"Under the Dome" Shines a Spotlight on Southport

  • Aug 5, 2013
  • by NC's Brunswick Islands

BOLIVIA, NC (July 11, 2013) – Airing on Monday nights through September on CBS-TV, the new Stephen King series “Under the Dome” ostensibly takes place in Chester’s Mill, Maine, where a terrifying, impermeable bubble has trapped the townspeople. While the on-the-edge suspense thriller is dark and foreboding, one of the towns it is being filmed in is anything but.

According to the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority, the spotlight is again shining on Southport, N.C. as a “must-see” on-location vacation. Founded in 1792, Southport is a cheerful, inviting, maritime village featuring moss-draped live oaks and shady streets lined with perfectly-preserved architecture, from elaborate homes once owned by ship captains and Civil War blockade runners, to typical fishermen’s cottages. Some of the “Under the Dome” scenes include the white, two-story house on East Bay Street that is, in the TV series, the home of “Big Jim” Rennie, the auto salesman and town Selectman and his son. Other featured locations include Southport Motors on Howe Street, the car lot for “Big Jim’s Auto Sales,” Trinity United Methodist Church and the historic Old Smithville Burying Ground on Rhett Street.

Not shown in the series are dramatic waterfront views, colorfully decorated, delectable seafood restaurants in the Yacht Basin, and an island wildlife refuge, not to mention ships sailing the Cape Fear River up to Wilmington or out to the Atlantic. Other than the scenery, the only thing the picture-perfect small town of Southport, NC has in common with the TV series is, as a tourist reads from a brochure, its “warm and inviting people.” They welcome visitors with Southern accents, festivals, concerts and fishing tournaments.

For those considering a TV and movie location vacation, Southport is ideal. Hollywood just loves Southport, choosing the charming town for key scenes in more than 40 film and television series since the 1980s, including movies such as “Safe Haven” “Crimes of the Heart,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “A Walk to Remember” and “The Secret Life of Bees,” as well as popular TV series such as “Dawson’s Creek” and “Matlock.” Visitors can see the sights by bike or trolley tours.

Southport is part of North Carolina’s Brunswick islands, located in the southernmost corner of North Carolina, stretching from south of Wilmington and the Cape Fear River to the South Carolina border. Six barrier island towns – Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island, Caswell Beach, and Bald Head Island – provide some of the best beaches in North Carolina for family vacations, weddings, reunions, and nature-lovers, while quaint coastal towns like Southport, Calabash, Shallotte and Leland beckon with restaurants, galleries, shops. On the islands and the mainland are lighthouses, abundant fishing, championship golf, and riveting maritime and military history. Accommodations, many pet‐friendly, range from an attractive campground to luxurious golf resorts. Charming motels, B&Bs, inns and plenty of comfortable, affordable vacation rental homes round out the options. To learn more about what to do and where to stay, including special vacation packages, please visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

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