Growing up, I was absolutely terrified of vampires. I had watched Salem’s Lot and I was convinced an evil vampire would somehow get into my room one night and drain me dry. I spent many a night with the covers pulled tightly to my chin, gripping my small cross pendant, and praying quietly until I finally drifted off to sleep.
My fear of vampires didn’t last. Somewhere along the way, and I can’t remember exactly when it happened, the fear turned to fascination. I began to watch everything I could pertaining to vampires. Well, anything supernatural really. I read, too. Oh, the books I read. It was during this period I discovered some of my favorite authors and my favorite characters.
When I was in high school, I discovered a teen fiction series that would change my life. I fell in love with the characters and read the original trilogy until it was almost in tatters. It still holds a place of high honor on my bookshelf today, complete with my high school bubble handwriting, boldly stating they are my property inside each cover.
That trilogy is The Vampires Diaries by L.J. Smith. It was published almost 30 years ago. Long before Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev brought the characters Damon Salvatore, Stefan Salvatore, and Elena Gilbert to life on screen.
With that being written, the first part of our recent vacation was literally a dream come true for me. I doubted I would ever make it to Covington, Georgia to see the little town where they had filmed the series, but my husband surprised me! After talking about it for so long, he told me to book the room for our Vampire Vacation.
I was thrilled!!!!!!
The road trip down was fun. We were in high spirits because of the excitement of going on vacation. My husband, who was not a fan of the show before the trip, but has become a devoted fan since, was even looking forward to touring the town known as Mystic Falls on television. (In the books, the setting is a town in Virginia called Fell’s Church.) We drove and talked. He asked questions about the shows and books and I was happy to fill him in on all things Vampire Diaries.
When we arrived, we immediately took a little drive through Mystic Falls (Covington, Georgia). Even though I am going to be 47-years-old this summer, I must admit, upon seeing the iconic clock tower, made famous by the show, my eyes did tear up a bit.
Things got a little tricky when we went to our hotel, but nothing can be perfect. Right? Though our hotel was listed as pet friendly on BringFido.com, they most certainly were not. It’s all cool. I have to give it to the customer service representatives at BringFido. They found us a much nicer hotel for a comparable price. Sometimes things work out even when it is a little inconvenient at first.
After a little rest, we decided it was time to tour the town in full. We were hoping to book a guided tour, but those are booked so far in advance, something I didn’t know, but should have, and they were completely sold out the entire time we were there. However, we did okay on our own.
We got a map and drove around to see all of the houses used in filming. We were really surprised how close they were to each other. Watching the show, they make it seem as if these people live quite a distance from one another. In reality, three of the key houses used in filming are within walking distance, with two of them being directly next door to the other. They are also not far from the square and the famed Mystic Grill, the hang out of any human and supernatural creature in Mystic Falls.
Yes, the Mystic Grill is an actual restaurant. However, it does not look the same inside. What you see on the show is actually a set built in a warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia.
There are so many little things in Covington, Georgia for fans of The Vampire Diaries. Not just seeing Elena’s house, the clock tower, or the Mystic Grill. There is also a storefront with both Elena’s name and her father’s name, marking it as their physicians’ office. There are stones with the names of actors who have filmed in Covington. And these include more than just the cast of The Vampire Diaries.
Unfortunately, due to COVID, the Visitor’s Center was not open at that time. It was a disappointment, because there is a lot of memorabilia on display, but I was not at all let down by what we were able to see in both the Vampire Stalker Museum and Alley Shop at the Mystic Grill. They have costumes and props on display and that was really cool!
I wish we’d had more time, but since visiting my husband, David, has taken to watching the show. He is now insisting we go back as soon as possible and stay longer! There is no way I am going to argue with him. We are currently looking at dates for a return trip and this time we will book well enough in advance so we may take a guided tour!
Stay tuned! I will be telling you more about the second leg of our Vampire Vacation. We went to New Orleans!!! Can you think of a better place when it comes to spooky and supernatural things? I don’t think so!
Until then… Peace, love, and butterflies!
☮️ ❤️ 🦋