The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Charleston

By Kristy Alpert

Rooftop szn is officially here, and there may be no better place to ~drink it in~ than Charleston. The steamy city is filled with all sorts of incredible rooftop watering holes, all perched high above the very cobblestone streets and historic pathways that make it one of the most charming cities in the country.

Whether you want to day drink your Saturday away with a Charleston Fizz, or spend a balmy, breezy evening chilling out on low lounge furniture with herb-infused cocktails and a live band, Charleston’s rooftop scene will 100% deliver. But just to be sure you have the best experience while you’re there, we rounded up the top rooftop bars that know how to serve up a good atmosphere as much as a good cocktail. Inspo ahead.

The Little Palm at The Ryder Hotel

This open-air bar may only be a flight of stairs from ground level, but that doesn’t make it any less of a rooftop bar. It’s actually one of the only poolside bars in the city, and is without a doubt one of the chicest as well, with Jack Kerouac-esque vibes and equally retro cocktails.

The Citrus Club at The Dewberry Hotel

This mid-century cocktail club is the highest rooftop bar in Charleston, and it’s also the only bar that serves an actual backscratcher–yes, that Dollar Store stick that lets you scratch your own back–with one of its signature drinks, the Tropical Itch. There aren’t reservations at the Citrus Club, so arrive early to score a seat among the steeples.

Fiat Lux at Hotel Bennett

The pink-hued Champagne lounge in the Hotel Bennett gets all the Insta-fame, but it’s actually the luxe hotel’s rooftop bar that provides the best backdrop for a night out in Charleston. Don’t worry, there’s Champagne up there, too…and duck fat French fries!

The Watch at The Restoration

You can have your breakfast on the roof of this King Street building, but we recommend coming back during cocktail hours to test out their Pink Starburst Party Pouch (booze + candy = the ultimate rooftop experience). They also have a full menu of zero-proof cocktails for anyone who prefers a NOgroni over a Negroni.

The Rooftop at The Vendue Hotel

This is the Charleston sunset viewing spot…which means come early if you want a seat during magic hour. Ridiculous harbor views, amazing cocktails (looking at you Strawberry Basil Lemonade with honeysuckle vodka), and crave-worthy shareable plates make this one of the most popular bars in Charleston.

Stars Rooftop

Selling your crew on spending the night on top of Stars Restaurant should not be hard: Just start with its laid back feels and 360-degree views. You’ll find bar stools for sure—and wines on tap!—but stake out the wicker furniture to go full Charleston with one of Stars’ signature cocktails in hand.

Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel

There’s zero chance you’ll forget you’re in Charleston while sipping poolside at this elevated hotel bar. Corinthian columns? Check. Southern shrimp salad served on a croissant? Yep. Boozy punch? Only the booziest.

The Cocktail Club

Like the name suggests, this upper King Street bar is a haven for true cocktail geeks, especially anyone who values house-made infusions and hard-to-find liquors. There’s a rooftop garden on top of this historic 1881 building, and it’s where bartenders prune fresh herbs and garnishes for their hand-crafted cocktails.

Élevé at The Grand Bohemian Hotel

If Alice in Wonderland lived in Charleston, she’d 100 percent hang out among the trippy-chic turf of Élevé. Their aesthetic is magnetic, and soon you’ll also be preferring tarte flambe to pizza and French rosé to white zin.

Revelry Brewing Co.

Food trucks gather at street level, but you’ll need to head to the roof for live music, shared plates, and legit good beer. Sip on their custom flights if you can’t decide on one, but just know their Lazy Lover Belgian blonde will satisfy you way more than the name suggests.

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