Charleston is a town with a fabulous rooftop bar scene. There are few things more enjoyable than soaking in the balmy Charleston weather looking out over the church spires and taking in gorgeous city views. Charleston is home to some stunning and swanky rooftop bars which strike a fantastic balance between the ambience, the views, the food and, of course, the drinks. Here we give you the scoop on the city’s best rooftop bars which will help you enjoy the sweet Southern breeze in the warmer months from a fitting height. So get climbing and check out these top rooftop bars in Charleston, South Carolina.
1. Eleve Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge
This whimsical and trendy bar on the rooftop of Charleston’s Grand Bohemian Hotel is akin to a fantasy fever dream. Attached to the dining room Eleve, the lounge has an upscale menu, a cool Art Deco style, and a lengthy list of speciality cocktails and wines, making it a fantastic rooftop place in Charleston. Lovely oversize plants, satin-lined day loungers, vibrant easy chairs, and carpeting makes for a fun, outdoorsy setting while taking in views of the Holy City. With fantastic happy hours, it’s a great spot to grab drinks with coworkers and friends.
Eleve Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge
Address: 55 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401
Website: Eleve Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 7am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 7am - 12am
2. Pour Taproom
Pour Taproom is a unique, ‘pay-by-the-ounce’ cocktail, wine, and draft beer bar overlooking the bustling King Street. Perched atop Hyatt Place, the bar offers phenomenal views of Downtown Charleston. Armed with more than 70 kinds of cocktails, wines, and beers on draft for patrons, the concept at Pour Taproom is unique. One doesn’t need to commit to a full pint of any drink. Rather, they can simply keep sipping a multitude of beverages, thus creating their very own private tasting session! What’s more, where else can you pay by the pint and sample everything from cocktails, wines, and beers without having to worry about finishing them and not getting to try other wonderful drinks?
Address: 560 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Website: Pour Taproom
Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 4pm - 11pm; Fri: 12pm - 1am; Sat: 12pm - 12am; Sun: 12pm - 11pm (closed on Mon)
3. Pavilion Bar
If you want gorgeous views of both Market Street and the stunning Charleston Harbour, then the swanky Pavilion Bar should be your destination of choice. With doormen in top hats, tables set up with illuminated umbrellas, and even an infinity pool right in the centre of the floor, this is definitely a place where you’d want to look your best. However, the bar fills up quickly and is extremely popular. So, make sure that you’re here early in the evening to snag a table so you can comfortably sip on cocktails and watch that gorgeous sunset.
Address: 225 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
Website: Pavilion Bar
Opening hours: 11:30am - 12am (daily)
4. Carolina Ale House
If you’re looking for a killer view of Marion Square to accompany your amazing cocktail, head straight to Carolina Ale House. The food here might be pretty basic, but the views, the draft beers, and the craft cocktails are to die for. Beer lovers will particularly love the fact that there are more than 30 beers on tap, as well as the daily happy hour from 4 to 7 pm. This is the place you go to for a casual afternoon meetup with friends, munching on fried snacks and guzzling a cold one while enjoying a fun-filled conversation.
Carolina Ale House
Address: 145 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401
Website: Carolina Ale House
Opening hours: 11am - 12am (daily)
5. Stars Rooftop & Grill Room
Craft cocktails and American-style fare under the starlight - could it get any better? The aptly named Stars Rooftop & Grill Room is one of Charleston’s most popular rooftop spots, so coming early to snag a table is a good idea. A particularly great place for groups due to the couch-style seating, the rooftop lounge boasts the only 360-degree view of the city! Elegant wicker furniture and high-quality timber wood make for a setting that is hard to beat. If you’re here on Sundays, you can enjoy their low-priced mimosas. However, the lounge’s frozen bellinis are said to be really good.
Stars Rooftop & Grill Room
Address: 495 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Website: Stars Rooftop & Grill Room
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 5pm - 10:30pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm, 5pm - 10:30pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm, 5pm - 10pm
6. The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits
One of the newest rooftop bars to hit the Charleston drinking and dining scene, the Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits boasts the best rooftop bar snacks in the city, craft cocktails, and gorgeous views of the sunset. Some must-eats include the crispy fried chicken skin, hushpuppies, and grilled oysters, among others. Plus, the handcrafted cocktails are delicious. The Watch wraps up all of this in an elegant combination of fabric, steel, and dark hardwood, complete with views of Charleston’s historic structures.
The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits
Address: 75 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12pm; Sun: 10am - 10pm
7. The Rooftop Bar at the Vendue
Killer happy hours and a lively ambience make the Rooftop Bar at the Vendue an extremely popular and must-visit bar in Charleston. Offering sweeping views of Charleston Harbour and the French Quarter, the Rooftop is known for some lip-smacking cocktails with extremely interesting names like Apple Jack Sparrow. With a fabulous, two-tiered rooftop experience, this establishment lures in the cocktail-loving crowd pretty easily. Playful and Instagrammable pop-art installations, gleaming bar tops, chic lighting, and sun-shaded wicker furniture make for a high-end rooftop experience.
The Rooftop Bar at the Vendue
Address: 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401
Website: The Rooftop Bar at the Vendue
Opening hours: 11:30am - 11pm (daily)
8. Aqua Terrace Roof-Top Bar
Aqua Terrace is something of a hidden gem perched atop the Marriot and overlooking Ashley River. With it being just three storeys up, the hip spot is a great vantage point to enjoy views of the river while sipping on a nice cocktail. A wraparound terrace, a few fire pits, some heaters, and a number wicker chairs - all courtesy a recent renovation - make for a comfortable experience at this trendy spot that has an ambience few bars in the city can match.
Aqua Terrace Roof-Top Bar
Address: 170 Lockwood Blvd, Charleston, SC 29403
Website: Aqua Terrace Roof-Top Bar
Opening hours: 4pm - 11pm (daily)
9. Uptown Social
Uptown Social is a heck of a rooftop bar serving frozen cocktails and upscale pub food. The energetic and lively neighbourhood sports bar serves sliders, sandwiches, and pizzas amidst a vibrant setting complete with a striking wall of murals and Edison bulb string lights. Their frozen drinks menu has slushies, frosé, and plenty of cocktails. A tip: try something known as “the Day Rager” - the description cryptically reads “vodka + energy”.
Address: 587 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Website: Uptown Social
Opening hours: 11:30am - 2am (daily)
10. The Cocktail Club
An upscale vibe with a pretty strict dress code makes for an intimate cocktail bar experience at the Cocktail Club - the name itself lends it exclusivity. The rooftop space specializes in brown liquor and even has a deck where you can smoke cigars under the crisp Charleston sky. Whisky crate tables, red leather sofas, and a quaint yet chic rooftop garden with comfy benches and high wooden walls lend a chic, almost ‘secret’ vibe to the place, which is perfect for enjoying a sundowner.
The Cocktail Club
Address: 479 King St #200, Charleston, SC 29403
Website: The Cocktail Club
Opening hours: 5pm - 2am (daily)
Drinking and dining with a view of Charleston
Charleston is perhaps the perfect setting for rooftop bars, with gorgeous views of the skyline at sunset making for fabulous and Instagram-worthy pictures. Couple that with good drinks and lip-smacking delights and you have a drinking and dining experience like no other. If you’re visiting Charleston, don’t miss the opportunity to head to these fabulous rooftop places in the city.
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