If you ask a Sweet Magnolias fan where they'd like to take their next trip, they'd probably tell you the charming town of Serenity, South Carolina. This is totally understandable, too. Between the Southern-style homes and the Gilmore Girls-esque scenery, who wouldn't want to be surrounded by the bliss the idyllic town author Sherryl Woods initially depicted in her book series?
There's just one small problem: Serenity, the town created for the Netflix series, doesn't actually exist. But don't get bummed out too quickly! It's still possible to visit the town(s) where our favorite trio (Maddie, Dana, and Helen) call home! It just might not be exactly where you were expecting to go.
Instead of heading down to the friendly neighborhoods of South Carolina, you're going to want to change your route to these Georgia towns: Covington and McDonough.
The majority of the shows' premise was filmed in the picturesque town that is Covington, Georgia. Oh, and get this: Sweet Magnolias is not the first production to feature the area in series or movie. In fact, they are far from it! The Vampire Diaries, Remember the Titans, and Selma are just a few of the 250 projects that used the Georgia town as a backdrop. It's pretty popular, and for good reason, too!
What's even more cool is that you can visit Sullivan's, Dana Sue's restaurant from the show! According to the Newton Chamber of Commerce, Mystic Grill (an actual restaurant in town) was turned into Dana's personal eatery during filming.
Covington's historic Lee-Porter Mansion was used as the outdoor scenery for The Corner Spa. Definitely an Instagram worthy moment while you're there!
If you're looking to get into a Sweet Magnolias road trip, you'll want to check out McDonough, Georgia. There weren't too many scenes filmed there, but it's the home of the high school and church—both pivotal landmarks of the show. Newsweek let us know that Serenity High School is actually Henry County Middle School, and Serenity's Prince of Peace Lutheran Church took place at Oakhurst Presbyterian in Decatur.
Sumter, South Carolina
So, there weren't actually any scenes shot here. However, Woods said that Sumter, South Carolina is the inspiration for the fictional town of Serenity. "Developing Serenity for this new series had a special meaning for me," she said during the intro in her first book of the series, Stealing Home. Each year as I travel from my home in Key Biscayne, Florida to my family's summer cottage in Colonial Beach, Virginia, I make a stop in Sumter, South Carolina, to visit one of my family's oldest and dearest friends, Donnie Clemons." Woods then dedicated the book to Dottie and her home in Sumter. Sweet Magnolias is an ode to just that.
Who knows, maybe a cute little road trip to these locations is just what you need to pass the time as we wait for season 3!