Water, water everywhere, but where can you go and see it? We rounded up some of Charleston's best bets for sipping something cold and looking at the water, including highly sought-after ocean views, plus to where you can go by boat, where to see some scenic Lowcountry marsh, what to expect, and what to order when you're there.
Fleet Landing Restaurant (186 Concord St.)
Vibes: Family friendly, but could get pricey — wear your Sunday best or come as you are.
When to go: To celebrate something: birthday, anniversary, or someone being in town. Might want to avoid when there's a cruise ship docked — it gets busy!
Who to bring: Family from out of town
What to order: Get the Lowcountry boil and a bunch of drinks to enjoy the view.
Salty Mike's (17 Lockwood Drive)
Vibes: A watering hole in the truest sense of the word — it's casual AF.
When to go: Around sunset or kill some time while waiting for Charleston traffic
Who to bring: Your happy hour gang, only the coolest visitors
What to order: Get some beers and watch the boats come in, or do as locals do and get a shot and a pickleback. If you're hungry, head upstairs to the Marina Variety Store.
Shem CreekAny list of places with a view that didn't include Shem Creek would hardly be a list. Known for their views and cold beer, if you really want some scenic Lowcountry vistas, Shem Creek is where it's at.
Red's Ice House (98 Church St.)
Vibes: Perpetual spring break infused with the catchiest Luke Bryan song you can think of
When to go: After a day at the beach or on the boat
Who to bring: The bigger the group the bigger the party, and you will have someone to share buckets of beer with
What to order: Buckets of beer, obviously. And coconut shrimp is just the ticket after a long day in the sun
Vickery's (1313 Shrimp Boat Lane)Vibes: Kid friendly, come as you are
When to go: Happy hour, or grab dinner with a view
Who to bring: Kids or large parties
What to order: Our fave is the jerk chicken breast sandwich with a side of fried plantains and enough beer to wash it down.
Saltwater Cowboys (130 Mill St.)Vibes: Wear comfortable shoes and be patient, there can be a wait
When to go: Go for lunch or an early dinner
Who to bring: Your dog for some custom dog treats
What to order: Get the onion rings, fried grouper fingers, or the barbecue, but don't skimp on the sides. Order a beer or a creek cocktail and watch the shrimp boats.
Tavern & Table (100 Church St.)Vibes: Break out your white shorts and fancy sandals
When to go: For happy hour or dinner
Who to bring: Your parents, visitors
What to order: Try the charcuterie plate or the truffle fondue burger. No matter what you order, try to snag a seat on their patio.
Related Shem Creek's newest addition, Tavern & Table, blends rustic elegance with creative fare: Creek Chic
Water's Edge (1407 Shrimp Boat Lane)Vibes: Casual fine dining, think white table cloths and shorts
When to go: A special occasion, when you're feelin' fancy
Who to bring: Your grandparents or people visiting from out of town
What to order: Try the calamari and the fresh oysters, but save room for the key lime pie. Local pro tip: hit happy hour at the Cabana Bar for $1.75 domestic beers and the half-price bar menu.
Mill Street Tavern (504 Mill St.)Vibes: Casual, but nice
When to go: Go for brunch between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. any day of the week
Who to bring: Local buds craving some marsh views
What to order: Get the Southern fried chicken and biscuits or the Tavern bowl and some beers and enjoy watchin' the tide
Related With an expansive menu, stellar views, and friendly service, you'll find something to love about Mill Street Tavern: Shem Creek Sweet Spot
- Lauren Hurlock
- The Windjammer
Isle of Palms
Boathouse (101 Palm Blvd.)Vibes: Casual fancy, waiters in shorts
When to go: High tide
Who to bring: Friends from out of town
What to order: Watch the sunset from the rooftop deck with a Carolina Colada, or anything, kudos if you can pay attention to anything but the amazing view. Watch the dolphins play in Breach Inlet, then go downstairs for some fresh seafood.
Morgan Creek Grill (80 41st Ave.)Vibes: With Wild Dunes just a skip away, expect tourists, but with its proximity to the Isle of Palms Marina, it's a mixed crowd
When to go: For drinks after getting off the boat
Who to bring: Your parents
What to order: Get a crab cake and a couple of beers, but drink in the sight of the Intracoastal Waterway
Coconut Joe's (1120 Ocean Blvd.)Vibes: Touristy AF
When to go: Come in from the beach for happy hour and head to the rooftop patio for an unbeatable view
Who to bring: Your beach friends
What to order: Get drinks or coconut shrimp and make your beach afternoon stretch just a little longer
The Windjammer (1008 Ocean Blvd.)Vibes: Beachy! Sandy! Salty!
When to go: Anytime during the day
Who to bring: Your beach volleyball team
What to order: Get a frozen cocktail after your beach volleyball tournament or take a long walk on the beach for some cheap beers
- Provided by CCPRC
Snapper Jack's (10 Center St.)
Vibes: It's Folly
When to go: After the beach on a weekend
Who to bring: Your beach buds or just yourself — everyone is friendly on Folly
What to order: Fried seafood or anything from the steamer. You're on the beach, fruits de mer is where it's at.
Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar (101 E. Arctic Ave.)
Vibes: Throw on a cover up and grab a bite or a drink
When to go: When you need a break from the sun or sand, before heading home.
Who to bring: Your beach squad
What to order: Sip on a Kokomo cocktail (think white Russian on an island vacation) or a beer, and order a seafood basket or go for the fried deviled eggs
California Dreaming (1 Ashley Point Drive)
Vibes: Come as you are, casual
When to go: Getting off the boat
Who to bring: Friends and lots of 'em
What to order: One of their giant salads and a beer and watch the sunset on the Ashley