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Cool Places to Have a Cocktail in South Carolina

Page Ivey Page Ivey
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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People having drinks in courtyard with lights, palmetto trees, and brick buildings in background
The Victor's courtyard at Hotel Florence is a lively gathering place for a cocktail.

In a state that never needs a reason to celebrate, some bars endure. They're always great. Great food. Great beer. Great cocktails. Maybe even a great view. Just all around, well, great. If you're the kind of person who's always looking for the coolest place to have a drink, here's a list for you. Call or check websites for hours of operation.

Victors, 126 West Evans St., Florence   

Located in the elegant Hotel Florence, Victors is an upscale restaurant featuring a convivial, full-service bar serving up fine wines, cold brew, and craft cocktails through the night. The outdoor courtyard is another favorite gathering spot of the Florence crowd, especially when the weather is fine. The ambience is casually sophisticated and friendly - come make new friends, eat something delicious from Chef Cooper Thomas, a 2015 South Carolina Chef Ambassador, and indulge in a great cocktail.

The Griffon, 18 Vendue Range, Charleston

The Griffon is an "unapologetically awesome" dive bar with a better than average menu and a longer list of craft and other beers from Colorado, Georgia and right here in Charleston. The décor famously includes dollar bills stuck to every available surface in a historic building that's housed a tavern for generations. It's that rare place where locals and tourists mix well. Come for the beer and stay for lunch, which features a daily rotating special from fried shrimp, chicken or pork chop to pot roast or lasagna.

Couple entering Fat Harold's bar at the beach
Cold drinks and shag dancing go hand-in-hand at Fat Harold's Beach Club.

The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms

The Windjammer is exactly what it sounds like: the perfect beach bar with tons of live music and a great view of the ocean. It offers standard bar fare, but the view and entertainment can't be beat. Charleston's own Darius Rucker and local favorite, the Blue Dogs, have taken the stage here more than once. One of the oldest bars in the Charleston area, customers come to enjoy a cold drink, watch beach volleyball and thrill to all of the live entertainment. 

Fat Harold's Beach Club, 212 Main St., North Myrtle Beach

Fat Harold's is "the beach club" referred to in song and lore. Home to practitioners of the state dance, the Shag, Fat Harold's offers one of the coolest bars in North Myrtle Beach. You can learn to dance while sipping your favorite beverage or just watch some of the best shaggers shuffle across the floor. Do not leave without dancing, even if you don't know how. 

Peaches Corner signage
Peaches has been serving food and drink to the beach crowd since 1937.

Second Avenue Pier, 110 North Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach

The Second Avenue Pier was built in the 1930s, wiped out by 1954's Hurricane Hazel; rebuilt, then wiped out again by 1989's Hurricane Hugo. In a testament to persistence, it was rebuilt, again. Now, the Southern anchor of Myrtle Beach's Boardwalk offers the Pier View Bar, a wraparound open-air bar where you can cool off after a day on the beach or start your night on the town. The view doesn't get much better than this. 

Peaches Corner, 900 North Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach

Peaches Corner is one of the oldest places to get a cold beer on the beach. Open since 1937, Peaches is famed for its beer, foot-long hot dogs and double cheeseburgers. Owned by the same family since 1943, the restaurant has recently started serving breakfast, in addition to lunch, dinner and late night snacking.

Cocktails by the Reedy River is a calling card of the Lazy Goat in Greenville.

The Whig, 1220 Main St., Columbia

The Whig is underground, so don't expect a view. But you will not find better food at a dive bar anywhere in Columbia: smoked gouda mac and cheese, roasted garlic black bean hummus and you must try the Whig chicken sandwich, grilled or fried, with spicy pimento cheese. 

The Lazy Goat, 170 Riverplace, Greenville

The Lazy Goat has fabulous views and equally great food. We recommend getting a table on the patio, ordering drinks and trying something from the intermezzo menu, like the meat and cheese trays or the Spanish pizza. The Goat, which sits on the banks of the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, has a great selection of wine, still and sparkling, as well as some "lazy twists" on classic cocktails. 

Page Ivey
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.