It’s been more than 25 years since the wildly popular show Dawson’s Creek premiered on the WB, catapulting the careers of James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams. During the course of the series, 128 episodes over six seasons were filmed in Wilmington and our Island Beaches.
On the show, Wilmington and the surrounding area doubled as “Capeside,” a small fictitious coastal town in Massachusetts. Several landmarks and locations from the show can still be seen around town. Tie up your walking shoes and get your selfie sticks ready for a trip around our coastal community's famous Dawson’s Creek locations.
Downtown Wilmington Locations
Starting at the southern end of the Wilmington Riverwalk, look for Elijah's Restaurant at 2 Ann Street. This riverfront restaurant served as the location of Pacey's "Icehouse," which was seen in the show's finale.
The Original "Icehouse"
Head north a couple of blocks to 115 South Water Street and you'll find the location where the original "Icehouse" restaurant once stood.
Reel Café, located at 100 South Front Street, can be seen in multiple episodes. Look across the street and you'll see "Joey's Wall."
A few blocks south, at 100 South 3rd Street, is the historic Graystone, which appeared in the show.
Rebellion NC, a restaurant and bar at 15 South Front Street, is the location where Joey made her singing debut.
Platypus & Gnome
Platypus & Gnome, located at 9 South Front Street, can be recognized from various episodes.
Blue Post Billiards
One block east is Blue Post Billiards, 15 South Water Street. You must be 21 to enter.
"Leery's Fresh Fish"
Michaels on the Waterfront is the location of the fish house owned by Dawson's family is at 5 South Water Street.
Floriana's restaurant at 2 Market Street, with veranda seating overlooking the Riverwalk, served as a coffeehouse on the show.
Island Passage Elixir
The Island Passage Elixir boutique, 4 Market Street, was featured in the episode “Full Moon Rising."
Black Cat Shoppe
Right next door is the Black Cat Shoppe, 8 Market Street. The unique exterior of this storefront can be recognized as the "Capeside CD Shop."
"Hot Dog Stand"
The Visitor Information Booth on the Riverwalk at Market and Water streets appeared in the show as a hot dog stand and as a snack bar.
The Wilmington Riverwalk
You'll see many familiar show sites along the Wilmington Riverwalk. Most notably, at the foot of Market Street across from the Alton Lennon Federal Courthouse, is the location where Andie and Pacey first kissed.
You won't be able to walk to this one, but you can see it across the Cape Fear River while you're along the Riverwalk. Battleship Park is right beside the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA on Eagle's Island. This location was the site of “The Winter Fair” in the “Psychic Friends” episode.
Hell's Kitchen, 118 Princess Street, was a temporary set that is now a restaurant and pub with the same name. After the show wrapped the bar was sold with its contents to a local restaurateur who turned it into a real bar with the same name.
The Historic New Hanover County Courthouse, 316 Princess Street, served as the location for the interior of the Capeside train station.
The historic Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 310 Chestnut Street, served as the location for the interior of the "Rialto Theatre" in the show.
"Screen Play Video"
N Salo, at 212 North Front Street, is the location of "Screen Play Video," where Pacey worked after school.
Pender's Café, 205 North Front Street, was featured in a few episodes.
This building at the corner of Grace and Front Streets appeared as a Boston radio station in the show. It's now home to Outdoor Equipped.
The Cotton Exchange
Filming took place in the parking lot and courtyard of The Cotton Exchange at 300 North Front Street.
The Schwartz Center
The Schwartz Center on the Cape Fear Community College campus, 610 North Front Street, appeared as a film festival lobby in the show.
Midtown Wilmington Locations
Jump in the car and head over to Airlie Gardens at 300 Airlie Road, about 15 minutes from downtown Wilmington. You'll recognize several Dawson's Creek locations as you explore the 67-acre Southern gardens.
"Jen's Final Goodbye"
Just down Oleander Drive from Airlie Gardens is New Hanover County Arboretum at 6206 Oleander Drive. This is the location of the Ability Garden where Jen said her goodbye in the final episode.
Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
Several of the show's scenes were filmed at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, 5320 Oleander Drive, in the arcade and Big Splash Café and Pizzeria.
"Capeside High School"
UNC Wilmington, 601 South College Road, doubled as the Capeside High School campus. UNCW's Alderman Hall is one of the most recognizable locations on campus.
Greenfield Lake at the intersection of 3rd Street and Carolina Beach Road appears as the show's “Burham Lake."
Wrightsville Beach Locations
The narrow waterway that forms the southern end of Wrightsville Beach is known as Banks Channel. Its shoreline and docks were a popular backdrop on the show.
Bluewater Grill along Wrightsville Beach's Intracoastal Waterway is the location where Joey sang in the Miss Windjammer talent show.
Dockside Restaurant at 1308 Airlie Road served as the location for "The Icehouse" restaurant when the camera was facing the water.
Carolina Beach Locations
Carolina Beach Boardwalk
The Carolina Beach Boardwalk appeared in a few of the show's early episodes.
Carolina Beach State Park
Carolina Beach State Park, 101 State Park Road, appeared in a few of the show's early episodes.
Kure Beach Locations
"The Maine Coastline"
The beach around the Kure Beach Fishing Pier on K Avenue doubled as the Maine coastline during the filming of the show's fifth season.
Fort Fisher State Historic Site
Several scenes were shot at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, 1610 Fort Fisher Boulevard South.
"New England Aquarium"
In season six, the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road, stood in as the New England Aquarium in Boston. The Cape Fear Shoals exhibit with its quarter-million-gallon saltwater tank doubled as "Cape Cod Shoals."
Some of the show's scenes were filmed on the Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry.