The Netflix series Outer Banks has become an instant hit since its release in April 2020! The show follows a group of friends living on the “Outer Banks of North Carolina” as they search for a sunken treasure and uncover secrets about their past. Viewers have been captivated by the stunning visuals and unique setting of this coming-of-age story and are now wondering where was Outer Banks filmed…
The quick answer is that many scenes were shot in Charleston, South Carolina and Kiawah Island, which are located just south of the real outer banks. In this blog post, we will discuss why Charleston and Kiawah Island make great film locations for Outer Banks and explore over 7 specific places you can visit in person while you’re in town!
The Ocean Course
Remember the scene of the Kooks’ biggest party of the summer in Season 1? The midsummer ball was a Kook exclusive event that our favorite Pogues found a way to crash, and it just so happened to be filmed at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island! This world-renowned golf course offers a stunning backdrop of wild ocean views and lush greenery, making it the perfect setting for the show’s dramatic beach scenes and adventure-filled moments.
If you don’t know much about the course, it was famously home to the 1991 Ryder Cup, one of the most prestigious international tournaments in golf! Since then, it’s also hosted two PGA Championships, one in 2012 and again in 2021. An added bonus is you can grab your own tee time at the Ocean Course or any of the 5 public golf courses on Kiawah Island during your next stay on the island and witness the beauty for yourself!
Before we dive into the next location, you may have even noticed that the Seabrook Island Club served as JJ’s workplace.
The Battery in Downtown Charleston
For all the action-packed scenes of John B and Sarah’s boat chase in Season 1, head to Charleston’s historic downtown area! The cityscape within this beautiful district makes for a great backdrop — from cobblestone streets that double as dockside harbors to centuries-old buildings that may or may not be hiding some buried treasure!
If you’re looking for a more low-key experience while visiting the area, consider taking a stroll down The Battery. This picturesque esplanade is lined with magnolia trees and was once used as a defensive wall to protect the city during wartime. A perfect place to catch some fresh air, watch the sailboats drift by, and maybe even imagine how it felt to be one of the stars chasing after adventure in Outer Banks!
Word on the street is you may even recognize the windows of Sarah’s bedroom while walking around downtown too.
Washington Square Park
Charleston’s Washington Square Park was only seen as a quick glimpse when John B and Sarah Cameron make their way through it on their way to the UNC Chapel Hill library. But it’s well worth the stop to enjoy the lush oak trees, red brick walls that were installed in 1881, flower displays, and monuments!
This beautiful and historic public park is situated in the center of Charleston’s downtown area on Broad Street, behind City Hill at the corner of Meeting Street. It dates back to 1818, and it’s most notable feature is the impressive 42-foot high obelisk-shaped memorial to the Washington Light Infantry, a military and social organization founded in 1807.
For an extra dose of history, visit St. Philips Episcopal Church, located just across from the park – it’s one of the oldest churches in continuous use in America! And, are you wondering where the UNC Archive was filmed? These scenes were filmed right down the road at the Gaillard Auditorium.
Shops on King Street
What Charleston adventure is complete without walking down and shopping on King Street? This bustling area is home to some of the city’s most popular independent boutiques, high-end shops, and delicious eateries. So, if you want an even closer look at where Outer Banks was filmed, then this is it!
The two lovebirds find themselves in one of the stores — Ben Silver — to get John B. his much-needed Pogue to Kook makeover. Many fans will love to discover that Ben Silver is an actual luxury store in downtown Charleston, and there are so many more places to shop til’ you drop on King Street! Not only will you find clothing stores but also dining and nightlife destinations as well. Located in the heart of historic Charleston, it is a great place to spend a day.
Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant
Head to Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant for a Lowcountry experience you will remember! Located across the famous Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, this gorgeous destination became the home of Kie’s family restaurant and Pope’s dad’s seafood business in Netflix’s hit TV series Outer Banks. Featuring an active fishing community, the show accurately depicted the town with a backdrop of active shrimp boats and even included Geechie Seafood, a local seafood vendor known as Heyward’s Seafood on the show.
This area is a popular spot for seafood lovers, as it’s home to some of the best restaurants in town serving up freshly caught oysters, shrimp, and crab! Not only that, but its beautiful scenery makes it an ideal place to take a boat tour or go sailing. So if you ever find yourself there while visiting Charleston, make sure you check out this vibrant landmark!
Lowndes Grove Plantation
Located along the Ashley River in Charleston, this plantation was used for the exterior shots of the Cameron’s family house! A landmark that dates back to 1810, this stunning property is steeped in history as it was once home to Congressman William Lowndes.
In 1901, Lowndes Grove was chosen as a site of the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition, which drew in tourists from around the world. These days, it’s a popular wedding venue that offers sprawling grounds with beautiful centuries-old oak trees and breathtaking waterfront views – making it an ideal setting for any production needing to capture a classic Southern atmosphere. Although not open to the public except for weddings or events, you can still get a glimpse by catching a photo through its gates.
Morris Island Lighthouse
You may remember when the gang heads to Redfield Lighthouse seeking information? It was a game-changer for their treasure-hunting escapades and was actually filmed at the Morris Island Lighthouse on Folly Beach!
This iconic lighthouse has watched over the area since 1876 and is a must-visit destination if you’re in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. Folly Beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beachfront shops, rich history, and bars. Plus, it’s the perfect place to catch a glimpse of Pogue looking for treasure! So when you plan your next vacation, make sure Morris Island Lighthouse is on your list of stops.
Other Locations Around Charleston, SC
Other places around Charleston that were in Outer Banks include the Charleston Maritime Center, Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant, Dunes West, and Breach Inlet on Sullivan’s Island (pictured above)! If you head a little further south, you may also recognize Botany Bay near Edisto Island and Hunting Island Lighthouse on the coast of Beautfort, SC.
Ready to Visit the Outer Banks Filming Locations?
With so many iconic places featured in the show, Charleston and Kiawah Island are must-visit destinations for any fan of Netflix’s Outer Banks! Whether you’re looking to explore some of these filming locations or just soak up the stunning views, this city and the islands have something special for everyone.
So grab your friends, book a vacation rental on Kiawah Island, get ready to solve a few puzzles along the way, and don’t forget to make some memories while you’re here! After all, that’s what John B would do.