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Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes)

Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com

I've been fascinated with the art of movie making since I was a little kid. So, it's no wonder that I get a little thrill whenever I hear that another movie is being made in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

While most people come to Charleston for the history and Southern charm that the city offers, you might also want to spend some time exploring the more recent history of the city. Here's where you can find the settings of some of your favorite movies that were filmed right here in the Holy City.


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North and South miniseries (1985, 1986, and 1994): starring Patrick Swayze and Kirstie Alley
Location: Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant; Calhoun Mansion, downtown

Patrick Swayze's character lives at Mont Royal Plantation, which is actually Boone Hall Plantation, one of Mount Pleasant's biggest attractions. Remarkably, the plantation and the grounds looks almost exactly the same as it did during all three parts of the mini-series. Yay for historic preservation!

*Fun fact: my dad was an extra in the second episode of the 1985 installment mini-series and can be seen sitting in the back of a wagon pulling a horse. He's got a hat on and is going around the plantation house. 

Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com
My dad! (He's the one in the hat.)
You didn't know that your favorite travel blogger was practically film royalty, did you?!

How to relive your favorite scenes: 

  • Visit Boone Hall Plantation on Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant. It's a private residence with an admission fee, but the ticket price is well worth it. Tour the grounds, the slave quarters, and the house, and admire the stunning line of huge oaks leading up to the house.
  • Take a tour of the Calhoun Mansion downtown on 16 Meeting Street. There are two different tour options: a shorter, less expensive one ($16) and a much longer tour of the entire mansion ($75). 

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The Notebook (2004): starring Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Gena Rowlands, James Garner
Location: Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant; Old Village, Mount Pleasant; the corner of King and Mary Streets, downtown; Cypress Gardens, Moncks Corner

Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com
Screenshot from The Notebook that was filmed at Cypress Gardens
The filming of this Nicholas Sparks adaptation took over the Lowcountry for several months and there are very few scenes that weren't filmed in or around Charleston. I was in high school at the time that the movie was being shot, and I begged my sister to accompany me on my quest to find him. Despite being incredibly close to carnival scene set, she insisted that we go home--and Ryan Gosling missed out on his chance of being my +1. (I'm sure he cries himself to sleep at night.)

How to relive your favorite scenes:
  • Visit Boone Hall on Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant. The house stood in as Allie's home in the film, and you can see several exterior shots throughout the movie. 
  • Walk down Pitt Street in Old Village, Mount Pleasant. Remember the scene where Allie and Noah smush ice cream into each other's faces on their date? That's in the middle of the adorable Old Village in Mt. P--just a few minutes drive from downtown Charleston. The inn where Allie goes back to her fiance near the end of the film is also in Old Village--only it's not an inn, but rather a personal residence. 
  • Check out the corner of King and Mary Streets in downtown Charleston. While Noah and Allie decide to dance--and then lay--in the middle of this intersection, I'd recommend checking out this very busy spot from one of the corners. Right near the intersection is the American Theatre, where they go on a double date before the dancing scene takes place. 
  • Rent a boat in Cypress Gardens. This incredible spot is where Noah and Allie go out to see hundreds of swans (picture above). While you won't find swans there normally (at least not in that quantity), you can rent a boat, learn about local species, and traverse the walking trails. 

  

The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000): starring Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron
Location: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort
Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com
Screenshot of The Legend of Bagger Vance
Unsurprisingly, this golf-centric movie headed to one of the Charleston area's most popular golf resorts to film scenes. Even though Kiawah boasts 5 different golf courses, the crew decided to build a special par-5 hole; while the hole is still on the resort somewhere, it's unmarked and not on any of the official courses. 

Robert Redford and crew headed all over the South Carolina Lowcountry and the Georgia coast; one of their non-South Carolina scenes took place at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia, where Redford repainted the Grand Dining Room. The staff has left it the same color since 2000 as an ode to the director.  

How to relive your favorite scenes:
  • Head just outside of Charleston to Kiawah Island resort. The resort is gated, so you'll need to have reservations at The Sanctuary, a confirmed tee time, or have rented a house to drive through. However, the resort is open to bicyclists if you'd like to explore on two wheels. You can play through the Ocean Course where many of the key scenes were filmed--while you on the property, look for the hidden hole created for the movie!

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The Patriot (2000): starring Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, and Leon Rippy
Location: Cypress Gardens, Moncks Corner; Randolph Hall, College of Charleston; Middleton Place Plantation
Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com
Screenshot from The Patriot with Mel Gibson and Joely Richardson in front of 69 Meeting Street
Mel Gibson's character, Benjamin Martin, is based on Francis Marion (or "The Swamp Fox") who served in the American Revolution. Incidentally, the actual Francis Marion is a very distant relative of mine on my mom's side! The Patriot was filmed all over South Carolina, but there were several scenes that took place in Charleston. 

How to relive your favorite scenes: 
  • Walk the College of Charleston campus in downtown. The interior of Randolph Hall (the college's main administrative building) was used for some of the assembly meetings. 
  • Visit the Poyas-Mordecai House at 69 Meeting Street. The exterior of this private home served as Aunt Charlotte's abode (see picture above). 
  • Head to Cypress Gardens. Like the actual Swamp Fox, Gibson and his fellow actors had to endure the mosquitos, alligators, and snakes in the swamp (hence, the nickname). In the film, Cypress Gardens serves at the militia's hidden meeting spot. If Cypress Gardens sounds familiar, it's because you heard it earlier in the list. That's where Allie and Noah had their boat ride in The Notebook
  • Explore Middleton Place Plantation. One of the movie's ball scenes was filmed inside this beautiful home. It's open daily for tours if you want to take a spin around the room as well!
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Dear John (2010): starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried 
Locations: Isle of Palms, Bowens Island, College of Charleston, and Charleston Air Force Base
Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com
Screenshot of Seyfried and Tatum in Dear John at the Isle of Palms Pier. How come there's never a shirtless Channing Tatum when I go visit?

Apparently, it's a requirement that Nicholas Sparks' movies come to Charleston and take over the place for months. While the majority of The Notebook was filmed in this area, the entire Dear John movie was done in and around Charleston. 

How to relive your favorite scenes: 
  • Go to the Isle of Palms pier. For their meetcute, Tatum's character retrieves Seyfried's character's purse...and the romance begins. The pier is a popular spot for sunbathers during the summer, and it's free to walk on it. Don't dive off of it though!
  • Get ready for some seafood on Bowens Island. Far off the beaten path, Bowens Island Restaurant has some of the Charleston area's freshest fish, oysters and shrimp. It's where the main characters go for their first date. It's closed Sundays and Mondays, and only serves dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
  • Head back to the College of Charleston. Randolph Hall (which was also featured in The Patriot) makes another appearance here. Savannah uses it as a backdrop to write her letters to John. 
  • The airlift mission scene was filmed on the Air Force Base here, and even used military aircraft and servicemen and women. Unfortunately, you can't just wander through the Air Force Base to check out the setting, so you'll have to be content watching the movie.


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Have you seen any of these movies? Have you ever visited any filming locations?

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through the above links, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. 


Movies Filmed in Charleston, South Carolina (and Where to Go to Relive Your Favorite Scenes) | CosmosMariners.com

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