14 'Outer Banks' Filming Locations You Can Visit in Real Life

Plot twist! None of them are actually in North Carolina.

Group shot of Outer Banks cast on boat
Photo: Jackson Lee Davis/Courtesy of Netflix

If you want a taste of the Pogue life, look no further than Charleston, South Carolina. Netflix's Outer Banks, which is technically set in the real Outer Banks of North Carolina, isn't actually filmed there.

Prior to its 2020 debut, the show moved production to South Carolina reportedly in response to North Carolina's widely protested 2016 House Bill 2 legislation, which would have required transgender people to use the bathroom according to the sex they were assigned at birth. Though parts of the bill — also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — were later repealed, LGBTQ+ organizations continue to fight for trans rights throughout the state.

JJ and Kiara on a boat in Episode 108

Jackson Davis/Courtesy of Netflix

Outer Banks production apparently found equally beautiful locations at which to film just a little further south. The series showcases some of the most scenic spots in Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Here are some highlight Outer Banks-inspired destinations, so you can live out your teen mystery drama fantasies in one of the most charming and historical cities in the U.S. and abroad. (Read on only if you don't mind Season 3 spoilers.)

Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Sem Creek, Mt. Pleasant, at sunset

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The show features plenty of sun-soaked scenes on the water, and many of them were filmed along Mount Pleasant's Shem Creek. The waterfront area is a big tourist destination where you can find beautiful views, creekside dining, and ample opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating in true Outer Banks fashion.

Pitt Street, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Pitt Street Causeway by the marsh

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The building that once housed The Green Shutter, a Mount Pleasant antiques store, at 121 Pitt St. served as the Kildare Island Surfboard Co. in the show. This small stretch in the Old Village is also home to a block of condos with black shutters that became the fictional Kildare County Sheriff’s Station and the Pitt Street Pharmacy, also seen in the show. Take a break with a root beer float here before strolling along the Pitt Street Bridge, on which JJ Maybank drives his dirt bike in Season 3.

The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

The Wreck is featured on the show as being a common Pogue hangout and Kiara's place of work. The full name was shortened for the show, but you'll be happy to know it's actually called The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene. Grab an open-air table at the creekside restaurant in Mount Pleasant for fresh seafood fried to perfection.

Hunting Island Lighthouse, Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park

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The Hunting Island Lighthouse was built in 1859 but destroyed over the course of the Civil War. It was rebuilt in 1875 and currently stands as a popular tourist attraction. It is repeatedly shown in the show and used as a filming location for the fictional Redfield Lighthouse's interior. Hunting Island Sate Park, where it's located, was also the filming location for the Boneyard and the beach cleanup scene in Season 1, Episode 3. Unfortunately, its namesake lighthouse is closed to visitors due to ongoing repairs, but you can still approach and learn about it from docents outside the structure.

Geechie Seafood, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Heyward's Seafood (owned by Pope Heyward's dad) in the show is actually Geechie Seafood in Mount Pleasant. This seafood shack is the perfect place to find fresh shrimp straight from Shem Creek. In fact, the whole area is a seafood lover's paradise.

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island Resort with blue-sky background

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Of the fanciest Kook hangouts is the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which was a stand-in for the country club that hosted the Midsummers party in Season 1. In real life, the golf resort off the coast of Charleston draws golfers and anyone else interested in beachside activities, a tennis match, or a relaxing stay in one of its luxurious villas.

Washington Square, Charleston, South Carolina

Washington Square Park in downtown Charleston in the early morning.

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John B and Sarah visited this gorgeous park, located in downtown Charleston, as part of their day trip to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (or the show's version of it, anyway). The patch of green space is perfect for a romantic stroll or picnic amid the Spanish moss-draped oaks. As a bonus, Washington Square is also right in the middle of the city's historic district.

Charleston Gaillard Center, Charleston, South Carolina

Another day-trip stop for John B and Sarah, the so-called exterior of UNC Chapel Hill's Law Library — the real thing is in North Carolina, of course — was actually the exterior of the Charleston Gaillard Center. The stately building is not a library but a concert hall and performance venue where people can see touring Broadway shows, the Charleston Symphony, and more.

Morris Island Lighthouse, Folly Beach, South Carolina

Morris Island Lighthouse in South Carolina

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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located just off the coast of Folly Beach, the Morris Island Lighthouse doubled as the exterior of the fictional Redfield Lighthouse in the Netflix series and is considered to be a major highlight of a trip to South Carolina's Lowcountry. Constructed in 1872, its tower has leaned a little northeast ever since an earthquake struck in 1886. At 161 feet, it also happens to be the tallest lighthouse in the state.

The Ben Silver Collection, Charleston, South Carolina

If you want to be a Kook, you should dress like one. And there's no better way to cop some rich-kid style than at The Ben Silver Collection flagship store in Charleston. Another stop on John B and Sarah's day trip, this colorful fashion brand is known for its very-Southern styles for both men and women.

Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados

Promenade at waterfront in Bridgetown, Barbados
NAPA74/Getty Images.

Season 3 takes the Pogues of Outer Banks to Barbados. After their plane crashes into the Caribbean Sea — filmed off the western coast, near Port St. Charles — they can be seen navigating the busy streets of Bridgetown. Barbados' capital city is known for its historical, colonial architecture, museums, and shopping.

St. John's Parish Church, St. John, Barbados

St. John Parish Church on a sunny day

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The old hilltop church where Big John rings the bell for his son, John B, to hear is St. John's Parish, one of the oldest churches in Barbados and world renowned for its impressive woodwork. The original structure was built during the 17th century, but parts of it were rebuilt in the 1800s due to storm damage. Today, it's included on many east coast tours of the island. Stand (safely) at the edge of the cliff for stunning ocean views.

The Charleston Museum, Charleston, South Carolina

The Charleston Museum is the oldest museum in the U.S. and the setting of Big John and John B’s Season 3 heist. Visitors certainly shall not rob the museum of an artifact from the ancient Gnomon of Solana, as the characters do — it would be impossible anyway, seeing as the archeological site is entirely fictional — but they would be remiss not to stop by and learn about the history of the region from its many fascinating exhibits.

Welchman Hall Gully, St. Thomas, Barbados

Perhaps the most fantastical scene of the series is in the "city of gold," El Dorado. In the Season 3 finale, viewers see John B, Big John, and the Pogues enter a cave and wind up immersed in a metallic world. Those cave and jungle scenes were filmed at Welchman Hall Gully in Barbados (not Venezuela, as the show suggests), and while much of the aesthetic from the show was computer-generated, the real caves and natural surroundings are still beautiful as ever.

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