The Top Things to See and Do in Charleston, South Carolina

Founded as Charles Town in 1670 in honor of England’s King Charles II, Charleston was one of the most important cities in the United States during its early history and colonial era. Today, it is known for its rich and fascinating historical heritage, welcoming locals, fantastic beaches, and beautiful architectural treasures. Charleston has won a long list of accolades from major travel publications as an American must-see gem. Travel + Leisure magazine rated it as the “World’s Best City” in 2016, and Charleston has also earned high praise and accolades from periodicals including Southern Living and Condé Nast Traveler in recent years.

There are tons of amazing things to see and do in Charleston, and these 20 suggestions are great starting points for first-time visitors:

20. Cruise Around Morris Island Lighthouse By Boat

Charleston is a wonderful city but when you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle take a boat cruise to Morris Island. The quaint uninhabited island is only accessible by boat so set sail on the Morris Island Lighthouse Eco Cruise to do some exploring.

The cruise sets sail from Bowens Island and will make its way to Morris Island. Along the way, you may even see marine life such as bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles. Once you make your way onto the island you can explore at your own pace, search for seashells, check out the historic Morris Island Lighthouse, and take in the breathtaking view.

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19. Check Out Charleston’s First Distillery Since Prohibition

High Wire is Charleston’s first distillery since prohibition and would be an excellent site to see during your visit. Conveniently located in downtown Charleston, you can head to High Wire for a tour and tasting Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.

The tours will provide insight into how the distilling process works as well as a glimpse into the mechanics of a small distillery. Keep in mind, guests must be 18 and older to enter the tasting room and guests must be 21 and older (with valid ID) to taste.

Source: High Wire Distilling

18. Go On A Culinary Walking Food Tour

Why waste time researching where to eat when you can hit all the hottest spots on the Downtown Charleston culinary walking food tour! This culinary walking tour will give you a taste of some of Charleston’s best locally run restaurants.

As a bonus, you’ll get to learn about the history of the city along the way. Be sure to skip your lunch because these food samples are going to fill you up!

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17. Explore The City On A Sightseeing Bus Tour

Kick back and relax on the Charleston See-It-All Sightseeing Bus Tour! The comfortable climate-controlled ride allows you to see the city in a whole new way. Plus the minibusses only sit 15 passengers which means you’ll get an intimate experience.

Touring on a bus instead of on foot allows you to see more in a single outing. Additionally, the bus tours feature 5 departure times so you find a time that works best for you and your schedule.

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16. Ghost of Charleston Walking Tour

Looking for a spooky adventure? Enjoy an eerie night tour on the Ghost of Charleston Walking Tour!

A guide will lead you through the dark to explore the spooky tales and locations of Charleston. Among other stops, the tour also gains you after-hour access to a paranormal hot spot, the Unitarian Church Graveyard.

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15. Go Dancing At The Commodore Music Club

The Commodore is a great place to go to if you’re looking for live entertainment and to go dancing. As soon as you walk into the music club you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a vintage jazz club.

The bar features preserved vintage brass and green velvet bar stools, a glossy black tiled floor, chandeliers, and velvet curtains that surround the stage. Whether you’re looking to hit the dance floor or simply looking for a place to grab a drink, a night out at The Commodore will be a night to remember. Just make sure you’re of legal drinking age!

Source: The Commodore

14. Enjoy A Sunset Sail On Charleston Harbor

There’s no better way to watch a sunset than out at sea. The Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor excursion features a 2-hour cruise on a quaint sailboat.

The cruise’s maximum capacity is 15 passengers creating an intimate experience for everyone. During the cruise, the captain and crew will point out historical sites along the way. Also, feel free to bring a picnic or snack but forget the drinks because you can purchase beverages aboard.

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13. Visit The Otters At The South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium would be a great interactive experience for you and your family. Here you can check out the 6,000-gallon stingray tank, touch and feel several species in the touch tanks and learn about many animals native to South Carolina.

Also, don’t miss your chance to see the river otters at the South Carolina Aquarium! This is a great opportunity considering it’s very rare to spot them in the wild.

Source: South Carolina Aquarium

12. Explore the French Quarter

Art galleries, boutiques, historic churches, and several of the city’s architectural landmarks are clustered in the French Quarter, which is bounded by Market Street to the north, Meeting Street to the west, Broad Street to the south, and Waterfront Park to the east.

While many architectural and history walking tours will highlight this part of the city, it’s well worth exploring in more detail, particularly if you have a strong interest in Charleston’s rich and storied heritage.

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11. Check out Charleston City Market

While Charleston City Market is characterized by some as a touristy cliché, it’s one of the best places in the city to experience the contemporary character of traditional Old South life. Formerly known as the Slave Market, as slaves would be sent here by their masters to buy food for their households in centuries past, Charleston City Market is an ideal place to go people-watching and find some authentic handicrafts.

One recommended option is to seek out the market’s so-called basket ladies, who perform a time-honored type of traditional basket weaving that was originally practiced in West Africa. Practitioners hand-make beautiful baskets from materials like palmetto leaves and sweetgrass, with the craft’s secrets being carefully passed down from generation to generation.

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10. Hit the Beach

Folly Beach is the most popular of the city’s beaches, which offer a welcome respite of lounging and relaxation after a few busy days of sightseeing. Charleston has a humid subtropical climate, which extends beach season beyond the summer months into the late spring and early fall.

Folly Beach is about 12 miles outside of downtown Charleston, and setting it aside as a day trip during your stay in the area is usually the way to go. Interestingly, Folly Beach is where George & Ira Gershwin wrote their famous opera Porgy and Bess during the summer of 1934.

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9. Discover the City’s Museums

Beyond Fort Sumter National Monument, Charleston has many other museums that are sure to interest curious visitors and history buffs. The Aiken-Rhett House Museum offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into life during the antebellum age, while the Nathaniel Russell House Museum is an architectural masterpiece with a stunning spiral staircase. Charleston Museum, Heyward-Washington House, Confederate Museum, and the Old Slave Mart Museum are other popular options to consider.

All in all, Charleston is home to dozens of museums, so if you’re particularly keen on the city’s history, it’s best to do some research before you arrive so you can learn more about the things that interest you most.

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

8. Cruise to Sullivan’s Island

Speaking of island ferries, you should also make room in your itinerary for Sullivan’s Island. A relatively compact 3.3 square miles, Sullivan’s Island is one of those often-overlooked hidden gems that vacationers rave about after visiting.

The island is home to a charming and welcoming town, which is brimming with beachfront eateries and one-of-a-kind boutiques. A popular option is to plan your day around having lunch on Sullivan’s Island and giving yourself an hour to explore the shops before heading back to the mainland.

Photo by: Sinopse Stylist

7. Brush Up on Your Civil War History at Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter National Monument is forever enshrined in American history books as the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Cannons that were used in the war are still nestled into the fort’s cave network, which is located on an island in Charleston Harbor.

Regular ferry service is available to transport you to Fort Sumter, and once you’re there, it’s also recommended that you spend some time exploring the island’s small but worthwhile museum to learn more about the long list of fascinating treasures still housed there.

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6. Lose Yourself in Beautiful Gardens

Charleston and the surrounding area are home to some of the best-preserved plantations and gardens in the American South. Middleton Place, constructed in 1755, remains one of the city’s most enduring attractions, but there are several others that are definitely not to be missed.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens has spectacular, postcard-worthy scenery, and charming Drayton Hall, which dates to 1738, is one of the oldest intact plantations still standing in the United States.

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5. Stroll Along The Battery

Ask a Charleston local, and chances are they’ll tell you there’s no way you can leave the city before you’ve visited The Battery. Once the center of the city’s maritime economy, The Battery is now lined with a stunning collection of charming and colorful Southern mansions. As you make your way through this picturesque and unique neighborhood, it’s worth making a stop in White Point Gardens, which is located close by and contains several interesting Civil War artifacts and memorials.

A visit to The Battery is a perfect companion activity to Waterfront Park, as the park doubles as an entry point to the neighborhood.

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4. Relax in Waterfront Park

Located along the banks of the Cooper River, Waterfront Park is a relative newcomer to the Charleston tourism scene, having been completed in 1990. Its shady trees and breathtaking landscaping make it the ideal place to relax and enjoy some quiet time, and it’s a popular place with the locals as well.

Pack a picnic or bring along a good book—chances are good you’ll want to stay here for a while.

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3. Take a Carriage Ride

Carriage rides offer yet another tour option. Like the city’s walking tours and boat tours, carriage rides also dedicate themselves to specific sections and quarters of the city’s historic center.

Popular options explore the city’s residential architecture, downtown core, and historic areas. As with the walking tours, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. However, these horse-drawn carriage rides add an undeniable mystique to your experience, bringing the classic elegance of the South to life like nothing else.

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

2. Head to Charleston Harbor

Charleston is also home to a robust selection of boat tours, most of which embark from historic Charleston Harbor. These tours explore the city’s fascinating maritime history, all while cruising past many of the city’s most iconic landmarks. On many tours, the boat’s captain doubles as your tour guide, creating a truly unique experience.

Also, keep your eyes peeled during your boat tour, as dolphins are known to frequent the waters around Charleston. You might just catch a glimpse of one!

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1. Take a Walking Tour

Tour operators offer dozens of choices to visitors, so it’s best to consider your options in terms of what you’d like to see and learn about. We mentioned a few great options earlier but there are many other tours to choose from.

Some walking tours are dedicated to the city’s fascinating Civil War history, while others highlight its architectural gems. Other possibilities include church tours that delve deep into its religious history — there really is something for everyone!

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Free and Fun Ways To Discover South Carolina

From stunning beaches to breathtaking views and even quaint cities, South Carolina seems to have it all. Seeking adventure is always fun but it can put some serious strain on your wallet. We did the research for you so that you can experience South Carolina for FREE. Whether you’re a tourist or a true South Carolinian, here are the best free and fun things to do in this beautiful state.

1. Charleston: Visit The 1500 Year Old Angel Oak Tree

The city of Charleston has a lot to offer. Founded in 1670, the beautiful cobblestone streets offer quaint views, horse-drawn carriages, and stunning antebellum homes. However, just 30 minutes from downtown Charleston you can visit something truly remarkable, the Angel Oak Tree.

The Angel Oak Tree is 1500 years old! This magnificent tree is about 26 feet around and nearly 65 feet high. It is highly protected however locals and tourists alike can visit the tree for free. Share a picnic with your family or capture an Insta-worthy picture.

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2. Charleston County: Catch Some Rays At Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island is located in Charleston county. It offers stunning white sandy beaches that will allow you to unwind and catch some much-needed vitamin D.

It’s important to note that both pets and alcohol are banned on this beach. However, because of this, the beach is extremely family-friendly. Head to the residential streets and park for free. Then settle in for a fun beach day that the whole family will enjoy.

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3. Folly Beach: Enjoy The Folly Beach Pier

If you haven’t been to South Carolina before, you’ll quickly learn that there is no shortage of beautiful beaches. Take another detour and head to the ever stunning Folly Beach. This beautiful beach is located just 20 minutes from the core of Charleston.

Both families and college students alike will spend time here year-round. To ensure this experience is budget-friendly be sure to avoid the pay-as-you-park lots and instead, park for free on the street. If you are willing to spend a few dollars you can enjoy a kayak or paddleboard rental or perhaps, a surf lesson too.

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4. Swim, Relax And Exercise At Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach, located on the Atlantic coast, is one of South Carolina’s hottest vacation destinations. Well known for its celebrity-designed golf courses, stunning beachfront boardwalk, and of course the beach. Myrtle Beach truly has something for everyone.

While the arcades, souvenir stands, and restaurants do require money, walking along the boardwalk and taking in the view is totally free. If you love to get in daily exercise, consider taking a long stroll or jog down the beach. If you’re more of the relaxing-type bring a chair and a towel and enjoy a blissful day by the water. To make the best of your trip discover more things to do in Myrtle beach at Visit Myrtle Beach.

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5. Myrtle Beach: Live Entertainment At Barefoot Landing

If you want to be entertained for FREE be sure to head to Barefoot Landing. Every Friday and Saturday evening you can enjoy live music. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or a blanket so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the entertainment.

Barefoot Landing also has many shops and restaurants. Feel free to window shop or spend a few dollars and treat yourself to a delicious dinner.

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6. Murrels Inlet: Explore The Saltwater Marsh At The Marsh Walk

After you’ve spent a day in the sun head 30 minutes from downtown Myrtle Beach and find yourself at Murrells Inlet. This historic fishing village offers picturesque scenery that you’re seriously going to love.

There are many wonderful waterfront restaurants to choose from but you can enjoy a relaxing stroll on The Marsh Walk for free! The boardwalk shares stunning views of birds, saltwater marsh and even comes alive at night with live entertainment played from surrounding establishments.

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7. Murrells Inlet: Huntington Beach State Park

If you drive approximately 8 minutes down the road from The Marsh Walk, you’ll find Huntington Beach State Park. The park does have an admission fee, however, it’s such a small fee that we decided it still deserves to be on this list. Plus, the park offers many amenities that make the fee well worth it.

Spend the afternoon fishing or enjoy a picnic under one of the picnic shelters. You can also soak up the sun and swim at the designated swimming spot at South Beach where you’ll find lifeguards posted during the summer. Further, Huntington Beach State Park offers some of the best bird-watching sites in the Southeast. If you’re up for geocaching, you’ll be happy to know there are several geocaches located in the park. For more information about the state park read HERE.

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8. Beaufort: Explore Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park

If you find yourself in the beautiful city of Beaufort, South Carolina, be sure to make your way to the waterfront. There you will find the stunning Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

The park is open all year round and has free parking as well as free admission into the park. Spend the afternoon and bring a picnic, go fishing, and let your kids burn off energy at the playground. The park is also equipped with restrooms, and relaxing waterfront bench swings. Finally, walk along the seawall and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins!

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9. Beaufort County: Enjoy Fishing & Walking At The Port Royal Boardwalk

Head 12 minutes down the road from downtown Beaufort and you’ll find yourself in the quaint town of Port Royal, South Carolina. At the southern top of Port Royal, is a local favorite spot, The Sands. This picturesque beach is not only free but also allows you to drive right up to the beach and picnic right out of your car.

Spend the day relaxing in the sun searching for sharks teeth or take a dip in the water. Finish the day with a lovely stroll along the long boardwalk that features a 4-story lookout tower. Here you can take in the scenic view, check out the coastal birds, and you may even catch dolphins playing in the water!

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10. St. Helena Island: Discover Fort Fremont

Less than 20 minutes from downtown Beaufort, is the small coastal city of St. Helena Island, South Carolina. Here you will find Fort Fremont. Fort Fremont, built-in 1899, was 1 of 6 fortifications that were built and designed to protect the southeastern coast during the Spanish-American War.

Visit this historic place for free and marvel at the scenic shell that remains. Keep in mind, a noticed was posted that the Fort Fremont Preserve is closed for construction. The construction is set to build an Interpretive Center, picnic pavilion, walking paths, and public restrooms. For now, you can marvel at a historic diorama at the Saint Helena Island Branch Library.

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11. Walk The Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge In North America

While you’re in Charleston be sure to check out the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. It’s the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America and connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant.

This breathtaking bridge has 8 lanes and is 13, 200 feet long. Spend the day venturing across the bridge on foot or on a bike and take in the birds’ eye view of the Cooper River. The 12-foot path offers enough room for runners, walkers, and bicyclists alike to enjoy their venture across.

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12. Visit Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is a small quaint town in Horry County, South Carolina and is located just 8 miles south of Myrtle Beach. It has gained the nickname of “The Family Beach” because it has more of an amicable setting than the top tourist destination, Myrtle Beach.

Further, Surfside Beach is a part of the Grand Strand. For those that don’t know, the Grand Strand is a large stretch (60 miles to be exact) of beaches on the East Coast of the United States. This lovely town offers over 2 miles of pristine beach, several parks, and many other stunning views that can all be enjoyed for free.

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13. Columbia: Tour The State House

Head to South Carolina’s capital city, Columbia and visit the State House. The old State House was constructed around 1790 but was destroyed in a fire during the American Civil War. However, the reconstruction began around 1875 and was completed in 1907.

In 1976, the State House was recognized as a national historic landmark for its role in the post-Civil War reconstruction era. Today, you can roam the grounds and view several monuments such as the South Carolina Soldiers Monument, Monument to South Carolina Women of the Confederacy, and many more.  Further, tours of the State House are available year-round for free! Check out the full tour details as well as the history of the State House HERE.

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14. Experience Stunning Views At Caesars Head State Park

If you want to experience breathtaking views be sure to add Caesars Head State Park to your destination list. The Raven Cliff Falls trail is a 4-mile hike and is one of Caesars Head’s most popular trails because it leads to the scenic overlook. Here you can view the 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls.

There is an admission fee to access the trails but we decided to include this destination on our list because the fee is minuscule. Admission is only $2 for adults, $1.25 for South Carolinian seniors and children that are 15 years of age or younger are free! That small fee is well worth the picturesque views you will see.

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15. Hilton Head Island: Relax And Play At Coligny Beach

You can’t leave Hilton Head Island without spending a day (or two) at the beautiful Coligny Beach. This breathtaking beach has no admission fee and even has a free parking lot available.

The beach offers access to restrooms and outdoor showers. Feel free to relax on the porch swings, lounge on the sandy beach, or play ball at the volleyball courts. Coligny Beach also has a splash pad for kids and seasonal lifeguards on the beach.

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The 12 Best Rooftop Bars in America

Rooftop bars continue to pop up all over America year after year and as this trend continues to grow, rooftop patios continue to get bigger and better. Although many assume that rooftop bars can only be accessed in the summertime, or in warm weather states, they would be mistaken, as shown by the sheer number of four-season rooftop bars, even in cold places such as Chicago. From rooftop bars that feature crystal-encrusted pools to those featuring incredible Latin-American street food, we have rounded up 12 of the best rooftop bars in America.

12. SODA Bar, NYLO Hotel, Dallas

Visitors can unwind and relax at this ultra modern rooftop bar complete with foosball tables, faux grass, and Texas brews. Located on top of the century-old Dallas Coffin Co. building this rooftop looks out onto the twinkling lights of downtown Dallas. Relax near the rooftop infinity pool; pull up a seat at the unique blue lighted bar or stretch out around the glowing fire pit.

Make sure to try one of the specialty cocktails such as the Black Forest Martini or their signature Nylorita. Handmade sandwiches, thin crust pizzas and a variety of delicious appetizers accompany their expanding bar menu. SODA Bar is open to the public, not just guests of the NYLO Hotel and is perhaps the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing under the twinkling stars.

Via Pintrest

11. I|O Urban Roofscape, Chicago

It boasts itself as the highest indoor-outdoor rooftop lounge in the city of Chicago and this unique bar features a state of the art retractable roof that allows visitors to enjoy the lounge all year round. This 10,000 square feet space features uninterrupted views of the city’s skyline. Chic modern furniture sets the stage, along with ultra-modern umbrellas, splashes of color and superior service.

Other amazing features include a video wall, shimmering water elements, a fire pit and retractable roof. A menu that includes eats such as black truffle fries and grilled pork belly skewers goes perfectly with the handcrafted cocktails that are sure to wow any guest. Visitors should be sure to dress to impress if they plan on visiting this bar at night, as it is located inside a 4-star luxury hotel and requires upscale casual attire.

Via Libart USA

10. Six Feet Under, Atlanta

It is one of Atlanta’s most popular rooftop bars and with two locations one simply cannot be in this city and not visit here. Known for their locally made beer, chilled out vibe and extensive seafood menu, Six Feet Under is always hopping with action. We suggest heading to the location on Memorial Drive as the rooftop bar overlooks the Oakland Cemetery, another must see if you are in the city.

Locally crafted beer is not the only drink you should try here though; make sure to sample themed cocktails that the talented bartenders craft every day. Catfish tacos, an alligator appetizer, and raw oysters are just a slice of what you will see on this menu. Don’t expect to see any art-deco or chic furnishings here as this place is truly a reflection of the South. Do expect friendly service, incredible seafood, and great company.

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9. Three Sixty, St. Louis

Electric colors of bright yellow and green set the stage for this rooftop bar that is located nearly 400 feet above downtown St. Louis. Three Sixty offers sweeping views in all directions, hence the name, and includes a bird’s eye view right into Busch Stadium. In addition to the Cardinals-themed cocktails, Three Sixty offers a variety of wine, beer and handcrafted small plates such as roasted BBQ oysters.

This stunning 6,000 square-foot space features indoor and outdoor seating, multiple indoor bars, an open kitchen, dramatic wine wall, fire pits and a giant outside bar. On Friday and Saturday nights visitors should expect to see a DJ spinning the beats and on all Cardinal home games, this bar is the place to be. Open after 4 pm, every day of the week, this is truly the hottest place to be in the city.

Via uk.businessinsider.com

8. Stars Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, South Carolina

This rooftop bar is a haven away from the hustle and bustle that makes up Upper King Street in Charleston, South Carolina. It also happens to be the only rooftop bar in Charleston with 360 degree views of the surrounding area. The location is unique in itself, the bar housed in a restored Arts and Crafts building that features 1930’s décor and views of the city’s beautiful historic district. With a large selection of international tap wines, specialty cocktails, and craft beer; there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Lunch and dinner are served here seven days of the week and feature both classic and innovative dishes. The furnishings include seagrass planters filled with fresh herbs, recycled wicker furniture, a reclaimed Tigerwood Bar and space heaters for the cooler nights. Make sure to try one of the bar’s original cocktails before you leave, we recommend the “Southern Belle Bathwater”, an innovative spin on the traditional Southern spiked lemonade.

Via Pintrest

7. Bar 54, New York

There are a plethora of rooftops bars in New York to choose from but the one that stands out from all the rest is Bar 54. Located on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Times Square, visitors shouldn’t expect loud music, excessive crowds or cheaply made cocktails like many of the rooftop bars in the city. Instead, visitors here will find a calm and unpretentious environment, with some of the absolute best cocktails in the city.

The views aren’t bad either: the Chrysler building, both rivers, and Manhattan’s southern skyline. Visitors can choose to sit inside or out, both offering the incredible views, the high windows run the length of the establishment. Expect superior service, an excellent snack menu and unforgettable cocktails. It will cost patrons at least $20 and up for a cocktail, but hey this is Times Square in New York City after all.

Via Time Out

6. Perch, Los Angeles

It hails itself as an elevated resting place, a rooftop bistro located on the 15th-floor that oozes with unique ambiance and is inspired by vintage French restaurants. Visitors to Perch may, in fact, feel as though they have been transported to the South of France; if it weren’t for the nearby skyscrapers that surround them. Antique-inspired furniture, detailed woodwork, intricate fireplaces, wicker chaises and plush lounge couches greet patrons as they arrive.

Whether you want to sit outdoors and enjoy one of the many fireplaces, lush landscaping, and gorgeous L.A views; or choose to sit indoors, with its intimate bohemian like atmosphere with stretching 30-foot ceilings; you won’t be disappointed. Head up to the 16th floor on cooler evenings to experience live jazz music, fire pits, and incredible cocktails, with names such as the “French Maid”.

Via Amanda Mills Los Angeles

5. Frol!k Kitchen + Cocktails, Seattle

It is one of Seattle’s most beloved destinations, featuring expansive outdoor seating, colorful modern furniture, and beautiful outdoor fireplaces. Whether you are meeting a group of friends or on a hot date; there are plenty of things to do for everyone, including shuffleboard courts. Or why not try your hand on one of the bright orange ping pong tables throughout the bar.

Seasonal hand-crafted cocktails are the favorite here and patrons will want to try one of the Pacific Northwest-inspired drinks, such as the “Marionberry Smash”. Several heat sources will keep visitors warm from the Pacific Northwest chill including an amazing tabletop fireplace. Although this rooftop bar doesn’t offer sweeping views of the city, it does offer an incredible ambiance and chilled out vibe, perfect for those relaxing nights.

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4. Juvia, Miami

With a motto like “our penthouse is your penthouse”, visitors to Juvia should expect great things. It is one of Miami’s most popular rooftop bars due in part to its South Beach views and ultramodern décor. Striking colors of purple set the stage for this hip venue, along with an incredible vertical garden designed by an internationally renowned botanist. Juvia offers a variety of seating options, ranging from comfortable couches to high tables.

This dining oasis hands high in the sky above Miami Beach and patrons have the choice to sit indoors or out; while indulging in the French-Asian fusion menu. With a handful of award-winning chefs and designers; it is no surprise that locals and visitors to this area flock to this rooftop bar night after night. Insider tip- make sure to make a reservation ahead of time if you want to sit at an outdoor table as this rooftop bar gets crowded quickly.

Via Thirsty Mag

3. ABH, Sixty Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

This exclusive rooftop terrace is set high above Beverly Hills and remains one of the most sought-after drinking spots in the city. This two-level rooftop space offers full meals, snacks, and incredible specialty cocktails. The bar is open to both hotel guests and visitors although if you want to take a dip in the crystal-encrusted pool you have to be a guest of the hotel.

Elegant yet simple wooden furnishings adorn the patio and lanterns hung above to create an intimate setting. Later into the night the bar shifts into a more club-like atmosphere with fireplace lounges and DJ’s spinning beats, along with a plethora of people dancing to the tunes. Being the only rooftop al fresco bar and restaurant located within walking distance of Rodeo Drive, this rooftop attracts high-end clientele who are willing to drop serious cash on the specialty cocktails and fantastic small plates.

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2. Legal Harborside, Boston

This expansive restaurant and bar feature over three floors of dining areas but if you are looking for the best rooftop bar in Boston it is up to the third floor you will head. The promenade deck here offers a four-season rooftop lounge and bar, complete with retractable walls and ceiling. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy the views of the harbor and skyline from the fully enclosed glass wall space.

Summer months the walls and ceiling are pulled back and visitors can drink under the sun and stars. An expansive wine menu, hand-crafted cocktails, and pitchers of punches pair perfectly with the incredible sushi menu. Plush lounge seating, incredible décor and the twinkling lights of the harbor create the perfect atmosphere in the city. A must visit for any visitor to the city.

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1. El Techo de Lolinda, San Francisco

Famous for its incredible views that stretch all the way from Mission Street to the Bay, El Techo de Lolinda is one of the best places to grab a tequila cocktail and some Latin-American inspired street food. This rooftop bar is located above the Lolinda Steakhouse and is famous in the city for being one of the best rooftop bars around. Whether you happen upon this bar during the day, or at night, expect great things.

Make sure to indulge in one of the famous pina coladas or margaritas, made with fresh coconut. Come from brunch on the weekends and keep cool under one of the umbrellas or saunter over here at night, where the heat lamps will keep you warm and the kitchen is open until 1 am. Whenever you decide to visit, enjoy these unique tequila cocktails, fresh food, and incredible views.

Via Eater SF

7 Chicken Masters of the South

Like so many have said, there’s no chicken quite like mama’s chicken. But when mama is a master chef of the South…or just a belle who knows how to cook poultry like no other, the other stuff doesn’t even begin to compare. That is, until you head to these fine dining establishments and put her version to shame…not that you’d ever admit it. These master fryers know how to season, cook, serve, sauce, prep, and create chicken like we’ve never seen before. Add in an incredible smell and taste and it’s all uphill from there. In fact, they’re recipes are so tasty, folks rave about them from states away. Whether they’re from the South, or just happened to stumble upon some deliciousness while traveling. Never underestimate the power of a good piece of chicken. And, in our very tasty opinion, here are the seven best places to find them.

7. Busy Bee Café – Atlanta, Georgia

For a city known for its soul food, making a memorable plate of fried chicken is an incredible feat. It’s also one that Busy Bee prides itself on. Since the 40s, they’ve been serving up crispy and tasty chicken. Their secret? Brining the meat for 12 full hours, add a specialty flavored flour, then cook it in peanut oil. Order yours with their signature gravy, and bask it in sides like collard greens or broccoli and cheese casserole. Yum!

Photo by: Busy Bee Cafe-ATL
Photo by: Busy Bee Cafe-ATL

6. Raising Cane’s – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

If you’re looking for a restaurant that does one thing, and does it well, you’re in luck. Raising Cane’s offers home-fried chicken with the convenience of fast food. Their meals come in varying sizes, offering eaters chicken strips, french fries, coleslaw, and Texas toast. As well as their signature Cane’s sauce – a delicious addition to their hot, flavorful meals. Stop by one of their many franchised locations for a quick take on tasty dinners.

Photo by: Shoshanah via Flickr
Photo by: Shoshanah via Flickr

5. Martha Lou’s Kitchen – Charleston, South Carolina

Martha Lou is one example of its namesake working behind the scenes – Martha herself, along with her daughter, Debra, are chicken masterminds. And they’ve been perfecting their method for more than 30 years. Visitors can stop by their pink restaurant – virtually everything is coated in the color – for an added dose of “mama’s kitchen” charm. Fan favorite sides include okra stew and their signature pepper lima beans.

Photo by: Martha Lou's Kitchen
Photo by: Martha Lou’s Kitchen

4. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Miami Beach, FL

There’s a reason Yardbird is winning so many awards and public mentions – their chicken is delicious. Order it alone, with biscuits, or go for the full-meal deal and get their chow-chow cheddar waffles and watermelon (our mouths are watering already), which is topped off with hot honey, and bourbon maple syrup for the waffles. Chicken loving heaven. Oh, and did we mention each meal is plated perfectly, too? Sign us up!

Photo by: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Photo by: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

3. Barbecue Inn – Houston, Texas

Self-proclaimed Southern hospitality specialists, Barbecue Inn has been dishing up chicken since the 40s. That’s four generations of incredible cooks who have passed their secrets down the line. Eaters can even choose from Southern versions, all white, or all dark meat when ordering their meal. Guests agree that the taste is virtually unbeatable, and that the crisp alone is worth the trip; chicken is served grease-free.

Photo by: Stephan Rushmore via Road Food
Photo by: Stephan Rushmore via Road Food

2. Beasley’s Chicken + Honey – Raleigh, North Carolina

One of the newer joints around, Beasley’s uses modern methods to reinvent an old favorite. Rather than traditional free-fry, they opt for the help of pressure fryers. It might sound new, but the taste is just as delicious as the old school ways. (Likely less messy, too.) Each piece is then topped with a thin drizzle of honey to bring out the Southern flare. Eaters also recommend a side of buttermilk biscuits to take in the whole honey-loving effect.

Photo by: Beasley's Chicken + Honey
Photo by: Beasley’s Chicken + Honey

1. Gus’s Fried Chicken – Mason, Tennessee

We don’t know who Gus is or how he got so good at frying up birds, but we’ll let him cook for us any day. The original was started in Tennessee back in 1953 and the chicken was so good, places elsewhere just couldn’t wait to get their hands – or mouth – on it. Today there’s locations all over where you can order their crispy, spicy chicken that so many have grown to love.

Photo by: Evan Blaser via Flickr
Photo by: Evan Blaser via Flickr

7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities and Towns in the U.S.

The family vacation is another one of America’s favorite pastimes. Every year, millions of citizens pack their bags and head out in search of fun and relaxation. Popular cities, such as Los Angeles, New York, and Orlando, become flooded with tourists. However, the struggling economy has caused many people to think outside the box. While not as popular, there are plenty of remarkable cities to visit in this country. Here is a list of seven of the most underrated towns and cities in the United States.

7. Lincoln, Nebraska

When most people think of the state of Nebraska, images of rolling hills and rugged landscapes come to mind. The city of Lincoln, however, has become a modern diamond in the rough. It has high-end shopping, quality museums, and a wide variety of nightclubs. There is also a wonderful exhibit showing the evolution of Nebraska over the past 100 years.
Lincoln Nebraska

6. Perdido Key, Florida

Perdido Key, also referred to as the “Lost Key,” is a small hidden gem actually located within the city of Pensacola. This town is the perfect spot for those who enjoy the beauty of nature. Beaches, parks, and wildlife preserves take up more than half of the area. Diving enthusiasts can also have an underwater adventure by exploring a sunken military ship.
Perdido Key Florida

5. Newport, Rhode Island

Unless you are a Rhode Island native or a history buff, you may not be familiar with the refined taste of this city. A formerly favored spot of the legendary Kennedy family, Newport is home to some of the most beautiful mansions and delicious seafood in the world. This city is also a popular location for sailing.
Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island

4. St. Petersburg, Florida

Although not as popular as Miami or Tampa, this city is the perfect example of why Florida is called the “Sunshine State.” The warm, clear weather lasts nearly year-round. True to its coastal nature, St. Petersburg has some of the most beautiful beaches in the state. Those in search of culture can also visit the Salvador Dali Museum, which holds the largest collection of his work in the western world.
St. Petersburg Florida

3. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach has miles and miles of extraordinary coastline. For avid surfers, these beaches also welcome large and abundant Atlantic Ocean waves. In the evenings, the boardwalks offer mouth-watering restaurants and peacefully romantic scenery. Vacationing families can enjoy the thrill and excitement of the Busch Gardens amusement park. Virginia Beach is also extremely close Jamestown, which is America’s oldest existing settlement.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

2. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is another beautifully historic costal town. Dating back as early as the 1600’s, there are plenty of authentic buildings and Civil War memorials. The quaint, lovely streets and “Gullah” traditions make visitors feel as if they have stepped out of a time machine. For the modern traveler, Charleston also has beautiful beaches, famous golf resorts, and plenty of art galleries.
Charleston South Carolina 1

1. Tunica, Mississippi

Tunica, also commonly known as “The Vegas of the South,” is a surprisingly fun city. Home to at least nine casinos, Tunica has a risk and spice of a typical gaming town. There is more to this little known spot than gambling, however. The city has 4-star golf courses, gorgeous hotels, and several popular nightclubs, including a variety of famous blues clubs.

Tunica Mississippi
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