If you’re reading this, you’re a Nicholas Sparks lover just like I am – which I love!
Hopefully you’ve checked out my post on The Notebook and all of the locations you can see in Charleston, South Carolina. But the second part of my Nicholas Sparks filming locations series focuses on the films: A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven, Nights in Rodanthe and The Last Song – some of my all time favourites!
All of these films have played a large part in my love of the Southern East Coast of the United States; from North Carolina down to Georgia. These films feature some beautiful towns, ultimately making these stories so visually picturesque; and a place that anyone would want to live in. These towns are truly characters in the films themselves. I also recently returned to all of these towns in 2017, so be sure to check and see what other locations I found on that recent trip…some i’ve waited years to get back and see!
So where can you see some of these beautiful places?
Nicholas Sparks North Carolina Locations:
A Walk to Remember (2002)
Wilmington is known for being the ‘Hollywood of the East Coast’. With television series including Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Revolution and Under the Dome filming here, there is a lot to see around town. There have been various films shot here too, with Domestic Disturbance, Summer Catch and Stuck in Love just a handful of the titles calling this place home as well.
One of Nicholas Sparks’s first book-to-films titles was also shot here in Wilmington. Starring Mandy Moore and Shane West, this town is a perfect back drop to the teen tear-jerker romance A Walk to Remember. Even more amazing, is the fact that Sparks, like The Notebook used real-life inspiration once again; telling the story of his very close younger sister who died of cancer as a teenager-but not before falling in love.
There are many locations to see in Wilmington, however the main ones like Orton Plantation are not open to the public. One location however, that is available and worth seeing is the house Jamie Sullivan lives at with her father, the town priest. It is a beautiful home, with a large wraparound porch that the film really utilizes in certain key scenes; which when you see the photo of the house, makes perfect sense.
If you’re able to visit Southport, you can also see the cemetery and Jamie’s father’s church when you visit, which I just did this past June 2017 when I was there finding Safe Haven locations. The post for these is here.
The A Walk to Remember house can be found at 1716 Chestnut St, Wilmington right near the intersection of N 18th Street.
Safe Haven (2013)
While I was on the location hunt for Dawson’s Creek locations in Southport back in Summer 2011, there was a building being constructed pretty much where I was standing to take the below photo, which is the location of where Pacey docked his boat ‘True Love’. Little did I know, but this building was to be the General Store that would be used in one of the most recent Nicholas Sparks book-to-film projects Safe Haven starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel.
I love this story as it is a little more fast-paced than most; centering around a woman who flees her abusive husband to live in a small town. I love the chemistry Hough and Duhamel have together too. It was really great casting for these roles.
The Marina is pretty accessible, and a nice walk from the main part of town. If you make your way to Yacht Basin Drive and W Brunswick St, you will be right where these buildings are, but if you walk about a few feet further up then you will be right where the General Store was when it existed.
The House Josh Duhamel lives in with his children is also located on W Brunswick St. It is the third house on the left with a brick fence, a little further up from this spot. Along these two roads alone, there are a sprinkling of other locations which you can also see in my Safe Haven post here.
Southport is just a lovely town all round. But if you love Safe Haven…this is a dream town to visit.
Rodanthe (The Outer Banks)
Nights In Rodanthe (2008)
If there was one movie location I dreamt of seeing, it was this house. The ‘Serendipity’ Bed and Breakfast that is just as much a star as the film’s two leads Richard Gere and Diane Lane, who meet when Gere stays at the accommodation, while Lane looks after it for her friend one weekend.
The Outer Banks are just beautiful and driving through to Rodanthe is breathtaking.
The house used in the filming of this ultimate tear-jerker has an interesting story:
Not only was it a house that looked like it came straight out of a fairytale, sitting on the beach with the ocean waves below, as many houses in this area can be found; this house was saved by fans of the film who moved the house further inland after hurricanes had battered it to a deathly state. They fixed it up and opened it up as a vacation home for rent!
So not only do you get to enjoy seeing this house up close, you can STAY in this house and truly live the Rodanthe dream. It is called the Inn at Rodanthe. Click here for more!
This house took me awhile to track down online, but I found it! The house is located on the beach along Highway 12, at Beacon Rd East, Rodanthe. Just look for the house with the blue shutters and the tall part of the structure…it isn’t hard to spot!
And another joy of driving along Highway 12, just like Gere did in the film, is driving along the sand dune road with the breeze pushing sand across the road as you pass by. This road, even if it wasn’t in the film is something I would definitely be interested in doing as it is just so beautiful and calming! This is the Outer Banks right here, so make sure you do this once in your life!
Nicholas Sparks Georgia Locations:
The Last Song (2010)
Savannah & Tybee Island, Georgia
Savannah is an amazing town, movie locations aside. It is little wonder why this film chose such a beautiful location for its backdrop. This film was created before the book was released, with Sparks writing the screenplay first with Cyrus in mind; and then writing the book. But either way, they are both amazing!
The Last Song is the film which brought Miley Cyrus (in her pre-twerking days) together with ex-fiance turned current fiance (or whatever they are) Liam Hemsworth in what has to be one of the most honest and heart-breaking stories of them all. Not only is this a story about teenage love; but it’s also a story about the parent-child relationship as well.
Even though Cyrus may be described as many things, she truly does shine in this film.
There are two locations one can visit while in Savannah; the first is the Wormsloe Plantation which is located at 7601 Skidaway Rd, Savannah, which is about 20 minutes drive from the city center. This Plantation is beautiful. It is $10 to visit, and on the day I went it was pouring with rain so I didn’t venture to the house, which I am not even sure you can actually visit anymore. But that driveway! Wow! Breathtaking…even when soggy! Well worth a visit just to drive along that.
This Plantation was where Will lived with his rich family, but this driveway also made an appearance with Cyrus singing “She Will Be Loved” along with the radio, as they drove along. It was also featured in Magic Mike XXL as the place Jada Pinkett- Smith owns, when she challenges Mike to see if he “still has some magic in that mike”.
The other location, is Tybee Island.
This was the location where Ronnie and Will meet when he is playing in a Volleyball competition on the beach. It is pretty nice to see all of the Volleyball courts and the pier, and to picture it just as it was in the film, filled with people. Tybee Island Beach is stunning, a truly beautiful beach to sit at, but I would never had known about it if not for this film.
Tybee Island is a 30 minute drive from Savannah, with the area everything is located, found at Strand Ave and 16th St, Tybee Island.
The church from the end of the film is also a place fans can visit, with the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel on show as you drive into Tybee from Savannah. This Chapel was located somewhere else during the filming, but was moved to 114 U.S. 80, Tybee Island to become a wedding and events space. Pretty cool right?
For those who make it to Wilmington, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher was also used in the Last Song, so it’s also well worth stopping by to see that if you take the ferry across to Southport from there.
So there you have it. So many beautiful places and towns I probably would never have known about if not for these amazing films. I love the Carolina’s and Georgia, and look forward to returning to every one of these places again..for the 5th time haha.
Happy location hunting!