Best places to ride your bike in the United States 2016

For the full article, and the reasons why we included each city,  scroll down. We’ve added some additional motorcycling route recommendations as well occasionally. Without further ado, here is the ranking, proudly presented by TheRevver:

#1 Las Vegas, Nevada
#2 Sturgis, South Dakota
#3 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
#4 Raleigh, North Carolina
#5 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
#6 Nashville, Tennessee
#7 Charlottesville, Virginia
#8 Santa Barbara, California
#9 Bar Harbor, Maine
#10 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
#11 Santa Fe, New Mexico
#12 Louisville, Kentucky
#13 Galena, Illinois
#14 Scottsdale, Arizona
#15 Murphys, California
#16 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
#17 Fayetteville, Arkansas
#18 Unadilla, Georgia
#19 Plano, Texas
#20 Grand Rapids, Michigan
#21 Charleston, South Carolina
#22 Fort Collins, Colorado
#23 Chapel Hill, North Carolina
#24 Alexandria, Virginia
#25 Boise, Idaho
#26 Reno, Nevada

 

The United States of America, land of the free and the home of the brave.

Absolutely, and damn proud of it!  Even more free and brave for those that have a taste for the open road and a sense of adventure. I’m not talking about getting into the family wagon for a weekend retreat. I’m talking about jumping onto that iron horse, opening up that throttle, and freeing your mind from the world you left behind.

Feel the wind in your face, discover the unknown and come across some strange and interesting people that dwell in this beautiful country. Discover your weird and embrace it! It’s liberating, exhilarating and it’s something you can hold as your own for the rest of your life.

The United States offers so much more than fried foods, free enterprise, and a healthy appetite for competition. Our vast countryside, alone, is truly amazing! Covering a diverse landscape of rugged mountains, unimaginable coastal terrain, open plains, Redwood forest, metropolitan flare and even our swamplands can deliver you a delightful treat.

Beyond the natural geographical diversity of our land, one can’t help to think of the history that is associated with it as well. The largest social human experiment the world has ever known. A collection of the world’s population all living together in harmony (most of the time), in one location, sharing various religious, cultural and social traits that outsiders considered impossible to achieve. All taking place right before our very eyes!

statue-of-liberty

Over the last 240 years, our beloved country has accepted all walks of life who journeyed here looking for a better life. Just read the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  It doesn’t sound like the type of characters you’d want your sister dating, but I reckon, we’ve done damn good job handling our misfits of the world into the most powerful free nations known to man. Wouldn’t you?

The wealth of history in every corner of our country is astonishing. I’m the self-proclaimed ‘history buff’ amongst my crew of misfits, though we all share a passion for our countries past and there’s no better way to experience it then with 1700cc between your legs! Having the opportunity to experience it firsthand on my Harley Davidson has only opened my eyes to a new perspective and appreciation of this precious land’s true reflection of a human experiment gone right.

Every journey abroad awakens me to another mind blowing experience while creating new friends with unforgettable memories. So much, that I decided to share my thoughts in this article. My goal, like all my blogs, is to entertain my reader(s), but also, enlighten, educate and provide informative content to get people motivated “to do” something new and adventurous.

With that in mind, I took action and created a list of America’s best motorcycling cities and towns for riders of all skill sets. Hoping to encourage weekend warrior into taking that epic extended escapade into the incredible world of petrol, asphalt, and metal. Discover a new perspective on the Americana lifestyle while finding self-enlightenment in the process.

Top Towns, Cities, and Rallies for American Bikers

#1 Las Vegas, Nevada

las vegas desert

From the beginning, Las Vegas has always attracted the hustlers! From the likes of legendary mobsters including Bugsy Siegel, ‘Fat Herbie’ Blitzstein, to Lefty Rosenthal. Corruption, extortion, and bikers seem a fitting pair that most outsiders would classify a stereotypical biker into — they’re wrong, but Vegas is Vegas and it’s still a bikers paradise!

Like Las Vegas, not all bikers are corrupted and dangerous lunatics. The majority of us are upstanding, hard working, patriotic family men looking to let off a little steam once in a while. Obviously, if you’ve never heard of Las Vegas, then it’s time to remove that heavy rock you’ve been living under and get with the program. Las Vegas is now one of the most visited cities in the world for national and international travelers alike. There is no better way to experience such a city than by cruising the strip and showing off your prowess of power in the way of your motorcycle.

Events and Optional Rides:

The Las Vegas BikeFest is a combination of glitz and grit and one hell of a party offering a four-day event of live music, demos, poker runs and so much more. The Las Vegas BikeFest takes place every September so plan for 2017 and see you there!

If you’re looking for a journey outside the Las Vegas strip then you’re welcome to the surrounding desert and to let the open roads to guide the way. Take the opportunity to explore Death Valley, Hoover Dam, and Rainbow Ridge, all offering a thrilling road while providing stunning elevated vista points of LakeMead and the endless Nevada horizon.

#2 Sturgis, South Dakota

Sturgis is synonymous with biker lore. Home to the largest and most visited motorcycle rallies in American history. This small South Dakota town of 6,000 inhabitants within the confines of the Black Hills, transforms annually during that one week in August into a hotbed of motorcycle enthusiast sharing one common denominator — freedom!

Originally started back in 1938 by the small Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club, has now evolved into a mega worldwide event, turning out over one million visitors in 2015 and growing larger every event. From the outset in 1938, the event was primarily staged for races and stunts though has now become a scene of dingy saloons, live music, parties and epic rides based out of Sturgis.

Sturgis has been running strong ever since, with the exception in 1942 during WWII when the country had set the public on gasoline rations in order to support the war efforts overseas.

Optional Rides:

The Black Hills Run is a popular ride that everyone should take part when given the opportunity. The route takes you from Sturgis into the legendary wild west town of Deadwood and into Custer State Park where you’ll witness wildlife, history, and that old granite rock with faces on it. What’s it called? Oh yeah, Mt. Rushmore! A spectacle that all Americans should witness at some point in their life.

#3 Fort Lauderdale, Florida

fort-lauderdale-waterside

Sunkist bodies and pristine white sandy beaches have brought visitors to Fort Lauderdale for many decades now. However, this mid-sized beach city boosts opportunity left and right for all walks of life.

Fort Lauderdale has been continuously rated ‘Most Popular Beaches in America’ by the Daily Beast and considered a Top 10 ‘Best Fourth of July Celebrations’ in the country by USA Today. Fort Lauderdale has one of the finest downtown areas on the eastern seaboard offering an endless supply of reasonably priced eateries, cafes, and restaurants. WalletHub claimed Fort Lauderdale a Top 20 ‘Best Foodie Cities for Your Wallet’ only making this city not only a beautiful option but a cheap one as well.

Beyond the excellent attributes of Fort Lauderdale, I’m always keen on taking the ride north of town to West Palm beach via Hwy 1A. One of the finest stretches of beachside coastal riding you’ll encounter. The amazing views of mega-homes, gorgeous beaches, joggers (usually beautiful as well), and the majestic Atlantic Ocean make for a perfect day on the road with a few stops along the way to wet the beak and fill the belly with fresh seafood.

#4 Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh mansion

Home of the Tar Heels, from which the origin of that nickname is still debatable, though experts claim it was based on the sappy tar they once extracted from the local woods for exporting. Sounds good enough to me.

Besides that fact, Raleigh is now a young and exciting city and considered by Forbes Magazine as a Top 5 “Next Boom Cities of America” with ample employment opportunities for new college graduates including becoming one of the hottest techie hubs outside of Silicon Valley. A growing population and an ever-expanding culinary persona have draped this young metropolis in recent years. Though I was sold to visit when I read a study by Marketwired giving Raleigh accolades for being on of America’s ‘Best Cities for Beer Lovers’!!

If you haven’t noticed a theme thus far in this article, I love my beer, I love my food and I love my bike.

Raleigh ticked the marks on all my expectations, the crafty artisan beers were divine, the food was delicious and my ride was even better. Old Weaver Road via Falls Lake was such a memorable ride that I’m considering making it an annual ride when I’m in the area. This 41 miles of pure joy starts in the northern suburbs of Raleigh as you journey portions of state highway 1641 before entering Virgil Road. The road becomes a twisty mess of organized chaos as you approach Falls Lake and the many rustic bridges along the route. You’ll discover many options for stops along the way for photo opportunities, I recommend you relax and enjoy the lake once you arrive.

#5 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

oklahoma-memorial

For the shakers and movers of the world, Oklahoma City is a growing hub of young millennials launching their young careers. According to Forbes, Oklahoma City is one of America’s Fastest Growing Cities due to its economic stability and employment opportunities amongst college graduates. The influx of this millennial population has only benefited the landlocked city with more attractions than ever before and after I read that CNN rated Oklahoma City the #1 city for burgers, I was there instantly and salivating for a juicy cheeseburger to see if it was true!

Like so many other getaways, I always make it a point to get on my motorcycle for a ride, whether I’m on my own bike or if I have to rent one. I need to explore and my visit to OKC was no different as I discovered the Red Rock Canyon Loop. This 160-mile round trip journey starts and ends in OKC but along the way you’ll witness some of the best terrains Oklahoma has to offer. The natural beauty of rolling hills, tree-lined paths, deep canyons with limitless curves, bends, and straightways taking you past the famous Red Rock Canyon State Park. This is a brilliant ride, and worth the day out in my opinion.

Btw, before I forget, the burgers in OKC were fantastic!

#6 Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville at night

The hub of country music, BBQ and good old southern hospitality, Nashville is the center of the southern universe when it comes to entertainment and feasting. Nashville needs no introduction to the world of travelers being rated #1 ‘Best Cities to Spend a Weekend’ by Thrillist’s and for you night owls, Nashville got awarded the ‘Best Nightlife Scenes in the USA’  by U.S. News.

The city is alive and well with a vibrant atmosphere of music, sights, and smells of tangy spices and rubs slow cooking in what many consider the best BBQ region in the entire world. Mixed in with history and the people only make Nashville one of the Top 5 ‘Best Cities of America’ according to Travel & Leisure World’s Best Awards.

Nashville fireworks

Need I say more? Well, of course I do, because no visit to such a splendid city is complete without exploring it on a motorcycle. With so much happening in the city, one could just putter around town from one spot to the next, get lost and just soak up the vibe as you go and is totally recommended in my opinion. Just 15 minutes north of downtown is the Old Hickory Road for a melting pot of rural, urban, and good people engagements with plenty of side road attractions in the way of BBQ joints and drinking halls. This ride offers motorcycle enthusiasts a real hands-on sense of Tennessee.

For a longer and even more spectacular ride, drive south of Nashville and begin your 400 mile round trip on the Natchez Trace Parkway. This route is encompassed by a forest of oaks, beeches, pines and magnolias. This ride is best traveled in the spring when the biodiversity of the forest spring back into life with vivid blossoms from the dogwoods and redbuds throughout the land. It is easy to see why the US Department of Transportation has labeled this section of road the elite ‘All American Road’ status.

#7 Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville is quickly becoming a hotbed for foodies and culture seekers alike. This Virginian mountain town has been rated ‘A Top 5 Destination Every American Should Visit’ by Orbitz Worldwide and #8 amongst all the beer cities of America by liviability.com including “America’s Favorite Mountain Town’ by Travel & Leisure. The accolades just keep piling up for this little town and when you visit Charlottesville on your bike, you’ll discover why as well.

Having friends that live here, and reading that Huffington Post & Fodor’s both ranked Charlottesville a Top 10 Christmas Celebration Town of America, I quickly made arrangements to visit for the holiday season. My first visit was in the drift of winter while being cold and wet but figured out that this section of the world is a motorcyclist dream come true. I returned the following summer with my bike under my command and journeyed from Charlottesville into the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest where I had one of the most memorable weekends on a bike in 20 years.

The scenery alone takes the cake as you ride through the highlands of Virginia and into West Virginia’s  Monongahela National Forest. Wonderful panoramic views from mountain peaks, deep valley gorges, and heavy flowing streams create the ultimate sensations of being at peace with nature while driven by the adrenaline rush of the winding and narrow roads. Don’t miss the opportunity if given the chance, highly recommended!

#8 Santa Barbara, California

santa-barbara-mountainview

One might not consider a surf culture, seaside town like Santa Barbara as a motorcyclist’s haven. But you’d be wrong, that stereotype is far fetched from the truth. Pending your biker’s persona, are you that edgy roughneck rider or perhaps that free spirited, life’s an adventure kind of rider? Either way, Santa Barbara caters to all types no matter how hard you try to resist it.

It’s pristine beaches, great eateries, wineries, shops, and galleries make it hard for all enthusiast not to go crazy for more central coast asphalt.

Optional Ride:

If you have the whole day I highly recommend the Santa Barbara-Ventura County loop for a delicious day of riding, eating and responsible wine tasting. This loop begins in Santa Barbara heading north directly into the heart of the central coast wine region.

Take your time and explore the bounty of the land from this spectacular area. Tickle the taste buds with savory and sweet. You’ll need the energy, as this ride has plenty of bends, curves, hills and straight-a-ways! You’ll see just about everything along the way. The coast, secluded mountains, open free-range fields, agriculture, and cavernous gorges. It’s California at its zenith.

#9 Bar Harbor, Maine

landscape at bar harbor acadia national park maine

How can I go from Sturgis to sleepy old Bar Harbor, Maine? One extreme to the other, right? Well, the answer is easy since Maine is downright beautiful! It is nature in its purest form and part of the lure for any motorcycle enthusiast on the road is to become incorporated into that form of life.

Bar Harbor is a stunning little New England seaside town. A place of mentally and physical inspiration, being the backbone to so many Stephen King novels. It has that tangible combination of haunting surrealism diluted with a touch of laid-back charisma. In layman’s term, Bar Harbor is a laid back hippy town.

Charming and cozy, nestled up against the treacherous fury of the Atlantic coastline. Deep bays and hidden coves make for endless exploration on the bike. Drop the lobster trap in the morning, head out for a half day ride through Acadia National Park and head back home for a lobster feast and embellished storytelling around the campfire. Life is sounding pretty damn good right about now.

#10 Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

myrtle-beach-at-night

Myrtle Beach has attracted motorcyclist since 1940 from all corners of the country for their annual Myrtle Beach Bike Week event. Hog-heads have congregated to Myrtle Beach for decades just to get a glimpse of this legendary Spring Rally and all its glory. It’s estimated that roughly 300,000 riders and event fanatics participant in this massive undertaking.

Loaded with activities, races, rides, demos and music it’s easy to see why MBBW draws a hefty crowd every year.

#11 Santa Fe, New Mexico

souvenir of santa fe

Santa Fe is more than just an art lovers paradise. Rated one of America best cities by Travel & Leisure Magazine, this small college town is home to some of the best distilleries and farmer markets in the country. Offering foodies and hipsters a fresh array of trendy contemporary culinary establishments, bars, and cafes. From the best donut shops to the open road, Santa Fe delivers an ample supply for everyone! Including us motorcyclist with access to The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. One of the most famous and historical 50 miles of byway in America, from Albuquerque to Santa Fe or vice versa this stretch is a must-do when in New Mexico.

#12 Louisville, Kentucky

louisville-bridge

Welcome to the land of Louisville Slugger! Any baseball fanatic is quite familiar with this iconic American company that has been supplying Major League Baseball with quality bats for over a 130 years now.

Amazingly enough, Louisville is more than just wooden bats. The city is an innovate, creative, vibrant artisan city. Louisville has been rated among one the world’s best cities for food by the World Food Travel Association and in 2016, Time Magazine rated Louisville America’s Best Music Scene.

Food & music just seems like a perfect fit for anyone, particular us iron horse riders! City riding is a treat in Louisville, but outside the city limits, you’re smack-dab in the middle of bluegrass country. Twisting roads, gentle hills, and little traffic (just watch out for the occasional tobacco tractor) take your time and enjoy the ride. Other options include heading west out of Louisville where you’ll enter Indiana and some terrific riding options inside the Hoosier National Forest.

#13 Galena, Illinois

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see why Galena is been rated by Midwest Living Magazine as one of the best weekend getaways throughout the Midwest. The charm, the people, and if you love antiques then Galena is the place for you. Truly the epicenter of small town America at its best with its historical architecture and its considered to have the best Main Street in the country by Huffington Post. Galena was also rated the 2nd most friend city in America and 14th in the world by Conde Nast Magazine! Maybe I should stay away from such a friendly place since I may rub off my bad reputation after my visit!

Furthermore, Galena is the launching point for a splendid journey down the Mississippi River by way of the Blackjack Road. This scenic drive of rustic farmhouses, twist, rolls, and sweepers is the best that Illinois has to offer. With optional pullouts scattered along the ride for photo opts of the mighty Mississippi River, this is one of the best runs for anyone looking to take that leisure stroll while on their getaway in Galena.

#14 Scottsdale, Arizona “Arizona Bike Week”

Scottsdale is more than just a suburb of Phoenix. This thriving community is now considered among ‘America’s Best Small Cities for Foodies’ according to Travelocity while Time Magazine named Scottsdale a Top 50 American city to live in 2016.

However, 22 years ago that may not have been the case since Scottsdale was my home away from home. I’m a proud alumnus of Arizona State University and I lived in the Scottsdale for 4 years including many crazy nights in town back in my collegiate days. Many nights that are cloudy, hazy and still forgotten in my memory. However, I’ll have to take my mates word that we all had a blast back in those early days.

It’s still the case in old Scottsdale because the party never stopped after I left town. Though this time upon my return, I’m a little older, a little wiser and with a little more money in my wallet then 22 years ago.

Scottsdale is now home to the amazing 5-day motorcycle event, held during May, known as Arizona Bike Week. A rally dedicated to the party life and all things motorcycle related. Come set up camp and enjoy the festivities as live music, crazy characters, and non-stop action fill every minute of this unforgettable 5-day festival of grease monkeys and babes.

Optional Rides:

Being in the high desert of Arizona has its privileges because not far from Scottsdale are some truly incredible rides.

Explore the Sonora Desert or journey into the weird by traveling into Sedona where life, as they know it, can be a bit mysterious. High levels of hauntings and UFO encounters seem to be reported from the Sedona region. Though doesn’t change the fact that Sedona is encompassed by gorgeous red-rock buttes and deep canyons. The artsy town also offers artisan cafes, galleries, and shops to play.

If you organize your visit around Arizona Bike Week (May every year), you may consider arriving earlier in March while Major League Baseball’s spring training kicks off throughout the entire month. I’m a huge MLB guy and love every minute of spring training. Just another great option for those planning their route to the Grand Canyon State.

#15 Murphys, California “The Mother Lode”

Situated in the heart of the gold rush country in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is the charming town of Murphys. Established in the mid-1800s during California’s gold rush period, Murphys has become a destination for visitors to step back in time and pay homage to a bygone era. Drive down the main street and take in the thick stone buildings, iron rod gates and white picket fences just oozing with history and character. Murphys is the gateway into California’s mother lode delivering tremendous opportunities to ride the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and a chance to discover your own riches in the process.

Events and Optional Rides:

One of my favorite rides of all time is Ebbetts Pass-through Angels Camp. Jam packed with scenic viewpoints, restaurants, and fishing holes along Hwy 4. This route offers riders a thrilling pace with a change of heart after your ride is done. If you’re there during the summer months, you could just find yourself at the Jumping Frog Jubilee(May) or the Blues and Bones Festival (July) which is an adventure all on its own.

#16 Broken Arrow, Oklahoma “Rolling Thunder”

Oklahoma is known for its history and heritage but loved by locals for its cowboy culture and pride more than anything else. The wonderful organization of Rolling Thunder, a non-profit organization whose primary goal is to support veterans of all wars, sponsors the annual Rolling Thunder Toy Run based out of Broken Arrow, OK. The charity event collects toys for the local children of Wagoner County and the ride is one for the ages leaving you all warm and fuzzy inside.

Optional Rides:

The Talimena National Scenic Byway starting from Talihina to Mena, AR is considered by many riders to be the ride of a lifetime. I’ve yet to actually take this run, but from what friends and enthusiast from the region tell me, it’s nothing short of spectacular. This ride is filled with sharp curves, open stretches, elevated view points overlooking lush valleys, strategically placed picnic areas and breathtaking scenery of Oklahoma.

Further south of Talihina, jump on at Antlers for an awe-inspiring autumn foliage ride rivaling any fall foliage destinations in the country. This ride begins and ends in Antlers, as you’ll circle about via Broken Bow, then northbound up through Big Cedar as you head west back towards Talihina in route back to Antlers via Clayton and Nashoba. This ride offers plenty of lakes, streams, curves, clear view straight-a-ways with hardly any traffic to bother you.

#17 Fayetteville, Arkansas “Bikes, Blues and BBQ”

fayetteville-sign

Fayetteville plays host every September to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ motorcycle rally and to this day, is one of the only motorcycle rallies I’ve attended without my precious bike. Even as naked as I felt without, this event still was one of the most epic festivals I’ve ever attended. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a known BBQ & blues junkie too.

First launched in 2000, BBB has become one of the fastest-growing charity event rallies in the country with proceeds benefiting local charities. It’s a win-win situation for all that participate.

Optional Rides:

Not far out of Fayetteville is the Ozark National Forest with its unforgettable roads and picturesque views. Cutting through the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas Hwy 7 is repeatedly ranked one of the best roads in the US by multiple auto industry magazines. Loads of sweeping bends, privacy, and long open stretches only make this ride one of the most sought after runs in the biker community.

#18 Unadilla, Georgia “Angel City”

When you think of motorcycle rallies and events, the first thing that leaps to mind is Unadilla, GA, right? Well, not for me! I was completely shocked to find that this small town in Georgia host one of the sexiest events in the country — Angel City Motorcycle Rally. Based upon my experiences, I’d have to recommend you leave the children at home for this one, maybe the wife and girlfriend too. Wowzers!  Be sure to include your swimsuits, bikinis, thongs, whatever you need (or don’t need) for the Wet and Wild Party held on that Saturday night during the 4-day event.

This is the party of parties and what happens in Unadilla, stays in Unadilla! You may need a vacation to rest your head after this event. Mind-blowing fun only to be followed by the worst hangover any 42-year-old can expect, but worth the headache without a doubt.

#19 Plano, Texas

Plano, you ask? Absolutely! This suburban sprawl of Dallas Forth Worth has more to offer than meets the eye. In 2016, Money Magazine rated Plano the 3rd best place to live in America! Local sources in Dallas give numerous praises to Plano as the safest, best up and coming neighborhoods, with the best parks in the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

This utopian suburb for families and pet lovers is our home base to set forth into the Texas open roads. Saddle up and get ready for 82 miles of food and fun on route 455 into route 697. This ride should be respected as you travel it. Besides the curvaceous nature of the road, you will find speed traps scattered about. However, what stands out the most on this ride is the wonderful roadside attractions and eating halls. You’ll discover many mom and pop restaurants during this ride and I suggest Lucy’s in the heart of Celina. Though feel free to wait it out and discover more BBQ options on route 69 prior to reaching Hwy 697.

#20 Grand Rapids, Michigan

It took some convincing to get me into Grand Rapids, Michigan, but a little research does the heart some good as I discovered Beer City USA! I had no idea that Grand Rapids had such a Brewster culture, rated #3 ‘Best Beer and Wine Metro Areas’ by Infogroup and ‘The 10 Best Craft Beer Towns in America’ by Matador Network so my bags were packed and heading north!

The city has an epic scene of markets, shops, eco-ness, and culinary influences as Thrillist’s awarded Grand Rapids ‘The Best Food City in Every State’ Award in 2016.

I had my fill of food and drink and was ready to venture north on my motorcycle into the Michigan unknown. From Grand Rapids I traveled north on M37 on a 55 mile stretch of openness and seclusion. Once you depart town you’re engulfed by a plethora of trees and wildlife so beautiful and haunting you sometimes wish you weren’t alone.

#21 Charleston, South Carolina

charleston

Charleston has a sentimental soft spot in my heart, as this is where I fell in love with my precious wife of 15 years. Must be in the water in South Carolina because I found that Charleston is considered by Fodor’s as one of ‘The Most Romantic Getaways in the World’!

Not only romantic but southern hospitality seems contagious by the locals as Conde Nast voted Charleston the #1 friendliest cities in the USA. On a spooky note, Charleston is also one of the most haunted cities in the country so beware of those things that go bump in the night.

I’ve been coming to Charleston on my motorbike for nearly two decades now. So many times I’ve never left town, however, recently I’ve been expanding my treks to the coastal plains and inland routes which have opened my eyes to another perspective of South Carolina charm.

If you want a pleasant and stunning ride, head to Sullivans Island for a terrific run of seaside farms, bridges, salt marshes, charming cottages, and beaches. Take your time and take in the history on this route, feel free to park your motorcycle for a while and watch the ships pass by as they depart to sea from Charleston harbor.

Further north of Sullivans Island is more great terrain in the way of Francis Marion National Forest. Typical low country landscape offering scenic views of tranquil estuaries and lively tidal creeks. If you’re a fan of bird watching, the Great Blue Heron and other waterfowl populate the region throughout every turn.

#22 Fort Collins, Colorado

fort-collins-chapel

Fort Collins is one of the best cities to visit in Colorado. For those still unfamiliar with the place, it lies a few dozen miles north of Denver, right next to the Rocky Mountains National Park and the Roosevelt National Forest. It’s a true university city, featuring Colorado State University and multiple high ranked schools.

Aside from the great motorcycling trips, both through the mountains and around the lakes, you can climb, hike, and enjoy a wide variety of outdoor sports all in or around Fort Collins. Aside from the outdoor sporting, Fort Collins has some very good local restaurants and breweries. For example, Odell Brewing hosts free brewery tours daily and has some beers you simply must try at least once.

#23 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Chapel Hill is a pretty small town next to Durham, just north of Raleigh. One of the things that sets Chapel Hill apart are the little restaurants and bars. For a small town like Chapel Hill, there is not just one good restaurant but you can find plenty.

As for the restaurants, I can strongly recommend Crook’s Corner, especially the Shrimp & Grits and the Cheese Pork. As for the bars, my favorite is The Crunkleton. Of course, the other places like Lantern and Mama Dip’s are worth checking out as well.

Enough about be being a foodie. If you take a small tour to the south you can visit Jordan Lake, a state recreation area spanning over 14000 acre. If you like to camp in a tent every so often, or haven’t tried it so far, this is the place to go. There is something very relaxing about camping with just a tent and your motorcycle.

#24 Alexandria, Virginia

If you’re planning to be near Washington, consider hopping by the city of Alexandria. Alexandria is a centuries old suburb of our capital, consistently considered to be one of the best downtowns in our nation. Aside from the historical buildings, Alexandria features both excellent food and is one of the better beer places in Virginia.

Of course, within a small town such as Alexandria there is not that much to drive, but if you are near Washington it is the best place to stop for a night.

#25 Boise, Idaho

boise

Idaho is great for motorcycling, with plenty of good trips to make though the national parks and forests. Whether you like winter sports or just riding through nature, Idaho is one of the best states for it. With plenty amazing motorcycle tours possible, it would be a pity to not visit Idaho if you are near.

If you aren’t planning on camping outdoors (and maybe even if you do), consider visiting the city of Boise. Boise is not only the starting point of quite a few of the most interesting motorcycle routes, but Boise also got some very fancy yet affordable hotels and bars. Furthermore, Boise has what is considered the best restaurants in Idaho, once again at very affordable prices.

Aside from the previously mentioned amenities, Boise also features an interesting Basque building style, as it has the largest Basque community in the US.

#26 Reno, Nevada

reno

Reno is a city next to the border with California, pretty close to Sacramento. If you’re traveling on the interstate 80 you will pass by Reno automatically. It actually used to be a gold-mining town, before becoming one of the most well-known gambling cities near the west coast. However, those times have passed since. Nowadays Reno has some of the best ski resorts in the US, especially for beginners.

Aside from its history and the skiing opportunities, Reno actually makes for a good place for a motorcycle stop, or even a tour to some of the breathtaking nearby mountains and lakes. These days Reno is a pretty hip city with plenty of students, allowing for a vibrant nightlife. Combine that with the après ski spots (I can recommend The Lincoln Lounge), you got a perfect place to visit.

For all riders whether advanced or novice, roughneck or laid back persona, Harley or Honda, this list was created to cover all attributes to achieve maximum pleasure on your riding experience. It’s up to you how you want to interpret it and apply. Whether you choose to take action or create your own adventure, the idea is always the same. To get you on the road exploring this grand landscape we call home, now go see her!

 

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