Best Things to Do in Charleston, SC at Night: 12 Nighttime Charleston Experiences

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated July 4, 2024 tourism Dream Destinations
by Jen
Best Things to Do in Charleston, SC at Night
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Curious about things to do in Charleston at night? Here are some of the coolest and most unique Charleston night activities and attractions. Prepare to explore the vibrant nightlife of Charleston!

Charleston’s nights are as captivating as its sunny days. Picture yourself strolling down lantern-lit streets, past historic homes, diving into the city’s electric nightlife. Think jazz bars pulsing with rhythm and moonlit harbor walks, where history meets a modern vibe.

Grab a craft cocktail in a hidden speakeasy or get a thrill from the city’s famous ghost tours. In Charleston, every corner has a story, setting the stage for nights you won’t forget. It’s where Southern charm blends with after-dark excitement. So gear up for an adventure in Charleston, SC, where the night is just as alive as the day!

Ready to uncover the most captivating things to do in Charleston, SC at night? Immerse yourself in this South Carolina gem’s lively nightlife with its eclectic bars, rooftop parties, live music, and Southern elegance under the Carolina night sky. Here’s everything you need to know about the best Charleston nighttime attractions.

The top places to visit in Charleston, SC at night right now

Best Things to Do in Charleston at Night: 12 Charleston Nighttime Activities

Are you ready to explore the most unique things to do in Charleston in the nighttime? As mentioned earlier, there’s a wide range of exciting activities in Charleston after dark. Keep reading to find where to go in Charleston, SC at night.

Are you looking to groove to the soulful tunes in lively jazz bars and enjoy leisurely strolls along the scenic waterfront? Or would you prefer to indulge in gourmet Southern cuisine at bustling restaurants or embark on thrilling ghost tours through historic streets? Whatever you’re planning to do once the sun sets, Charleston can accommodate your needs. Here are all the best things to do in Charleston, SC at night that you should know about.

1. Dive into Charleston’s Historic Ghost Tours at the Old City Jail

Charleston offers an unforgettable experience as night falls. The first stop for any night owl should be the city’s famed ghost tours, particularly the one at the Old City Jail. These tours bring to life the tales and legends that have shaped the city.

One of the most captivating things to do in Charleston, SC at night is to explore its eerie side. The ghost tours at the Old City Jail lead you through the cobblestone streets of the historic district.

online pharmacy purchase strattera online with best prices today in the USA

Guides narrate chilling stories of the city’s haunted past during these tours. Each tale is a blend of local folklore, historical facts, and maybe a few goosebumps-inducing moments.

These tours showcase a different side of Charleston, one that you won’t find in the daylight. They offer a unique perspective on the city’s rich history, with stories of pirates, patriots, and the supernatural. It’s an experience that combines education, entertainment, and a touch of the paranormal.

The unique nightlife in Charleston extends beyond just bars and restaurants. Are you a history buff or a fan of the supernatural? Or maybe you’re just looking for an unusual evening activity? Charleston’s ghost tours at the Old City Jail are a must-do experience.

online pharmacy buy naprosyn no prescription with best prices today in the USA

They’re a reminder that every historic corner of this city has a story to tell, especially after sunset.

Exploring Old City Jail is one of the best things to do in Charleston, SC at night.
Explore the city’s eerie side at night with ghost tours, like those at the Old City Jail.

2. Embrace Enchanted Evenings in Charleston’s Waterfront Park

Charleston’s Waterfront Park is a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, offering a peaceful yet lively night experience. As the sun sets, the park transforms into a magical setting. This makes it perfect for those pondering what to do in Charleston, SC at night. The gentle breeze from the Cooper River, combined with the soft glow of street lamps, creates an enchanting atmosphere.

Strolling along the pier, you’ll find locals and visitors alike enjoying the panoramic views of Charleston Harbor. The famous Pineapple Fountain becomes a radiant focal point, its lights reflecting beautifully on the water. This park is not just a place to walk; it’s a venue for experiencing the city’s tranquil side.

For a more active evening, the spacious lawns are ideal. They offer a great spot for a casual game of frisbee or a relaxing picnic under the stars. Waterfront Park is a testament to the best Charleston nightlife, offering a blend of relaxation, beauty, and community spirit.

Ending your night at Waterfront Park comes with the soothing sounds of water. Plus, you get the backdrop of Charleston’s historic skyline, reminding you of the city’s unique charm. It’s a place where every visitor can find solace and joy. This makes it a must-visit for anyone seeking a memorable night in Charleston.

Charleston's Waterfront Park is a serene and lively nighttime escape, ideal for a tranquil evening.
Charleston’s Waterfront Park is a serene and lively nighttime escape, ideal for a tranquil evening.

3. Discover the Jazz and Blues Scene on King Street

Looking for a lively night out in Charleston? King Street is your go-to spot, where jazz and blues fill the air. This iconic street becomes a vibrant hub for music lovers as night falls. The street is lined with a variety of venues, from intimate bars to larger music halls, each offering a unique experience. Among these, The Jazz Corner stands out as a cozy and sophisticated spot known for its exceptional live jazz performances. Further down the street, the Blue Note Bistro offers a vibrant atmosphere with its live blues music and fusion of traditional Southern cuisine.

Here, talented local and visiting musicians take the stage, delivering soulful performances that resonate with the heart of Charleston’s culture. For visitors wondering where to visit in Charleston at night, King Street’s music scene is a must. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the city’s artistic side. Sip on a cocktail at The Jazz Corner or enjoy the dynamic blues performances at the Blue Note Bistro.

King Street stands out as one of the best places in Charleston, SC at night for an authentic and exhilarating musical experience. It’s not just about the music; it’s about feeling the pulse of Charleston’s vibrant nightlife. This rhythm invites you to join in and enjoy the night.

The Jazz Corner is a live jazz venue where guests dine and enjoy music.
The Jazz Corner is a live jazz venue where guests dine and enjoy music.

4. Embark on a Moonlit Harbor Cruise from Patriots Point

A moonlit harbor cruise, setting sail from Patriots Point with SpiritLine Cruises, is an enchanting way to experience Charleston’s coastal beauty. As the city lights fade into the evening sky, the waters of Charleston Harbor offer a tranquil and mesmerizing setting. This experience is perfect for those seeking a romantic or peaceful evening.

Cruise along Charleston’s historic waterfront for breathtaking skyline views and landmark glimpses. The gentle waves and cool sea breeze craft a soothing ambiance. Onboard SpiritLine Cruises, you can enjoy light refreshments or a glass of wine, adding to the relaxed atmosphere of the cruise. It’s a moment to unwind, reflect, and soak in the natural beauty of the harbor. This offers a unique perspective of the city, ranking it among the top places in Charleston to visit at night.

This moonlit harbor cruise, departing from Patriots Point with SpiritLine Cruises, offers a unique experience away from the bustling city streets. It’s a highlight among the coolest Charleston nightlife, inviting you to connect with Charleston’s maritime heritage. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this cruise offers a memorable way to spend your evening surrounded by the serene beauty of Charleston, SC at night.

An enchanting evening voyage showcasing the harbor's coastal allure and tranquility.
An enchanting evening voyage showcasing the harbor’s coastal allure and tranquility.

5. Explore the Charleston City Market After Dark

Witness Charleston’s historic City Market comes alive at sunset. This bustling marketplace, steeped in centuries of culture, transforms into a vibrant, authentic night-time hotspot.

Strolling through the market, you’ll find an array of local artisans and vendors showcasing their crafts. From hand-woven sweetgrass baskets, a symbol of the city’s rich African-American heritage, the market offers much. You’ll also find unique jewelry and art, making it a treasure trove of local culture and creativity. The lively atmosphere is complemented by the sounds of street musicians and the aroma of local cuisine wafting through the air.

Dining options around the market range from casual eateries serving Southern comfort food to upscale restaurants offering gourmet dishes. It’s a perfect spot to grab a bite and people-watch, immersing yourself in the local scene.

The Charleston City Market at night stands out as one of the unique places in Charleston at nighttime. It’s not just a shopping destination; it’s a cultural experience that captures the essence of Charleston’s history, art, and community spirit. A visit here offers a glimpse into the heart of the city. This makes it a must-do for anyone seeking an authentic Charleston experience after dark.

City Market's centuries-old marketplace exuding authentic culture and liveliness.
City Market’s centuries-old marketplace exudes authentic culture and liveliness.

6. Relax by Oceanfront Bonfires in Folly Beach

Folly Beach is where Charleston’s coastal charm shines brightest at night. With its chilled-out vibe and stunning shoreline, it’s the ultimate spot to relax and soak in nature’s beauty. As night falls, this beachside haven transforms. It becomes one of the coolest Charleston things to do at night, offering a perfect spot for unwinding in a picturesque setting.

As the evening sets in, locals and visitors gather around bonfires dotting the beach. The beach is ideal for nighttime strolls along the water’s edge. Here, the tranquility of the ocean complements the lively chatter and laughter from the bonfires. It’s a place where you can connect with friends and family or enjoy a moment of solitude. This is also a perfect spot for roasting marshmallows, sharing stories, or simply enjoying the starlit sky.

When considering where to go in Charleston once the sun goes down, Folly Beach should be high on your list. Whether you’re seeking a romantic evening or a fun night with friends, Folly Beach has something for everyone. The bonfires at Folly Beach offer a unique and memorable way to enjoy Charleston’s coastal allure at night. This experience is even suitable for those seeking a peaceful solo experience.

Strolling Folly Beach is one of the best things to do in Charleston at night.
Folly Beach is a coastal gem perfect for unwinding amid nature’s beauty.

7. Experience the Thrill of a Charleston Escape Room at Meeting Street

Craving an adrenaline rush at night? Dive into Charleston’s escape rooms at Meeting Street for a thrilling group challenge. It’s all about teamwork and problem-solving in these interactive experiences. They’re a fun, exciting twist on your usual night out.

Each escape room on Meeting Street in Charleston has its own theme and storyline, ranging from historical mysteries to modern-day adventures. You and your team will be immersed in a carefully crafted environment. There, you’ll have to find clues, solve puzzles, and work together to “escape” before time runs out. It’s a race against the clock that keeps you on your toes.

Participating in an escape room is a test of wits. It’s also a great way to bond with friends, family, or colleagues. It’s an experience that requires communication and collaboration, making it a fun and memorable way to spend an evening.

Among the coolest nighttime activities in Charleston, escape rooms on Meeting Street are notable. They stand out for their unique blend of entertainment, challenge, and suspense. Local or visitor, an evening at one of Charleston’s escape rooms on Meeting Street promises an unforgettable adventure. It’s a perfect choice for those looking to add a bit of excitement to their night.

Escape in 60 is a game room setting with immersive escape challenges and puzzles for entertainment.
Escape in 60 is a game room setting with immersive escape challenges and puzzles for entertainment.

8. Savor Craft Cocktails at The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue

The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue epitomizes the best nightlife in Charleston. It offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere with stunning views of the city. This popular spot is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, known for its creative cocktails and panoramic vistas.

Perched atop The Vendue, Charleston’s art hotel, The Rooftop Bar provides a unique setting to enjoy an evening out. Here, you can sip on expertly crafted cocktails while taking in the breathtaking views of Charleston’s historic skyline and the Cooper River. The bar’s ambiance combines elegance with a casual vibe. This makes it an ideal spot for a romantic date or a casual gathering with friends.

Exploring The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue is one of the top things to do in Charleston at night. It’s not just about the drinks; it’s about the experience. The bar often features live music, adding to the lively atmosphere.

online pharmacy buy amoxicillin no prescription with best prices today in the USA

Looking to unwind after a day of sightseeing or seeking a vibrant spot to kick off your night? The Rooftop Bar is perfect. It offers an experience that captures the essence of Charleston’s charm.

With its unbeatable location, The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue stands out. It offers exceptional drinks and an inviting atmosphere. This makes it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best of Charleston’s nightlife.

The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue is a hotspot for creative cocktails and city vistas.
The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue is a hotspot for creative cocktails and city vistas.

9. Embrace Dusk in Charleston Harbor via Schooner Pride

For a mesmerizing evening on a sunset cruise around Charleston Harbor, Schooner Pride offers an unforgettable experience. This tall ship is one of the top Charleston nighttime things to do and provides a top 10 sunset sail in the US. As you set sail from the harbor, you’ll be aboard Schooner Pride. The changing colors of the sky create a stunning backdrop against the Charleston skyline.

The cruise offers a unique vantage point to view landmarks like Fort Sumter, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, and the Battery. Onboard, the boat’s gentle sway offers a calming experience. The soothing ocean sounds create the perfect serene setting to unwind after a day’s adventure. The sunset cruise with Schooner Pride is not only about the views. It’s an opportunity to learn about the city’s rich maritime history and cultural heritage. Knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories and insights, adding depth to the visual spectacle.

If you’re seeking a romantic outing, the Charleston Harbor sunset cruise aboard Schooner Pride is ideal. It’s also perfect for a peaceful solo adventure. The cruise combines natural beauty with historical intrigue. Its tranquil setting makes it a must-do for visitors and locals alike.

Experience a breathtaking Charleston Harbor sunset sail, offering a calming experience.
Experience a breathtaking Charleston Harbor sunset sail, offering a calming experience.

10. Catch a Show at the Historic Dock Street Theatre

Experiencing a live performance at the Dock Street Theatre is a standout choice among the coolest nighttime things to do in Charleston. This historic venue, nestled in the French Quarter, is a journey into the heart of Charleston’s vibrant arts scene.

The Dock Street Theatre, recognized as America’s first theater, offers a diverse lineup of plays and musicals. Its intimate setting provides an up-close experience of top-notch performances, ranging from classic dramas to modern hits. The theater’s rich history adds an extra layer of intrigue to your night out.

Attending a performance here is an engaging way to spend an evening. It offers both entertainment and a glimpse into Charleston’s cultural heritage. This is an ideal activity for those who appreciate the arts and are looking for something beyond the usual nightlife options.

online pharmacy purchase clomid online with best prices today in the USA

The area around the Dock Street Theatre is also one of the prime places in Charleston after dark. Post-show, you can explore the charming streets of the French Quarter. Then, grab a bite at a local eatery, or enjoy a drink at a nearby bar. This part of the city, with its historic ambiance and lively atmosphere, provides the perfect backdrop to end your night on a high note.

Dock Street Theatre is a vibrant arts scene with captivating live performances at French Quarter venue.
Dock Street Theatre is a vibrant arts scene with captivating live performances at French Quarter venue.

11. Witness Angel Oak’s Nocturnal Majesty

The Angel Oak Tree, especially under the moonlight, transforms into a surreal and awe-inspiring sight. This ancient tree, estimated to be over 400 years old, stands as a majestic natural landmark during the day.

Located on Johns Island, just a short drive from downtown Charleston, the Angel Oak Tree is a renowned natural wonder. It is known for its immense size and sprawling branches. Visiting this iconic tree after dark offers a unique and tranquil experience. The moonlight casts shadows and highlights the intricate patterns of its ancient limbs.

This nighttime visit provides a peaceful break from the more bustling activities in the city. It’s a chance to appreciate the natural beauty and history of Charleston in a quiet, reflective setting. The Angel Oak Tree is a living piece of history that takes on a different character at night.

As one of the unique Charleston places to visit at night, the Angel Oak Tree stands out. It is a must-see for nature lovers and those seeking a serene evening activity.

The Angel Oak Tree stands as a majestic natural landmark, offering a surreal and awe-inspiring sight.
The Angel Oak Tree stands as a majestic natural landmark, offering a surreal and awe-inspiring sight.

12. Hit the Lanes at Ashley Lanes Tavern

Looking for a laid-back yet fun night in Charleston? Bowling at Ashley Lanes Tavern is a destination you shouldn’t miss. It’s where classic bowling meets a lively tavern vibe, perfect for friends or family.

Ashley Lanes is a place where you can enjoy a few rounds of bowling, grab a drink, and maybe even catch some live music. The vibe here is casual and friendly, perfect for unwinding and having a good time.

In addition to bowling, Ashley Lanes offers a variety of arcade games and pool tables, adding to the entertainment options. The tavern also serves up a menu of tasty pub grub, so you can refuel between games.

To top it off, Ashley Lanes often hosts special events and themed nights, making every visit a unique experience. From karaoke evenings to trivia nights, there’s always something new to enjoy. It offers a fun and relaxed environment and a great way to mix up your evening routine and enjoy some good old-fashioned bowling fun. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, a night out at Ashley Lanes is sure to be a strike. This is indeed one of the best places to go in Charleston after dark.

Bowling at Ashley Lanes Tavern is one of the best things to do in Charleston at night.
Bowling at Ashley Lanes Tavern is a laid-back yet lively night out, ideal for friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Best Things to Do in Charleston at Night:

Looking to further your knowledge on the best things to do in Charleston at night? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about the best nighttime activities in Charleston.

What are unique nighttime activities for couples in Charleston?

Couples in Charleston can enjoy a romantic moonlit harbor cruise from Patriots Point, offering a serene and intimate setting. Another great option is experiencing a live show at the Dock Street Theatre, blending a cozy atmosphere with cultural richness, perfect for a memorable date night.

Are there family-friendly nighttime activities in Charleston?

Absolutely! Families can have a fun-filled evening at Folly Beach with beach bonfires, creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Ashley Lanes Tavern is another excellent choice, offering bowling and arcade games that cater to all ages, ensuring a lively night out for the whole family.

Where is the best live music in Charleston at night?

King Street is the heart of Charleston’s live music scene at night. It’s bustling with various venues that host jazz and blues performances, providing a dynamic and energetic environment for music lovers looking to enjoy the local talent.

Folly Beach is a tranquil coastal scene with vibrant hues, and waves.
Folly Beach is a tranquil coastal scene with vibrant hues and waves.

Can you suggest a good place for a night stroll in Charleston?

The Charleston City Market is an ideal spot for a night stroll. After dark, it transforms into a vibrant hub with local artisans and street musicians, offering an authentic Charleston experience and a lively atmosphere.

Where can I find unique culinary experiences in Charleston at night?

For a unique culinary experience in Charleston at night, joining a culinary tour is highly recommended. These tours take you through the city’s best eateries, offering a taste of diverse local flavors and insights into Charleston’s rich food culture.

What outdoor nighttime activities are available in Charleston?

Outdoor enthusiasts can visit the Angel Oak Tree by moonlight for a tranquil experience or enjoy sunset cruises around Charleston Harbor, which provide stunning views and a peaceful outdoor setting to end the day.

Is it worth going to Charleston, SC, at night?

Absolutely visiting Charleston, SC, at night is definitely worth it. The city transforms after dark, offering a blend of historical charm and modern entertainment. From romantic moonlit harbor cruises and vibrant live music on King Street to unique culinary tours and relaxed beach bonfires at Folly Beach, Charleston’s nightlife provides a diverse array of experiences that cater to all tastes and interests.

Embrace the Night with Unforgettable Things to Do in Charleston

Exploring Charleston, SC, at night is an adventure that reveals the city’s vibrant soul. Each corner of this historic city offers something unique after sunset, whether it’s the rhythmic blues on King Street, the serene beauty of a harbor cruise, or the lively atmosphere of the City Market.

Charleston’s nightlife isn’t just about entertainment; it’s a blend of culture, history, and modern experiences. From family-friendly activities like bowling at Ashley Lanes Tavern to romantic strolls under the moonlit sky, the city caters to every kind of night owl.

So, when the sun goes down in Charleston, get ready to step into a world where every evening promises new discoveries. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, flying from Charleston adds to the city’s nighttime charm, sure to leave a lasting impression, making your experience in Charleston truly unforgettable.

The top things to do in Charleston, SC at night for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in Charleston, SC at night? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment