Plot Twist: ‘Outer Banks’ Was Not Actually Filmed in the Outer Banks

Mehera Bonner
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From Cosmopolitan

Due to all my summer plans being canceled, I am currently living vicariously through Netflix’s thirsty new show Outer Banks. And by that, I mean I binge-watched it in a single day and am now watching it again for obvious reasons related to HELP, I’M BORED.

As you might have guessed based on the title of the show, Outer Banks takes place in the Outer Banks, a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. It’s a gorgeous region where you can literally find wild horses roaming the beach (I’ve seen them, they’re amazing!), but here’s the thing: Outer Banks was not actually filmed in the Outer Banks.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The show was shot in Charleston, South Carolina, a geographical area *so* similar, most people wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from the real Outer Banks—unless you’re a local, in which case, the show probably isn’t cutting it. At least, according to an OBX surf shop owner, who told Esquire that Outer Banks “should have been called South Carolina Beaches or something.”

Fair, buuut…

There’s a Good Reason They Ditched North Carolina

Netflix rightfully objected to the state’s controversial House Bill 2 (aka the “bathroom bill”), an anti-LGBTQ+ piece of legislation from 2016 that discriminates against the transgender community. Apparently, the next best filming location was in South Carolina—and for what it’s worth, creator Josh Pate agreed with Netflix’s decision, telling Wilmington Star News, “When we wrote [Outer Banks], it was one hundred percent Wilmington in our heads. We wanted to film it here. But Netflix made the right decision to insist on inclusivity and we completely agree with them.”

The IRL Locations Are So Gorgeous

If you find yourself in South Carolina once life goes back to normal-ish, here’s a helpful list of places where the Outer Banks cast filmed: the Old Village in Mount Pleasant, James Island, Johns Island, Kiawah Island, Charleston Harbor, Hunting Island, and the Morris Island Lighthouse. Look familiar?

Also, fun fact: You know how Kiara’s fam owns and operates The Wreck? It’s fully a real place in Shem Creek, South Carolina:



Literally cannot wait for social isolation to be over so I can become one with my inner Outer Banks self and take a trip down to the Carolinas.


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