If you understand the significance of that sign, you'll enjoy this blog. Of course, this is the sign from the Mystic Grill in Mystic Falls, VA... aka this is the fake front for the soon to be real Mystic Grill in Covington, GA, where Vampire Diaries is filmed.
My last blog talked about the trip to Covington with SherryGayl in mid March, and now here are the pictures about the tour itself. Of course, shortly after I arrived in Atlanta I found out the cast either had the week off or went to New Orleans to film the backdoor pilot for the new The Originals spinoff. I am incredibly excited for the new show, ridiculously so, but I admit I'm disappointed that I didn't get the chance to meet any of the cast. They only film in Covington maybe 1-2 days a week for the outside shots, while the rest of the filming is done in warehouses in Atlanta, away from the public. Since I had planned for 3 nights in Covington I was really hopeful, but it just wasn't meant to be. Still, being there was great and the tour was awesome.
The tour meets up at the visitor's center which has some items from different tv shows and movies that have filmed in town.
Just a few blocks away is the town square, which includes a lot of filming locations. For such a small area, shooting in different directions allows them to use the same general location many, many times. Around the square is:
The Mystic Grill facade (soon to be a real restaurant) with Sherry and Sheri (the awning was destroyed by weather and just replaced in the last few days):
The alleyway where plenty of vampires have been staked, sometimes with hybrids watching:
The clock tower (town hall), where we're standing is where Klaus drowned Carol Lockwood (they built a fountain for that shot):
Alaric's apartment windows (sad face for missing Ric):
Rooftop from multiple scenes, including the 'destroy the moonstone' spell; underneath is a Thai restaurant that Ian frequents when in town:
Grayson Gilbert's doctor's office front:
At the square there's also Scoops, the ice cream and candy shop, and just off the square is Amici, the Italian restaurant we ate at.
After the square, we drove around to some of the houses around the older part of town. Some of these houses were built in the 1800s, others in the early 1900s, so they're pretty old and quite beautiful. There are other locations further out as well:
Flashback Lockwood Mansion, aka the Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast:
Rebekah's party house:
Dying Damon's walk through the graveyard:
Isobel's 'best foreclosure in town' house:
Sherry was able to outrun the hybrid that was chasing her:
But the hybrid caught me so I scolded him:
*Next was the Lockwood Mansion, but there are a LOT of pictures from that incredible property so I'll show those last.*
Many street shots were done here (such as Klaus throwing fence posts) because you can see the clock tower in the background:
The Gilbert house (which was burnt down in the show because it was foreclosed and is now on the market for over $400,000):
That was the end of the tour! There's more on the tour, but some of the locations are not easily recognizeable from pictures or even while you're standing there. Jessica and Travis (who do the tours) have lots of stories about the different locations and that's part of what makes the tour so incredible to take.
Now, back to the Lockwood Mansion photos. Technically, the house now belongs to Matt since both of Tyler's parents are dead, Tyler is on the run from Klaus, and he left the deed to Matt, but it's the Lockwood mansion in our hearts. Hopefully when Klaus goes to New Orleans Tyler can come back and it'll be a bachelor pad for Matt and Tyler to throw blowout parties at! The house is absolutely incredible. Pictures don't even do it justice because it is so beautiful. The owners come out and say hi while you're there, and they're totally sweet.
The house is surrounded by a huge gate, there's a massive yard with a fountain in front, a carport converted to a 'hangout spot', an insane backyard with a lake, a resident stray cat, and a family of swans.
The front of the house and fountain:
I had to show off my 'It ain't easy being evil' shirt that I wore for the tour:
The incredible backyard (if you look close you can see one of the swans at the front edge of the lake):
The carport 'hang out' area has a covered but open area with a fireplace and chandelier, and their resident stray cat, George:
And it has an indoor area with another fireplace, photos, and memorabilia:
In the backyard there are benches where Elena and Stefan sat:
The staircase where the recent Miss Mystic pagent occured (when April won):
And last, but possibly one of my favorite spots, is the bridge where Klaus and Caroline walked across while talking. This was after they were sitting on the stone bench and Klaus teased Caroline about her Miss Mystic application. Then they walked across the bridge while Tyler vamp-listened in on their conversation while sitting on the steps with Hayley. After they crossed the bridge Klaus talked about the hummingbird and the one time he thought about being human again. I'm a big Joseph Morgan fan and Klaus has become one of my favorite characters, so I did EEP a bit when I realized this was the bridge.
So there you have it! Those are some of the best photos from the Vampire Diaries tour. They definitely don't do it justice. If you're a fan of the show, I highly recommend taking a trip to Covington and taking the tour. I'm seriously hoping to make the trip there again in fall or winter. When (I refuse to say if!) The Originals is picked up, it sounds like they will be filming in Conyers, which is 10 miles from Covington, and Jessica said she hopes to set up a 2nd tour for those sets. Filming for this season of TVD is almost complete (they finish by mid April) and filming for next season should start in mid July, but it'll be way too warm for me then, so I'm hoping to go back and tour both sets in late fall or winter. After all, I missed out on meeting the cast, so I need another chance!
I would LOOOOOVE to have more people join me on my next trip, so if anyone is interested in joining me, let me know and I'll do my best to keep you in the loop when I start planning the next trip so you can try to come with. After splitting the hotel and rental car costs with Sherry, I was able to do this trip for about $650! Thus it's quite affordable and can be quite relaxing as well. It will cost more depending on if you want to stay at Twelve Oaks, want to buy a bunch of merchandise after the tour, eat out more often, or do any extras that are going on in the area (they showed the TVD episode airing on Thurs night at Twelve Oaks and it would've cost $15 to join in, but it would've been too hard on my body).
If anyone has questions about the pictures I posted or the tour, let me know. I hope the TVD fans enjoyed this blog and are considering visiting Covington and taking the tour.
Edit: I realize I forgot to credit SherryGayl for all the wonderful pictures. She brought her great camera along. Very helpful for me, because I could concentrate on maneuvering with my walker and not falling over while she was taking the pictures. When she's in the picture it was Jessica or Travis (who do the tours) taking the picture. BIG THANK YOU TO SHERRY!