When I was in 6th grade I started watching the show One Tree Hill. I very quickly fell in love with this dramatic town and everyone in it (except Dan Scott, Emily Chambers, Nicki, Felix, Nanny Carrie, and so on). Anyways, you can bet that when I found out that the city of Tree Hill was a real place that I could go, I immediately started planning – that was probably 10 years ago.
And then my best friend Allison moved to North Carolina, which led to us going on this trip, and all of my dreams coming true.
For those who have never seen One Tree Hill, it’s a classic teen drama featuring Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty as half-brothers and basketball players. The show also features so much great music!
So, Sunday morning Allison and I drove 3 1/2 hours to Wilmington, North Carolina (aka Tree Hill, for the rest of this blog).
The first place we went to was Tric – the all ages bar Peyton started while she was still in high school. They had recreated Peyton’s bedroom and office of Red Bedroom Records inside Tric, which was so much more than I was expecting, and my favorite thing of all time.
After this we went downtown to Karen’s Cafe, where I got the special #23 latte – which was just a french vanilla latte, but I bet Nathan would have loved it.
Our next destination was Tree Hill High….and this was by far the hardest thing to find. The high school was filmed at Cape Fear Community College, and we had to walk around/through the college for like 30 minutes until we finally found this iconic hallway. Was it worth it? Mmm, I guess, but next time I go I probably won’t worry about it.
We had to check in to our airbnb at 4, so we headed there. It was the cutest house, and our host was so sweet!!
Next was our Tree Hill house tour (these tours were led by yours truly, I will be making a list of all the addresses and best tips soon, so let me know if you want a copy!)
Brooke’s house was the best and easiest to get a picture in front of. Nathan’s house was impossible to get a pic of, because of bushes and the people that live there. The people who live in Lucas’ house did not want visitors, and their neighbors stared at us while they shotgunned beers – the street was tiny and stupid. Peyton and Haley’s houses were on the same street!! (Also on this street was Jamie’s house from A Walk To Remember.)
We had tickets to he OTH concert at 7, so since we had a few hours before the concert we hit up the bridge, the Naley tutoring bench, and the river court…which no longer exists. However the river court spot is beautiful and it was so nice out! (While at the river court a car full of grown adults rolled their window down and asked me if this is where the meet & greet was happening – they didn’t have passes for the meet & greet, but they were interested..and that is when I realized how universally loved Chad Michael Murray is)
Finally it was time for the concert! I have been to many concerts in the past 10 years so I feel like I have the right to say that the people who ran this thing did not know what they were doing. It was extremely inefficient and the doors opened 10 minutes before the concert was supposed to start. They had to stall so they let a random fan sing a few songs. Finally Michael May (who played Chuck and is now 20 years old) came on stage. Michael Grubbs (who played Grubbs for 9 episodes of season 8) played after Chuck. I honestly didn’t really care about either, but I was pleasantly surprised by both.
Sometime after 10 pm Tyler Hilton FINALLY came on stage, and it was wonderful and I was so happy to hear my favorite songs live.
In the middle of all of this I met Fergie and Skills. I could have very easily talked to the kids who played Chuck and Jamie at any point, but they were charging $60 to take a picture with them, and that turned me off…also I didn’t have $60.
After the concert we went to the only place open for food – which was conveniently Hell’s Kitchen, the bar on Dawson’s Creek! They were out of everything so we had weird sweet potato fries covered in queso cheese…being that both of us were sober, it wasn’t great, but we were hungry.
Monday morning we walked up and down the river walk. I loved it so much, I hated the idea of leaving Tree Hill. We also went the the Black Cat Shoppe so I could get some OTH merchandise.
Carolina Beach was the best. Many scenes in One Tree Hill and Dawson’s Creek were filmed here. We found Dan Scott’s beach house, but it wasn’t beach facing and I didn’t care enough to put a lot of effort into getting a pic.
Leaving Tree Hill was the saddest. I can easily see myself living there in the future. I am incredibly thankful for this show that has had such an impact on me the past 13 years ❤️❤️❤️