Relive Famous Film Scenes in North Carolina

Relive Famous Film Scenes in North Carolina

You can reenact iconic scenes from Dirty Dancing where it was filmed: Lake Lure

With more than 800 productions shot in the state since 1980, it’s a pretty safe bet that North Carolina plays a role in one of your favorite flicks or TV shows. Here are six destinations to relive some iconic moments from the big (and small) screen.


Nicknamed Hollywood East, the coastal city rolls out the red carpet for film crews, with more than 400 productions shot here since 1983. Fans of TV shows One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek take self-guided tours from the Wilmington Visitor Center, which lead them to sites recognized in the fictional towns of Capeside and Tree Hill, including Hell’s Kitchen restaurant and pub featured in both shows. The “Return to Tree Hill” convention takes place in May, with appearances by stars from the show.

Wilmington bridge sunset

Wilmington offers the kind of beauty that filmmakers covet


Scenes from the 1988 romantic comedy Bull Durham, which featured the minor league Durham Bulls baseball team, were shot at Historic Durham Athletic Park. Although the Durham Bulls now play a mile down the road, visitors still swing by the 1926 ballpark’s famous ticket office: a rust-color tower with a conical roof.

Lake Lure

Lovers of Dirty Dancing have the time of their lives reenacting the iconic lake-lift scene from the 1987 classic, which was largely shot here among the Blue Ridge foothills. Each August, celebrate the film at the Dirty Dancing Festival, which draws fans for an annual Lake Lift Competition, a lakeside screening of the film and overnights in Dirty Dancing-theme cabins at The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa.

Chimney Rock

Some of the most intense scenes of the 1992 adventure The Last of the Mohicans were shot on and around this 315-foot-long jutting rock formation, about 40 minutes east of Asheville. Hike to panoramic views of forests before trekking the Hickory Nut Falls Trail to the 404-foot falls (one of the tallest in the East). For a less demanding hike, follow the Great Woodland Adventure Trail, which winds past 12 Discovery Stations. Chimney Rock State Park hosts Movie on the Meadows each June, showing The Last of the Mohicans on a giant outdoor screen.

Chimney Rock aerial view

Climb the stairs to the top of Chimney Rock for amazing views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure


While the original Dirty Dancing continues to reach a new generation, old officially meets new with the Dirty Dancing remake. ABC premiered its "three-hour filmed musical event" on May 24 (and can now be streamed online), starring Abigail Breslin as Baby, and Colt Prattes as Johnny, alongside Debra Messing, Bruce Greenwood, Nicole Scherzinger, Billy Dee Williams and more. Filming took place in Western North Carolina, including Hendersonville, Cashiers, Saluda and Asheville. Kanuga, a conference, retreat and camp center in Hendersonville, served as the backdrop for a large portion of the movie. Notable scenes were also shot at High Hampton Inn & Country Club in Cashiers.

Mount Airy

Andy Griffith’s hometown has fully embraced the fact that it was the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show. Tour the town in a Mayberry squad car, cruising past Floyd’s Barber Shop and Barney’s Restaurant with a stop at Andy’s original home-sweet-home. Mount Airy also hosts the weeklong Mayberry Days festival each September.


Many establishments in this coastal town doubled as locations in the fictional town of Chester’s Mill in Stephen King’s TV series Under the Dome. Scenes of Safe Haven, a film adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, were also shot in and around town. Explore Waterfront Park before soaking up more waterfront views along East Bay Street.

Southport waterfront

Southport was named “Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living magazine

For a full listing of films shot in the state since 1950, visit; then check out the Official 2017 North Carolina Travel Guide for more show-stopping adventures.

Written by Jess Hoffert.


There’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.

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