Movies Filmed in North Carolina

In no particular order, our (okay, okay, my) 10 favorite movies and shows filmed in North Carolina!
Grandfather Mountain is just one set location for one of our favorite movies filmed in North Carolina

1. Weekend At Bernie’s (1989)

That’s right! Everyone’s favorite movie about a partying dead guy (um, does it still require a spoiler alert if the movie is old enough to drink?) was partially filmed off the coast of North Carolina! The beach scenes were filmed 30 miles south of Wilmington (the country’s largest film production epicenter outside of LA!) on Bald Head Island. Portions were also filmed at Carolina Beach State Park and the Fort Fisher Recreation Area, a beach my family has vacationed at every summer since I can remember.

Visit Bald Head Island where Weekend at Bernie's was filmed
Bald Head Island

2. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Race scenes were filmed at famed Charlotte Motor Speedway … you can even see signs for I-85 when Bobby and his father, Reece, have their argument in the street outside of the Applebee’s. Oh, and remember the scene where he crashes his car into a home (when he’s riding with the cougar)? That happened in Gastonia, NC, just a few streets over from where I live!

3. A Walk to Remember (2002)

Nicholas Sparks, an author acclaimed worldwide for his young-adult tearjerkers, is known for setting his stories in North and South Carolina. His film adaptations stick to the story and are mostly filmed in the Wilmington area; A Walk to Remember is no different.

4. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump was quite literally filmed in a dozen cities across the U.S., including Asheville, NC! When Forrest sets out for a run, he eventually makes it to Grandfather Mountain (pictured at top center) near the town of Linville along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The scene in the movie where Forrest realizes people are running with him happens at what is now know as Forrest Gump Curve.

Visit Lake Lure where DIrty Dancing was filmed in North Carolina
Lake Lure

5. Dirty Dancing (1987)

The movie that made the ladies fall in looooove with Patrick Swayze was filmed in Lake Lure, just east of Asheville. Lake Lure itself is a picturesque town that feels like you’ve escaped to the Swiss Alps. The lodge where the movie is filmed is an operational resort still open today… you can even stay in “Baby’s Cabin.”

Visit Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest where Hunger Games was filmed in North Carolina
Dupont State Forest

6. The Hunger Games (2012)

Filmed throughout Dupont State Forest, Hildebran, NC, and Charlotte, NC, The Hunger Games franchise is easily one of the most high profile and profitable films to have ever come out of North Carolina. There are set tours you can take through the Queen City, and you can visit Dupont State Forest outside Asheville to hike the same trails Katniss used to hunt outside District 12.

7. The Color Purple (1985)

This classic film, directed by Steven Spielberg, starred Oprah Winfrey (in her film debut) and Whoopi Goldberg. It went on to be nominated for 11 additional Academy Awards and was shot in both Anson and Union Counties in the central part of North Carolina (well-known for its sandy farmland).

8. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

While not set in North Carolina, this chick flick was filmed all throughout the southeastern portion of the state from Burgaw to Wilmington, including beaches such as Kure and Wrightsville (some of my favorite stomping grounds).

9. Bull Durham (1988)

Bull Durham is based on writer/director Ron Shelton’s time in minor league baseball and depicts the players and fans of the Durham Bulls (a minor league baseball team just outside the state capitol of Raleigh). The town’s nickname has been “Bull Durham” since the 1800’s.

10. Hey … but what about the small screen?

This list wouldn’t be complete without a list of popular TV shows filmed in North Carolina.

Homeland and Banshee (Charlotte)
One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek (Wilmington)
The Andy Griffith Show (Mt. Airy)
Greek (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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