Charleston Nightlife

For a midsize city, Charleston has a surprisingly varied and sophisticated arts scene, though the city really shines during its major annual arts festival, Spoleto Festival USA. Still, throughout the year, there are ample opportunities to explore higher culture, from productions by the Footlight Players and PURE Theatre, to the concert schedule at the historic Charleston Music Hall.

The

nightlife scene is similarly comprehensive, with nocturnal venues for all ages and tastes. If your image of Charleston is a buttoned-down town with men in seersucker suits and bow ties, think again. That may have been an image of Charlestonians in decades past—and light blue seersucker still makes frequent summer appearances—but that oldster can probably still out-dance his fraternity son and knock down his share of bourbon along the way.

Although some of the nightlife can be rowdy and more youth-oriented, there are options from jazz lounges to dance clubs. And here the nightlife begins at happy hour, which can start as early as 4 pm. Several bars and restaurants have incredible happy-hour deals, and a night of barhopping generally includes grazing on small plates. If you see long lines outside a place, you can usually assume that the crowd is young. Long lines can also mean that there is a popular band playing, like at the Music Farm.

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North of Broad 24

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Upper King 12

Mount Pleasant and Vicinity 4

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Isle of Palms 2

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Bars/ Pubs 16

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 1

Dance Clubs 3

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Wine Bars–Nightlife 2

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Charleston Nightlife

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Bin 152

  • Wine Bars–Nightlife

Husband-and-wife Patrick and Fanny Panella ply their guests with selections from more than 130 bottles of wine and 40 varieties of cheeses...

Burns Alley

  • Bars/Pubs

You'll do well just to find this place. Attached to La Hacienda Mexican restaurant off King Street (just keep on truckin' past the bathrooms...

Charleston Beer Works

  • Bars/Pubs

This friendly watering hole with 30 draft beers on tap offers a late-night menu of wings and pub grub. Live music on weekends and ample...

Charleston Grill

  • Music Clubs

The elegant Charleston Grill hosts live jazz seven nights a week, drawing from the city's most renowned musicians. Performers range from...

Closed for Business

  • Bars/Pubs

This "draught emporium" offers more than 40 taps pouring pints and liters of local and seasonal brews. With pale wood paneling, leather...

Club Pantheon

  • Dance Clubs

Charleston's biggest gay dance club is a vast, unadorned space with a stage where drag shows draw big crowds on Friday to Sunday nights.

Dudley's on Ann

  • Bars/Pubs

A local landmark, the city's oldest gay bar hosts lively karaoke parties, DJs and dancing on weekends, and rollicking drag shows. ...

Dunleavy's Pub

  • Bars/Pubs

Just a block from the beach, this friendly pub is a local favorite, often featuring Irish, folk, and blues music throughout the week.

Gin Joint

  • Bars/Pubs

The cocktails here—frothy fizzes, slings, smashes, and juleps—are retro, some dating back to before Prohibition. The bartenders don...

Henry's House

  • Bars/Pubs

The longest continuously operating restaurant and bar in South Carolina, Henry's House has evolved since it opened in 1930. On the first...

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