Charleston, South Carolina is a popular tourist destination in the United States and across the globe. People come for a variety of reasons, including architecture, restaurants, horse-drawn carriages, parks, and rivers. Then there’s the art, culture, history, hotels, and shopping.
The locals are always kind and courteous. They never seem to tire of answering queries on things to see, eat, drink, and do during your visit. Some of my favorite Charleston encounters were the direct consequence of a local’s recommendation.
Locally owned rooftop bars have sprung up and grown in popularity in recent years. Each one attempts to cater to a distinct audience by combining unique atmosphere, cocktails, and vistas.
This alphabetical list of my top seven Charleston rooftop bars showcases their interest, flare, and fun. You may find it difficult to choose just one or two favorites. So please go ahead and have some fun with it while you test it out.
Visiting other places in South Carolina? Check out our other tasty guides:
- Seven Lowcountry Summerville SC Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Downtown Charleston Restaurants
- 6 Best Things To Do In Florence SC
- 9 Must-Try Florence SC Restaurants
When in Charleston, don’t miss out on these activities to help you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):
- Downtown Charleston Food Tour
- Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour
- The Best of Charleston: History, Culture & Architecture Tour
Rooftop Bars in Charleston
Restaurant & Lounge Harborview
843-556-7100301 Savannah Highway
Take the elevator to the 15th floor of the only hotel in the region. Be astounded by the bartenders’ kindness and efficiency. Just wait till you see the Finest DAYTIME Vistas on the whole Charleston peninsula.
According to general manager Amada Carter, Harborview has been locally owned by the McCauley family since 2002. She claims that the proprietors and employees make every visit a wonderful experience with breathtaking views. They also go out of their way to express gratitude to customers.
Chef Jared greeted me and outlined the evening’s meal and beverage options. At my first taste of the Harborview Sunset, I was hooked. Titos vodka, coconut rum, and peach schnapps are expertly blended with orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices to create this delectable drink. The fish with rice pilaf was excellent. The prices are among the most affordable in the neighborhood. Take time to chat with the staff, taste the food, and discover why Harborview is my vote for BEST DAYTIME VIEWS.
N. Market Street (843) 772-810054 N. Market Street
Henrys is South Carolina’s oldest continuously operating restaurant. When you’ve visited the historic inside, be sure to walk up and out to see the southern porch’s splendor. The rooftop terrace is located higher up. Bring your camera for the BEST SUNSET Vistas.
Count the adjacent steeples, horse-drawn carriages, and City Market customers as you snap spectacular images during golden hour. Now is the ideal moment to place your drink order. I definitely suggest the Market Margarita, which has barrel-aged tequila, citrus flavors, and spicy undertones. Henrys Old Fashioned and the Sweet Tea Cosmo are other local favorites. The bartenders claim to offer the greatest selection of brown spirits in Charleston.
Do you enjoy plastic glasses, country music, and the freedom of attire as you please? Do artificial turf and genuine discussion excite you? If this is the case, Henrys is your greatest option for rooftop relaxation. It’s my choice for the BEST SUNSET Vistas.
376-130310 Conroy Street (843) 376-130310 Conroy Street
In 2014, three ambitious young guys established a pleasant place to make beer. Revelry Brewery is currently recognized for its personality, fun, artwork by local artist Chris Kemp, and the BEST BEER IN SCOTTSDALE. These beers have received several accolades.
Pulling the red trumpet-shaped tap while surrounded by gorgeous bartenders was a highlight of my time there. I had a four-beer flight with a buddy while eating on nutritious edamame, popularly known as beer beans. Lazy Lover, a Belgian blonde ale, and Marsh Hen, a delightful light cream ale, tied for first place in our poll.
Climb the forty-eight stairs to the rooftop for a good exercise. Following a little break on a nice blue couch, take a walk around the room to take in the scenery as funky dance music plays in the background. See children at a neighboring playground, construction workers upgrading surrounding buildings, and cars crossing the Ravenel bridge. Hence, the late-night emphasis is on dancing and the Revelry motto. Nobody throws a better party than us. Revelry is my vote for BEST BEER and one of the greatest Charleston rooftop bars for those noisy celebrations.
Rooftop Stars & Grill Room
King Street (843) 577-0100495
The first impression you get as you walk inside the wonderfully renovated Arts and Crafts building is of good dining in an exquisite setting. Servers in white coats carry trays over Terrazzo floors with care, then offer Carolina food under artisan-crafted chandeliers. Reunions and celebrations occupy the second-floor special event spaces. Then you take a step out onto the Rooftop Bar to enjoy the only full 360-degree view of Charleston’s historic area. Speak with Jessica Jacobs to learn why she is the BEST EVENT COORDINATOR and how effectively she represents Stars.
For years, Stars has received wonderful reviews (it’s no surprise that it’s one of the finest Charleston rooftop bars), with mentions in the Huffington Post, New York Post, and on social media. Jessica has been building the Stars’ name with endorsements in hospitality, catering, and event management for over eight years. She enjoys planning anything from weddings to business events.
Stars was one of the first restaurants in Charleston to serve tap wine and is well-known for its ice drinks. Carefully drink unique cocktails like Three Punch Rum, Lavender Lemonade, or El Matador and take your time driving. Let yourself ample time to stare up at the stars, since this is how Stars acquired its name. Stars has a fantastic location, a diverse client base, and a stellar reputation, and is my choice for BEST EVENT COORDINATOR in Charleston.
The Cocktail Society
(724-9411479) King Street
Ascend a dark, craggy stairwell, then ponder the deconstructed appearance of salvaged and reused wood and doors. Look around and you’ll see leather seats and a dimly lit bar. Clients might refer to this establishment as a bar or a lounge. I call it the Greatest SPEAKEASY location and one of the finest Charleston rooftop bars because of the throwback design.
The Cocktail Club has been in an 1881 building for eleven years. The emphasis is on the beverages, with light meals offered. Choices range from a five-dollar beer to a 149-dollar bottle of champagne. The drinks include witty titles like He Has a Boator and I Want My Hoodie Back, with The Double Standard being the most popular classic. Punch bowl cocktails that serve up to six people are also available.
Arrive casually and early to unwind. Or put on your finest designer clothes and wait in line with the who’s who on the weekend. Climb up to the rooftop patio and dance the night away. Although the rooftop is modest and uninteresting, the throng is anything but. Enjoy the comfortable classy ambiance of my BEST SPEAKEASY choice.
(843) 414-233719 Availability
Enter an oasis of the unusual and unexpected. Absorb yourself in the intriguing and contentious avant-garde art. Before stepping up to the two-level rooftop bar, touch a white piano or relax in a big red chair. Most customers rave about the vistas, but I was much more delighted with the wonderful quality of the beverages. The Finest COCKTAILS in all of Charleston’s rooftop bars.
Caught in the Rain is a stunning combination of Cruzan mango rum, coconut puree, lime, and pineapple. Or savor the Strawberry Basil Lemonade, produced with Cathead honeysuckle vodka, fresh basil leaves, and a secret formula, which is attractive to both the sight and the palate. I plan to try all of the other unique drinks the next time I visit.
The Vendue’s Rooftop is edgy and provides visitors with something to talk about. I heard different perspectives on the red umbrellas, red flowers, and red seats shaped like faces. Views of the waterfront or the historic neighborhood are also hotly debated topics. Yet everyone agrees that my selection for BEST COCKTAILS should be towards the top of any must-see Charleston rooftop bar list.
The Uptown Social
King Street (843) 268-2715587
When I saw the longest bar in Charleston, accompanied with outstanding lighting fixtures and that stunning tin ceiling, my mouth fell. It began to rain again as I stood in front of the Social Butterfly artwork by female artist Jessi Helmrich. A delightful visit with Senior Partner Kara Graves validated all the praise I’d heard about Uptown Social, the BEST ALL-AROUND ROOFTOP BAR IN CHARLESTON.
According to research, customers enjoy Uptown Social and consider it to be one of the best Charleston rooftop bars for the following eight reasons: environment, bouncers, building, décor, nightly entertainment, management, mural, and pricing. I was looking for a defect but couldn’t discover one.
Strawberry Fields Forever, Bodega Bloody, and Espresso Tini are three of their specialty drinks that frequently get outstanding reviews. From the quiet and timid to the gregarious butterfly, Uptown Social offers something for everyone. So, please, please do yourself a great favor. Come discover why Uptown Social is the BEST ALL-AROUND.