Romantics swoon over the book-turned-film The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. which was filmed around Charleston, South Carolina While many of the locations were changed or developed for the film or on private property, there are a handful of places used in the movie that you can visit on your own.
The American Theater
The American Theater is an iconic upper King Street location that was built in 1942 as a movie theater. It has its original sign and changing marquee. While it now functions as a special event facility, especially for weddings, you might have seen it as the site of Allie and Noah’s movie double date. Stop here to pose for a romantic photo. The traffic light a few blocks down is where they laid down in the road, but this isn’t recommended.
Boone Hall Plantation
Located across the river in Mount Pleasant, Boone Hall Plantation has been captured on film a number of times over the years. Built in 1681, the plantation is still in operation, growing crops onsite. Many original buildings are now lost and the main plantation house was built in 1936. There are also slave cabins and the famous Avenue of the Oaks. They host many events and festivals throughout the year and are open to tours. In the film, the exterior was used as the Hamilton family summer home on Seabrook. The Calhoun Mansion downtown was used for interior scenes.
Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner provided one of the most iconic scenes in the film when Noah and Allie paddle through the swamp inhabited by swans. While they don’t actually live there, it was no less beautiful. The attraction, built in 1927, is currently closed until further notice due to flooding damage, but we hope that it will reopen soon for visitors to enjoy.
Alternatively, the Francis Beidler Forest has a similar cypress swamp that can be navigated by canoe. It’s about an hour north in Harleyville.
William Aiken House
Set on King Street, the yellow painted William Aiken House dates back to 1810. Today, it’s one of the city’s most beautiful wedding venues with formal parlors, a wrap around veranda, and landscaped gardens around a two-hundred-year-old magnolia tree. Located right across the street from the American Theater, this setting was used in the scene where Allie hears about Noah and has a meltdown in the bathtub after her dress fitting.
College of Charleston
The campus of the College of Charleston, which dates back to 1770, has been featured in many television and film projects, including Dear John, O, and The Patriot. The founders of the college included three signers of the Declaration of Independence. One of the buildings on George Street was seen where Lon picks up Allie at school.
Old Navy Base
The Navy Yard turned Naval Base in North Charleston operated from 1901 to 1996. The over 1,000 acre Old Navy Base has been used for concerts, festivals in Riverfront Park, and filming for shows like Army Wives. For The Notebook, interior shots were used on the base, including the admiral’s house and one of the chapels, as well as the production offices set up onsite.
Looking for a Charleston hotel? Some of our favorites include the Charleston Harbor Marina Resort and the Vendue Inn. Airbnb is another option. There’s no shortage of things to do in Charleston, including tours and museums, so check out our weekend guide for more information.