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Best Hilton Head Island Nightlife

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You probably won't be surprised to learn that Hilton Head is not known for its nightlife. As many island-goers have their own homes, most prefer to have cocktails in the privacy of their own verandas. That said, there are a handful of quality pubs and wine bars to whet your whistle after a long day of golf or sailing. None of these could be accused of being terribly trendy, which means you're free to leave your stilettos and designer jeans at home. Most also skew somewhat older, with patrons ranging from their 30s to their 60s and beyond.  

The Lodge

Neighborhood: Hilton Head
Attracting a younger set of drinkers, this friendly beer bar rocks a faux hunting lodge ambiance. Think wood-paneled walls, deer antler chandeliers. Thirty-six rotating taps dispense American microbrews, including several good Southern beers. Regional beer nights mean specials on South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia brews. Take home a growler of your favorite. Unabashedly low-brow pub grub includes burgers and Vienna sausages. Billiards, shuffleboard and other bar games round out the fun. There's often live music, too, usually rock n' roll of one stripe or the other. It ain't high class, but it's pretty darn fun.

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The Lodge  

Jazz Corner

Neighborhood: Hilton Head
The closest Hilton Head's going to get to a real NYC jazz club, this shopping mall lounge attracts a good-natured crowd of middle-aged music fans. Nightly acts range from piano singers to swingin' big bands to cha cha-ing Caribbean performers. Most shows start at 8PM. The drink menu is full of delightfully retro music-inspired cocktails, like the Mambo Mango and the Licorice Stick. There's also a decent dinner menu of fusion-y bar snacks, like cornmeal-crusted oysters with mango salsa or Cuban-style panini. Call ahead to reserve a table. Most guests will be dressed for a night on the town, though "dressed up" in Hilton Head might mean a polo shirt and khakis or a lime green sundress. 

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Jazz Corner  

Wine Times 4

Neighborhood: Hilton Head
The gimmick at this popular wine bar is a machine called the Enomatic, which dispenses individually sized pours of wine when you insert a pre-paid smart card. Don't worry, you won't lack for human contact, though. The knowledgeable staff is happy to make recommendations. The free Wednesday wine-tastings are a well-known island activity. Crowds tend to be in their 30s and up, often couples or small groups of friends. Dress is upscale-casual. Decor is meant to resemble a European wine cellar, with faux aged walls and stone columns. There's a light food menu and made-to-order French press coffee.

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Wine Times 4  

British Open Pub

Neighborhood: HiltonHead
Billing itself as "Hilton Head's first true golfer's pub," the British Open isn't subtle about its theme. The walls are covered in golf memorabilia, from pictures of old-fashioned Scots in tam o' shanters, to signed photos by modern golf greats. The glass-topped bar is full of dozens of golf balls laid out like tiles. Unsurprisingly, the place is a bit of a boys' club, popular with crews of golf buddies bragging about their handicaps. Sit at the bar, or relax in a booth in the cozy, dimly lit dining room snacking on mini Beef Wellingtons, shepherd's pie, fish n' chips and other Anglophile dishes.

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British Open Pub  

Electric Piano

Neighborhood: HiltonHead
Perhaps Hilton Head's most party-hearty bar, the EP (as regulars call it) attracts a 20- to 50-something crowd of sometimes-raucous drinkers. Wine, beer and specialty martinis flow freely—try an only-in-Hilton-Head "Golfer's Green-Tini" (vodka, Midori melon liquor, sweet and sour mix, Sprite). There's live music Wednesday through Sunday, usually interactive piano sing-alongs. The small, dark space gets crowded early, and by midnight the dance floor is often packed. You'll feel equally comfortable in jeans or more dressed-up attire.

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Electric Piano  
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