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Charleston NightlifePlanning to enjoy the nightlife during vacation? Folks in Charleston like to live it up, but they also appreciate laid-back casual spots where they can sip a libation and chat with friends. Nighttime entertainment options are mainly concentrated in the downtown historic district, and they run the gamut from live music venues to refined restaurant bars to cozy little neighborhood pubs. Clubs providing entertainment may include cover charges; to avoid surprises, phone ahead and confirm prices, opening hours, scheduled acts and dress codes.

Live Music Galore

Those in search of live music can find fun things to do at the Music Farm , 32 Ann St. This revamped train station hosts a variety of musical styles, so you might encounter college kids or a 30 to 40ish crowd depending on the talent, which can range from alternative to country; phone (843) 577-6969. There’s nothing like a healthy dose of Irish tunes to get your adrenaline going, and families, couples—you name it—all join in the merriment and sing along at Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub , 160 Church St., (843) 577-3818. While you’re at it, order up an authentic Irish coffee or ale.

Charleston Grill/Andrew Cebulka
Whether flying solo on a trip or looking for romantic things for couples to do, jazz enthusiasts in the know head to the upscale yet casually comfortable lounge at the Charleston Grill on King Street. It's a special place to have a cocktail and relish the sounds of the restaurant’s talented performers; phone (843) 577-4522.

Savor Craft Cocktails During Your Trip

Charlestonians enjoy lingering over an inventive cocktail and socializing in classy lounges and local restaurants. First Shot Lounge , tucked inside Meeting Street's The Mills House Wyndham Grand , is named for the first shot fired during the Civil War. Touches like a grand piano and a view of the pretty courtyard contribute to an aura of understated Southern elegance; phone (843) 577-2400. At the swanky Peninsula Grill Champagne Bar , adjacent to the Planters Inn on Market Street, mostly middle-aged connoisseurs of bubbly indulge in intriguing appetizers along with their Dom Pérignon or other champagnes by the glass or bottle; phone (843) 723-0700. For an inspiring view of Charleston Harbor and the historic district—or to catch a glorious sunset—head up to The Rooftop , a cocktail bar at The Vendue (19 Vendue Range St.) offering live music, decent bar food and an affable wait staff to boot. Phone (843) 577-7970.

Enjoy a Laid-back Vibe

Plenty of laid-back digs entice those seeking more casual casual things to do in Charleston. A hodgepodge of locals, tourists and young professionals throw darts, watch their favorite sports teams on the tube, and order up brews and pub grub at The Griffon , a friendly neighborhood English-style tavern at 18 Vendue Range; phone (843) 723-1700.

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Charleston, SC

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Travel Information

City Population

130,113

Elevation

10 ft.

Sales Tax

The 9 percent sales tax rate in Charleston consists of 6 percent South Carolina state sales tax, 1 percent Charleston tax and 2 percent special tax. There is no applicable county tax. There is an admissions tax of 5 percent on most amusements and a 2 percent accommodations tax.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(843) 577-7434

Hospitals

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, (843) 402-1000; MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina), (843) 792-2300; and Roper Hospital, (843) 724-2000.

Air Travel

Most major airlines serve

Rental Cars

Hertz, (843) 767-4554 or (800) 654-3131, is at the airport and offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

The Amtrak train station, (800) 872-7245, is at 4565 Gaynor Ave. in North Charleston.

Buses

Service is provided by Southeastern Stages and Greyhound Lines Inc., (843) 744-4247 or (800) 231-2222, at 3610 Dorchester Rd.

Taxis

Cab companies include Safety Cab, (843) 722-4066; and Yellow Cab, (843) 577-6565. The fare is $5 for all trips that pick up and drop off on the peninsula. A $2 surcharge is added for each additional passenger. Outside of the peninsula, the fare for the first 2 miles is $4 and 35c for each succeeding one-fifth mile. A $1 surcharge is added for each additional passenger. Cabs must be ordered by phone.

Public Transportation

Bus service is provided by Charleston Area Regional Transit Authority (CARTA); phone (843) 724-7420 for information about routes and schedules.

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