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Sand, Surf, Suds: SC’s Waterfront Bars

Bob Gillespie Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 360-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.
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With 187 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, not to mention more miles of lakeshore and riverfronts in its interior, it only makes sense that South Carolina would have a vast selection of waterfront bars and eateries from which to choose.

But for beach lovers and bar-goers "of a certain age," there is one that stands out: The Windjammer.

Founded by brothers Malcolm and James Burgis - originally known as the SufDeck and later The Sea Side before closing in 1969, the brothers reopened in 1972 to stay. This Isle of Palms oceanfront bar has everything you'd expect of a decades-old beach institution, from its wood-framed, two-story structure with a broad porch overlooking the ocean and dunes, to its outdoor sand volleyball pits, cold beers and live music.

Darius Rucker, native South Carolinian, country music superstar and lead singer for SC's own Hootie & The Blowfish, says he's performed on The Windjammer's stage "200 or 300 times," and still returns to sing at charity events.

But even on a slow summer afternoon, without the bands and the crowds, The Windjammer is the perfect place to sit, sip, unwind and soak up the sun as the surf crashes nearby. If you're looking for one of Charleston's favorite pastimes, look no further.

In fact, though, you should look further, because South Carolina has plenty of other welcoming waterfront establishments. Here's a list; come sit, sip and enjoy.


Panini's on the Waterfront, 926 Bay St., Beaufort; 843.379.0300


Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar, 186 Concord St., Charleston; 843.722.8100

The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms; 843.886.8948


The Grill at Clemson Marina, 150 Seneca Marina Drive, Seneca; 864.653.6767

Lighthouse Restaurant Lake Keowee, 1290 Doug Hollow Road (State Road S-37-15), Seneca; 864.888.4446


Frayed Knot Bar & Grill, 1701 Dreher Island Road, Chapin; 803.945.1792

Liberty on the Lake, 1602 Marina Road, Suite D; Irmo; 803.667.9715

Rusty Anchor, 1925 Johnson Marina Road, Chapin; 803.749.1555


Finn's Island Grill, 102 Palmetto Blvd., Edisto Beach; 843.869.4474


Buzz's Roost, 911 Front St., Georgetown; 843.545.1595


Smoke on the Water, 1 Augusta St., #202, Greenville; 864.232.9091


Old Fort Pub, 65 Skull Creek Drive, Hilton Head; 843.681.2386

Quarterdeck, 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head; 843.842.1999

Skull Creek Boathouse, 397 Squire Pope Road, Hilton Head; 843.842.1999

Topside Waterfront Restaurant, 160 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head; 843.681.3663

Up the Creek Pub & Grill, 18 Simmons Road, Hilton Head; 843.681.3625


Bandito's, 1410 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach; 843.808.9800

Crab Catcher's on the Waterfront, 4474 Water Front Ave., Little River; 843.280.2025

Croaker's at Apache Pier, 9700 Kings Road, Myrtle Beach; 843.497.5331

Gulf Stream Café, 1536 S. Waccamaw Drive, Garden City; 843.651.8808

Filet's on the Waterfront, 2120 Sea Mountain Hwy., # 1100, North Myrtle Beach; 843.280.5200; (on waterway)

Ian's Waterway Bar & Grill, 2200 Little River Neck Road, North Myrtle Beach; 843.427.4943

Molly Darcy's, 1701 S. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach; 843.272.5555

Ocean Annie's, 9550 Shore Drive, Myrtle Beach; 843.449.6461

Pier House Restaurant and Pier View Open Air Bar at the Second Avenue Pier, 110 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach; 843.445.PIER (7437)


Watermark Bar & Grill, 1033 Black Oak Road, Bonneau Beach; 843.825.3535

Bob Gillespie
Bob is a former sports writer at Columbia’s The State newspaper. He enjoys golf at South Carolina’s 360-plus courses, and after a round, sampling craft beers from the Palmetto State’s breweries.