As the setting for one of the MOST romantic scenes in a film, Cypress Gardens has made a name for itself as the filming location for part of the famous Nicholas Sparks film, The Notebook. Specifically, the area was used to film the scene where Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams paddle through lily-pad- and duck-filled swamps before the rains come and they must rush home. And if you’re reading this article saying “well, I’ve never seen The Notebook,” then I encourage you to finish the article, of course, and then go out and rent the movie! Much of it was filmed in the areas surrounding Charleston.
Cypress Gardens, situated in Moncks Corner, approximately 40 minutes from downtown Charleston, is one of the most stunning off-the-beaten-path places to visit in the greater Charleston area. Here, you’ll find a beautiful butterfly garden, three miles of walking paths and nature trails, a Nature Center & Children’s Garden, a Swamparium, a Heritage Museum, three HUGE alligators (fenced in, of course), and a plethora of beautiful sites. Much of the area’s 170 acres can be explored by foot or via canoe.
The canoeing station is one of the best parts about Cypress Gardens! Here, you can take out canoes (just like the ones from The Notebook) and row around the swamp area between cypress and tupelo trees and lily pads. This can be done on your own, or you can pay $5 for a guided tour.
During a ride through the swamp, you’ll come across some of the most breathtaking natural sites in the world, as well as turtles and even alligators! The sound of nothing but pure wilderness surrounding you is truly awe-inspiring and peaceful. The best time to take out a canoe is when the Gardens first open at 9am to ensure that you’re one of the only people on the swamp and can experience it in a purely tranquil state.
Below are some fun facts about Cypress Gardens and the creatures within it:
- The Cypress Gardens swamp is actually black, due to decomposing leaves, bark, plants, and other natural materials.
- The land that Cypress Gardens is located on was actually once part of a working rice plantation: Dean Hall.
- There is a working observation beehive with a knowledgeable staff member on site to answer any of your questions about how bees work. For example, we learned that there are worker bees, drone bees, the queen bee, and the male bee. Each of the types of bees has its own task, which you can learn more about when you visit Cypress Gardens!
- Did you know that there are several famous movies filmed in Charleston? Three famous Hollywood movies were filmed on Cypress Gardens, including The Notebook, The Patriot, and Cold Mountain. There were also a variety of television series filmed at Cypress Gardens, including The Yearling and North and South.
Below are some pictures of Cypress Gardens:
Visit the Cypress Gardens website to learn about its rich history, admission costs and hours, and 2013 Calendar of Events!