The town of Mystic Falls has been invaded. Not by vampires, werewolves or witches but by humans hoping to catch a glimpse of a TV show gone viral. Workers at The Mystic Grill and The Alley gift shop, located right below the restaurant, say the town has recently been inundated with fans of hit show “The Vampire Diaries”. Although the show ended in 2017, people who live in Covington, Georgia – the actual location of the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia as seen on the show – say it’s only recently because of social media that their town has been truly affected by its popularity. Many speculate it’s due to people discovering the show on Netflix during quarantine and posting photos and videos on TikTok of where the show was filmed. Covington is a small, charming town about 30 miles from downtown Atlanta, and it’s where you can find several actual locations used for filming the teenage vampire drama. Here were some of the highlights of our recent visit:
- The Mystic Grill – The restaurant and bar was the location of many fights, bites and bar scenes on The Vampire Diaries, and it’s an actual restaurant and bar where you can grab some grub like the Clocktower Burger, fried green tomatoes or shrimp and grits. The interior does not look anything like it did on the show, except for the bar and a few signs. pparently, they used a sound stage to shoot many scenes inside, but you can grab a seat on the outside patio where Elena, Bonnie and Caroline shared supernatural teen gossip on several episodes. You can also dine inside or on the rooftop patio after 3 p.m. On weekends, expect up to a 3-hour wait so make sure to check in and do some other show location sight-seeing – all within walking distance while you wait for a table.
- Make a stop by The Alley gift shop and museum for a list of all show locations and addresses and some great memorabilia, such as journals, humanity switches, Mystic Grill t-shirts and hoodies, daylight rings, real vervain and more! Also, if you eat at The Mystic Grill, bring your receipt for 10 percent off your purchase.
- The Clock Tower – Just like in the show, right next to The Mystic Grill is the famous clock tower that was destroyed by a fire in the last episode but was used all the time in the show. In real life, it is a historic courthouse and now hosts an escape room for brave souls looking for adventure!
- Elena’s house – Less than a mile away, you can find the spot where Damon and Elena first kissed and where many scenes were filmed on the front porch. It is currently occupied, and although you’ll usually find people taking selfies out front, a family does live in the home.
- Caroline’s house – Just about one block away from Elena’s house, you’ll find Caroline’s and Sheriff Forbes’ house
- The Lockwood Mansion – There are two homes that were used in Covington as The Lockwood Mansion. One was the modern-day red brick home and the other was the white flashback version. The modern-day mansion is occupied and gated, but you can definitely snap a photo outside the gate. It’s a short walk from Elena’s house. The flashback version is a bed and breakfast that you can stay at called The Twelve Oaks, which is about a mile from the town square. It’s a beautiful home built in the 1800s that was once owned by the Civil War General Sherman. Staying here offers several suites and rooms options, and it’s where many stars have stayed. Don’t miss the southern breakfast served every morning in the parlor right in front of the fireplace where Katherine and Stefan shared a dance in season 2, episode 4. Rumor has it (of course) that the home is haunted so enter at your own risk.
- Other cool locations to grab a photo include:
- The store in town square used as Elena’s doctor office
- Scoops Ice Cream and Candy Shop where you can grab Ian Somerhalder’s favorite ice cream flavor for yourself
- The hallways inside The Mystic Grill with all of the autographed menus
- And if you’re brave enough, walk through the cemetery where Elena and Stefan shared a first chat and where the brothers said goodbye to each other forever (a few times)