South Carolina boasts numerous motorcycle routes, with options for the beginner and advanced rider alike. For more straightforward options with less elevation change and fewer twists and turns, head to the Lowcountry or Coastal Plain east of Columbia. If you prefer forests, waterfalls, rolling foothills and rivers, plan a route in the Piedmont/Upstate region. South Carolina’s roads are well maintained and are ideal for short jaunts between towns or extended road trips. Here are a few crowd pleasers for your next weekend outing.
1. Caesars Head
If you take the Caesars Head road trip during the summer, there’s thick foliage all the way to the summit of the mountain. Fall and winter offer panoramic views of Upstate South Carolina. The trip begins on Hwy 276 in Cleveland. When you get to Hwy 11, you follow it to Caesars Head State Park. Options are to ride to the mountain summit or travel through the state park to North Carolina where you’ll find rest stops and restaurants on the other side. The Backwoods in Long Creek, SC features local fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts if you need a break from riding.
2. Ashley River Road Scenic Byway
The historic route outside of Charleston covers 11 miles along Route 61 and is ideal for a short, weekend ride. The four-lane road becomes two lanes when it enters the Ashley River Historic District. The Ashley River Road runs through a National Register Historic District lined with oaks and hickory trees that arch over the roadway. The road travels through orchards and small villages; crosses Lake Keowee and runs by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Middleton Place Plantation.
3. Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway covers 117 miles and takes approximately four hours to drive. The road is part of the scenic Blue Ridge and traverses Lake Keowee, runs by Cowpens National Battlefield and through small villages and orchards. In earlier times, the road was the route for the Cherokee tribe and fur traders. Keowee-Toxaway State Park is a great place for hiking and has places to camp if you want to extend your trip. The byway is an alternative to the interstate from North Carolina to Georgia.
4. Historic Beaufort Scenery
Founded in 1711, Beaufort is one of South Carolina’s most historic cities. It’s also a motorcycle-friendly community with little shops and some excellent restaurants including the Blackstone Cafe and Sgt. White’s Diner for Lowcountry BBQ. This trip on Hwy 21 takes you through the historic district and barrier islands to Hunting Island State Park. From Beaufort head east on Hwy 21, through Frogmore and across St. Helena Island. After crossing over the Harbor River, take a right onto Sea Island Parkway. Enjoy a scenic ride through the park or pull over to explore one of the many nature trails on foot.
5. Highway 28 – The Tri-State Tour
This route starts in Walhalla, South Carolina and travels to the north. From Walhalla, continue on Hwy 28 to the South Carolina/Georgia state line, then cross into North Carolina and end the trip in Highlands. Walhalla, or the “Garden of the Gods,” has unique shops and good restaurants. Highway 28 is a beautiful, scenic road with waterfalls, mountains, forests, and rivers. You’ll experience the gorgeous scenery from three states. The route runs through Sumter National Forest and Nantahala National Forest. When you reach Highlands, stop by the Ugly Dog Pub or The Sports Page before heading home.
Whether you travel the coastal roads to South Carolina beaches, through the foothills and forests, or to visit the historic plantations, South Carolina has motorcycle roads and trips for everyone. To keep you safe on the road ahead, make sure you have SC motorcycle insurance coverage before you go! Let our agents discuss options with you from the best insurance companies in Greenville SC.