The house that Noah would rebuild in the movie is located at Martins Point Plantation, historically knows as Bears Bluff Plantation, on Wadmalaw Island. The filmmakers had considered finding a dilapidated house to film which they could then renovate as the narrative progressed. In the end, however, they settled on using a beautiful house they could make look run down for the film's earlier scenes.
The lake scene with swans was shot at Cypress Gardens. The animals weren't native to the area, so they were imported and trained 1 month prior to the shoot so they would learn to follow boats and appear on screen as the director wanted. This all had to be done around the month of January so that filming could take place when the resident alligators were hibernating. Visitors to Cypress Gardens taking the walking tour can easily spot the location used in the film.
Old Village in Mount Pleasant provided the location for the film's fictional town of Seabrook, South Carolina.
King Street in Charleston is where:
– Noah and Allie lie, watching the traffic light (Katharine Lawrence shares that this light was brought in for production and installed in front of the American Theatre as there is no traffic light at this location).
– The historic American Theatre is located. In the movie, this is where Allie and Noah watch a film.
– The William Aiken House is located. It was used for the wedding dress fitting scene.
– Allie and Noah walk and talk for 3 blocks. To reflect an earlier time, contemporary parking meters were replaced with period-style meters and store fronts were altered with period-style signs (this required formal contracts between the productions company and the store owners).
The old Navy base area in North Charleston is where:
– Production offices for the film were set up.
– The admiral's house was used for several interior shots.
– The interior of a desanctified chapel went through multiple set transformations to serve as the backdrop for scenes of the USO Dance Hall, the infirmary, the military physical exam room, and recruiting hall.
The scene in which Noah looks through a restaurant window and finds Allie dining with her fiancè was shot at High Cotton in Charleston. Peter Pierce, a manager at the restaurant, played the maitre d' Allie approaches as she walks into the restaurant. (This info was contributed by Peter's coworker, Jill Maynard.)
The Notebook: Fun Quotes and Facts
"I loved the fact that it was being shot in Charleston and Georgetown, because I love South Carolina." (Gena Rowlands)
The novel is primarily set in the real city of New Bern, North Carolina, but when the filmmakers came to South Carolina for location scouting they decided to do more than film here. They changed the movie's main setting to the fictional place of Seabrook, South Carolina.
Ryan Gosling prepared for the role by living in Charleston for a few months prior to filming. He spent his mornings rowing on the Ashley River and his afternoons making furniture.
Ryan Gosling was not originally scripted to run into the gate in a scene shot at Boone Hall. The gate was supposed to be open, but the scene looked so good that the director chose to leave it in the final print.
The part of Rosemary is played by television and film actress Sylvia Jeffries, who hails from SC.