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Mermaids movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Mermaids filmed?


City Locations

Ipswich; Boston; North Easton; Rockport; Gloucester; Big Lake; Needham; Pawtucket; War

Location Types

American, schools

Location Styles


About Mermaids

Rachel is a nonchalant, single mother of two girls, a neurotic 15-year-old Charlotte Flax, and her half-sister, a 9-year-old Kate. Every single time Rachel ends a relationship, they end up moving. Her parenting approach is rather similar to friendship instead of actual mothering. This approach was difficult for Charlotte to accept.

Rachel and her kids moved to Eastport, Massachusetts immediately after she ended her relationship with her married employer. In her new location, she got a job as a receptionist in a law firm. The new location has Charlotte all euphoric since it was close to a convent and she is consumed with Catholicism, which was never endearing for her irreligious mother.

Soon, Charlotte started swooning over Joe Poretti, who is a 26-year-old keeper of the convent. During this period, Rachel started a relationship with Lou Landsky, an owner of a shoe store. As Charlotte became closer to Joe, she became scared of getting punished by God and she ran away with her mother's car.

Lou tracked her after the car was reported stolen. While Rachel tongue-lashed her, she never disclosed why she ran away. The following day, Charlotte arranged an appointment with an obstetrician, and she was told it was impossible for her to become pregnant.

After a costume party for New Year's Eve, Rachel gave Joe a kiss for a happy new year wish. Upon discovering the wish, Charlotte became angry, thinking Rachel wanted to sabotage her relationship with Joe. On New Year’s Day, Charlotte was required to babysit her sister Kate. As she wandered around, she saw Joe. They had sex and Kate almost drowned in the river.

Rachel fumed at Charlotte as Kate recovered. She threatened to move them again. Then, Rachel slapped Charlotte to bring an end to the argument. In contrition, Rachel had a calmer conversation with Charlotte, who realized that her father was never coming back. Charlotte would soon replace her Catholicism obsession with Greek mythology after news of her sexual relationship with Joe broke out.

The end of the movie involves Rachel, Kate, and Charlotte playfully setting the table for a rare family meal.

Mermaids Locations

Mermaids is an American drama-comedy movie that features top stars, including Winona Ryder, Bob Hoskins, Cher, Christina Ricci, and Michael Schoeffling. The movie was meant to be the English language debut of Lasse Hallström, a popular Swedish director. However, it was eventually directed by Richard Benjamin after the former abandoned the project.

The movie was released in December 1990. Lots of awards were received by the cast of the movie, including the Young Artists award that was won by Christina Ricci. The movie was filmed in 10 different locations in Massachusetts, United States. War Memorial Pool in Cambridge was the location for the opening sequence. The filming of the Mermaids movie took place in Ipswich, Lincoln, Big Lake, Boston, Gloucester, Rockport, and War Memorial Pool, Needham, North Easton, and Pawtucket.

The principal photography of the movie commenced on September 25, 1989, in Massachusetts. This was concluded on December 15, 1989. The exterior of the Flex house was constructed just for the movie in Coolidge Point close to Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. The fictional village of Eastport was downtown Rockport, Massachusetts. Besides these, the production crew constructed a bell tower, which was about 60 feet. This would serve as a cottage, as well as a convent.

Fun facts:

Emily Lloyd was initially cast as Charlotte. In fact, she had already begun shooting scenes before Winona Ryder took up the role

Kate practices her swimming scene in Mermaids

War Memorial Pool, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The location is where the opening sequence of the movie was shot. Charlotte (Winona Ryder) explains how her young sister, Kate (Christina Ricci) is a prolific swimmer. The obsession of the 15-year-old Charlotte with Catholicism was revealed as she watches and sings with a nun singing on the TV. She explains her mother's indifference towards her religion. Rachel (Cher) tries to figure out the best dress to wear.

As Charlotte tries to pray, the mother comes in to remind her they are Jewish. As Rachel tries to serve Charlotte and Kate their breakfast, the teenage daughter explains their mother's reluctance to cook "anything more" than cooking fun finger foods. Fred honks his car horn and Rachel asks Charlotte how she looks and the latter replies, "like a woman about to go forth and sin". Rachel added, "exactly the look I was hoping for". Then, she left.

The location of this particular scene is well-known for providing access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a gymnasium, three swimming pools, and a weight room. The city of this scene location is known to have been the site of the shooting of numerous top-rated movies, including Good Will Hunting (1997), The Town (2010), and Old School (2003). The location is accessible by road (cars, buses, and taxis).

Rachel meets Joe for the first time scene in Mermaids

Downtown Rockport, Massachusetts

This scene begins as Charlotte saw Joe (Michael Schoeffling) standing right in front as their car stopped abruptly, the latter quickly introduced himself to Rachel. He tells Rachel that he is always available if they need anything done in the house. As Rachel asks Joe what is up the hill, he replies, "the convent, the protectors of the blessed souls". Charlotte quickly thanked God for giving her a sign she moved to the right place.

Rachel realizes that their nearest neighbors are nuns and acknowledges how happy she knows Charlotte would be. Rachel tells Joe to help her have a look at a pork swing since she cannot reach it. However, she smiled at her daughter, revealing to Charlotte of her non-platonic intentions toward Joe. She asked him his age and he replied.

What we can see in this scene is that Charlotte never wanted to move to a new city. However, that stance was changed as she easily fell in love with the chivalrous care keeper of the convent. She quickly realized that the place for the right destination for her family. On the other hand, all Rachel wanted from Joe at that point was to know more about him and probably sleep with him when the chance opens up.

Do you wish to experience this for yourself? Then getting there is not an issue. You can either get there by train or by road.

Charlotte is introduced to her new classmates scene in Mermaids

Ipswich, Massachusetts

The scene begins with Charlotte in a cubicle in the school toilet. She hears some girls talking about having oral sex by the railroad as they smoke. The girls are busted by their teacher who finds Charlotte and escorts her to her class. As they enter the class, the teacher tells the other students, "class we have a new student today. Charlotte Flax". Charlotte makes her way to her seat.

As she comes back home on the school bus alone with Joe, who was also the school bus driver, she wishes Joe would talk to her. Her wish is granted as Joe asks her how she likes the house. She moves closer to him and they start having a conversation about how he loved staying in the house.

The scene showed how decadent many of the other students were. Charlotte, who was a bit rather reserved, found it hard to settle in and make friends with the other kids. Her love story truly kicked off the moment Joe asked her how good she found the house.

The location of this scene is renowned for its clams, which is often celebrated every year at the Ipswich Chowderfest. Also, the location is close to Crane Beach, a place where nature lovers can enjoy the aesthetically pleasing view of the ocean. Furthermore, the various landmarks of the city cannot be ignored. Some of these include Russell Orchards, Marini Farm, and Crane Castle. These are places with historical values that you should visit.

Charlotte arrives at the doorstep of a young family scene in Mermaids

Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Connecticut

This scene begins with Charlotte feeling of guilt after she kissed Joe till she ran away from home. She arrives at the home of a young family when she claims to have car trouble. She is invited to come in and the man - with his wife present – asks, “Do your folks know where you are?” “Oh, yeah they know exactly where I am, especially my dad”. Rachel argues with Lou (Bob Hoskins) maintaining that Charlotte only ran away to mess with her.

As the TV plays in the young couple's home, a police officer is outside confirming the plate number of Rachel's vehicle. Charlotte sits at the dining table and she swoons over the family's togetherness, thinking about the possibility of being adopted by the family. She keeps lying about how perfect her family is. Eventually, Lou tracks her down and brings her back home.

Kate drowns scene in Mermaids

Needham, Massachusetts

best neighborhoods in the state. The location of this scene is also not known for its rich history. The establishment of one of the earliest industrial parks in the country was done in this city. Getting to this city is easy: by train, car, or bus.

The aforementioned scene shot in the location starts as Rachel is accompanied down the hospital hallway and Charlotte, who is obviously shaken by the incident, is with Joe. As Rachel approaches Charlotte, she becomes infuriated that she can't say anything to her. Joe is told to take her back home for a shower. As Charlotte gets home, she quickly changes her clothes, cleans the dining table, and begins to cry.

Back at the hospital, Kate lies on the bed with her eyes closed as she tries to recover. Their shaken mother holds Kate's hand. “You were born in a hospital in Minneapolis on a cold winter day”. She continues, “I brought you home and Charlotte pretended that you were hers.”

Kate tries to hold her breath under the water in a bathtub scene in Mermaids

Downtown Rockport, Massachusetts

The scene begins in Joe's car as he drops Charlotte off. She tells him that she had a great time. Joe responded by saying he did too. As she gets down from the vehicle she wants a kiss, which she doesn't get. She runs inside only to see her baby sister holding her breath under the water in a bathtub. Charlotte, who was disappointed she didn't get the kiss she wanted from Joe, seems to be unperturbed by Kate's frivolity.

Rachel asks Charlotte how her day was. She responded, "fine, we had a good time". Charlotte tells her carefree mother that Kate is trying to break the world record. Rachel tells Charlotte that she knows that she wants to lead a celibate life. However, she is confident that genetics will force her to change her stance. Kate gets off the water only to be disappointed she was five seconds off her target.

You can easily see in the scene how smitten Charlotte was. The disappointment of not getting a kiss from Joe ensured that she paid little attention to her sister who was under the water, trying to break the world record. Rachel, in her typical nonchalant mood, tried to convince her older daughter to give her relationship more effort.


While most of the scenes were shot in Massachusetts, the various cities are popular for various historical landmarks. The stunning aesthetics of the ocean, the amazing culinary and art scenes, as well as the mountainscapes of the cities, are some of the features that make them major tourist attractions.

Besides this, the various locations used the movies have always been a popular site where the best movies have been shot over the years. As a result, if you wish to experience the site of your favorite scenes, then it is not a bad idea to visit the aforementioned scene locations.