If you’ve never been to Charleston, you may not know about its fantastic rooftop bars. Thanks to warm weather and a beachy location, Charleston is perfect for outdoor drinking and dining.
The city’s sheer number of open-air cocktail lounges is impressive. But even more remarkable is that they all have their own atmosphere and feel. Whether you’re looking for a quiet speakeasy or a weekend party spot, you’ll find it.
Join us as we discover some of the city’s best and coolest rooftop bars.
About Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston may be South Carolina’s oldest city, but this coastal paradise is anything but outdated. Founded in 1670, Charleston was named for King Charles II of England and served as a significant trading port for hundreds of years. Today it’s a bustling city with a homey feel, offering urban culture alongside its rich history.
Speaking of history, immersing yourself in Charleston’s historical background is easy. You can tour buildings and architecture that are hundreds of years old or enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
To learn more about the area, check out the Fort Sumter National Museum and the International African American Museum. In addition, The French Quarter and Middleton Place are must-see sites full of important history.
Charleston also has a vibrant arts and culture scene. The city is home to over 40 art galleries, several theaters, and incredible restaurants. It’s a place that also offers tons of natural beauty, including six beaches.
But one of our favorite things about Charleston is its cocktail scene. What better way to cool off after a long summer day than with a refreshing drink? While enjoying a cold beverage and a warm breeze, you won’t want the evening to end.
Now we’ll look at seven of the coolest rooftop bars in Charleston.
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#1 The Cocktail Club
You’ll find The Cocktail Club on Upper King Street. This upscale Charleston bar has a third-floor rooftop that’s cool and laid-back. This level of the club is small and intimate, making it an excellent place for conversation.
The Cocktail Club serves beer and wine, but its specialty is cocktails. Try a signature or classic drink with fresh garnishes, house-made mix-ins, and elegant liquors. Most drinks start around $13.
#2 Ritual Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge
Ritual Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge sits at the corner of Calhoun and King Streets. This rooftop lounge is decked with tropical plants and bright furniture, giving it a beachy, resort-style feel.
You can either gather on comfy outdoor couches with friends or find a secluded corner for an intimate conversation. And if you really want to turn up the heat, make sure to visit on one of the bar’s DJ nights.
Ritual is one of Charleston’s favorite rooftop bars for a reason. The cocktails and food are top-notch. Their menu includes small plates and entrees, each offering a drink or wine pairing suggestion. Cocktails start around $14 each.
#3 Pour Taproom
Beer lovers, Pour Taproom is for you! This rooftop bar is one of Charleston’s best breweries, boasting over 70 beverages on tap. However, beer isn’t the only option. You can also order meads, ciders, and cocktails.
Pour Taproom is also the city’s only self-serve bar. Drinks are priced by the ounce, so you can pour yourself as much or as little as you like. And the fact that the bar is on the roof of the downtown Hyatt House Charleston means you get great city views.
#4 Fiat Lux
The Fiat Lux is one of the more upscale rooftop bars in Charleston. Serving as the cocktail lounge for the luxurious Hotel Bennett, it’s the perfect spot for a celebration or an elegant nightcap.
Many of Fiat’s signature drinks include citrus and other bright, summery flavors. Additionally, the view of the city from the outside terrace is impressive.
If you get hungry, check out the Fiat’s menu. You can order a charcuterie board, oysters, or Korean barbecue-inspired chicken wings. Cocktails start around $18.
#5 The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits
The Watch isn’t just a nice place for a drink. The food is also fantastic. Sitting atop the Restoration Hotel’s rooftop, this bar is one of Charleston’s favorite spots for brunch and dinner. The vast open-air dining room provides panoramic views of the city.
The Watch’s signature cocktails feature clever names, offbeat house-made syrups, and fresh herbs. Try one with a breakfast sandwich or the kitchen’s catch of the day. Prices for drinks start around $14.
#6 The Citrus Club
The Citrus Club is one of Charleston’s most gorgeous rooftop bars. Stepping onto the top floor of the Dewberry Hotel, you’ll feel like you’re entering a secret garden. Filled with palm and olive trees, the Citrus Club is a lush setting for a casual drink with friends or a romantic date.
As its name suggests, the Citrus Club focuses on cocktails with delicious citrus ingredients. You can also order a tasty snack from their menu or enjoy one of their beer and wine selections. This bar’s elegant cocktails start at $20.
#7 Red’s Ice House
Many of Charleston’s rooftop bars are somewhat upscale, but not Red’s Ice House. Red’s is the perfect spot for a laid-back night out with friends. Although it’s technically in Mt. Pleasant, this bar isn’t far from central Charleston.
This rooftop lounge feels a little like a treehouse with comfy couches and chairs. Red’s menu is also generous, featuring everything from burgers to fresh fish to salads.
Red’s also hosts live music on the weekends, so be sure to check out one of their shows. Drinks start around $9.
Ready to just head back to the RV? Try these 7 Best Summer Cocktails for Camping.
So Many Cool Rooftop Bars to Visit in Charleston
Charleston has some of the best rooftop bars in the South. The options are indeed endless! No other city has this many outdoor terraces, each with its unique look and vibe.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate with friends or enjoy a quiet one-on-one nightcap, you’ll find your perfect spot.
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