South Carolina

Charleston tops Myrtle Beach ... in drinking?

So Myrtle Beach is South Carolina’s party town. It’s the craziest, wackiest, funnest place in the whole dang state. Let the liquor flow! Right?


A series of statistics put out by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and others says Myrtle Beach, for all of its hoopla about partying on, isn’t even close to being the drinkingest town in the state.

Who holds that title?

Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to Charleston, which likes to pass itself off as “The Holy City.” Maybe it ought to change that to “Holy Cow!”

Charleston not only out-drinks every town and city in South Carolina. It also out-imbibes Savannah, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Its drinking habits are much more in line with northern cities, although a city like Milwaukee — known for its bars and pubs and beer gardens — also comes up drier than the Holy City.

Here are a few of the facts, as offered in a recent Charleston Post and Courier story:

▪ Charleston has 161 bars (1.25 per 1,000 people); Myrtle Beach has 24 (.82 per 1,000 people), although it has many more outside city limits.

▪ In Horry County, 7.2 percent of women and 10.7 percent of males are heavy drinkers (2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women over the last 30 days). In Charleston County, 10.7 percent of females and 14.3 percent of males are heaving drinkers.

▪ In Horry County, 17 percent are excessive drinkers (four or more drinks in a single sitting for women, five or more for men). In Charleston County, 23 percent are identified as heavy drinkers.