Your internet resource for North Carolina outdoor and recreational information
Biltmore House and Estate - The largest private residence in the U.S. George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore House is a 250-room chateau with 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, 34 bedrooms and three kitchens covering four acres of floor space. On self-guided visits, guests view priceless, carefully preserved artworks and furnishings in more than 60 rooms. Outdoors, the grounds and gardens are spectacular. The estate encompasses 8,000 acres of formal and natural plantings, forests, pastures and trails – all shaped by famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted. Other attractions on the estate include the Biltmore Estate Winery, 8 gift shops and the Inn on Biltmore Estate.
Location: Asheville, just north of exit 50 on U.S. Highway 25.
For ticket information and seasonal schedule call 800-242-6480. Admission fee.
Film and TV credits - "Hannibal," "Patch Adams," "Forrest Gump," "Richie Rich," "The Last of the Mohicans," "Being There," "Mr. Destiny," "The Swan"
The Blue Ridge Parkway - The Parkway's 469 toll-free miles meander through the highlands of North Carolina and make up "America’s most scenic drive," according to travel writers around the globe. This "sanctuary of high places" encompasses a world of mountain forests, wildlife, and wildflowers thousands of feet above a patchwork of villages, fields, and farms.
Location: Cherokee to Fancy Gap through Asheville and Blowing Rock.
Film and TV credits: "Forrest Gump," "Hannibal"
Chimney Rock Park - Chimney Rock Park is the natural fulfillment of your trip to the mountains. Take the elevator 26 stories inside the mountain to the Sky Lounge gift shop and snack bar, or hike along an exciting trail which features a subterranean shortcut, catwalks from rock to rock, and a stop at an authentic moonshiner’s cave. After you’ve climbed to the top of the Chimney, head out along the Skyline Trail for a 45-minute scenic hike to the top of Hickory Nutt Falls overlooking Lake Lure.
Location: 25 miles southeast of Asheville at highway 74A and U.S. 64. Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. during daylight savings time. Admission fee. (828-625-9611 or 800-277-9611)
Film and TV credits: "The Last of the Mohicans," "My Fellow Americans," "Dirty Dancing"
Grandfather Mountain - Encounter nature on a whole different level from the mile-high swinging bridge, hiking trails and Cliffside picnic area. Learn more about the mountain at Grandfather’s Nature Museum. Exhibits and award-winning films speak to its many aspects – endangered species, unique weather, and colorful wildflowers and birds.
Location: U.S. 221 & Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville. Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m., winter; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., spring/fall; and 8 a.m.-6 p.m., summer. Admission fee. (800-468-7325 or 828-733-4337)
Film and TV credit: "Forrest Gump"
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad - Experience the romance and mystique of a by-gone era on a truly spectacular trip through the scenic mountains and countryside of Western North Carolina. Features 53 miles of track, two tunnels, and 15 bridges. Half-day and full-day round trips available, gourmet dinner trains, mystery theatre dinner trains and a wide variety of seating options. Based in Dillsboro, NC, site of the famous train/bus wreck in the Harrison Ford film, "The Fugitive." Admission fee. For reservations call 800-872-4681 or 828-586-8811.
Film and TV credit: "The Fugitive"
Lake James State Park and Boat Excursions - 505-acre park offers picnic sites, swimming, canoe rentals, and hiking along picturesque Lake James. Boat excursions tour more than 150 miles of beautiful shoreline. "Last of the Mohicans" and "The Hunt for Red October" filmed here. Three-hour tours by reservation. Open year-round, weather permitting. (828-584-0666)
Park features Ranger Office, concession stand, bathrooms. Located on NC 126, east of Marion. (828-652-5047)
Film and TV credits: “Last of the Mohicans,” “The Hunt for Red October”
Mac's Indian Village - was built in 1934 and is still open and looking great. It offers 16 different sized cabins with 12’ tall three-dimensional teepees stuck to the front. For more info call 828-497-5751
Film and TV credit: “Digging to China”
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Ava Gardner Museum - The Museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of one of the brightest stars from Hollywood’s Golden Era – Smithfield native Ava Gardner. With a vast collection of movie memorabilia spanning nearly five decades, the Museum has authentic film costumes, scripts, original movie posters and tons of publicity photos on display.
Location: downtown Smithfield, 325 E. Market St. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 2 -5 p.m. Admission fee. (919-934-5830)
Charlotte Coliseum - Home of year-round concerts and special events. (704-357-0252)
Film and TV credits: "Juwanna Mann," "The Original Kings of Comedy," "Eddie"
Duke University - Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. Duke University offers world-renowned academic programs in fields of study including law, medicine, business, and religion. Duke is ranked among the top ten universities in the country. Areas of interest to Duke visitors include the stately Georgian-style architecture of the East Campus, the dramatic Gothic design of the West Campus, the Duke Chapel and Duke Gardens.
Location: Durham, NC. For information on campus tours contact Duke University, Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 2138 Campus Drive, Box 90586, Durham, NC 27708-0586. (919-684-3214)
Film and TV credits: "Weeds," "Kiss the Girls," "The Handmaid’s Tale," "Dawson's Creek"
Elon College - Elon is a premier small, private university. Founded in 1889 by the Christian Church, now the United Church of Christ, Elon is governed by a 41-member board of trustees. Elon is the third largest of the 36 private colleges and universities in North Carolina and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information contact Daniel J. Anderson, Director, Office of College Relations, 2030 Campus Box, Elon College, NC 27244, 336-278-7415.
Film and TV credit: "He Got Game"
Historic Durham Athletic Park - Built in 1926 as a minor-league facility, El Toro Stadium seats 3,500 and is set against a backdrop of the downtown Durham skyline. A hallmark of the facility is the round tower with conical roof, which serves as the ticket office.
Location: Downtown Durham at 426 Morris Street. For more information on events schedule and hours of operation, contact the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau. (919-687-0288)
Film and TV credit: "Bull Durham"
Lowes Motor Speedway - Located just outside of Charlotte in Concord, this is NASCAR racing at its finest. Tours of the grounds, garages and pit area are available. Call for information: (704-455-3204). Admission fee.
Film and TV credits: "Days of Thunder;" "Stroker Ace"
Mount Airy, North Carolina - Andy Griffith’s hometown and inspiration for Mayberry on the timeless television series, "The Andy Griffith Show." Get a trim at Mount Airy’s version of "Floyd’s Barbershop," visit "Snappy Lunch" for a tasty pork chop sandwich or drop by the Bluebird diner for a chocolate shake and some real hometown cooking. Other sites of interest include Gertrude Smith House (c. 1903), historic downtown, and Woltz Clock Tower. The Mount Airy Visitors Center at 615 North Main Street houses the world’s largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia.
Location: Highway 52 and 89 intersection, south off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Chamber of Commerce (800-948-0949); Visitors Center (800-576-0231)
North Carolina Central University - North Carolina Central University is a comprehensive university offering programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is the nation's first public liberal arts institution founded for African Americans. The University maintains a strong liberal arts tradition and a commitment to academic excellence in a diverse educational and cultural environment. It seeks to encourage intellectual curiosity and to enhance the academic and professional skills of its students and faculty. For more information call 919-560-6100.
Film and TV credit: "Weeds"
North Carolina Transportation Museum - Discover the people and machines that have moved North Carolina at the historic Spencer Shops steam locomotive repair facility. Exhibits include "Wagons, Wheels, and Wings," tracing the history of all forms of transportation in the state; "Bumper to Bumper," covering the evolution of the automobile in North Carolina; and the Robert Julian Roundhouse (c. 1924) housing more than 25 restored locomotives and rail cars.
Location: Highway 29, northeast of Charlotte. Hours: Apr. 1-Oct.31: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Sun. 1-5 p.m. Nov.1-Mar.31: Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Sun. 1- 4 p.m. Closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas holidays. Admission free (except for train rides). (877-NCTMFUN or 704-636-2889)
Film and TV credits: "Having our Say," "Lolita"
Old Salem- At Old Salem – one of the most authentic and inviting living history towns in the United States– costumed interpreters carry on the work of European and African American Moravians in the backcountry congregation town and trading center of Salem, North Carolina. Location: southwest of the intersection of Business 40 and U.S. 52 in Winston-Salem. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 12:30 -5 p.m. Admission fee. (888-OLD-SALEM or 336-721-7300)
Film and TV credits: "The Lottery," "Tecumseh"
Pinehurst Resort - Pinehurst is a resort like no other - a place of timeless tradition and incomparable experiences – and it's yours to explore. Visitors and guests enjoy superior service, world-class accommodations and renowned amenities including internationally acclaimed golf facilities, tennis, croquet, swimming and sailing.
Location: Southern Sandhills, 65 miles south of Raleigh. Resort main number: 910-295-6811; reservations 800-487-4653.
Film and TV credit: "Brainstorm"
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Founded in 1789, UNC-Chapel Hill is the oldest state university in the nation. Consistently ranked among the finest public institutions of higher learning in the U.S., the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers outstanding undergraduate and graduate level degree programs in more than 100 fields including liberal and fine arts, medicine, nursing, library science, and law. UNC-CH is located in the heart of Chapel Hill overlooking picturesque Franklin Street. For more information contact the Visitors Center, 250 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 27514. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; some Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (919-962-1630)
Film and TV credits: "Patch Adams," "Three in the Attic," "Kiss the Girls"
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Airlie Gardens - Historic Airlie Gardens encompasses 67 acres of beautiful post-Victorian, European-style gardens, with 12 acres of freshwater lakes and the 400-year-old Airlie Oak.
Location: Airlie Road, 2 miles west of Wrightsville Beach. Hours: Fri.-Sat.
9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Admission fee. (910-793-7531)
Film and TV credits:"The Black Knight"- 20th Century Fox feature film starring Martin Lawrence; "28 Days"- Columbia Pictures feature starring Sandra Bullock; "Dawson’s Creek"- WB television series; "King Kong Lives"- Dino de Laurentiis feature; "Betsy’s Wedding"- Alan Alda directed feature starring Alan Alda, Molly Ringwald, Madeline Kahn, Joe Pesci
Battleship North Carolina - Walk the decks of a restored WWII battleship. Self-guided tour includes 9 decks, with crew quarters and engine rooms. Also features WWII exhibits, museum, gift shop, special events, meeting facilities and more. Location: Junction of highways 17/74/76/421 across from Wilmington’s historic district. Hours: daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (May 16-Sept. 15); 8am-5pm (Sept.16-May 15). Admission fee. (910-251-5797 or 24-hour info line: 910-350-1817)
Film and TV credits:"Inflammable" (CBS), "Kiss and Tell" (ABC), "Love’s Deadly Triangle" (NBC), "CI-5: The Professionals" (BBC), "Dawson’s Creek" (WB), “Bismarck” (Discovery Channel)
Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts - A prime example of antebellum architecture, the Bellamy Mansion (c. 1859) was built as the city residence of prominent planter Dr. John D. Bellamy. This impressive mansion is a tribute to African American craftsmanship. Built in 1859 by skilled slaves, the Bellamy Mansion was used as the district Union military headquarters. The two-story house behind the mansion served as slave quarters for the housekeeper, cook, butler, laborers, and their children. The Carriage house has been reconstructed and will open to the public in April 2001 with a visitor’s center, reception area, gift shop and restrooms. Guided tours and exhibition focus on history, preservation and southern architecture.
Location: Corner of Fifth and Market Sts., Wilmington. Hours: Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-5 p.m. Admission fee. (910-251-3700)
Film and TV credits:"One Christmas"- NBC Hallmark Hall of Fame
movie-of-the-week, starring Katherine Hepburn; "Rambling Rose"- feature film starring Robert Duvall and Laura Dern; "Lovejoy Mysteries"- British TV series; "Please Forgive Me"- feature film starring Cheryl Ladd; "Margaret Mitchell Story"- TV movie starring Shannon Doherty and Rue McClanahan; "The Golden Years"- TV series; "The Wedding"- Harpo Productions movie-of-the-week
Buckner Hill Plantation - One of the largest antebellum houses in the state, the Buckner Hill Plantation was built by a wealthy physician, Dr. Buckner Hill, prior to the Civil War. The house is still surrounded by cotton, corn and tobacco, on land that has remained in the Hill-Taylor families since the mid-1700’s, when it was deeded to the family by King George III of England. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Location: 522 Taylor Town Road, Faison, NC. Tours by appointment. Closed major holidays and Dec.23-Feb. Admission Fee. (910-293-3001)
Film and TV credits: "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."
EUE Screen Gems Studios - EUE/Screen Gems Studios is the largest working studio facility in the United States outside of California. Unlike studio attractions in Florida, EUE/Screen Gems Studios is a true working film and television production center. This may require them to limit accessibility to certain stages from time-to-time. Use of cameras is limited to specific authorized areas. Tour guests are expected not to interfere with production, actors and crew. The tour schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions and production activity. For more information contact Tour Director Emily Curley at 910-343-3433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Film and TV credits: Hundreds of movies, tv episodes and commercials including “Dawson’s Creek,” “Stateside,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “28 Days,” “Domestic Disturbance,” “Black Knight,” “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “Walk to Remember,” “Muppets from Space,” “Virus,” “Matlock,” “Lolita,” “Weekend At Bernie's,” “Firestarter,” “Elmo in Grouchland,” “Year of the Dragon,” “Maximum Overdrive,” “Blue Velvet,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Little Monsters,” “The Exorcist III,” “Billy Bathgate,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Day of the Jackal,” ”Hackers.”
Fort Fisher State Historic Site & Museum - Before its fall in January 1865, Fort Fisher protected blockade-runners en route to Wilmington with supplies vital to the Confederate armies. It was the largest of the earthen fortifications. Features include an A/V room, gift shop, temporary exhibits and ADA approved restroom facilities. Location: 1610 Fort Fisher Blvd., South, Kure Beach. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-5 p.m. (April-Oct.); Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. 1 -4 p.m. (Nov.-March). Free (910-458-5538, 0476)
Film and TV credits: Numerous feature films and television productions including:"Dawson’s Creek," The Worship Network, "Mary Jane’s Last Dance," "Muppets from Space," "Takedown," "The New Professionals," "Black Dog," "Buried Alive II," "The Birds II," "Mafia Marriage, " "The Inkwell"
Jubilee Amusement Park - Amusement park featuring 20 different rides, waterslide, kids pool, 3 go-cart tracks, Ferris wheel, arcade, snack bar and gift shop. Location: Hwy 421 South, Carolina Beach. Hours vary, Apr.-Sept. (910-458-9017)
Film and TV credit: “The Black Knight”
Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park - Complete family entertainment complex with Grand Prix go-carts, waterslides, wave pool, kids pool, jungle miniature golf, climbing wall, laser-tag arena, arcade, indoor playground, snack bar, restaurant and group party facilities. Location: 5320 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. Open daily, hours vary. (910-791-0666)
Film and TV credit: “Dawson’s Creek”
Latimer House Museum - Victorian family home (c. 1852) with period furnishings, artwork, and Latimer family portraits. Archives, library, Victorian gardens and servant’s quarters on premises. Also serves as the headquarters for the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society. Location: 126 South Third St., Wilmington. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10am-4pm; Sat. & Sun. 12-5pm. Admission fee.
Television: “The Wedding” (Harpo Productions)
Orton Plantation & Gardens - Rice plantation (c. 1725) and spectacular gardens dating back to 1910, with 20 acres of live oaks, lawns, ponds, and many varieties of flowers. This Southern antebellum house is now a private residence with public gardens. Location: NC 133 between Wilmington and Southport. Hours: gardens/lawn open daily, Mar.-Aug., 8am-6pm; Sept.-Nov. 10am-5pm. Closed Dec.-Feb. Admission fee. (910-371-6851)
Film credits: “Firestarter,” “Stateside,’ “Crimes of the Heart,” “Tune in Tomorrow,” “When We Were Colored,” “Date with an Angel,” “Raw Deal,” “The Road to Wellville,” “Lolita,” “Shadrack,” “The Black Knight,” “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys,” “Bruno,” “Morgan’s Ferry,” “The Grave”
Television: “Windmills of the Gods,” “Young Indiana Jones,” “Matlock,” “Freedom Song,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “The Runaway,” “The Wedding,” “The Crying Child,” “The Face in the Mirror,” “The New Professionals,” “Glory, Glory,” “The Summer of Ben Tyler”
NC Ferry at Fort Fisher - Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry route provides 30-minute scenic trips across the Cape Fear River to historic Southport. Departs from Fort Fisher at the southern tip of Pleasure Island. Reservations suggested. Admission fee varies. Call for daily departure schedule. (910-457-6942)
Film and TV credits: “Dawson’s Creek,” “The Jackal,” “The Butcher’s Wife”
New Hanover County Courthouse - The Cape Fear Convention and Visitors Bureau, located in the historic courthouse, offers visitor information about area attractions, events, accommodations, restaurants and retailers. You can also obtain a FREE copy of the “Dawson’s Creek FAQ Sheet” that includes a self-guided tour of locations that are used on the TV show. The courthouse building has appeared in many TV movies and films, including “Domestic Disturbance,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery,” “ The Perfect Daughter,” “A Very Special Christmas,” “The Summer of Ben Tyler,” “The Face in the Mirror,” “Hide & Seek,” “Freedom Song,” and “The Professionals.” The riverfront Visitor Information Booth, at the foot of Water and Market Streets, has appeared in “Dawson’s Creek” as a hot dog stand and a snack bar. It is open seasonally from April-October, 9am-4:30pm.
Poplar Grove Historic Plantation - Manor-style Greek Revival house (c. 1850) and peanut plantation on 16 acres with daily guided tours by costumed interpreters. Today, the home is a historic museum house; where past and present are promoted through tours, gardens, exhibits, 19th Century craft demonstrations, and special events. Also on the grounds is a peanut and agricultural exhibit building, animals, picnic, playground and restaurant. Location: 9 miles outside Wilmington on US 17 North. Hours: Feb.-Dec. daily, Mon-Sat. 9am-5pm; Sun. 12-5pm, Closed Jan. Admission fee. (910-686-9518)
Television: “The Wedding” (Harpo Productions)
University of North Carolina at Wilmington - Ranked among the top 10 public regional undergraduate universities in the South, UNCW offers 57 undergraduate degrees and 22 graduate degrees. Its undergraduate marine biology program is ranked fifth best in the world. UNCW is also a popular movie location and appears regularly as Capeside High in the TV series “Dawson’s Creek.” Location: UNCW, 601 South College Road, Wilmington. (910-962-3243 or 800-228-5571)
Film and TV credits include: “Dawson’s Creek,” “Betsy’s Wedding,” “Rambling Rose,” “Billy Bathgate,” “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” “The Road to Wellville,” “The Stepford Husbands,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “Amy and Isabelle,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “Matlock,” “The Wedding”
Wilmington Railroad Museum - Relive early railroad days with extensive indoor displays of photographs, artifacts and the HO and Lionel model train exhibits. Climb aboard a steam locomotive and bright red caboose. Visit our “hands on” Children’s Corner. Exhibits interpret Wilmington’s role as the center of railroad history along the coast. Located at 501 Nutt St., Wilmington. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. 1-5pm (Mar. 15-Oct.14); Mon-Sat. 10am-4pm (Oct. 15-Mar.14). Admission fee. (910-763-2634)
Film and TV credits: “Dawson’s Creek,” “One Christmas”- NBC Hallmark Hall of Fame movie-of-the-week, starring Katherine Hepburn
Wright Brothers National Memorial - Visit the site of the first successful powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine made by Wilbur and Orville Wright on December 17, 1903. A 60-foot granite monument dedicated in 1932 is perched atop 90-foot tall Kill Devil Hill commemorating the achievement of these two visionaries from Dayton, Ohio. A visit should include touring the museum exhibits, participating in a ranger conducted program, touring the reconstructed camp buildings and first flight trail area, and a climb up Kill Devil Hill to view the memorial pylon. The Memorial site is operated by the National Park Service. Location: The Park is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the town of Kill Devil Hills. The Visitor Center is 15 miles northeast of Manteo, NC on US 158. Hours: open daily during the summer, 9am-6pm; fall/winter/spring, 9am-5pm; closed on December 25.
Film and TV credits: "Brainstorm"
Wrightsville Beach Scenic Cruises - This one-hour narrated harbor cruise of the Intracostal Waterway points out locations used in “Dawson’s Creek,” “Sleeping with the Enemy,” “Matlock,” and “Weekend at Bernies.” Also offers special party charters, sunset cruises, weddings, nature excursions and shuttle service to Masonboro Island. Location: Departs at Banks Channel in South Wrightsville Beach, across from the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Call for schedule and reservations. Admission fee. (910-350-BOAT)
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Sometimes referred to as "Hollywood East", North Carolina trails only California and New York as the most popular locale for filmmaking in the U.S.
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