Spotlight On: Covington GA And 'The Vampire Diaries'
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Spotlight On: Covington GA And 'The Vampire Diaries'

One of the most magical road trips I've ever taken and why YOU should visit.

Spotlight On: Covington GA And 'The Vampire Diaries'
Go Covington

Whether you're an avid traveler or a "go to a new place maybe once a year" type person doesn't matter once you set foot in Covington, Georgia. This town is full of southern charm and intriguing history that can leave any guest feeling like they don't want to leave. I recently got to have this experience when my fiancé offered me the chance at a road trip I'd been wanting to take. For the past seven years I've been dying to mark off a very important item on my bucket list, to eat at The Mystic Grill Restaurant in Covington.

Now if you've never seen the hit CW series "The Vampire Diaries," still running strong in its seventh season, then you're probably confused as to why I'd want to drive five hours to eat at one restaurant. In the TV show, the Mystic Grill is a highly featured location where the residents of Mystic Falls, human and supernatural creatures alike, go to have a drink, chow down on some food, and even start a few fights with some foul enemies.

So naturally when I first heard that they had made the fictitious restaurant come to life in the city of Covington I knew I just had to go one day. Now that I've finally been I can give you a first hand account of this unique restaurant and a few other "Vampire Diaries" inspired parts of town that'll have you packing your bags and hitting the road!

The first stop I always suggest any traveler makes when they go to a new town is the travel center where they have all kinds of information for tourists and where there is often a very kind and helpful employee ready to answer all your questions and give you tons of suggestions. While Covington definitely didn't disappoint on this forefront, they also offered something rather special.

The perfect opportunity to take some really cool photos before you even get to the main part of town! Outside the travel center in Covington was the "Welcome to Mystic Falls Virginia" sign that has been shown multiple times in the TV show and that I never imagined getting to see considering Mystic Falls isn't a real place.

Once inside the travel center, there were even more photo opportunities with the tons of memorabilia and cardboard cut outs they had from not only "The Vampire Diaries" but many other Hollywood hits such as "Gone With The Wind" and "In The Heat of the Night" just to name a few.

After leaving the travel center, it was time to head to The Mystic Grill to grab some lunch. Once standing up close outside the restaurant's front doors I became overwhelmed with excitement. For seven years I had been watching this TV show I loved dearly and had always wanted to just go to that town and that restaurant and now I was finally here.

I looked up at the beautiful and enormous clock tower that loomed in the sky next to The Mystic Grill and had flashbacks of Damon and Elena jumping off that clock tower in season six. I suddenly wondered what the whole town must have been like when they were filming that scene.

After I finally gathered my whits and stepped inside the restaurant my excited nature was only fueled more by the beautiful decor and welcoming atmosphere the place had. My mind was buzzing as the waitress seated us. What if a member of the cast walked in any minute to grab some lunch? I'd seen a lot of fans post about that online and I couldn't fathom what my reaction would be if that did happen while I was here. I'd like to imagine that since I'm a journalist who has had my share of interviews with celebrities that I would have been chill. No sightings happened while I was in town though, so I wasn't forced to find out!

My fiance and I began looking at our menus and deciding on food when I looked to my left at the bar we had been seated next to. During my glance at the array of drinks that any vampire, hybrid, or human would enjoy I noticed something on the back of one of the chairs at the bar. I scooted to the edge of my seat to get a better look and had to keep myself from shrieking once I read the words engraved on the plaque that said, "In Memory of Our Dear Friend Alaric Saltzman."

Anyone who watches the show and knows who Alaric is and the story of his character knows just how important this little piece of detail is. I think it's wonderful that even the inside of the restaurant pays tribute to the show and the fans who have loved it since season one.

Now I could tell you about the food at The Mystic Grill, but honestly that would be an entire other article in itself because there were so many good things about it. I can advise you however to definitely drink the sweet tea because it was better than any tea I've ever had in my home state of Tennessee and my fiancé exclaimed that the Clock Tower Burger is an experience in itself. The best way for you to know all the juicy details is to go try it for yourself!

Now comes the point where I'd like to give a shout out to our incredible server, Noah. This guy was so gracious and welcoming by asking about where we were from, how our Valentine's Day went, if we were fans of the show, etc. He then went above and beyond by offering to ask his manager if we could go upstairs and see the upper levels and the roof of the restaurant.

I hadn't read anything online about these areas of The Mystic Grill, but I figured as long as we were there it would be cool to check out the entirety of the spot. We finished our meal and received permission from Noah to head upstairs. Once upstairs we found several levels and rooms of very nice lounging and dining spaces that looked like quite the place to throw a party. On the walls lining the staircase was a collection of framed menus that had been autographed by various members of the cast of "The Vampire Diaries" and even cast from the spinoff show "The Originals."

After all these amazing discoveries we finally reached the door to the roof. Outside was a beautiful view of the town square and an even more breathtaking up close view of the clock tower. I felt like I could practically reach out and touch it it was so close. In that moment with just the two of us on the roof I don't think I've ever had such a magical memory to hold on to.

After we came back downstairs we decided to head around the rest of the square to some gift shops we had passed on the way to grabbing lunch and to see what else the town had to offer. Our first stop was by the Vampire Stalkers Store located on the corner of the square across from The Mystic Grill. It normally isn't open on Mondays but we happened to hit a streak of luck that day. Inside the store was any "Vampire Diaries" fan's dream. Wall-to-wall coverage basically of any kind of TVD merchandise you could possibly think of from bags, coffee mugs, cellphone cases, jewelry, posters, autographed items, and more.

It was also inside this store that I met Jessica Lowery and learned about "Vampire Stalkers" and The Mystic Falls Tours she gives. I unfortunately didn't have time to take one of her tours that day but a quick Google search online will show you glowing reviews about the experience from other fans. The tour takes fans around to various filming locations from the show and gives a lot of insight to the world of filming. Some fans have even been lucky enough to be taking a tour while filming is happening and actually see some of the cast in action! Remember me mentioning the spinoff show "The Originals"? Well the tour for that show is offered as well! Ready to go see what it's all about? Go buy your tickets here or just stop by the store once you get into town.

Aside from information about the incredible experiences she is offering, Jessica was incredibly awesome by helping me pick out some gifts for my "damon obsessed" mom who hadn't made the trip with us. My mom wound up loving her gifts and wants to visit the town for herself soon too.

Now I had to decide what souvenir I'd be getting for myself and I decided that instead of buying a t-shirt like I do on almost every trip; this time I would take advantage of something that was hard to find. A replica of Caroline Forbes's daylight ring. Hot Topic hardly sells any "Vampire Diaries" merchandise and if they do it's mostly for Damon and Stephen, not for any of the other characters. So one might could imagine my excitement when I saw Caroline's ring in the store.

So even though I didn't have any vampire sighting while in town, Covington was a magical and welcoming town that made me never want to leave. Thank you to everyone I encountered during this road trip and I hope to be back to see all of you again soon.

Not a fan of "The Vampire Diaries" but still interested in this amazing town? Visit Go Covington to learn more and start planning your own road trip!

(Watch "The Vampire Diaries" Fridays at 8/7 CST and "The Originals" 9/8 CST on The CW)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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