Things to Do at Night in Charleston, South Carolina

Explore the night-time delights of Charleston, SC
Explore the night-time delights of Charleston, SC | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Frank Lopez
Writer22 July 2020

Charleston is vibrant and welcoming by day, but it really comes alive at night. Certainly not for the shy and retiring, the city is home to a blend of cultures and influences that can be seen in its food and drink, music and arts scenes. Whether you wish to hunt out ghosts, dance the night away, or sit back and be entertained, here are our suggestions for a night out to remember in Charleston, South Carolina.

Harborview Charters

Natural Feature
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Large three mast schooner sailboat; Charleston Harbor; Charleston; South Carolina; USA
© H. Mark Weidman Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

As the sun begins to set on another day in Charleston, clamber aboard a boat for a sunset cruise. Leaving from the harbour, this package takes you practically into a golden sunset, cruising past recognisable sites and under the impressive Cooper River bridge. Total relaxation is interrupted only by bottlenose dolphins vying for your attention. You are also permitted to take your own alcohol on board if you so wish.

Theatre 99

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For the best in unscripted and spontaneous hilarity where the audience becomes part of the show, drop in at Theatre 99. Walking distance from Old Historic City Market, this 130-seat theatre represents the great American improvisation comedy tradition, with comedians taking cues from the audience to drop quick-witted bombs on you. The best destination for someone who wants to leave happy.

Nightly Spirits

Architectural Landmark
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St. Philips Church Graveyard - churchyard - Charleston, South Carolina
Experience Charleston's creepier side | © Zach Holmes / Alamy Stock Photo

When it gets dark and the ghouls begin to find their power is when Charleston comes into its own. As one of the most haunted cities in America, it sees many tours of graveyards and the usual troubled spots, but on this two-and-a-half-hour walking tour downtown you also get to take in some pubs. Imbibe the spirits if you wish, they have been known to make you more sensitive to the horrifying tales you will hear.

The Commodore

Nightclub, Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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“Good vibes only” is the request at this late-night venue that feels like it has been transported from another era. Its reputation is forged through the live bands that you will find cranking out grooves night after night. Its tiny but always-bustling dancefloor is the perfect place to get loose and feel that funk. Whatever feelings you are carrying through the door, grab a drink and dance them out.

Charleston Night Market

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Historic Charleston City Market on Market Street in Charleston, SC.
© Richard Ellis / Alamy Stock Photo
If you haven’t already visited the Old Historic City Market by day, drop in one evening on a weekend. As well as the local vendors selling their various arts and crafts, by night there is a different buzz in the air. As well as the chance to sample all kinds of regional delicacies, artists from the area play live music to let you know that you really are in South Carolina.

PURE Theatre

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PURE Theatre in the hip Cannonborough district is a passionate risk-taking company that believes in the need to tell stories that it feels must be heard. The company’s desire is to ignite a dialogue within its diverse community and to not be afraid to delve into Charleston’s rich and sometimes difficult history. To dig deep into the human spirit is what theatre is and PURE Theatre delivers dynamically in a very intimate setting. An absolute must for anyone seeking the stunning, the hilarious or the profound.

These recommendations were updated on July 22, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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