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Charleston City Guide

By: Janice McDonald

Charleston Nightlife & Entertainment

©2006 indexopen.comJazz lovers will find many clubs to suit their tastes while visiting Charleston.

Charleston isn't known for its raging nightlife, but there are numerous places to hear quality jazz or enjoy some dancing. At the very least, Charleston provides some of the most spectacular views around, ideal for having a cocktail while admiring the skyline and the stars. Evenings also offer a good opportunity to explore the barrier islands and see what nightlife they have to offer.

It's worth noting that South Carolina still has some Blue Laws in effect. It's been only recently that you could drink alcohol in a restaurant on a Sunday in Charleston. There are no liquor stores open on Sunday and hard liquor store sales stop at 7 pm each night.

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Insider's Guide: The Best of Nightlife & Entertainment in Charleston

Insider's Guide: The Best of Nightlife & Entertainment in Charleston

Music lovers will have several places to choose from, including jazz on Fridays and Tuesdays at Atlanticville (2063 Middle St); saxophone at Diana's (151 Meeting St, Charleston); bluegrass on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at Cumberland's (26 Cumberland St, Charleston); and a variety of live music at Dunleary's Pub (2213-B Middle St on Sullivan's Island). You'll also find a quality jazz bar at Satchmo's (1909 Highway 17 North, Suite K, Mount Pleasant) and can enjoy live beach music at Banana Cabana (1130 Ocean Boulevard, Isle of the Palms).

For Southern-style dancing, try kicking up your heels at JB Pivot's Shag Club (1662 Savannah Highway) or the Trio Club (139 Calhoun St). To watch dueling pianos, check out Pluto Rocks (479 King St).

The Folly Beach Pier at Folly Beach County Park (1010 W Ashley Ave) hosts a series of "Moonlight Mixers" from May through September, bringing back the oldies and what locals refer to as "Beach Music." No, this isn't the Beach Boys, it's more of an old Motown style and dancers will be doing something called the "Carolina Shag," which is a sort of slow jitterbug step.

For an upscale martini and wine bar, you can order anything from the menu at Club Habana (177 Meeting St). Or, you can choose from more than 20 microbrews and more than 100 bottled beers are on the menu at Charleston Beer Works (468 King St).

Those more interested in laughs than drinking and dancing should check out the comedians at Have Nots Comedy Improv (280 Meeting Place) or The Comedy Zone (54 N Market St).

Movie lovers can choose from Imax Theater (360 Concorde St), Garden Theater (371 King St), and South Windmere Cinemas (94 Folly Rd Blvd).

With its slow pace and laidback attitude, Charleston is a perfect place to kick up your feet and take a break from it all. On the next page, we'll look at the best spots in Charleston to relax and unwind.