Film Location

Film Location

Film Location

Jan 13, 2023

Exploring the Stunning Film Locations of the Choice (2016)

Nestled along the captivating coastline of North Carolina, Wilmington and its surrounding areas have been the backdrop for many heartwarming tales, including Nicholas Sparks' "The Choice."

As a Professional, I've often marveled at the interplay between story and setting, where the breezy shores of Wrightsville Beach and the quaint charm of New Bern breathe life into a love story that tugs at the audience's heartstrings.

Whether it's the brassery where sparks first fly or the iconic pier that witnesses tender moments, these locales aren't just filming locations—they're characters in their own right.

Join me as I take you through the vibrant scenes and hidden gems where Travis and Gabby's journey unfolds.

Keep reading to uncover the secrets behind each mesmerizing site and learn how you can step into the pages of the novel yourself.

Discover the Coastal Charms of Wilmington, NC

As a professional with a profound passion for filmmaking and its magnificent ability to capture the essence of location, I'm eager to share my explorations of Wilmington, NC, the backdrop for "The Choice" (2016).

This coastal haven, often hailed as 'Hollywood East,' offers more than just picturesque shorelines and historic charm; it is a canvas of romantic and cinematic allure.

Embark on an enchanting journey through the scenic waterfront that frames the tender moments of the film, uncover the intimate spots where fictional love blossomed, and step onto the porches that set the stage for the main characters' homes, where fiction felt like reality.

Wilmington's allure isn't just about the locations seen on screen—it's in the stories they tell and the memories they create for both residents and visitors alike.

Begin Your Tour With the Scenic Waterfront

My journey to capture the essence of cinematic landscapes often leads me to idyllic locations, and Wilmington's waterfront is no exception. As I stroll along the Riverwalk, the serene waters of the Cape Fear River become the perfect companion, whispering tales of a love story that once echoed through the town.

The Intracoastal Waterway, with its undulating rhythm, served as a stunning backdrop in "The Choice", and it's here that I feel closely connected to the characters' journey. This setting isn't merely a location; it's an intrinsic character that complements the intimate drama unfolding in the lives of Gabby and Travis across the screen.

Find the Romantic Spots Featured in the Movie

Venturing ever deeper into the delightful intricacies of "The Choice", I sought out the small yet significant locales that bound the film's narrative thread together. A journey to Airlie Gardens presented me with the blossoming canvas where Gabby and Travis's romance flourished, each garden path and blooming flowerbed seeming to whisper the secrets of their burgeoning love.

My exploration led me to the quaint charm of Airlie Road where the home of Gabby's neighbor became a quiet witness to the birth of feelings that would transcend the screen. It was here, among the trellises and wind chimes, that the fantasy of their love story felt almost tangible to me as I imagined their lives unfolding on this very porch.

Visit the Main Characters' Charming Homes

Stepping away from Wilmington's bustling downtown, I ventured to the quieter residential areas where the homes of "The Choice" protagonists, Travis and Gabby, are nestled. With every porch I passed by and every façade that caught the sun's golden hour glow, I could almost hear the faint laughter and heartfelt conversations scripted for these spaces.

These homes, set against a tapestry of lush greenery and the tranquil coast, weren't just static structures; they were pivotal to the development of the storyline, creating an immersive ambience that resonated with the audience. The idyllic settings, from the rustic charm of Gabby's cozy abode to Travis's more rugged, lived-in quarters, set the stage for a compelling narrative that transcended the boundaries of a typical love story.

Explore the Historic Districts Captured in "The Choice"

Immersing myself in the essence of Wilmington's historic districts, I am reminded of the rich textures and deep hues that so distinctively framed "The Choice."

Wandering these streets is like stepping onto the pages of a storybook, each house whispering its own long-standing narrative.

The film crews, with their meticulous eye for detail, seamlessly wove the town's vintage vibe into the movie's visual tapestry, allowing the historic charm of Wilmington to shine through on the big screen.

The synergy between the storied past of these cobblestoned paths and the poignancy of a modern-day love story makes for a truly mesmerizing cinematic journey that I am eager to delve into further.

Walk Down Streets Lined With Storybook Houses

As I meander through the cobblestone-lined promenades of Wilmington, the houses I pass seem to spring straight from the pages of a romance novel. Each one, with its unique personality and architectural quirks, evokes a sense of timeless wonder, much like the homes that harbored the heartfelt tale of love in "The Choice".

I fondly recall the quaint facades and grand Southern porches as they appeared through the lens of "The Choice", their storied walls holding the weight of cinematic history. Standing there, enveloped in the ambience of Wilmington's storied districts, I sense a profound connection with the film's characters, imagining their footsteps echoing alongside my own.

How Film Crews Integrated the Town's Vintage Vibe

Wandering the streets of Wilmington's Historic District, it's no wonder film crews selected this enchanting locale for "The Choice." Every turn brought a new sight that perfectly encapsulated the old-world charm required to transport viewers into the movie's soulful narrative. Working hand-in-glove with the natural textures and palettes of these surroundings, the film's production design team expertly Crafted Scenes That Felt as Authentic as they were visually captivating.

There's a palpable authenticity one feels while retracing the steps where dynamic scenes were carefully shot. The crews diligently preserved the spirit of each location, allowing Wilmington's vintage allure to serve as more than just a backdrop but a living, breathing part of the film's essence. Their masterful blend of location scouting and artistic vision created a seamless transition between the town’s historical tales and the poignant journey depicted in the film.

Behind the Scenes at the Dawson's Creek Stage

Stepping beyond the classic waterfronts and picturesque gardens, I found myself standing on the iconic stage of Dawson's Creek – a locale steeped in television lore, now repurposed to serve the grand narrative of "The Choice".

It is here, within these storied studio walls, where pivotal scenes of the film were meticulously crafted and brought to life.

This hallowed ground, once exclusive to Capeside's coming-of-age stories, had transformed, showcasing its versatility and echoing a new love story.

I'm compelled to explore this metamorphosis, to understand how a space can embody different eras of entertainment and evoke fresh emotions amidst its seasoned planks.

See Where Pivotal Scenes Were Brought to Life

Entering the studio where "The Choice" came to life, the air holds a certain reverence that befits a place where heartfelt storytelling is transformed into visual reality. I am standing where directors and actors convened, working harmoniously to produce the sequences that tug at the heartstrings of those who watch.

It is in this revered space that the intricate dance between script and screen takes place, a confluence of careful direction, skilled performance, and the subtle art of cinematography. Here, in these halls, the touching moments experienced by the characters were nurtured into existence, ready to reach out and resonate with an audience seeking a touch of romance.

The Transformation From a Famous TV Set to a Film Location

The metamorphosis of the Dawson's Creek stage into a film locale for "The Choice" is emblematic of the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking. Once synonymous with the trials and tribulations of teenage life on a famed TV show, these sets have been artfully repurposed, capturing the essence of Nicholas Sparks' heartrending love story between Travis and Gabby.

Witnessing the transformation firsthand, the buzz of crew and fervent work to alter the set was palpably exciting, signaling a bridge between the storied past of Wilmington's filmography and its vibrant, evolving future. It's a testament to the adaptability and enduring appeal of this coastal town as a prime destination for filmmakers and viewers alike.

The Picturesque Beaches That Set the Scene

My odyssey through Wilmington's storytelling landscapes ushered me towards the sun-kissed beaches that famously cradled the tender beach scenes of "The Choice."

I sauntered across the same sands where the waves playfully lapped against the shoreline, setting an immaculate stage for romance to unfold.

The atmosphere here is both tranquil and stirring, inviting one to bask in the ethereal glow of twilight that was so crucial in creating the film's enchanting beach encounters.

Each visit paints a vivid tableau, reminiscent of the heartfelt drama of Travis and Gabby's seaside rendezvous, and I find myself poised to recount the captivating sunset views that served as a wellspring of inspiration for movie magic.

Relive the Film's Romantic Beach Encounters

Drifting along the coastline where the Atlantic Ocean brushes Kure Beach, I discover the very sands that hosted Gabby and Travis in their most candid, romantic interludes. Each time I witness the ebb and flow of the tides, I reconnect with the palpable chemistry that made "The Choice" an emotional tour de force, its beach scene imprinted in my memory as a hallmark of Wilmington's cinematic allure.

The soft whisper of the surf at Wrightsville Beach becomes a symphony to my senses as I envision the delicate moments between the characters that were captured here. This stunning strip of shore, with its golden hues and rhythmic waves, played its role to perfection, creating a rendezvous that wasn't just about the characters but about the immersive landscape that cradled their love story.

Sunset Views That Inspired Movie Magic

There's a unique alchemy in the way the setting sun casts its amber glow across the horizon, a spectacle that not only paints the sky but also infuses each frame with an emotional depth. Those moments, where light and shadow play across the faces of Gabby and Travis, are where the true magic of the film is kindled, turning simple scenes into poignant memories.

As the day concludes, and the sun dips below the waterline, a breathtaking canvas unfurls – it's these indelible sunset views that gave "The Choice" its arresting visual signature. Standing there, camera in hand, I could almost feel the director's intent, using the interplay of twilight's warm colors to heighten the drama and romance of the storyline, turning Wilmington's beaches into a repository of movie magic.

The Real-Life Locations That Inspired Nicholas Sparks

My enchantment with the visual storytelling of "The Choice" compels me to traverse the real-life locations that provided the canvas for this touching love story.

Nicholas Sparks, the author and creative wellspring behind the narrative, has an undeniable talent for capturing the heart of North Carolina in his work.

The rolling waves, whispering pines, and languid southern sunsets have lent their beauty to the film's narrative, enriching the tale with authenticity and a genuine sense of place.

It strikes me that to fully grasp the storyline's depth, one must experience the awe of the settings that spurred its creation—places that don't just serve as a backdrop but inspire the very essence of the plot.

Come along as I venture through the undeniable charm of these locales, bearing witness to how North Carolina's own beauty profoundly influenced every turn of the narrative.

Discover the Settings Behind the Story

As I venture deeper into the coastal landscapes that have charmed countless readers and viewers, the settings behind Nicholas Sparks' "The Choice" begin to unfold before me. Beaufort's quiet streets, lined with historic homes and dotted with local cafes, reveal the soulful environment that undoubtedly sparked the author's imagination and gave life to Travis and Gabby's love affair.

In my pursuit to capture Sparks' vision, the winding road leads me to Southport, where the oak-lined streets and cozy waterfront shops feel like stepping into the novel's pages. The palpable warmth of these southern towns—not just visually stunning but rich with an inviting ambiance—served as the perfect backdrop, prompting the novel's heartfelt narrative to leap from the page to the screen.

How North Carolina's Beauty Influenced the Narrative

North Carolina's landscape is a canvas on which the rich, emotive layers of "The Choice" come to life, resonating with the turmoil and tenderness of the characters' journey. The rippling marshes and sprawling azaleas of the Wilmington area aren't merely backgrounds; they encapsulate moods and moments, becoming pivotal characters in their own right that frame the narrative's soul.

Strolling the streets of New Bern or the docks at Carolina Beach, one understands how Sparks drew upon the serenity and yearning these settings evoke. The beauty of North Carolina is not just observed—it's felt deeply, influencing the storyline through its natural allure and fostering a profound connection between the characters' love affair and the environment that cradles it.

A Guide to Finding the Boathouse in the Film

As my exploration delves further into the soul-stirring locations showcased in "The Choice," I am drawn to a setting that emerges as a beacon of nostalgia and romance—the iconic boathouse.

Integral to pivotal plot moments, this unassuming structure stands as the quintessence of the film's scenic design.

Eagerly, I embark on a quest to map out this key landmark, a place where the tangible elements of love and decision converge in harmonious storytelling.

This journey also piques my curiosity about the craftsmanship behind its construction, a hallmark of set design that merits further appreciation and exploration.

Mapping Out the Key Landmark in "The Choice"

At the heart of "The Choice" narrative is the boathouse, a simple yet symbolic structure that fans of the film will remember vividly. Determined to find this evocative locale, I conducted research and conversed with locals, piecing together clues that led me to the secluded spot along the Intracoastal Waterway, where intimate scenes and crucial decisions unfolded beneath its unassuming roof.

Stand on the shore near the boathouse and you can almost hear the echoes of Travis and Gabby’s deep conversations, the gentle lapping of the water merging with moments of cinematic tenderness. Witnessing the unaltered beauty of this key landmark, unchanged since its onscreen debut, I felt a profound connection to the histories real and imagined that are imprinted in the timbers of this iconic film setting.

Learn About the Construction and Design of the Set

In my meticulous quest to uncover the intimate corners of "The Choice," my attention turned to the boathouse—a staple of the film's most memorable scenes. An edifice born of vision and careful craftsmanship, its construction leant an air of authenticity, mirroring the very elements of Southern architecture that lend the surrounding landscapes a graceful permanence.

The design of the set struck me as a testament to the artful diligence of both the designers and builders who translated narrative needs into tangible reality. They thoughtfully selected materials and textures that would resonate with the coastal milieu, ensuring the boathouse seamlessly complemented Wilmington's natural beauty and the film's emotive storyline.

Pro Tips for Visiting "The Choice" Film Locations

Delving into the quaint allure of Wilmington's dreamy locales as depicted in Nicholas Sparks' "The Choice," I've garnered a wealth of insight on the perfect orchestrations required to relish these awe-inspiring sites.

Brimming with an eagerness to share, I've compiled essential pro tips to ensure that your visit to these quintessential film locations is as enchanting as the scenes they embody.

From pinpointing the best times and ways to meander through the film's charming settings sans the bustle of crowds to absorbing local wisdom that upholds the integrity of these treasured spots, my guide aims to equip you with a mindful approach to experiencing the enchanting aura of these memorable places responsibly.

Best Times and Ways to Explore Without the Crowds

Embracing the tranquil spirit of Wilmington's famed film locations demands a strategy, especially if you're keen on avoiding the livelier crowds. My suggestion? Aim for the early mornings during weekdays when the hustle of visitors and locals alike is at a lull, allowing you to absorb the serene beauty of places like Airlie Gardens or the quaint porches of Downtown in peace.

Another piece of advice is to schedule your exploratory wanders around the off-peak season. Dodge the typical tourist rushes of summer by planning your trip in the quieter shoulder seasons—spring or late autumn. This way, Wilmington reveals itself in a more personal and unhurried manner, giving you the space and time to experience the locales with the same intimacy the filmmakers intended.

Local Insights on Enjoying the Sites Responsibly

As someone who holds Wilmington's coastal splendor close to heart, I advocate for preserving the integrity of its film locations. For those with a keen interest in "The Choice" and its cinematic haunts, the key is to tread lightly, ensuring that your visit leaves no trace on the luscious greens of Airlie Gardens or the historic allure of Downtown's storied porches.

Engaging with these sites calls for a sense of stewardship. When you wander through the locations where Travis and Gabby's love unfolded, do so with reverence. I make it a point to remind fellow visitors to respect private properties and abide by local guidelines, ensuring these picturesque settings remain pristine for future storytellers and admirers alike.


Exploring the stunning film locations of "The Choice" (2016) offers an immersive journey into the romantic and cinematic charm of Wilmington, NC.

As a visual testimony to Nicholas Sparks' evocative storytelling, these sites capture the essence of the film's narrative, allowing visitors to connect deeply with the story's emotional landscape.

From the serene Riverwalk to the intimate porches and historic districts, each location comprises a vital piece of the film's heart.

Engaging with the dramatic waterfronts, the Dawson's Creek stage, and the picturesque beaches, visitors relive the romance between Travis and Gabby, while the iconic boathouse serves as a pivotal landmark infused with narrative significance.

By visiting these spots responsibly and with reverence, we not only honor the art of filmmaking but also contribute to preserving the natural and architectural beauty that defined the movie's allure.

Through this exploration, Wilmington's role as "Hollywood East" is celebrated, maintaining its standing as a beacon for filmmakers and fans around the world.

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