As a former Massachusetts Yankee learning to love the “not-quite Deep South” state of North Carolina, I’ve come to recognize many memorable movie and TV settings not filmed on the rocky coast of Maine or a wide shore in California, but in North Carolina.
When Joey stood pensively on a dock thinking about if she would choose Dawson or Pacey on Dawson’s Creek, she was in Wilmington, not Capeside. The over-the-top Hamptons beach house in Weekend at Bernie’s? Also Wilmington. The supernatural series Under the Dome and Sleepy Hollow weren’t shot in bucolic towns in New England, but coastal North Carolina. Even Baby’s lake dance practice in Dirty Dancing was not New York’s Catskills mountains, but North Carolina.
In choosing a setting for their own summer vacation, most Carolinians have a favorite beach town to which they return to season after season (plus many times out of season, as the waters are warm long after Labor Day) with the kind of loyalty usually reserved for sports teams.
Follow in the footsteps of wild ponies, aviation pioneers, or fearsome pirates (Blackbeard is practically the official mascot of the North Carolina coast). Charter a boat for ocean fishing or tuck into a Calabash seafood feast, and decide which North Carolina beach town to set your beach umbrella in.