As a big fan of movies, it was recommended in a guide that I should definitely stop by these two places.
Lake Lure is the location where few films were shot, but the most well-known was Dirty Dancing. It is a beautiful lake of 720 acres that is surrounded
by private properties, some people live there permanently, others only come for summer holidays. You can take a boat tour that show you different point of interest and tells you about the history. It was definitely interesting, the views of the surrounding mountains are nice to look at.
The anecdote said that when they were filming Dirty Dancing, it was during the months of October and November and that that famous lifting scene in the water was very hard because the water was very cold! It’s funny because in the film, it looks like they went somewhere isolated and far to do that scene when actually it was right there, next to the “hotel”. The resort in the film is now divided in private condominiums, but they have kept all the different bungalows and main building as well as the long stairs that Baby was climbing caring the watermelon!
The lake is few miles after Chimney Rock, where the Last Mohicans was filmed. Chimney rock is a village that takes its name from the large granite rock right above it. You can actually access its summit (1,096ft / 334m) by elevator or stairs. The elevator is at the moment being renovated since it was installed in 1930s. I unfortunately didn’t have much time to actually climb all the way up which I am sure the view is quite breathtaking.
Wilmington is located on the east coast of North Carolina. This city is known to be the Hollywood of the east coast. Here are located the EUE Screen Gems studios which are the second largest film production site in the USA after Hollywood. Over 350 films, TV shows and commercial projects have been filmed here among them:
Firestarter (the very first film produced here), 28 days, I know what you did last summer, Nights in Rodanthe, Blue Velvet, Jackal, No Mercy, The Divine Secret of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Secret life of the bees, Dawnson’s Creek and still in production One Three Hill.
The only set you can see during the only weekend visits is the One Three Hill set. Unfortunately it is probably the only show I have never watched so I couldn’t imagine on screen, but it was amusing to see the inside of a set. It was quite interesting to discover the few tricks they are kind to explain to you as you stand inside one of the house. What really got me is that everything is made of plastic, some wood and there is no running water or electricity! Obviously I couldn’t take any picture of the studios… but it has definitely awaken my curiosity and made me wonder if I should indeed maybe change career path and go into the TV/film world I love so much! Who knows…
But Wilmington not just about the films. It was the second British colony of the South East and was established in the 1720s. Settled on the Cape Fear river, it is an important port city. It is here that I learned that on the coast, most plantations at the time were of rice! Because of the wetlands and the knowledge of the slaves, many planters have made their fortune with rice. Once the slavery was abolished, it became almost impossible for plantations to survived since the skills mostly came from slaves.
The historic quarter is filled with colorful houses and it is, like many other town in the country, require by law that any houses restored or build new keep the same appearance as the past to maintain coherence and preserve what once was the specific architecture of the city. What was really particular were the brick fence around the house. Not only were they very solid, but they were buildt in a way to let the breeze pass through.
Because I stayed an extra day in Asheville, I actually didn’t spend too much time in Wilmington, just enough to visit the historic center, discover the oldest synagogue of North Carolina, the Temple of Israel build in 1876 and the historic Saint Mary Catholic Church, build in Spanish Baroque style and designed by Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino, who is known for his work on the Biltmore Estate and Basilica of St. Lawrence, in Asheville, NC. The particularity of this church is that it was constructed without wooden or steal beams and without nails, just brick tile.
One day is never enough to discover a city, but I had planned an itinerary and I just couldn’t wait to get to Charleston… which will be for the next article!
See you there!
To see picture click here