Southern Road Trips Inspired by Movies

The setting in a movie can often make or break it. Movies like the fantastical Lord of the Rings or historical films like Selma would simply not be the same without their unique filming locations. Some notable Southern movies were filmed within just a few hours of the Middle Tennessee area.

Now that school has started, maybe you’re looking forward to fall break. These Southern movie inspired road trips are a great idea for you and your family:

1The Notebook  – South Carolina

cypress gardens, south carolina
Cypress Gardens, South Carolina (featured in the movie The Notebook)

The Notebook, though originally written with the setting of Seabrook Island just southwest of Charleston, was shot in a suburb of Charleston called Mt. Pleasant with production offices in the North Charleston naval base. Still more scenes were filmed around Charleston and in Edisto Island. The lake scenes were filmed at Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, and the nursing home scenes were filmed at Rice Hope Plantation, located in Georgetown County, South Carolina. The college depicted briefly in the film is identified in the film as Sarah Lawrence College, but the campus that is seen is actually the College of Charleston.

2Steel Magnolias – Louisiana

Steel Magnolias chose the Natchitoches, Louisiana location as a result of working with historian Robert DeBlieux, who was a former Natchitoches mayor, and was serving as the local advisor. The filming of the movie was self contained in the city through a total of 17 locations which served as setting for the movie. Some of it is private homes and residences, but there’s also the Steel Magnolia house where you can stay in bed and breakfast style and a few others that you can check out. For a full list of the locations for your own tour of the movie setting, the city offers a map here.

3Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – Georgia

savannah georgia

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, like Steel Magnolias, was completely shot inside a single city, Savannah, Georgia. A large portion of the setting was filmed at locations around the Monterey Square. Close by further scenes were shot at the United States Bankruptcy Court and other locations on the western side of Wright Square. There’s many other places around the city in which the film was shot. The history of the filming continued further though with Spacey and a fundraiser to bring back the Lucas Theatre with a 7.6 million dollar renovation.

4Walk the Line – Memphis

the orpheum theater memphis tn

Those that have seen Walk the Line know that the film wouldn’t have been the same if it had been filmed anywhere else but Memphis, but that could have been the case as  Louisiana was to be the original film location for Walk The Line. Producers knew that the film needed to be in Memphis and chose the river city. The city helped to incentivize the choice by offering free use of government facilities, Shelby County and Memphis city hotel and motel tax refunds for the film crew, the use of free office and warehouse space, the use of a state plane to scout in-state locations. Scenes of the film were shot at Sun Studio, The Orpheum, Bozo’s Hot Pit Barbecue in nearby Covington, and the South Main Neighborhood. The Pipkin Building at the Memphis Fairgrounds was used as the iconic Folsom Prison in the film.

5Elizabethtown – Kentucky

The romantic comedy, though named for Elizabethtown, KY was actually filmed mostly in Versailles. Other scenes were shot across the state. In Louisville, film sites include the Brown Hotel, Highland Middle School and Cave Hill Cemetery. You’ll also see Elizabethtown’s recognizable historic buildings and Otter Creek Park in Meade County in the film.

These locations offer plenty of other sites and attractions to make unforgettable trips that you and the family won’t forget.

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