One Tree Hill- Around Wilmington
I’ve been to almost every single location from “One Tree Hill.” I’ve been to all of their houses, I’ve eaten at all of the restaurants, but it’s when you aren’t even trying to look for locations and you end up at one anyways when you realize that you really live somewhere special.
When you live in Wilmington, you can’t escape the show if you try. I walk into a bowling alley with a bunch of friends and I stop and say, “This is where Jamie and Madison went on their date.”
I am watching Season 8 on DVD with my mom and sister, and the episode about
Brooke’s bachelorette party shows the girls drinking out of a boot and riding a mechanical bull, and I freak out and say, “City Limits! That’s our favorite place to go when we go out downtown!”
Then I’m watching Season 9, and there’s the scene when Brooke is driving around town, trying to get the babies to go to sleep, and she sees her high school self stumbling drunk and squealing outside of a club. My friend Kelsey texts me saying, “Was that Soapbox!?” The club Brooke was coming out of is where we sometimes go to concerts.
I walk past the baseball fields, where Ian Kellerman played, almost every day on my way to class or to get dinner. My apartment is right behind the tall building that you can see past the fields.
Morton Hall is the English building at UNCW where I have most of my classes, and right between Morton and Leutze is where they shot the scenes of Karen and Andy at college. (Talking about Andy reminds me of the real One Tree Hill in New Zealand, which I’ve also been to. That wasn’t really on purpose. I’m not quite obsessed enough to fly half way across the world just to go there, but it’s still cool to be able to say that I have.)
Every time my friends and I go to the beach, we sit near the pier where Clay stopped Katie from jumping into the water. We go out to Hell’s Kitchen to have dinner, hang out, and watch dualing pianos, and even though it was really a “Dawson’s Creek” set, it was The Swinging Donkey Bar where Taylor works in “One Tree Hill” too.
We go to our friend’s beach house to hang out, and as we get close, I see Topsail, which I know is the town Clay’s beach house is in, and all of the houses around my friend’s look just like his.
It’s not just locations that are everywhere either. When they were filming here, the cast could be spotted all around Wilmington too. I saw Jana Kramer hanging out at Wrightsville Beach. My roommate was at Tower 7 with her aunt, and she texted me saying that the entire cast was sitting behind them eating. After being extras, one of the PAs asked my friend if we all wanted to get drinks at Firebelly with the cast and crew.
Seeing cast members and locations unintentionally is always exciting, but I’ve spent hours upon hours visiting places just for the purpose of seeing where the show had been shot or where they were filming. I made my friend Kelly go stalk with me one day, and we watched Clay and Quinn film a beach seen on the south end of Wrightsville Beach, and then we went to Tric and watched everyone walk from their trailers to set.
My sister, Tate, and I had already been to all of the important locations when we were in Wilmington before, so when she came to visit me last semester we had to find more. We had one creepy day when we went to Nanny Carrie’s house, the gas station where Quentin was shot, and some back road where Dan’s diner was supposed to be, but we couldn’t find that one. We went to random grocery stores and fast food restaurants, because we knew they filmed there too.
Tate and I went to get coffee before our day of location stalking started, and we went to Port City Java next to Karen’s Café. Now I feel really bad that we ate at Tara’s Tree Hill Café. We also got ice cream one night, and the best ice cream downtown is at Kilwin’s. It’s Sophia Bush’s favorite place, and I even read in an interview in a health magazine that if she’s going to indulge, she goes there.
Feeling like you’re in Tree Hill happens on a daily basis when you live here, because I walk and drive by locations every day without even thinking about it anymore. I had to go downtown to research a store I was writing an article on, and I ended up sitting in Dixie Grill to write. We go out to shop and eat, and there are signed posters and cast pictures on the walls of The Reel Café and The Black Cat Shoppe. This show is everywhere, and even though it’s ending, it made its mark on this town and is not going anywhere.