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Where was Dawson’s Creek Filmed?

October 31, 2020
5 min read

‘Dawson’s Creek’ is a coming-of-age series that follows a group of friends from their high school years to college, as they explore relationships and adulthood. The story follows four friends, Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek), Joey Potter (Katie Holmes), Pacey Witter (Joshua Jackson), and Jen Lindley (Michelle Williams). Dawson’s childhood friend Joey gets involved in a love triangle with him and his best friend, Pacey.

This complicates things for their relationships as they go through their teenage years and into young adulthood. Jen is a New Yorker who moves to Capeside and becomes a part of their lives. Created by Kevin Williamson, ‘Dawson’s Creek’ is touted as one of the most popular teen shows in the history of television. It ran for six seasons and first aired on The WB on January 20, 1998. Here are the filming locations!

Dawson’s Creek Filming Locations

Dawson’s Creek’ is set in the fictional town of Capeside, located in mid-Cape Cod, Massachusetts. People from North Carolina may recognize some of the places shown in the series. For the uninitiated, here are the specific locations where ‘Dawson’s Creek’ was actually filmed.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Apart from a few establishing shots in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts for the opening credits, and a few miscellaneous shots in the early episodes, ‘Dawson’s Creek’ was primarily filmed in Wilmington and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. EUE/ Screen Gems Studios was a significant part of the filming process. The show used one of the earliest soundstages in the Wilmington area, which was served as a filming site for many other shows and films, including ‘One Tree Hill.’ Filming of the series brought in a lot of business and fame for Wilmington

Image Credit: Mary-Margaret Humes/Instagram

Houses for the Leery and Lindley family are situated on Head Road by the Hewlett’s Creek, a stream in the New Hanover County. Joey Potter’s house in the series was located on 6401 Pine Grove Drive in Wilmington, which was later demolished. Joey’s family owns the Icehouse Restaurant in the show, which actually used to be a bar of the same name on 115 South Water Street.

The interiors scenes of the restaurant were filmed in The Icehouse bar in Wilmington, while the exterior shots were taken at Dockside Restaurant and Bar in Wrightsville Beach. When the places around the actual Icehouse in Wilmington started undergoing construction, the writers omitted it from the storyline by showing that it caught fire. In the final season, Pacey’s Icehouse was filmed at Elijah’s Restaurant on 2 Ann Street.

For Capeside High School, the exterior scenes were shot at Alderman Hall at the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus. The makers were aware that they could not use the same campus to show the college in the fifth and sixth season as the buildings on the Wilmington campus of UNC were designed uniformly. To show the fictional Worthington University in Boston, they filmed at Duke University in Durham with parts of it at Franklin Street at the Chapel Hill campus of UNC.

The later seasons of the show heavily features different parts of Durham and Raleigh. The Hell’s Kitchen Bar, the college bar, used to be a natural food store, which the producers bought and converted to the fictional bar for ‘Dawson’s Creek.’ If you have actually visited the Hell’s Kitchen Bar in Wilmington, it is because a local businessman later bought the place along with the set decorations and retained the name as well. It is located at 118 Princess Street.

Other locations in Wilmington that feature in ‘Dawson’s Creek’ include the Orton Plantation, which was used to film Orby’s Funeral, Market Street, Water Street, and Cape Fear Riverwalk. The Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts is the Rialto Movie Theatre in the series, which also happens to be one of the oldest theatres in the country.

Image Credit: Katie Holmes/Instagram

Joey’s Wall in ‘Dawson’s Creek’ is across the Reel Cafe on 100 South Front Street. The site of the wall is now a seating area for a cafe, but the top portion of which is still visible. The Capeside CD shop in the show is the Black Cat Shoppe on 8 Market Street. Leery’s Fresh fish is owned by Dawson’s family and was actually Michaels on the Waterfront on 5 South Water Street. It is now an Indian restaurant called Kabob & Grill Downtown.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Airlie Road, where the Dockside Restaurant and Bar is located, is in the vicinity where Mitch’s car accident occurs and where Pacey kisses Joey. Nearby is also the site of the ruins in the show, which is the Airlie Gardens on 300 Airlie Road. Wrightsville Beach also has the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort on 1706 N. Lumina Avenue, which doubled as the rehabilitation facility where Audrey is a resident. Other scenes filmed at Wrightsville Beach are Pace and Gretchen’s beach house on West Atlanta Street and the Capeside Yacht Club, on 4 Marina Street.

Southport, North Carolina

Joey’s job with Logan’s Marina in the series is located at Yacht Basin Drive and West Brunswick Street in Southport. This is a significant spot for the story, as this is the place where Joey professes her love for Pacey. We also come back to this location multiple times when Dawson finds out about Pacey and Joey’s relationship. Southport served as a shooting site several times, including the opening credits.

Read More: Is Dawson’s Creek Based on a True Story?

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