It's no secret that Holy City sunsets and Charleston waterfronts are some of the most coveted views around (think of the Instagram likes), but where can you relax with a glass of wine or a plate of food while taking in these sights? There are a few rooftop bars or spots nestled on the water worth visiting — many offer seafood, and all offer libations.Read More
16 Charleston Bars and Restaurants With Outdoor Dining
Rooftop bars and waterside views
Lowcountry restaurant Momo sits right on the Cooper river. Stroll around Riverfront Park while waiting for a table at brunch or after a dinner. Note: there are separate menus for downstairs and upstairs (upstairs is a bit fancier), so check both out before making a reservation.
The Kingstide is Daniel Island’s only waterfront restaurant with plenty of patio seating looking out to the Wando River. Aside from the views, there’s oysters, lobster rolls, smoked fish dip, plenty of cocktails, and more.
Islander 71 Fish House and Deck Bar
Beachgoers have a new option for seafood and Southern favorites at Islander 71 Fish House and Deck Bar. The outdoor dining area comes with views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Dishes include she-crab fries, ceviche, fried fish sandwiches, crab cakes, and more.
Tavern & Table
Watch the dolphins play from the deck at Shem Creek restaurant Tavern & Table. The patio is a favorite with locals for an after-work cocktail and views of the sunset.
Order a plate of trash can nachos, a few beers, and take in the scenes of Shem Creek at Saltwater Cowboys.
The Stars Rooftop offers skyline views of downtown Charleston. If it's a nice day, sit in the sun, and peer over King Street.
Perched high above the Charleston landscape, Citrus Club is the sophisticated rooftop bar of any tropical drink lover’s dreams. The 360-degree views are the best in town. Take the lobby elevator up to grab a seat and take in the view while sipping a playful libation.
Charleston Harbor Fish House
Charleston Harbor Fish House has some of the best views in Mount Pleasant. The outdoor bar overlooks the Ravenel Bridge and most of the seats have views of the harbor. Spy on downtown Charleston from across the Cooper River.
Coda Del Pesce
Contemporary Italian eatery Coda del Pesce sits right on the beach at Isle of Palms. Watch the ocean while ordering from chef Ken Vedrinski's seafood-filled menu.
The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits
The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits opened atop boutique hotel the Restoration on the seventh floor, so it currently claims the title of highest elevation for a public space and carries incredible views of the Lowcountry. Stop by at sunset for a Instagram-breaking photo opportunity.
Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar
Patrons can easily drop some serious money at Market Pavilion if they're looking to impress friends or celebrate a recent promotion. However, those $16 mojitos come with a spectacular skyline view of the Holy City and a bar-side pool. Visit for a splurge and take in the sights.
Fleet Landing is the only option for waterfront views on the Ravenel bridge side of downtown Charleston. The harbor views are best enjoyed at happy hour with a discounted drink and friends on the wraparound porch. The restaurant is popular with visitors looking for $24 fried shrimp platters.
The Vendue Rooftop
What was once the vodka-soda-stained hangout for bachelorette parties and undergrads is now a nice stop for folks looking for sophisticated cocktails and rosé by the glass. The pre-sunset crowd at the Vendue Rooftop is a quiet bunch peering at the sight of the Charleston Harbor from above. The post-sunset crew might get a little rowdier.
With some of the cheapest drinks and best views downtown, Salty Mike's is a gathering for sailors, locals, and in-the-know tourists. The no-frills watering hole sits on the Marina, so guests can watch boats go by with beer in hand.
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The Boathouse at Breach Inlet
The Boathouse is a Charleston institution. The menu reads like a throwback Southern seafood house — fried scallop platters next to crab cake appetizers and butter-poached lobster tails. Ask for a seat on the top deck for a cocktail (or two) while pondering the views of Breach Inlet.
Bowens Island Restaurant
The setting at old-school oyster shack Bowens is perfect for grabbing a fresh bushel of bivalves, and watching a Lowcountry sunset. The interiors at Bowen's are rustic, but customers are there for views of the marshland and water, along with the buckets of oysters.