On-location | Visiting Spots Seen On The Netflix Show Outer Banks in Charleston, SC

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Are you a fan of the show Outer Banks? Film location for the Netflix series is actually Charleston, SC. You may be surprised to learn; you don’t have to leave the state of South Carolina to visit John B.’s hideout or the other locations seen in the Netflix show Outer Banks. We went on the hunt for John B. and the wreck of the Royal Merchant, and you can reap the benefits and set off on this tour of Outer Banks filming locations.

So, if you’re wondering about the Outer Banks film location, we have everything you need, right here.

Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant

Bringing The Outer Banks To Charleston

One of the phenomenons resulting from an international pandemic, everyone was binge-watching the same shows simultaneously. Even people who had never binged a show or hardly watched TV, were now discovering the joy of watching 12 episodes of a show all at once. So while the entire nation seemed to be trying to solve what happened to Carole Baskin’s husband, some of us had moved on to the next show.

At the beginning of the 2020’s pandemic, my friend and I were simultaneously binge-watching shows. So when he suggested the Outer Banks, he said it was a teen show and didn’t seem interested. A show that combined a murder mystery with a treasure hunt in a setting that was familiar to me?

I was quickly hooked on this who-done-it! I love exploring places and going off the beaten path. These locations were a mixture of familiar and way off the beaten path (for me, at least). It didn’t take long for me to get invested in the character’s search for answers. Producers chose Charleston, South Carolina, to use a fictional town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in response to political issues in North Carolina.

Charleston SC

If you’re planning a visit, check out our Guide to Charleston, SC, before you head out! You’ll find other fun things to do and suggestions for enjoying the city!

On Location in Charleston For Season 1 of Netflix’s Outer Banks

The “Summer Winds” hotel that John B. and Pope break into in the first episode is a real hotel where you can stay. You can book room 229 at The Creek Side Lands Inn to stay in the room where filming took place. However, if you plan on escaping out the window as they did in the show, I need to warn you that the awning was never there, so you’ll need to have an alternate escape route if the bad guys come back to the room.

UNC chapel hill set at the galliard center
The Galliard Center / UNC-Chapel Hill Set

You can recreate Sarah and John B.’s trip to the show’s version of UNC-Chapel Hill by hopping on the Carolina Belle for a ride around the harbor. After strolling through Washington Square Park, be sure to stop at Ben Silver for some dapper outfits. Then head to the Gaillard Center, the UNC-Chapel Hill Law Library, for the show’s purposes. Sadly this means you won’t be able to go upstairs and look for the clues that lead to a treasure but don’t worry; we can tell you where to find Platt 9.

widows house on location
Crain Widow’s Home

The spooky *Crain widow’s home was rumored to have needed very little done inside to it by the scenery team. It really looks like that! This might be where the similarities end, though. The home’s top floor was added in post-production, and while the home does have a crawl space, those scenes were filmed in a soundstage.
*The house is occupied, and out of respect for the residents, I have removed the address for the season 2 update.

Tanney Hill Plantation, the home of “Kook Princess” Sarah Cameron, was home over 200 years ago and is now on the register of historic places. Lowndes Grove is a wedding and event venue that is right on the water. The property’s rich history spans a revolutionary war invasion, the arrival of Charleston’s World’s Fair, and a visit from President Theodore Roosevelt.

charleston wreck of the richard and charlene
The Wreck of The Richard and Charlene

On Location in Mount Pleasant For Season 2 of Netflix’s Outer Banks

A lot of the scenes shot by the docks, you might recognize if you’ve followed our tips for Free and Low-Cost Things To Do In Mount Pleasant. Shem Creek is a beautiful place and one we usually find ourselves at every time we visit Charleston. If you like fresh seafood and want to see the spot where dockside scenes were filmed, Geechie Seafood is the place you should head.

The restaurant that Kiara’s parents own is, in reality, The Wreck Of The Richard And Charlene. The restaurant is a seafood lover’s dream. The seafood exclusive menu includes shrimp, crab, scallops, and fish. Served up with low country-style side dishes. They even have boiled peanuts!

obx on location

The Kildare County Sheriff’s station and the buildings you see in later episodes where John B. is on the run occur in The Old Village Of Mount Pleasant. Pop into the Pitt Street Pharmacy, the neighborhood drugstore complete with a soda fountain, for an old-fashioned root beer float, milkshake, or lunch.

mount pleasant soda fountain
Chicken Salad Sandwich $3.75 / Pitt Street Pharmacist & Chase Stokes / BLT $4.50

Finding The Outer Banks on The Barrier Islands of Charleston, SC

If you were hoping to get all dressed up and head to “Midsummers,” you’ll need to make reservations for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. This beautiful resort has 10 miles of private beach on one of the prettiest stretches of coastline in the state. The property includes three pools that accommodate families very well and is located next to one of the Top Ten Beach Locations in the US.

The “Boneyard” island where the Pogues and the Kooks have a keg party is actually Hunting Island. The South Carolina State Park has campsites and five miles of beach. The island is also home to the 160-year-old Hunting Lighthouse. It is the only lighthouse in the state that is accessible to the public. The lighthouse is where John B. and Kiara find a clue his father left behind for him.

Here’s an “easter egg” hunt for. There’s a scene with Upstate Native Actress Brook Sill; see if you can find her. [clue: she’s not a Pogue]

The location of John B’s Shack has eluded fans. However, a set designer did confirm it was on John’s Island. Unfortunately, it is only viewable by boat in a residential neighborhood in the Seccesionville Historic District of James Island.
Keep reading for a way to see it!

Last But Not Least…

One of the most iconic spots from the show is the old church that John B uses as a hiding place. The church is about an hour from Charleston and was my favorite location to try and find. But, I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy. It’s located in the sleepy town of McClellanville, where if you take a wrong turn, you’ll see the evidence of alligators on the side of the road. The alligator part of the hunt was so jarring that we had to keep making u-turns to look again.

Once you discover the tucked-away location of the Old Bethel AME Church, it will have been worth it. But, unfortunately, the day we went, it was raining, that plus the wildlife we had witnessed just minutes before kept me in the car.
*Please, be respectful if you do visit. After the popularity of the show brought it to the attention of social media, it got vandalized. So last year, the church boarded up the building to protect it.

Robin with Adventure Harbor Tours gave me this bonus tidbit of info recently- The pawn shop in season 1 is located on the same street as two of the restaurants I recommend below. Here’s another tip! Contact Adventure Harbor Tours if you want to see that “only accessible by boat” location of John B’s waterfront home. They conduct a seasonal Outer Banks Location Tour, and it’s the best way to see places from the water that aren’t otherwise accessible. Plus, Charleston Harbor is a beautiful place to see by boat!

When this article was originally published in 2020, I had recommended visitors stop while in the town of McClellanville and enjoy lunch at Boats N Hoagies. Sadly, this popular spot was dependant on tourism traffic to the small town and didn’t make it through the events of the last year.

There are several highly recommended spots in McClellanville to check out, and this cute town deserves an entire day of exploration, so enjoy dinner before you head out!

Season 3 of Netflix’s Outer Banks

The season 3 released in February 2023.

Get Your Gear: Gifts for the Outer Banks Fan

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. Kidding Around earns when you purchase through these links.

Volcom Men’s Outer Banks X Netflix OBX Jj Reversible Bucket Hat

Outer Banks TV Show Socks

Pogue LIfe Outer Banks Shirt

Volcom OBX Pogues Party Blanket

Volcom Women’s OBX Netflix OBX Kiara Fleece Short

Outer Banks Faces Poster

Vintage Outer Banks Shirt

There’s Some Truth To The Plotline Of Netflix’s OBX!

If you think that the plot line to this show could never happen, you’re probably right.

However, fans of the show are often surprised when I tell them that The Royal Merchant was a REAL ship. The Merchant Royal was lost at sea, with a gold bounty with an estimated value in excess of 1.5 billion dollars in today’s money. Thus, making it the most valuable ship ever to be lost at sea.


The captain of the 40 member crew – was a Limbrey.

The inconsistent part of the OBX plotline is the location where the ship went down. Salvage crews have searched in vain for the sunken ship for years. Then, a few years ago, a fishing vessel pulled up what is believed to be the anchor of the Merchant Royal off of the coast of Cornwall, England. The ship had been dragging its nets for several hours and claimed they had no idea when or where the anchor had originally been located.

Either way, that gold treasure won’t be washing up on the coast of the Carolina’s anytime soon. Sorry.

I think it makes for an exciting vacation activity to visit the places you’ve seen on TV. Last year I covered the places you could visit in Georgia where another Netflix hit is filmed, Stranger Things.

Want to visit the real Outer Banks, NC? We have all the info on that too!

Evening skies at a beach in Outer Banks, NC

Want to visit the real Outer Banks, NC? We have all the info on that too!

Kidding Around Guide to OBX

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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