11 TV Shows and Movies Set in Charleston, South Carolina

© Free-Photos / Pixabay
© Free-Photos / Pixabay
Photo of Samantha Connors
2 April 2018

A beautiful, coastal city known for its stunning beaches, charming pastel buildings and serene marshlands, Charleston, South Carolina, has become a hot filming location for movies and television shows. Since 2000 when major historical film The Patriot was shot in various locations including the College of Charleston, Edisto Beach and Middleton Plantation, Charleston has attracted everything from The Notebook to Army Wives. Read on to learn about some of the most popular productions.

The Patriot

Starring Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, The Patriot takes place during the American Revolution when British forces attempt to take over a rural area of South Carolina. Fans of this movie will recognize several filming locations in the Charleston area, including Middleton Plantation, Edisto Beach and the College of Charleston’s Randolph Hall.

Middleton Plantation Gardens | © Timothy Brown/Flickr

The Notebook

Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, just 12 miles from downtown Charleston, was a major filming location for the much-loved Nicholas Sparks book-turned-movie The Notebook. However, the most notable scene filmed in Charleston may be when main characters Noah and Allie lie in the middle of the street.

You can see this very spot if you walk along King Street near the intersection with Morris and Mary Streets. Though the street lights are actually on the side of the road rather than dangling above as in the movie, you’ll recognize the surrounding buildings, particularly the periwinkle-colored men’s department store called Bluestein’s.

Bluestein Brothers Department Store | © John Hoey/Flickr

Southern Charm

This Bravo reality show follows the lives of several Charleston socialites, including Thomas Ravenel, who’s Brookland Plantation home on Edisto Island is a major location for the show. When frequenting popular Charleston spots, it’s not unusual to run into one or more of the cast members. Stars from the show have been spotted everywhere on the peninsula from The Alley bar/bowling alley to the East Bay Biergarten.

Army Wives

This popular Lifetime drama, which took place on a fictional military base, centers around the lives of four military wives and one husband. While the setting was made up, the filming took place at the Old Charleston Naval Base in North Charleston. Fans of this show will love walking around the former base to spot details from the show and explore the conjoining Riverfront Park.

Sculpture in Riverfront Park at the Old Charleston Naval Base | © North Charleston/Flickr

Top Chef

Season 14 of Top Chef was filmed entirely in Charleston as local chefs competed head-to-head for a $125,000 grand prize. Some culinary celebrities featured in this season include chefs Emily Hahn of Warehouse and Jamie Lynch of 5Church.

Vice Principals

Created by Danny McBride and Jody Hill, Vice Principals is a two-season HBO TV series with a divorced high school vice principal, played by Danny McBride, as the main character. Almost entirely filmed in and around Charleston, the show features many recognizable sights throughout the city, including areas of the trendy North Charleston Park Circle neighborhood.

Vice Principals Mural in Park Circle Neighborhood of North Charleston | © North Charleston/Flickr

Mr. Mercedes

Adapted from the Stephen King novel, Mr. Mercedes is a chilling thriller about a disturbing murderer who kills a group of strangers and anonymously taunts a former police officer with evidence. The first season of this crime drama show on the Audience network was filmed throughout Charleston, and recently confirmed a second season that may already be underway.

Dear John

A tear-jerker movie starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, Dear John is a love story about a young couple that forges an incredibly strong bond after a chance meeting. Part of the movie was filmed on the beautiful Sullivan’s Island, so fans of this movie should be sure to visit this favorite local beach area.

Pitt Street Bridge Leading to Sullivan’s Island | © mogllon_1/Flickr


Anyone who’s familiar with downtown Charleston will enjoy watching this cheesy rom-com written by the Wayans Brothers. When a bride and groom come to town for their wedding, a strange series of events leads the groom to relive the morning of his wedding over and over. From the Mills House Inn to the Meeting Street finish line of the annual Cooper River Bridge Run, this movie takes place throughout the downtown peninsula.

Mills House Hotel on Meeting Street | © Ken Lund/Flickr

Newest Halloween Movie

A classic creepy story, Halloween seems to continue through the years in various formats played by a rotating cast. The latest version of this ever-popular franchise, Halloween is set to film the Charleston area in 2018 and will star Jamie Lee Curtis.


From the producer of the popular NBC show This Is Us comes a pilot for this ABC show, Salvage. Filmed in March 2018, the show’s first episode is said to feature a funeral scene, though few other details have been released.

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