass your message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

Tonight, get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome reception at the inn, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2 - Cooper River / Cycle through Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms

After breakfast, we'll cycle over the Cooper River along a dedicated bike/pedestrian lane on the dramatic Cooper River Bridge. Ride through Sullivan's Island and over another bridge to the Isle of Palms. Ride past some of the area's most sought-after homes and along the Intracoastal Waterway, with views of the beach and access ways. After lunch at a local restaurant on the Isle of Palms, continue cycling to Fort Moultrie. Edgar Allen Poe was once stationed here, from 1827 to 1828. The fortress played a key role in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. After our visit, we return to the Ansonborough Inn. Take some free time to explore Charleston, perhaps visiting the Battery or strolling through the streets of this historic city. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Day 3 - Shuttle to Wadmalaw Island / Charleston Tea Plantation / Experience a Beaufort social

Today, shuttle south to Angel Oak, a Southern live oak tree located on Johns Island. The tree is estimated to be more than 1,500 years old. This beloved, ancient tree stands 65 feet tall, and measures 28 feet in circumference. Its widest crown is 180 feet, point to point, and it shades 17,000 square feet. After marveling at this amazing tree, we'll shuttle to Wadmalaw Island. Wadmalaw Island is home to the Charleston Tea Plantation, makers of American Classic Tea, which is the only tea grown in America. Here, we'll enjoy a tour of the working tea factory, visit the tasting room and enjoy a trolley tour of the fields. Your leaders will provide a picnic lunch on the grounds after your exploration.

Then we'll cycle to Irvin House Vineyard and Firefly Distillery. Choose to visit the tasting room (at your expense), meander through the rows of grapes, or visit the farm. Afterwards, we'll shuttle on to Beaufort (approximately 90 minutes), where you can make yourself at home at the Beaufort Inn. The inn is conveniently located to give you easy access to the city's waterfront and more.

Enjoy dinner at the Inn before partaking in a famous Southern tradition, a Beaufort social—in which you'll learn to spin your partner in fine Southern fashion.

Day 4 - St. Helena Island / Walking Tour of Beaufort

After breakfast, we will ride through beautiful farmland to St. Helena Island, passing the historic Chapel of Ease along our way. During the Colonial period, “chapels of ease” were constructed by rice and cotton planters as houses of worship because their plantations were located too far from the churches in Beaufort. Built in the mid-18th century, this church was largely destroyed by fire more than one hundred years after its construction. Its four original walls remain, making it an evocative historic landmark.

After your ride, enjoy a visit to the Penn Center and a picnic lunch prepared by your Trip Leaders. The center was founded in 1862 to school freed slaves, but it's now a cultural center for Sea Island African-Americans, or Gullahs. It is also the site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held the annual retreat for his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Hear about the history of the area before shuttling or cycling back to Beaufort.

Later, stroll through Beaufort's mix of antebellum mansions, live oaks, and 1950s storefronts with a resident guide, who will explain why the town has lured so many moviemakers to its charming streets, including Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks, The Prince of Tides with Barbra Streisand, and The Great Santini with Robert Duvall.

Make your own dinner plans in Beaufort this evening; there are some excellent restaurants from which to choose.

Day 5 - Shuttle to Savannah / Tour of Savannah / Lunch and free time

This morning, we'll travel to Savannah (approximately 90 minutes) and spend time exploring some of the most memorable spots of this city. We'll explore through a walking tour of Savannah's streets and squares, gaining an understanding of the city's history, architecture, gardens, and abundant charm. 

You will have free time after the tour to discover beautiful Savannah and to settle in at our Savannah hotel for the next two nights. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

Day 6 - Cycle Isle of Hope to Wormsloe Historic Site / Farewell dinner

After breakfast, we'll ride out of the center of Savannah toward the Isle of Hope. Featuring a number of attractive old homes dating from the first part of the 19th century, the Isle of Hope looks out over the Intracoastal Waterway.

We're sure to recognize the entry arch into the remains of Wormsloe Plantation, now a National Historic Site. The arch frames the 1.5 mile-long live oak avenue leading to the tabby ruins, one of the most photographed sites in the South.

After lunch, continue riding through Savannah State University, Thunderbolt, and the moss-hung gardens of Bonaventure Cemetery, an 18th-century plantation and one of the settings of John Berendt's novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” You'll have free time to explore Savannah when we return.   

Tonight, celebrate with the group during a farewell dinner at one of Savannah's institutions since the 1700s, The Olde Pink House.

Day 7 - Depart for home

The tour concludes after breakfast at our Savannah hotel. The VBT shuttle is available to take departing guests back to the Charleston airport (CHS) arriving around 11:30 am. If you would like to avoid the transfer back to Charleston, we encourage you to fly out of Savannah. We do not offer shuttle service to the Savannah airport. A taxi to the Savannah International Airport costs approximately $25.

If you are flying out of Charleston, we suggest a flight no earlier than 2:00 pm. Guests with cars parked at the Ansonborough Inn in Charleston should take a taxi from the Charleston airport (cost is approximately $30).

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