I’m obsessed with TVD so, when I ran out of episodes I did what I do best, travel. And what better way to get the fix of your favorite neck-biting vamps than by squeezing in a weekender to Covington to explore The Vampire Diaries’ filming locations.
The Vampire Diaries Filming Locations in Covington, GA
If you’re a total Vampire Stalker you are going to flip out when you go to Mystic Falls, or as we call it in the real world, Covington, Georgia. Like you, I’m a huge fan, and hitting up The Vampire Diaries filming locations has been on my bucket list for a while.
No, I haven’t been watching it since 2009 when it started, but when I finally got on the wagon this year, I binge-watched every single episode in a matter of a month. Yes, a month.
Let me tell you, it’s a whole new level of geekery and I highly recommend it.
How much will that cost me? Some budget-friendly tips to keep your money in your pocket.
Okay, okay, you’re budget-minded and I get that. Naturally, you want to get right to it. Is this even a feasible trip? No sense in getting your fangs out if you can’t actually afford it.
The good news, visiting Georgia is actually pretty budget-friendly. Here are some pointers to keep you winning:
Flying Into Atlanta
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a flight hub, one of the largest in the U.S. This means your flights are much cheaper than say if you were trying to fly into Tampa. Hey, even I like to save money (there’s always a kid or an animal who needs it more than I do).
Renting a Car
Really, you’re going to have to do this. Covington is a hot minute outside of the city. Plus, it’s the kind of place to check out and deserves more than a once over. I always rent from Kayak… It’s just plain cheap.
Where to Stay in Atlanta
Well, this depends on your “Katherine” level. I’m a total Katherine when it comes to lodging. Call me spoiled but the hotel industry was my first career.
I like unique places to stay, especially historic (and in light of the theme here, a historic inn is perfectly fitting)!
I can recommend the Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast. Firstly, because they actually use this property for filming and secondly, because it came highly recommended to me by the Covington Visitor’s Bureau (and they don’t just put travel bloggers anywhere…we get the goods).
Apart from this, you can always save when using Kayak in Atlanta which is just a half-hour away. I’m not paid by Kayak, I just really love Kayak.
Other Tips for TV Geeks
While you’re at it, if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, you may as well knock that geek trip off your list too! It’s just an hour from Covington!
Vampire Stalkers Mystic Falls Tours – Winging it Versus Having a Guide
Okay so now that we’ve sorted that, let’s start talking! The filming locations in Covington A.K.A. Mystic Falls, are pretty much public property which gives you one of two options. You can either wing it, or you can take a guided tour.
Me personally, I prefer the guided tour (and I generally dislike tours they bore the crap out of me), but when it comes to a film (the one you know darn well you’re crack-addicted to) a guided tour is anything but boring.
The ONLY tour to take for this is the Vampire Stalkers Mystic Falls Tour. It will run you $55 USD/person and worth every dime.
Plus, it’s partnered with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation which I love (and in fact am working on my own campaign to help his cause).
There are three and only three reasons I opted to take a guided tour of Mystic Falls with Vampire Stalkers over chumming it along on my own:
Jessica, the guide (and founder of Vampire Stalkers Mystic Falls Tours) knows more than
you I do about The Vampire Diaries filming locations. She’s from Covington, Georiga, she’s been watching The Vampire Diaries filming since it began in 2009, and she knows the cast.
This means that taking this tour will leave you with insider knowledge and backstories you otherwise NEVER would have known. Oh, and her startup story is awesome too.
She is overall just a ball of sunshine and adored by the cast and of course now me.
Mystic Falls Tours has access to the VERY private Lockwood Mansion estate where loads upon loads of scenes have been filmed. When you wing it you just get the creepy drive-by version. AND, you don’t get to meet George Lockwood, the infamous fabulous feline.
You may get to actually see (some of the former) cast of The Vampire Diaries while you’re there.
Now, I’m not guaranteeing anything, but let’s just say they are known to ham it up with fans when they are done, and being seen with Jess is never going to hurt the situation.
Here are some of The Vampire Diaries’ filming locations I was able to see on the Mystic Falls Tour
Many scenes are shot here. Bench scenes, town scenes, and more. As soon as you stand in the Square you feel like you’re in the show. It’s pretty cool.
Elena’s Father’s Doctor’s Office
The show has to remove the props because people tend to steal them. This one got to stay though! Pretty cool!
The Mystic Grill
Gah! The Mystic Grill like for really reals! So cool hearing about all the scenes filmed here. You can actually eat inside, however, keep in mind all the inside stuff is filmed at a soundstage.
P.S. the food is UHMAZE!
Mystic Falls Courthouse
When you roll into Covington this hits you! Boom, you’re in Mystic Falls. This is really the icon of the exterior set of Mystic Falls.
The Damon and Elena Rain Kiss Scene
We all melted when we saw this one. Like c’mon, this is one of the most memorable scenes in the series!
Movie magic turns this into Whitmore Campus. Pretty cool! This is actually a local park which is very peaceful and serene.
Where Bonnie Stops Matt’s Heart
In the current season, we all just saw how Bonnie used her witchy magic to stop Matt’s heart and barely start it again. Whew! That was here!
The Lockwood Mansion
Such an amazing estate. This historic real-life home is Tyler Lockwood’s home in Mystic Falls. Lots of cool parties and scenes shot here.
You can’t miss George either. He’s the resident spotlight stealer. He loves attention, so expect him to come around when you’re there!
Most of the cemetery scenes are done at the soundstage, but this has been used for scenes before.
And just for fun! The stars in town:
Now I know you’re stoked. If you’re like me you’re an uber-fan and you swear you have to make it to Mystic Falls or you’ll die. Please remember while we all love TVD, there are some things you just shouldn’t do.
As in… don’t be that person that ruins it for everyone. No one likes that person.
If you see talent (they are really cool and often will come by to say hello if they have time), please keep in mind these people work 12-16 hour days. They have a lot of responsibility to remember lines and get into the characters we all love.
Don’t be an ass. Use your best judgment.
Don’t ever steal anything from the set. Sure it’s a trophy but at what cost. This type of move will cause nothing but problems for the people who aren’t doing these things.
For more information on visiting Covington and the greater Atlanta area to explore The Vampire Diaries filming locations, please visit: The Covington CVB