I wish I would have taken a road trip down to Wilmington, North Carolina back when I graduated from high school. It would have been the “Dawson’s Creek” mecca I had always dreamed it would be. It is mostly devoted to “One Tree Hill” now but whispers of my favorite WB drama still exist if you know where to look.
Upon arrival at our adorable hostel, Stella Maris, I knew I was where I was meant to start the road trip. Wilmington is nothing short of adorable. The houses are mostly small, unassuming buildings but there are sprawling mansions that dot the streets closer to Main Street. The hostel was within walking distance to the River Walk and business area.
From the second you set foot on the River Walk you know you are in Capeside or Tree Hill, you decide. What was Leery’s Fresh Fish (Dawson’s parents restaurant) is now an incredible Indian Restaurant, Kabob Grill and Cafe. I eat Indian often, I even spent a month in the country and I was still blown away by the food and the hospitality of its workers. I may not have been able to eat with the Leery’s but I was not disappointed.
If you are a fan of “Dawson’s Creek” then you will know what the “Ask me to stay” wall is. I found the location and promptly took a ton of pictures adding my own words to the now blank wall. It is in a blink and you will miss it area on Main Street. Of course you would miss it, I mean it is just a wall.
While exploring many of the souvenir shops on the streets I found tons of “One Tree Hill” memorabilia but none for “Dawson’s Creek” realizing I was about a decade too late for anyone to care anymore I almost gave up. Until I went into The Black Cat. On DC it was a CD sstore and on OTH as a record shop. Now it is a quirky store that sells anything from jewelry to memorabilia. And that’s where I found it. A black t-shirt with a brick wall and the drippy, painted words “Ask me to stay” written across and the tiny Capeside, MA underneath. The 16 year old inside of me rejoiced.
You see we grew up together, me, Pacey, Dawson, Joey and Jen. We started high school together, we got our hearts broken together, we graduated together, started college etc,etc. Maybe not literally together because I lived on Long Island and they existed solely in my TV but spiritually we were going thru the same things at the same time.
They were smart, well written teenagers. They were relatively good role models. Joey Potter was a great female character. She was a smart and ambitious girl who may not have come from a lot but had every intention of becoming more.
We spent the better half of the morning tracking down Peyton, Lucas and Brooks houses and the later half trying to find where Dawson and Joey lived. Unfortunately they both live on private roads so it was impossible to see there houses.
At night we decided to grab a drink at “Hell’s Kitchen”. When the gang heads to college in Boston, Joey gets a job at said bar. The show built a set for a fake bar and used it for filming. When the show ended the town turned it into a real bar and it still has “Dawson’s Creek” memorabilia.
In our communal hostel kitchen we were talking with some young girls from Australia about what they would be doing for the day. They told us they were going to see all the places from OTH. When we said we were there for “Dawson’s Creek” they had no idea what we were talking about. I realized how much being there for DC aged me. I was a decade older then those girls. They would have been about 6 or 7 years old when the show aired.
Later we headed down to Wrightsville Beach where they filmed the opening credits to the show. I managed to make a pretty funny snap chat video with the theme song and then forgot to save it.
Wrightsville Beach is about 20 minutes from Wilmington and is truly beautiful.
Wilmington makes for a great getaway even if you aren’t hunting down teen drama’s from the 90’s.