If you’re like me, you were one of the original One Tree Hill fans who binge watched the entire series multiple times. You knew facts about the characters and pretty much were one of Tree Hill’s residents. Then, you are well aware that Wilmington, NC is where ‘Tree Hill’ exists. This location has been on my bucket list since well before the show ended. So much, that when hubby and I were picking our wedding destination, Wilmington was a legit option. So when we vacationed to Myrtle Beach, SC for 10 days and were brainstorming things to do that were close by, you bet your bottom dollar that Wilmington was a MUST!
Exploring this cute little town was more than words can explain. Whether you’re a fan of the show or just love exploring new places, this town has alot to offer. I did alot of searching beforehand and put together the perfect day route to visit all the must see areas. Please excuse my pregnant belly in these photos.
We were coming from Myrtle Beach, SC, so we left at about 9am and headed to Wilmington. Hubby, Child, Mom, and Dad in tow with me. One way or another I got them all excited to see this town. The drive from Myrtle Beach was about a hour and a half. Not a bad drive.
Our first stop was the River Court. You can get to the river court by following 1 Battleship Rd. on your GPS. It will take you to the battleship, but Battleship Park is right there and you’ll see it right away. I knew the river court was torn down right after filming, but I was expecting (from previous research online) to see the area where it used to be. Instead I found a beautiful newly built pavilion. I don’t know if I was happy or sad. I was sad that I couldn’t see where the river court used to be, but at the same time I was happy that they built something that can make people happy.
The pavilion provides tons of space for people to leave their OTH memories, so bring your sharpie! (I actually had to stop on our way and get a sharpie, haha, yes that happened)
Our next stop was Tric. Located at 1211 S. Front St. Be sure to bring your sharpie here too, because like tons of others, you’ll be able to leave your mark! Like the river court, they tore down the stairs as soon as filming was over, but you can still see the entrance and where the stairs used to be, so this one was kinda neat.
Next up, Brooke’s house. The famous ‘girl behind the red door’. And I was pleasantly surprised to see it was just as beautiful as in the show. It looked almost untouched! The people were home, but I had no shame going up and getting my picture. Located at 2314 Tattersalls Dr.
Next . . . Nathan’s House. Not far from Brooke’s, you can find this one at 1621 Country Club Rd. In the previous research I had done, I read that this one was hard to see from the road, it was overgrown. But I had no trouble recognizing it and seeing the memories there. There was even a basketball hoop in the driveway!
Keith Scott’s Auto Body was our next stop. Located at 19 Covil Ave. These are all pretty close together, so get ready to be in and out of the car. Keith’s is right along a main road and an intersection and it is a working garage that was pretty busy on this Tuesday afternoon, so I didn’t want to clog up their parking lot by pulling in. I just did a drive by on this one, but it was pretty cool because all the doors were open and I think I actually looked inside for Lucas and Keith. No such luck.
My next stop wasn’t anything from the show, but I think it’s an essential to have on your list.
One Tree Hill Way. Just a few blocks from Keith’s, you can find this one at 1223 N. 23rd St.
Next up is a two in one. Peyton & Haley’s houses. They are located right next door to each other so this one was convenient. You can find Peyton’s at 1901 Chestnut St. and Haley’s at 1811 Chestnut St. Peyton’s was a little grown so the window that Derek fell out of was kinda blocked by the tree, but if you are walking and just walk to the left a little, you can see it (obviously) haha.
Next door is Haley’s house, which I don’t remember too much of from the show, but made it no less exciting. The houses were gorgeous and beautiful. At Peyton’s house we saw a car sitting and a girl lingering by her car. As we walked up she asked if we were there for One Tree Hill. She said her boyfriend was in the car, but too afraid to get out and take her picture. We had her back and she was with us for the next 3 houses.
After that, I had an address in my GPS that I didn’t have on my list. I knew it was something, but didn’t know what. At this point I was a little excited because it was a surprise. As we pulled up, I instantly recognized it at Lucas’ house. I was like a little girl all excited like he was going to come out or something.
Lucas’ house is located at 1829 Wrightsville Ave. It had a sign in the window saying beware of dog or something, and then a security system as well. I had no shame in going and sitting on the steps like I owned the place.
After visiting the houses, we were getting hungry so we decided to go down to the riverfront and do some walking.
As we were walking we ran right into the Record Store! Located at 8 Market St, it is now The Black Cat Shoppe. I snapped a few quick photos, because my family was still walking, not knowing we had stumbled on an iconic place.
We did turn around and we went in because this is such a cute, quirky little shop. Be sure to stop in! They also have OTH merchandise, which is where I ended up getting my merchandise. I later went back to get my stuff because I was told there were other shops in the area that had stuff, but I wanted to spend my money at a place that actually was in OTH. Plus they had what I wanted and it was the best priced.
Next, we ran into Karen’s Cafe and Clothes over Bros. This one was a little confusing to me because the research I did said they were directly across the street from each other. Well, the research was wrong and Karen’s Cafe is located at the corner of Grace St. & Market St. It is now an Outdoor Equipment store.
Anyways, they are the same building so you can kill 2 birds with one stone on this one.
At this point we were getting really hungry, so we ended up eating at a place called Fat Tony’s. We passed by a place called the Copper Penny, but the wait was 30+ minutes. Fat Tony’s was really good and really good priced. The pizza slices were huge, so be sure you’re ready to eat if you order more than one slice!
Next stop, The Cracker Jack Table!!! This one was one I was super excited for. We walked a block and a half down to Market St. and followed Market 1 block down to the riverfront. Don’t forget your sharpie here too! It’s the first table you see and located right next to the Information Center. Don’t be ashamed to sit and re-create this iconic and lovable moment! Hubby and I did!
Per my research, I had read that there is a cute little shop right next to this location called Poodle’s Island Wear and that they sell OTH merch. I was super excited to get some stuff. I had already picked out what I wanted even before we went, but I wanted some magnets, or stickers, or something smaller to take home for myself and my OTH lovers back home.
I was very disappointed in this store. I could barely navigate my stroller in this store and there was no merchandise that I was interested in. It was also super overpriced. I found the same stuff at the Black Cat Shoppe for almost $10 cheaper. One of my favorite moments from this trip was in this store though. Hubby spotted a box of cracker jacks and said he would buy it for me and we could to back to the bench. If my heart didn’t just melt! He’s never even seen the show, only remembers what I’ve told him. On our way out of this shop, empty handed, hubby spotted a store he thought I would like just across the alley. I didn’t get a picture, but it’s like a little hippie shop, and super adorable! If you like tye – dye and incense, it’s a must stop! Nothing One Tree Hill, but they have some cute stuff.
Next up, the High School. Located at 610 N. Front St. I think this one was my biggest let down. They were currently doing construction on it, so I didn’t even recognize it. I thought we were in the wrong place. My dad to the rescue, I pulled up a photo of the school from the show and he recognized the side of the building.
I was really hoping to get a photo under what would have been ‘Whitey Durham Field’, but that no longer exists. Literally, the only recognizable part of this is the side of the building. I would have loved to go inside though and see what the inside looks like. No such luck. You’ll recognize this one because it says Schwarz Center on the front. If you pass by with the entrance on your right, turn right on the street just after the building and you’ll see the recognizable part. Parking is great here, you can park on the street and get out and take your photo and instantly become a Tree Hill Raven.
At this point, I realized I had forgotten to go back to the Black Cat Shoppe and get my merchandise! Luckily, we were still downtown and it was only about 3 minutes away. I popped in one more shop that had OTH stuff, but nothing I wanted. I knew going in that I wanted the Keith Scott Auto Shop Grey hoodie that Lucas wears, and that’s what I got! Yes, it’s dead of summer, 90 degrees and I’m wearing a hoodie as I write this. (I’m in air conditioning, don’t get your panties in a bunch) I also picked up a sticker for my laptop, and a few magnets for some of my friends back home.
Our last stop was also one I was super excited for and I think the one that held the most emotions. Much like the River Court, I could feel the energy there. This one was, obviously, the Bridge! This is Harry Forden Bridge. Don’t forget your sharpie here too!
This is a working bridge, so be prepared to go over and you can find a place to park along the street and walk up. Make sure you have a few minutes, because something about this bridge makes you wanna just sit and dangle your legs. I only wish I had a basketball with me.
The whole day took about 4 hours, with lunch included. It was a perfect little day trip for my family and I am so glad I got everything in that I wanted to see. There are the beach houses nearby, but I didn’t get to those and I’m okay with that. We also passed by the cemetery a couple times when seeing the houses, but I didn’t snap a picture of that.
I hope this inspires you to visit Wilmington, NC someday and experience OTH in all it’s glory. Things are definitely changing, but you can still see the history there. Now, let’s all go binge watch One Tree Hill all over again!
Don’t say I never gave you anything!