While food with a view typically compromises flavor for the sake of ambience, Charleston’s outdoor bars don’t sacrifice drink quality for the view, making it the ideal destination for enjoying evenings of al fresco drinking. From the casual, post-beach hangouts, to the more romantic and upscale, you can find any atmosphere to soak in the beauty of The Holy City. Embrace the balmy summer nights by enjoying a drink accompanied by some of the best views in Charleston.
Pavilion Bar: Indulge for a night and sip champagne by the pool while enjoying the panoramic views from the Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel. The stunning view is the focal point at one of the most fabulous rooftop bars in the country. This luxurious experience has a price tag to match — the drinks are pricey, but the view is worth it. Make sure you come dressed to the nines, because you will you want to fit in with the swanky Charleston elite (and the dress code is strictly enforced).
Snapper Jack’s: On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Snapper Jack’s. After a day frolicking at Folly Beach, you can swing by this dive bar and restaurant for a three-tiered drinking and dining experience. From the first floor restaurant, you can go up to the second floor deck, or ascend to the third floor patio, which offers a great bar and a view of the Atlantic. The fun, laid-back atmosphere makes Snapper Jack’s the perfect way to end your beach day.
Blu Restuarant and Bar: For another great post-beach drink spot, try Blu. Beachwear is allowed at the outdoor, tiki-hut style bar, which feature beach views from every angle, so you can put off leaving that ocean view for a little longer.
Roof Top Bar at Vendue Inn: For a more authentic, and crowded, Charleston experience, you must see the views from the Roof Top Bar at the Vendue Inn. Skip the Library Restaurant, brave the lines and take the elevator up to the top floor, where stunning views of the entire city await. Sip on specialty cocktails, like the Charleston Sweet Tea and the Cherry Lemonade, or embrace your inner southerner with a mint julep and mingle with the locals. It’s the noteworthy views, along with the casual, friendly vibe, that makes Roof Top Bar a can’t-miss spot.
Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar: Laid back and unpretentious, yet classy and stylish, Fleet Landing has giant windows that reveal one of the better views of the harbor. Visit this beachfront joint on weekday evenings for a great happy hour with unbeatable drink special.
To catch a killer sunset in Charleston, you can’t go wrong at the Regatta Lounge in the Marriott or Red’s Ice House, which boasts a lovely view of Shem Creek from one of its outdoor decks.