But as difficult as it is to believe, there's plenty to do even if you can't flirt your way past the bouncer. Embrace your days of youthful innocence. You'll be a bar-hopping 21-year-old before you know it.
Charleston's biggest gay bar, Club Pantheon, is one of the best places to party when you are under 21 — and it's not like they won't let you in if you're straight. For $10, you'll enjoy great techno sounds amidst strobe lights, drag queens, and hot guys in their underwear dancing on the bar. Pantheon has arguably the best dance music in Charleston, and ladies, you don't have to worry about that creepy old guy grinding on you, because he's probably grinding on another guy. The dance floor is huge, and everyone is welcome to jump on the stage and give their own show. Cabaret shows are Friday and Sunday nights, so get your dollar bills ready for those Britney look-alikes. Get there just before midnight for the dance floor to fill up. If drag queens aren't your scene, Purple Tree offers another option for a night of fun at the same price. It's not a gay bar, and it's lacking the techno/rave vibe Pantheon has, but they play a good variety of music from top 40 hits to old school hip-hop. Tourists and suburbanites tend to flock here to let loose, and watch out for the Night at the Roxbury, bobbing-head guy. Go on a Friday for the youngest crowd.
Don't Stop the Music
Some of the music clubs around town don't require you to be 21 to get in. If your favorite band is coming to town, there's a good chance they're going to be at the Music Farm. They've hosted everyone from Mos Def to Rilo Kiley to Band of Horses, and great local bands as well. It's a big space, but it can get pretty packed depending on the show. The greatest view is from up above. Always get there early, because long lines can wrap around the whole building. Keep your eye on our MusicBoard for weekly music listings for just about every place in town.
Is That Your Final Answer?
Want to benefit from all of those random useless facts that you've been picking up in your classes? Hit up trivia night at the Kickin' Chicken, Wild Wing Café, Mellow Mushroom, or a host of other places. Let your sobriety be your advantage and flex those brains for a chance to win house cash just by answering questions. That equals free dinner if you're a real smarty-pants, or at least some money off if you come in second or third. If you win, you'll be the hero of all the barflies and maybe score yourself some eye candy.
Not Too Cool For School
OK, so you may think it's lame to check out an event that the school is putting on unless it's a sporting event. But College of Charleston is an exception — they seem to have figured out what college students like to see. From huge concerts, including Shwayze and Cisco last year to game shows (that of course include prizes) to ice skating, the Cougar Activities Board (CAB) at CofC knows how to entertain. Free food is always a great incentive, but add in great music, free T-shirts, and new movies that you've been dying to see, and a fun night is just around the corner. The best part is, every event that CAB sponsors, including Fun Fridays, films, and special concerts, is free. So if you're running low on cash, catch a CAB event.