Covington, Georgia is a cute little town that is just 36 minutes outside of Atlanta. It’s picturesque place, the city has the look of the classic story time small town. For that reason, many movies and TV shows are filmed in this little city. Movies such as The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, Footloose (2011), Taken 3, and Remember The Titians had scenes filmed there. The opening scenes of the pilot episode of The Walking Dead were filmed just outside of Covington. But by far the most popular production filmed in Covington is The CW’s hit show, The Vampire Diaries. On the show, Covington is Mystic Falls, Virginia. Mystic Falls is a town filled to the brim with vampires, werewolves, witches, dopplegangers, and hybrids among other supernatural beings.
As you walk through the Covington town square, it’s like you’re walking right into your Netflix screen and into the world of The Vampire Diaries. The iconic clock tower can be seen as you drive into town.
Directly next to the clock tower is the Mystic Grill, a popular place to eat, drink, and occasionally get staked in the heart on the show. For awhile, only the exterior of the building was the Mystic Grill, on the inside it was a law and CPA office since 1978. The building caught fire and burned from the inside in 2012. Mystic Grill Restaurant owner, Angi Beszborn, saw the opportunity to make the The Vampire Diaries’s Mystic Grill a real place. They renovated the inside, it is the perfect mix of the Mystic Grill on the show and with their own personal touches.
“We did a lot of research by pulling up photos on the internet and watching episodes so we could get a look at the design,” Beszborn said . “Although the footprint of the building is a bit different, we were able to duplicate a few things and gave it the flavor of the studio MG. We literally built the bar straight from the photos and sourced the same lights and blue stained glass behind the bar.”
They built the Mystic Grill Restaurant bar straight from the photos. On the back of one of the stools, is a plaque in honor of Alaric Saltzmen from when he died on the show
“You can see the large chalk board, airplane propellers, booths, flooring, we even duplicated the ladies bathroom which was very seldom seen on the show,” Beszborn said. “We did however get to take some of our ideas and incorporate them into our second floor and we also added a roof top deck where you can get really close to the famous clocktower. It’s the very best view of Mystic Falls in town. From there you can see everything.”
It’s true, when you’re up on the roof of the grill, you have a perfect view of the town square and a stellar up close view of the clock tower.
Eating at the Mystic Grill Restaurant is a must for fans of the show. “The fans of the show have been wonderful,” said Beszborn. “I really can’t thank them enough. From the time the news hit the AP that Mystic Grill was coming to real life, they have helped us spread the word. It even made the news in other countries! They have been so nice and it is a pleasure to have them visit our town. We always show them the southern hospitality we are known for.”
The restaurant is not only a hit with fans of the show, but with the cast of the show too. Ian Somerholder, who plays Damon Salvatore, is a fan of their Mystic salad. Zach Roerig eats there from time to time when they are filming in town.
Beszborn says the base of their business is the locals.
“They have been super supportive of us since the very beginning,” said Baszborn. “We could not do this without them. The whole idea was to be able to build something for our town and our friends and family but we needed the tourism aspect to add to make this a reality. Everything seemed to just come together at the same time.”
The town square is just the beginning, the town of Covington is like a walk through Mystic Falls museum. There is a Vampire Diaries tour of the town, it’s called the Vampire Stalkers tour. You can easily tour the town, like we did, but the Vampire Stalker tour offers a more behind the scenes tour. The Vampire Stalkers tour has won countless awards for their tours including Trip Advisor’s certificate of excellence every year since they have been in business. Vampire Stalkers were also voted the 6th best Vampire Destination in the world by the Travel Channel. Also, right above their store location, is Alaric’s aparment. If you are planning a Vampire Diaires trip to Covington then you should look into taking the tour.
Right off from the town square, is Floyd Street, where you’ll find Elena and Caroline’s house. I was surprised to find that their houses are across from each other. Between these two locations, many iconic scenes have taken place on the inside and out.
Just around the corner the corner is Lockwood Mansion, an iconic location on the show. On this property there have been many lavish parties and crazy deaths. A huge difference in touring the town yourself and taking the Vampire Stalker tour is not only do you get to go on the property but you get the opportunity to learn all about Lockwood Mansion. Vampire Stalkers know the cast outside of the show so they are able to provide cool fun facts that you can’t find on IMDB or Twitter.
Not far from these iconic houses is the Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast. This house was an insperation behind the Twelve Oaks in the movie Gone With The Wind. The B&B is absolutley beautiful and filled to the brim with southern charm. Each of the rooms have bathrooms that would make Chip and Jo from Fixer Upper proud. For fans of The Vampire Diaries this place is a treat, you can stay in the Salvatore suite. On the second floor of Twelve Oaks, you can take a peek into Katherine Pierce’s room from when she stayed with the Salvatore brothers during the Civil War.
The Salvatore Suite- photo taken by Connie Goodwin
Their breakfast is nothing less than perfection. During our stay there, we were served their very special eggs with mouth watering blueberry pancakes, this is coming from a girl who does not even like blueberries and I ate every last bite. Twelve Oaks also serves top notch bacon with their breakfast. Everything was delicous.
Even if you aren’t a fan of The Vampire Diaries, Covington is a great road trip destination. Being a cute town makes it a great spot for fun photoshoots with friends.
Do you know of any fun places to road trip? Tweet us your favorite road trip places at at @HCUAlabama on Twitter!
We orginally printed that the offical tour was called Walker Stalker not Vampire Stalker, we our very sorry to our friends at Vampire Stalkers for the mix up. Thank you to Jessica Lowery from Mystic Falls Tours for giving us the correct information and some really cool facts about her amazing tours of the town from the hit show The Vampire Diaries. If you are looking into planning a trip to Covington, GA and are a big fan of the show then you should look into taking the Vampire Stalker tour. For more information about Mystic Falls tours check out www.mysticfallstours.com and www.vampirestalkers.com