Charleston, South Carolina

Thanks to the beaches, and the oak and Spanish moss trees that line many streets around this old, charming Southern city, Charleston has seen a boom in filming popularity. Feature films like Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides, The Patriot, The Notebook and the epic TV Civil War mini-series North and South have utilized the area’s natural beauty on land and by the sea. The Notebook stars Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling shot several scenes inside old Charleston-area plantations, such as the Boone Hall Plantation and the Calhoun Mansion, which also served as the backdrop for scenes in North and South. Stroll along The Battery, a landmark defensive seawall and promenade, to walk in the same steps as recent actors and actresses. America’s oldest landscaped gardens are housed inside of Charleston’s Middleton Place, which also served as the backdrop for scenes in The Patriot. Take a 30-minute drive north to Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, SC, which has been showcased in numerous films. Interest in filming in Charleston began growing in the mid-1990s, with films like The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Jackal, Nutty Professor II, and Dear John, another Nicholas Sparks-based title.