The year was 2004. A movie came out of nowhere and stole our hearts with its pure love. Always-appealing Rachel McAdams and handsome hunk Ryan Gosling lived their characters as madly-in-love South Carolinians.
It is an American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes, based on the novel “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. It became a sleeper hit and received several award nominations. The movie has also acquired a cult-like following.
It is not only the cast and crew who are the reason for the success of the film. The beautiful and serene look of Seabrook Island gave its own share of success. It is a barrier island located 20 miles southwest of Charleston. However, the movie was primarily filmed in Charleston and not in the Seabrook area.
The makers also created a fictional town called “Seabrook, S.C.” as the primary setting. But, in the novel, the place is the actual town of New Bern, North Carolina.
Filming Locations of South Carolina
Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation is a popular tourist spot in South Carolina. This spot is used for the exterior scenes of Hamilton’s summer house, like the Hamilton family dinner (which took place on the back lawn of Boone Hall) and for the scene of Allie and Noah’s romantic bike ride along with their friends.
- The scene in which Noah runs to the Boone Hall’s gate was not scripted. The director liked it and decided to keep it on the final cut.
- Photography and videography were not allowed indoors. So, the makers had to go to a second location to shoot indoor scenes.
Boone Hall Plantation is used to conduct a number of special events or exhibitions and guided tours. The price varies based on the visitor’s age.
Address: 1235 Long Point Road, SC, USA.
Price: $26 for Adults, $23 for Seniors and Military, $12 for Children, and Free for Children aged five and below.
Calhoun mansion was used for the indoor shots of Hamilton’s summer home. It was built in 1876 and served as a hotel, filming location, tourist site, and private residence. The visitors can see the old artifacts kept throughout the mansion.
Calhoun Mansion, which was then named Williams Mansion, was also known as the most handsome and most complete private residence of South Carolina.
Address: 16 Meeting Street, SC, USA
Price for a tour: $15; $50 for a New Grand Tour that lasts around an hour and a half.
If you are a diehard fan of The Notebook, you will definitely remember this place and the scene. Can you guess it? Yes, Noah and Allie’s boat ride.
Here is a fun fact – the swans were actually purchased and raised on the lake nearby just for this scene. Also, the shoot was during January to avoid the alligators who were in hibernation at that time.
Cypress garden is filled with stunning scenery, little bridges, parks, growing trees, and a significant amount of wildlife.
Address: 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, SC, USA
Price to visit: $10 for Adults, $6.50 for Seniors and Military, $5 for Children of age 6-17, and Free for Children aged five and below.
Martins Point Plantation
Martins Point Plantation was the dream house that Noah successfully rebuilt. Allie and Noah were living in that house after their wedding. The filmmakers’ original idea was to use a run-down house but eventually opted for Martins Point.
Fun detail: Ryan Gosling actually wanted his character, Noah, to burn the house down once the renovation was completed.
In real life, Martins Point Plantation is a private waterfront community located in South Carolina. It is historically known as Bears Bluff Plantation. The place is private property. So, it might not be easy to visit.
Address: 2018 Martins Point Road, Wadmalaw Island, SC, USA
College of Charleston
This college was used as the Sarah Lawrence College in New York at which Allie studied. And, that is the fun fact. The producers used this Charleston-based college to stay local and avoid additional expenses.
College of Charleston is the old municipal college in South Carolina with Liberal Arts as the main domain.
Address: 66 George Street, SC, USA
The American Theater and King Street
The American theater is the venue of Allie and Noah’s first date. Following the date, both of them will dance and lay on the road of King Street, caring about nothing and only focusing on their living moment. It was the first and most romantic scene in the movie.
Amusing fact: The American theater no longer shows any movies. However, that place is famous for various marriage proposals. While in King Street, temporary spotlights, vintage parking meters, and window signs were attached for the movie.
Now, The American Theater is used as a performance and event venue. Many weddings and social events are being conducted in this spot. King Street is around 200 years old. It is also the second most architecturally and historically significant street downtown.
Address of the American theatre: 446 King Street, SC, USA
The Old Village of Mount Pleasant is a historic neighborhood of South Carolina that looks vintage and gives you a vibe of a trendy shopping venue. The Pitt Street Pharmacy, in this place, was used to shoot the ice cream date of Allie and Noah.
Address: Old Village Drive, Mount Pleasant, SC, USA
William Aiken House
There is a scene where Allie notices Noah in the newspaper during the wedding dress trial and faints. William Aiken House is the place used for that scene.
Another entertaining fact: The house lets you try your wedding dress!!!!
The reason for it is the William Aiken House is still a venue for weddings and receptions. It can contain up to 500 guests. The landmark has its own private garden, two courtyards, a reflection pool, ballrooms, formal dining rooms, and guest suites.
Address: 456 King Street, Charleston, SC, USA
As both the leads are surprisingly from London, Canada, McAdams, and Gosling must get ready to become Allison “Allie” Hamilton and Noah Calhoun. So, they started to spend some time living in Charleston to get familiar with the culture and lifestyle of South Carolinians. Gosling also trained to row in the Ashley River and took woodworking classes. Whereas McAdams took etiquette, ballet, and southern accent coaching classes.