Does Kiawah Island Have Nightlife?

So you’re coming to Kiawah Island and wondering about what to do after dark. Does Kiawah even have nightlife? The short answer: yes, we do! We may be a slow-paced island, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops when the sun goes down. Start with a sunset cocktail, have a wine tasting, then follow it all up with a jazz show. 

Read on to learn more about our favorite nightlife destinations on the island—from ultra-classy southern lobby lounges to laid-back wine bars with to-die-for charcuterie.

Plus, we’ll clue you in on the buzzing hotspots in nearby towns when you want to venture out beyond Kiawah.

Porch Bar

The Porch Bar

The swanky-yet-inviting Porch Bar in Freshfields Village is a Kiawah Island nightlife favorite—and there’s no better time to visit than during Jazz Night. Every Thursday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., local musicians put on a toe-tapping show that’s become a Kiawah Island nightlife rite of passage. Arrive early for a seat by the fireplace, and tap your toes while sipping a Charleston Nippitaty (local organic gin, cucumber, and cracked black pepper).

FortyEight Wine Bar

FortyEight Wine Bar and Kitchen

The concept behind Freshfields Village’s FortyEight Wine Bar will delight both aficionados and budding connoisseurs alike. Guests have the chance to sample from 48 wines on “tap” before settling on their pour of choice (or just dedicate a whole evening to taste testing!). Craft cocktails and beers are also available for the wine-averse, and dining options from charcuteries to entrees to artisan chocolates are all options for perfect pairings.

Check out their Facebook page to plan your visit around a lively calendar of music, drink and dinner specials, and curated tastings.

Ryder Cup Bar

Ryder Cup Bar

Yes, it’s the perfect spot to celebrate a round well played on the Ocean Course. But Ryder Cup Bar isn’t just for the island’s golfers. With its veranda overlooking the 18th green and stunning ocean views beyond, it’s a prime destination for a breezy afternoon pick-me-up (don’t miss the Gator Bite, made with green chili vodka) or share a bottle of Chardonnay while watching the sunset.

Stay for dinner: Charleston native and executive chef John Ondo serves up a memorable menu, including his signature wild-caught crispy shrimp in a tangy sweet chili sauce.

Lobby Bar at the Sanctuary

Lobby Bar at the Sanctuary

Brimming with old-fashioned Southern class, the Lobby Bar at the Sanctuary is a landmark for Kiawah Island nightlife. Specialty cocktails steal the show here (the Carolina blends brut rose with peach mint syrup), and a list of non-alcoholic craft drinks offer inventive options without the booze. Come on Friday or Saturday night for live piano music, or stop for a nightcap after a gourmet meal at the Sanctuary’s Jasmine Porch.

Charleston nightlife

Beyond Kiawah Island

Venture out and explore nightlife just beyond Kiawah Island. Neighboring Johns Island is home to funky tavern Tattooed Moose and Irish-inspired beer garden meets pub Seanachai Whiskey & Cocktail Bar among others.

Or head into the heart of Charleston to visit legendary nightlife spots like The Cocktail Club, The Rooftop Bar at The Vendue, and Prohibition.

Balcony Kiawah Island

Stay near Kiawah Island’s nightlife.

Visiting Kiawah Island? Start your night on the town with appetizers at one of our scenic-view or oceanview retreats, and have a cozy space to call your own after all the revelry (or a balcony to watch the sun go down and the stars come out for a nightlife experience that’s all your own.) Explore our vacation rentals.

Jeanette and Shawn

Jeanette and Shawn

Founders of Kiawah Island Getaways, a luxury vacation rental company with over 20 years of experience serving guests on Kiawah. See our 5 star reviews here and our availability here. Book your rental today!

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