3 Best Bars in Charleston, South Carolina with a View

Charleston, S.C. is a coastal town rich in history and tradition – and night life. With a reputation for Southern hospitality, this charming South Carolina city offers visitors and locals an assortment of bars where enjoying a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail can be accompanied by glorious water views. Here are 3 of the best.

Pavilion Bar
Market Pavilion Hotel
225 East Bay Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 266-4218

The Pavilion Bar in Charleston, South Carolina is a swank, upscale bar. Perched on top of the Market Pavilion Hotel, the Pavilion Bar is an outdoor treasure. With panoramic views of Charleston’s harbor and cityscape, if you schedule your Pavilion Bar visit correctly you may catch a spectacular South Carolina sunset.

Open daily from 11:30am until midnight, this sophisticated open-air bar has an eclectic menu of casual cuisine, serving lunch and dinner. The bar itself and the high-top pub tables are artfully placed around a gorgeous and dramatically lit cascading pool. A rooftop oasis, the Pavilion Bar offers signature cocktails, an extensive champagne menu and a well rounded wine list.

Lively year-round, the Pavilion Bar can accommodate most South Carolina weather conditions. Plexiglas panels serve as windbreaks, market umbrellas shade the sun and portable heat lamps warm things up when the cool night air begins to blow.

The Pavilion Bar’s dress code prohibits tank tops, t-shirts, ball caps or visors, flip-flops, cut-off shorts and athletic sportswear. Be ready, this extravagance comes at a price. The drinks and food are expensive.

Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar
Downtown / Waterfront
Resort Casual
186 Concord Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 722-8100

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Fleet Landing’s bar is perched directly on the Charleston harbor, on the east side marsh of the Charleston peninsula – right beside the cruise ship port. This bar epitomizes all that Charleston has to offer.

The hurricane proof maritime structure was built by the US Navy in 1942 to serve as a debarkation point for sailors. Now this retired navel building is a prime waterfront location to relax, drink a frosty beer, a nice glass of wine or a fruity cocktail and, if the tides are right, watch dolphins and boats.

Jutting out over the marsh on a reinforced pier, the bar’s oversized windows offer an unobstructed view of the Charleston harbor. During nice weather, the windows are rolled up and the bar opens to the patio / deck so you can sit outside or inside. The bar has a large wine and beer selection.

The bar at Fleet Landing is casually sophisticated with an unpretentious vibe. The interior has a simple warehouse d├ęcor that has been labeled “maritime chic” which is perfectly fitting for the building’s location and history. The food is appropriate for the setting as well, a blend of traditional and contemporary Southern seafood.

Open seven days a week, Fleet landing serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11am – 4pm. Dinner is available Monday through Thursday from 4pm – 10pm, weekends from 5pm – 11pm. Bunch is available Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 3pm. Casual dress is accepted.

BLU Restaurant and Bar
Folly Beach Holiday Inn
Beach Casual
1 Center Street
Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439
(843) 588-6464

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BLU Restaurant and Bar is located right on the beach at Folly. The layout of this beachfront restaurant and bar is designed to allow the sparkling water and rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean serve as the focal point. Good choice. BLU artfully combines indoor and outdoor seating in a way that allows perfect beach views from every angle.

The dining room, washed in a palette of sapphire, turquoise and sand to further the oceanfront ambience, has large glass floor-to-ceiling windows (which are actually garage doors). When the weather is appropriate, these doors are rolled open to let the ocean breezes in. As you smell the beach air and hear the waves roll it’s hard to distinguish between indoor and outdoor. And that’s the point.

There are 2 bars at BLU; an indoor bar that is casually elegant and a relaxed outdoor Tiki Hut type of beach bar – where bathing suit clad beach-combers stop by for a specialty cocktail or a cold beer.

BLU serves contemporary coastal cuisine appropriate for beachfront dining. A platinum member of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, the food is fresh and delicious.

BLU has a full-service bar with a specialty drink menu and a nice selection of wine and beer. The beach bar opens at 11am and stays open until everybody leaves.

The restaurant serves breakfast from 7am – 11am, lunch from 11am – 3pm, late afternoon eats from 3pm – 5pm, dinner from 5pm – 9pm, and a late night menu 9pm – until. Brunch is served on Sunday. Casual dress is accepted in the dining room and indoor bar. Beachwear is okay for BLU’s outdoor bar.

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Charleston City Paper
Pavilion Bar, Fleet Landing and BLU websites