Top 10 Charleston Nighttime Activities
Charleston might not be known as the city that doesn’t sleep — but we still have plenty of attractions that will keep you up way past your bedtime. From bars to restaurants and live shows, we’re never bored here in the Holy City. These 10 Charleston nighttime activities will keep you partying until the break of dawn (if that’s what you’re into).
Charleston Nighttime Activities #1: Bars
Charleston is known for its bars. Head down to the French Quarter (or anywhere in Downtown, really) and you’ll have your pick of bars and nightlife. We happen to love rooftop bars here in the Holy City, so grabbing a drink with a view is easy too. Some of our favorites include:
Charleston Nighttime Activities #2: Live Theater
You don’t need to take a train to Times Square to see live theater on the East Coast. Charleston is home to award-winning theater companies as well as historic theaters. The Dock Street Theater was America’s first theater specifically built for the purpose of live entertainment. Some of our other favorite spots to see live theater include:
- Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina
- Charleston Stage Company (Dock Street Theatre)
- Gaillard Center
- North Charleston Performing Arts Center
- Pure Theatre
- Woolfe Street Playhouse
Charleston Nighttime Activities #3: Horse and Carriage Ride
Taking a horse and carriage ride is one of the most iconic activities in Charleston. The best time to hop on a carriage and see the sights is after dark. You can cozy up next to someone special underneath a blanket while you pass by some of Charleston’s most iconic buildings.
Charleston Nighttime Activities #4: Night Tour
While we don’t offer night tours on our public tour schedule, we do offer private night tours. Per the City of Charleston, the residential neighborhoods of the Historic District are off limits to any tours, but there is so much history in Charleston outside of these areas. An evening tour can include the below points of interest:
- St Philip’s Church
- The Circular Congregation Church
- St Michael’s Church
- Hibernian Hall
- The “Four Corners of Law”
- Ravenel House
- Nicholas Trott Cottage
- The Old Exchange Building
- The Fireproof Building
Charleston Nighttime Activities #5: Dine Out
We’re just as known for our restaurants in Charleston as we are our horse and carriage rides. Our self-guided Charleston food tour is just as good in the evening as it is during the day. You’ll get to try some of Charleston’s most iconic foods and cocktails, including oysters, fried chicken and Planters punch.
Charleston Nighttime Activities #6: Live Comedy
Here in Charleston, there are so many ways to see live comedy that you could see a different show every night of the week. From stand-up to improv, we’ve got plenty of ways to tickle your funny bone.
Some of our favorite spots to check out live comedy include:
Charleston Nighttime Activities #7: Charleston Harbor Tour
The only thing better than touring Charleston’s harbor by day is setting sail after the sun goes down.
Charleston Harbor Tours offers an evening tour, starting at 6 p.m., from mid-April to mid-October. It features everything you’d see on the standard daytime tour, including narration, history and dolphin sightings. The only difference is that this one starts in the evening, so you can pack as many activities as you’d like during the day.
Want to enjoy the sunset while you sail? Schooner Pride offers a sunset sail from April to October and a sunset wine sail from April to November.
Charleston Nighttime Activities #8: Baseball Games
Charleston might not have its own Major League team, but they do have a minor league team that is an affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Head to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park to check out a Charleston River Dogs game. They play select evenings throughout the summer, starting at around 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.
So grab a hot dog, some peanuts and a seat right behind home plate. Or, leave the kids at home and enjoy the game from the Ashley View Pub, a rooftop bar with great views of the field.
Charleston Nighttime Activities #9: Live Music
If you happen to be in town for one of our many music festivals, you’re in luck! And even if there aren’t any music festivals rolling into town while you’re here, you’re still in luck. We have so many ways to see live music, you won’t even notice.
The Music Farm opened back in 1991. Music lovers head here to see big names, like Better Than Ezra, Stephen Marley and Drake White. The venue itself has a more intimate feel than a massive arena but is still big enough to hold plenty of fans.
If you’re more into jazz than rock, head to The Commodore. This bar music venue hybrid specializes in jazz and funk music. On select nights they break out a turntable and invite DJs to work their magic. This is also a great spot for busting a move as they’re home to a sizable dance floor.
This Gothic Revival building was once a train station, built back in the 1800s. Today, it’s where you can see some of the most popular music acts in the country. In addition to live music, the theater also hosts movie nights and move sing-alongs. They also feature tribute shows and variety shows.
Charleston Nighttime Activities #10: Charleston Festivals
Charleston is home to dozens of festivals each year. From the Jazz Festival in February to the High Water Festival in April, there’s a festival for pretty much every musical taste.
We’re also famous for being home to the Spoleto Festival, a 17-day music festival that features over five genres of music, including jazz, choral and symphonic.