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Where Was The Vampire Diaries Filmed?

The history of vampires on screen has long been connected with the American South. Anne Rice popularized the Southern Gothic genre with her famous character, Lestat, who famously lived and fed in New Orleans (via The Advocate). This trend continued with "The Southern Vampire Mysteries" penned by Charlaine Harris, and then eventually L.J. Smith's popular series "The Vampire Diaries." Adapted into a series for the CW in 2009, the series takes place in Virginia, where teenage girl Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) falls in love with not one vampire, but two. 

Like all adaptations, the television show made changes from the book series, such as changing the name of the fictional town where everything happens — which, in the novels, was "Fell's Church" — to the even more ominous Mystic Falls (via The Hollywood Reporter). Regardless of the name change, the supernatural town is as significant as its characters. 

Like Sunnydale in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Mystic Falls has a long history of a supernatural presence. It is where a colony of vampires congregated during the Civil War, as well as the location of a mass burning of witches. Most importantly, though, Mystic Falls represents the sort of small-town life that could take place in any part of the country — a close-knit community where people experience love and loss, move away from, or grow old in. And though Mystic Falls is a fictional town, "The Vampire Diaries" was shot in a location that stays true to the show's Southern roots.

Fans can visit the landmarks of Mystic Falls in Georgia

The real Mystic Falls isn't in Virginia, but it isn't too far from that — in fact, the actual location in "The Vampire Diaries" is in a small but thriving town, Covington, Georgia. Covington has been the filming location for other notable properties such as "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Sweet Magnolias" (via Explore Georgia). 

The town is a perfect choice for Mystic Falls, which is steeped in history: Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) Salvatore were part of the Founding Families of Mystic Falls which resulted in a town rich with stories. Many of the town's locations make for incredibly scenic shots on television such as the illustrious Lockwood Mansion and the Gilbert house. Superfans can even dine at the famous restaurant, the Mystic Grill, where Elena and her friends share many scenes — because after the success of the show, the restaurant was recreated for real-life consumers to enjoy. 

Fans can visit these locations and more if they decide to visit. Guided tours are available due to the hard work of fans known as the "Vampire Stalkers," as seen at MysticFallsTours.com. They started out just as appreciative viewers who would visit the set, but have since created a thriving business where they show fellow fans the real location of Mystic Falls. Though there are no vampires to be seen (allegedly), fans can relive the magic of their favorite show any time they like.