Long a well-kept secret known only by pro cyclists flocking here to train, the Greenville SC area is now recognized nationally as one of the best cycling communities in the country. This newly popular travel destination is the starting point for our trip that takes us to the quaint villages of Saluda, Tryon, and Brevard; through horse country, river valleys, state and national forests, and finally tempting you with epic climbs used by pros for training. This beautiful, diverse terrain now offers equally impressive lodging and dining, much of which is designed specifically for the cyclist and outdoor enthusiast.
Blue Ridge of the Carolinas
Traveler's Rest, SC to Saluda, NC
Tour DifficultyRolling Hills and a few Challenging Climbs
Duration5 Days, 4 Nights
Meet/DepartHotel Domestique, Travelers Rest, SC
Nearest AirportGSP Greenville Spartanburg International
PricingFrom $2350 per person
Dates10/3/21 - 10/7/21
We rendezvous mid to late morning at Hotel Domestique, which will be our inn for the final two nights of the tour. After bike fittings, orientation and a quick bite to eat, we will embark on one of the most popular rides in the region: the beautiful moderate climb up the Greenville Watershed. So popular it may have more cyclists than cars on any given day, the "watershed climb" takes us into North Carolina past Lake Summit. An early option is a loop past the beautiful stone Poinsett Bridge, built in 1820 and believed to be the oldest surviving bridge in the Southeast.
We'll ultimately roll in downtown Saluda. You'll have some time this afternoon to explore this quaint village or relax at the Orchard Inn, our home for the next two nights. Be sure to carve out time for a massage at the Inn's spa, just steps from your room. Not ready to relax? Stay on the bike for the 13 mile Fork Creek loop and Pearson's Falls, adding 1570 feet of climbing. (Spa treatments not included in tour price; advance reservations are required.)
Dinner tonight at The Orchard Inn is a trip highlight as the menu is always built around the Inn's own organic garden and mini-orchard.
The day starts with a fun descent down a popular route known as the Saluda Grade, once the steepest railway grade in the country. We arrive in the equestrian community of Tryon and begin peddling through quiet back roads dotted with horse farms and vineyards. A treat awaits us for lunch as our route takes us to the new Tryon International Equestrian Center, host of the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Be sure to capture a glimpse of this impressive complex while choosing from several restaurants for your lunch.
Back on the bikes we turn toward the Green River and the opportunity to climb the Green River Cove 17 switchbacks, one of the hallmark climbs in the Hincapie Gran Fondo. Never fear, shuttling up the switchbacks in the van is almost as exhilarating as the ride up on bike!
Dinner tonight is on your own in Saluda.
Today offers the potential of an epic ride inn to inn. (Strategic shuttles are available to make your ride less epic.) We will depart the Orchard Inn after a magnificent breakfast and ride west to Jump Off Rock, a popular climb and inspiring overlook. Additional highlights include a stop at Caesars Head State Park to take in one of the most spectacular views in the region, and a thrilling descent off the Blue Ridge escarpment.
A true cyclist's hotel, Hotel Domestique is owned by George Hincapie, a 17-time Tour de France competitor and "domestique" teammate to several Tour champions. This charming, intimate hotel is a first-class basecamp for the rest of our trip.
Dinner together at Hotel Domestique's award-winning Restaurant 17.
Breakfast at Restaurant 17 at the Hotel Domestique will get you fueled for a wonderful day of riding in the SC foothills. Multiple distance options will be available for maximum flexibility. You may want to get back early to enjoy the amenities at Hotel Domestique, including the saltwater pool.
Our final ride will cover more of the rolling foothills in the area. A couple of distance options will be avaiilable, as well as a strategic shuttle option. We'll make it back to the hotel in time to clean up and enjoy a final lunch together.
Low end of tour price range reflects the 6 month Early Bird Discount. High end of price range reflects no Early Bird Discount.
What's Included in Your Tour Price
Nights 1 & 2
The beautiful bed and breakfast just outside of Saluda, NC is surrounded by nature and home to a full service spa and award-winning Newman's Restaurant. Menus are built around local organic ingredients. Much of the produce is sourced from the onsite 4,000 sq. ft. organic garden and mini-orchard. Breakfast and dinner are served in the windowed dining room with breaktaking mountain vistas.
Nights 3 & 4
Like the modern country house of a well-traveled friend, Hotel Domestique feels both international and inviting, worldly yet at home in its beautiful Blue Ridge locale. Established by world-renowned cyclist George Hincapie to share the same unforgettable hospitality, cuisine, rest and adventure he discovered during his travels abroad, Hotel Domestique is the perfect destination for relaxation.
This tour is a roadie's dream, and is appropriate for intermediate or advanced bicyclists. We recommend modern road bikes, preferably with triple chain rings or large rear cogs to tame the hills. All biking is on asphalt roads except for a few short sections of packed gravel. Distance options each day range from 30 to 60 miles, with optional side routes available to add on miles. Terrain is a mix of rolling hills and strenuous climbs. The scenery is very beautiful and diverse, including valley farms, and forested mountains.
Tour Point of Origin:
Hotel Domestique, 10 Road of Vines, Travelers Rest, SC 29690
Getting to the Tour Start
Driving: Approximate travel distance to Hotel Domestque:
Greenville, SC: 20 miles / 31 minutes
- Atlanta, GA: 168 miles
- Richmond, VA: 398 miles
- Charlotte, NC: 113 miles
- Nashville, TN: 328 miles
Parking: Parking is provided free of charge by Hotel Domestique.
Airports: GSP International Airport, 2000 GSP Drive, Greer, SC 29651. 864.877.7426.
Served by Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United
Located 24 miles from Hotel Domestique.
Ground Transit: Eastside Transportation is the airport's official ground transportation company. Call 864-655-5328. Uber is also available. All major rental car companies service GSP.
We bike away from Greenville on the first morning of the tour. Try to arrive at Hotel Domestique no later than 11 a.m., 10 a.m. if you are renting a bike from us. Departure time from Hotel Domestique on the last day will be around Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Extend Your Vacation
Greenville is very tourist friendly small city, with a vibrant downtown. We will not be including time in Greenville as part of the tour itinerary, so you may want to add time on your own there. There are numerous hotels in the downtown are, but be aware that they fill up on weekends and many require 2 night stays on weekends.
The highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, cascades, glens, colleges, hamlets, valley farms, quaint towns and steep hillsides dotted with vineyards. All of this, in addition to the sparkling waters of long blue glacial lakes, make the NY Finger Lakes a special bicycling destination not to be missed.