Monday, December 5, 2011

Where Is 'Dawson's Creek'?


UPDATE (April 2016)
In solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters at the mercy of House Bill 2, we strongly discourage travel to North Carolina at this time. 

"I don't want to wait for our lives to be over. I'm born to know right now..."

If you lived through the 90s, you know that Paula Cole song doesn't just evoke Lilith Fair. You know it reminds you of Dawson's Creek in a jiffy.

Stars of that 90s show, led by Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, and James Van Der Beek, have since moved on to carve successful careers in Hollywood. But for diehards, they would always be little-town Jen, Joey, Pacey and Dawson of Capeside, Massachusetts. 

Now that town does not exist. What does is Wilmington, North Carolina, where they shot most of Dawson's Creek. This info naturally begets lots of questions, starting with, "Where is Dawson's Creek in Wilmington then? You know, the one where they showed Joey rowing her boat over to Dawson's?"

It's named Hewlett's Creek in real life. 

Hewlett's Creek aka 'Dawson's Creek.' Photo via dansonnenberg123

Not unlike Baywatch, the renown of Creek's story among non-fans tends to be eclipsed by the show's unforgettable opening. Not unlike Baywatch too, this show's opening placed import on shots of a pier. A hurricane later destroyed this pier, much to every fan's chagrin. It has since been concretized:

Find this important place in TV history at Wilmington's Wrightsville Beach behind an eatery called Oceanic. Via chipposgoglobal

Since the filming locations for the characters' houses are private now, you need to be unobtrusive around them should you visit Wilmington. Anyway, here's the main man's house:

DAWSON LEERY'S HOUSE. Watch your steps, lest you'd be arrested for trespassing. Via gdodson

Jen's house is right next door:

Jen Lindley's house via cinnimon97

Here's the famed Potter B&B:

Joey Potter's residence. Via Dawson's Creek Fan

Understand that these houses were used primarily for exterior shots. You may sign up for tours by Screen Gems Studios to see the show's sets, including the famous window through which Joey would enter Dawson's room.

Knowing Dawson's Creek like the back of your hand, you should be able to spot a hodgepodge of important locations in Wilmington on your own, anywhere from Screen Play Video to Hell's Kitchen. While in town, stop by Water Street Restaurant, which in another world is known as Leery's Fresh Fish:

via _moonpie

You, Dawson's Creek fan, would easily see how Wilmington is just a town within another town, a place parallel to a universe called Capeside.

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