It's no longer legal to drink alcohol on any of Charleston's beaches. That doesn't mean people don't do it or that you'll be caught if you're discreet, but we're certainly not going to tell you to break the law by drinking pre-mixed concoctions from stainless-steel water bottles or beer out of a Camelbak. That said, if you're looking to score some suds while you're visiting one of our stellar beaches, you can grab some booze from these stores and restaurants. This list is by no means all inclusive. These are just a few spots worth checking out.
202 E. Ashley Ave.
With six beers on tap at their growler station, including a rotating selection of local crafts, you should be able to find something to please your palate. And of course, you can't go wrong with the always-$5 growler fill of PBR. Don't forget that there's a tiny little liquor store tucked around out back.
1 Center St.
If you want to stare across the ocean with a legal drink in hand, the bar on the deck at The Tides is one of your only options, along with Locklear's at the Folly Pier (see below). Blu also serves up plenty of seafood dishes; thumbs up to the surf and turf and shrimp and grits. The best part: the S.C. Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Institute has awarded Blu their platinum rating, so you can eat knowing that Mother Earth will stay happy.
Locklear's Beach City Grill
101 East Arctic Ave.
Not only can you grab a beer at Locklear's, you can also get plenty of good ole American fare to eat, from burgers to sammies, mudbugs to mussels, and shrimp and grits to Alaskan snow crab legs.
Sunset Cay Marina
66 W. 9th St. Ext.
Even when it's slam-packed at 7 p.m. on a Sunday evening, you still feel like you're in on a locals-only secret hideout at this waterfront cabana built over the Folly River on the island's west side. Another selling point: It's far away from the tourist hubbub of Center Street. Their motto sums up the Sunset Cay philosophy quite well: "If you can't find us, we don't want you."
The Crow Bar at the Boathouse
101 Palm Blvd.
Opening daily at 3 p.m., the Crow Bar at the Boathouse is perched high above Breach Inlet. From there, imbibers can get a bird's eye view of IOP's southern terminus while kicking back with a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail. If you're hungry, there's also plenty to eat, from seafood favorites to pasta and steak. And swing by on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for brunch.
The Morgan Creek Grill
80 41st Ave.
Tucked away at the Isle of Palms Marina along the Intracoastal Waterway, the Morgan Creek Grill attracts both upscale tourists and salty dogs to the bar. Their specialities are seafood, steaks, crabcakes, po' boys, Lowcountry cuisine, Bloody Marys, and martinis. Oh, and they also have regular live music.
1513 Palm Blvd.
The Isle of Palms lost its old-school grocery last year, but it'll soon be replaced with Piggly Wiggly's upscale sister store, Newton Farms. Judging by Newton Farms' Freshfields Village location, this yet-to-be-completed IOP grocery will do a good job of stocking craft brews from around the world and a rather nice selection of world-class wines.
2019 Middle St.
Just a block down the road from Middle Street's nexus of bars, the Co-Op gourmet grocery and deli also stocks a decent selection of craft beer six-packs, wines, and specialty mixers. They also serve breakfast, coffee, sammies, and plenty of take-and-go meals, from lasagna to pasta primavera.
House of Brews
1537 Ben Sawyer Blvd.
Although the House of Brews is not technically at Sullivan's — it's just across the Ben Sawyer Bridge in Mt. Pleasant — you won't find a better selection of rare local and regional craft beers on tap any closer to the island. Check their website to see if your favorite brew is in stock. And they offer growler fills.