Day 12 – Wilmington – One Tree Hill Filming Sites

July 13th, 2022

We woke up for our full day of Film sightseeing in Wilmington and headed out in the car in search of more locations.

River Court/ Battleship USS North Carolina

For our first stop, we drove across the river to the USS North Carolina, or for filming location purposes, the grass area next to it. Because this is where in One Tree Hill the hallowed Rivercourt stood and was filmed in many episodes, the backdrop to so many integral scenes. The actual basketball court has long since been dismantled but it’s easily recognizable with the buildings on the other side of Cape Fear river. I pulled on my Luca’s Scott basketball jersey and Steve took the all-important insta shot.

We wandered around the area, paying respect to the Pear Harbor Memorial plaque which was erected in memory of those who lost their lives that day in Honolulu.

We walked over to the USS North Carolina and admired the mighty Ship up close from the walkways.

We then went back to the car to continue our tour of Wilmington, in search of the filming locations that were outside of the historical area.

Tric and OTH Bridge

Armed with all the addresses we needed, we pulled up next to a red brick building that served as the home of Tric nightclub and later Red Bedroom Records in One Tree Hill. A charity called FWB Charity Events has reopened Tric for charity events endorsed by the cast of One Tree Hill. There were banners on the red steps up to the club with a phone number to text to get a tour of Tric but we assumed we had left it too late to organize (and also have trouble texting US phone numbers).

Not too disheartened, we took photos and pulled out that important Sharpie pen again to add my quote to the wall where so many fans before me had added their quotes of Tree Hill love.

We then drove to one of the most iconic locations in One Tree Hill: the bridge in the opening credits. This is a must-visit for any One Tree Hill fan and a couple of years ago, Chad Micheal Murray himself sent fans into meltdown by posting a photo of himself on this very bridge. Again, the bridge has since been adorned with fans’ favorite quotes from the show. We walked along one side, reading all the different notes people had written. It’s a pretty big bridge and most areas at reachable high have words written on them. Time to get the Sharpie out again and add my few words to the bridge.

Airlie Gardens

Wilmington Peyton's House

At this point, we were getting pretty hungry. As we drove to find something for lunch, we passed the house that was used in One Tree Hill as Peyton Sawyer’s house. A quick snap from a distance and we continued our search for food. We were craving something healthy by now on our trip after over a week of fast food and drive-throughs on the road trip. We found a Whole Foods supermarket with a fresh food take-out bar and seating area. I chose chicken and salad and Steve had pretty much everything from the hot food counter! We ate our food in the seating area and then made our way to the gardens.

Airlie Garden has been used for both Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. After a morning of One Tree Hill locations, it was time to get my fan head back into the world of Capeside. The Ruins, a small section of Airlie Gardens was used for the scene in Dawsons Creek where Pacey and Miss Jacobs sleep together. All awkwardly caught on camera (accidentally) by Dawson. Illicit affairs aside, this part of Airlie gardens is truly beautiful and was also used in the Season 4 finale of One Tree Hill, right before the group go their separate ways to college.

After we left Airlie Gardens we drove along Airlie Road, the filming place for quite possibly one of the most famous scenes of Dawson’s Creek: Pacey kisses Joey. Having watched this scene so many times, it felt unreal to be standing in the place where Pacey Witter put himself out there and kissed the girl he had been admiring so long from afar (I love both shows of Dawson’s and One Tree Hill but if I’m honest, my heart always belonged to Pacey Witter before anyone else. (Including Lucas Scott and Mr. Gregory LOL).

Wrightsville Beach

It was hot, it was sunny so we headed to the beach. Not just any Beach though… we drove to Crystal Pier at Wrightsville Beach and left the car in one of the many paid parking only spots to relax and enjoy the weather for a little bit. As we made our way towards Crystal Pier I could already spot the iconic structure used in the opening credits of Dawsons Creek. As Steve went into the water, I settled myself sunbathing, feeling like I could actually be in those famous scenes. As I gazed out to the water to see where Steve had swum, I spotted a dolphin close to the swimmers. Those in the water had seen it too and were pretty happy to be swimming so close to it.

After an hour of relaxing on the beach and being in the water, we made our way back to the car to finish our sightseeing and head back to Downtown Wilmington for dinner.

Lucas Scott’s House- One Tree Hill Way- Grace Methodist Church

One Tree Hill Way

On the way back from the beach we stopped off at One Tree Hill Way which is located at EUE / Screen Gems Studios. A quick photo shot later, I climbed back into the car, turned on the radio, and ‘i don’t wanna be’ was playing, right as we were parked on One Tree Hill Way! You couldn’t make this up!

Once we left One Tree Hill Way, we drove over to the house that was used as Lucas Scott’s house. I had heard on the OTH Drama Queen’s podcast that the owners of this house were very private so I took photos from across the street to not be obtrusive.

On our way back to Old Historic Wilminton we passed the Grace Methodist Church- the location for Lucas and Lindsay’s ill-fated wedding in OTH. It was so surreal standing in the exact spot where Peyton had parked her car, making Lindsay realize that Peyton was Lucas ‘Comet’ and she could not go through with the wedding.

After we drove back to the car park, Steve went back to the apartment in the hope to catch good views of a gathering thunderstorm and went to do more souvenir shopping. I bought my sister-in-law and a friend their birthday presents from Cape Fear Spice Merchants Tea Shop before popping in again to The Black Cat Shoppe. Even though we visited yesterday and purchased my Dawson’s t-shirt, I wanted to get myself and my 2 sisters a Keith Scott Auto Shop T-shirt as all 3 of us are big Tree Hill fans. My youngest sister was not born until after Dawson’s ended and despite being very young when Tree Hill started, she has watched the re-runs with us since so a Tree Hill momento for us all made sense.

I walked back to the apartment still not getting over my surroundings and that I had finally made it to the home of 2 of my favorite shows.

Dinner at Elijah’s aka ‘The Icehouse’

My shopping trip had been more successful than Steves Thunderstorm watching as unfortunately, a storm had not materialized. We both got ready to go for dinner. I had been really looking forward to this dinner since we planned the trip. We were having dinner at Elijah’s on the Riverwalk: the locations for Pacey’s Icehouse in the Dawsons Creek Reunion Finale episode. The moment he sees Joey Potter walking towards his restaurant in the rain after all those years is one of the show’s most iconic moments.

We found out yesterday that you can not book a table at Elijah’s so when we arrived there was a 45-minute wait for a table. We both ordered drinks at the bar and took photos while we waited for our table and when we were seated, we were placed along the balcony with a view of the River. It even started raining just like in the episode!

The food at Elijah’s is really good and would recommend it even if you are not a major Dawsons fan. We had the Hot Crab dip to share for our starter and I had the lobster roll for my main course and Steve had stuffed shrimp. it really is a stunning location right by the River Walk. After our dinner, we walked back to our apartment along the Riverwalk for the last time as we were leaving Wilmington the next day.

Wilmington Historic Downtown

Thunderstorm

Throughout the day the Humidity had been through the roof, it was swelteringly hot and huge clouds constantly brewed up into menacing thunderstorms, but non really hit the town or showed off in a decisive way. There was a constant threat but it was never carried out.

Around 2a.m this changed and a huge storm sailed right along the front of our apartment. The elevated balcony gave the perfect vantage point for storm watching, overlooking the river with unobstructed views for miles. Unfortunately, this is not where the storm was happening. Instead, it was out back overlooking the Parking Lot and very noisy AC units of the restaurants behind. Not the most peaceful place to watch the Storm.

For around an hour the storm put on a mighty show, as the flashes and forks lit up the night sky. There was no thunder and the storm was far enough away to not produce rain and really was a majestic sight and a great way to finish our Wilmington adventure.

Wilmington Storm

Walking Total – 15,524 Steps – 7.9 Miles

Again this was a biggish day on our fee despite the fact we never really went anywhere by foot. It was the culmination of multiple short walks while we checked places out.

Live Blog – Trip Report

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