November 20, 2020
It’s no secret that Asheville is beautiful. Movie producers know this as well and love to use the gorgeous backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains and downtown for films. Some movies have gone on to be blockbuster hits that you may already have in your collection while others are smaller productions that you’ll want to seek out. Enjoy this guide to films made in and around Asheville, North Carolina.
The hit movie from the 80s that started a dancing craze across the country was filmed right outside of Asheville. You may recognize Lake Lure from the iconic scene of Johnny lifting Baby into the air while trying to land the final pose for the dance. Every year, thousands of movie fans come for the Dirty Dancing Festival held at the lake to recreate their favorite 80’s rom-com scene.
The Appalachian Trail, which starts in Georgia and traverses 2,200 miles to Maine, is an increasingly popular challenge that many outdoor enthusiasts are looking to conquer. A Walk in the Woods follows the story of a 60 year old man who decides to abandon retirement and hike the trail. The movie was filmed along the trail and features several spots in North Carolina, namely the Fontana Dam. This heartwarming story will leave you laughing and itching to get outside on your next adventure.
For a brief time in 2014, people in Asheville thought they were hallucinating because it seemed like Zach Galifinakas, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, and other actors were everywhere in town. Turns out, it was just the cast of Masterminds filming across Asheville. Locations included Buncombe County Courthouse, the roads around Pack Square, the former BB&T building, Sliding Rock, and the River Arts District farmers market. Also, Zach Galifinakas is one of our North Carolina natives, being born in Wilkesboro!
Stay at Beaufort House Inn during your trip to Asheville. Tucked away in the Chestnut Historic District, you’ll be just minutes from downtown where you can spot all of the movie locations, grab a bite to eat, or just take in the town.
While the film Last of the Mohicans was set in upstate New York, much of the filming was completed in the scenic North Carolina mountains. You’ll notice several landmarks like Chimney Rock, The Biltmore Estate, and Lake James. There are also several shots filmed in Dupont State Forest and features Bridal Veil Falls, Triple Falls, Hooker Falls, and High Fall. This classic is definitely worth rewatching.
While the title suggests that this film was shot in Missouri, it actually uses the small town of Sylva as it’s backdrop and captures much of Western North Carolina. The three billboards of the movie were erected and filmed in between Asheville and Black Mountain. This highly acclaimed drama/comedy tells the story of a passionate mother seeking justice for the murder of her daughter.
A movie about the richest kid in the world had to have the most incredible home, and the Biltmore Estate was perfect for the role. As the largest house in the United States with 178,926 square feet, this extravagant mansion is available for tours and you’ll recognize several spots from the movie.
If you plan on touring the Biltmore Estate during your trip to Asheville, then stay at the Cedar Crest Inn. On top of being a top rated B&B, this gorgeous Queen Anne style mansion is the closest B&B to the Biltmore Estate. A quick half a mile drive will lead you to the entrance gate or you can even walk to the gardens and chateau!
Arguably one of the best movies ever made, Forrest Gump had filming spots all over the United States. From Santa Monica Beach to the deserts of Utah to lighthouses in the Northeast, Forrest Gump has featured some of the most beautiful landscapes in America. One of the great spots was filmed on Grandfather Mountain and is now nicknamed the ‘Forrest Gump Curve’ thanks to the film.
The trilogy that swept away the nation, The Hunger Games, was filmed mostly in North Carolina. The old village of Henry River was abandoned and became a ghost town; location scouts loved the distressed look of wood and used it as Katniss Everdeen’s home district. Dupont State Forest was home to much of the actual Games Arena footage. The thick forests, streams, and two waterfalls were used in the film.
If you have a trip to Asheville coming up on your calendar or you just miss this little slice of heaven, then put on one of these movies and see how many landmarks you recognize. Create your own movie marathon, watch an old classic, and find a new favorite film.
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