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Where to Run (and Walk) Around the Holy City—Three Routes

Where to Run (and Walk) Around the Holy City—Three Routes

April 04, 2018

Whether you’re in town for the Cooper River Bridge Run (Saturday, April 7) and need a pre-race warm up or want to burn off some of that brunch you indulged in at Henrietta’s (or maybe you just need to stretch your legs!), the best way to see Charleston is on foot. To help you out, we’ve mapped out three routes that weave past some of the city’s signature sights and cater to any endurance level. If you’d rather pedal than run or walk—especially on the longer routes—pick up one of the hotel’s complimentary black bicycles, complete with baskets and racks, and get moving:

Route 1: Battery Loop

DISTANCE: 3.8 miles

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate

This moderate loop begins at the hotel and hits all the Holy City high notes along the way: Colonial Lake, White Point Gardens, Waterfront Park, the Dock Street Theater, the Four Corners of Law. This time of year, expect the Confederate Jasmine covering the wrought iron gates that surround Charleston’s historic homes to perfume your path. And at close to four miles, it’s the perfect 5K prep.

Route 2: Hampton Park

DISTANCE: 1 mile

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy

Hop in one of the hotel’s house cars or let us hire you an Uber or rickshaw for the short trip up to Hampton Park, the sixty-acre Olmsted-designed oasis on the west side of the peninsula next to the Citadel. Bursting with azaleas and other native blooms come spring, this is a route you’ll want to take nice and slow. Explore the park’s inside path that snakes throughout the green space, or take the outer paved loop along Mary Murray Drive that follows the historic route of the eighteenth-century Washington Race Track.

Route 3: Shem Creek Long Run

DISTANCE: 5.2 miles (one-way)

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Hard

For your efforts, this challenging route, which follows a large portion of the official Bridge Run path, delivers some of the best views in town. Pause at the crest of the Cooper River Bridge to look out over Charleston Harbor and the USS Yorktown, Fort Sumter, and Castle Pinckney below. Cruise down toward Coleman Boulevard and make your way to Mount Pleasant’s picturesque Shem Creek for an unbeatable photo op. For bonus points (and truly the city’s best overlook) continue down Coleman to the Old Pitt Street Bridge, which used to connect Mount Pleasant’s Old Village to Sullivan’s Island. Today it’s a public park filled with runners, walkers, bikers and even crabbers on nice afternoons. Unless, you’re in half-marathon shape, though, you might want to consider catching a ride back to the Dewberry—and rewarding yourself with a treatment at the spa ASAP.