One Tree Hill movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was One Tree Hill filmed?

About One Tree Hill

One Tree Hill, created by Mark Schwahn, was a one-of-a-kind coming-of-age, teen, soap opera, sports drama, and romance genre series that influenced the lives of thousands of teenagers who grew with the series as it aired over its 9 seasons. One of the longest-running shows (first on the WB and then on the CW).

One Tree Hill follows the lives of two main protagonists, half-brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott, played by Chad Michael Murray, and James Lafferty, respectively. Though they are related, until high school, they practically hated each other and led very different lives. The nine seasons follow the ups and downs of their relationship with each other and the rest of their peers, families, and love interests.

The One Tree Hill production started in 2003 and was completed with its final season in 2012. It is set in the fictional town of Tree Hill in North Carolina. The two brothers carry the show forward on their shoulders, with the help of other main characters like their families, love stories, and their combined rivalry in the Tree Hill High basketball and sports. There is plenty of drama, intrigue, suspense, family secrets, and heartbreak as viewers follow the brothers' romances in minute detail.

All these characters build unexpected relationships that take viewers on a tumultuous experience as they traverse the length and breadth of teenage angst, the struggles of growing up, ever-changing love interests, and family complications. Once high school is done in the first four seasons and the main characters graduate, Mark Schwahn advances the timeline by four years at the start of the fifth season. This is done mainly to show the characters' lives after high school and college. Schwahn ensured there were college scenes as flashbacks at pivotal moments throughout the seasons and the new storylines. At the end of the sixth season, Mark Schwahn again advances the timeline by fourteen months to the start of the seventh season.

City Locations

Wilmington, North Carolina

Location Types

Bridge, American, House, Studios, Warehouses

Location Styles

Contemporary Modern, Modern Car

One Tree Hill Locations

Most of the filming locations of One Tree Hill are in and around Wilmington in North Carolina. If you want to visit the One Tree Hill locations, then it is best to consider the battleship USS North Carolina and the University of North Carolina Wilmington since the majority of the scenes were shot around these locales. Spoiler alert: we cover terrific scenes below!

Even the bridge featured in the show's opening credits is found just past North 6th and Hanover St and is called '6th Street Bridge.' For those who have forgotten the importance of this bridge, it's the same one where Lucas dribbles his basketball with 'I don't wanna be' by Gavin DeGraw playing in the opening credits.

Places like the Dixie Grill, Tree Hill High, the Beach, the Scotts' House, Naley Table, Haley's childhood home, the gorgeous nightclub Tric and Red Bedroom Records, plus the famous Rivercourt are all shot in beautiful Wilmington. Most of these locations are open to tourists visiting the One Tree Hill filming locations.

Did you know that the famous bench where Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) gave Haley James (portrayed by Bethany Joy Lenz) a bracelet from the Cracker Jack box and said, "Don't say I never gave you anything" is still present at Naley Table? You can visit the exact spot, click pictures, and upload them on social media!

Fun fact:

Digital Spy and Cosmopolitan named One Tree Hill one of the greatest teen dramas! It was nominated for and won several Teen Choice Awards. The five main protagonists also received awards, recognitions, and many other shows as their popularity grew over time.

Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer at the basketball court scene in One Tree Hill

Emsley A. Laney High School, Wilmington

One of the best scenes in One Tree Hill is in season 1, episode 2 when Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) is about to start his second game of basketball at Tree Hill High for the Ravens game. Just as he is about to enter the basketball court, he turns to Peyton Sawyer (portrayed by Hilarie Burton) and says the iconic line, "Your art matters. It's what got me here." This line resonated very strongly with teenage audiences going through a tough time deciding various career choices.

There were several posts, letters (fan mail), and shout-outs to the actors thanking them for this inspirational quote that brought tears to viewers' eyes. This incredible line was repeated in season 5. However, this time Peyton says it to Lucas when he's having difficulties with his second novel.

All the basketball shots in One Tree Hill are shot at Michael Jordan's high school gym at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. Since it is the same place that Michael Jordan grew up and practiced in, Mark Schwahn decided to shoot all the basketball scenes at Laney High School. To get to Laney High School, hop on to bus number 104 and get off at Gordon Rd (WB) and Southgate Dr., then walk from Farley Dr. to Capital Dr., and the school will be on your right.

Dan Scott's funeral scene in One Tree Hill

Graystone Inn, Wilmington

Season 2 starts with Dan Scott's (portrayed by Paul Johansson) funeral scene where everyone is present, from Lucas and Nathan to their friends, loved ones, and family members, all teared up from his loss. This scene takes place at the Bloomer and Cargioli Funeral Home. Nathan is seen kneeling in front of his father, Dan's open casket when Lucas walks to him and pats Nathan's shoulder to pull him away. As he moves away, Deb Scott (portrayed by Barbara Alyn Woods) takes his place, kneeling in front of Dan.

While she is in front of the casket, her cheeks are wholly tearstained, and she gently puts one hand on Dan's arm. Suddenly, Dan grabs her hand roughly and says, "You killed me, you b**ch!" The scene cuts to Deb suddenly waking up from a nightmare and looking at Dan as he is in the hospital, alive but unconscious.

The funeral scene was shot at Graystone Inn, located at 100 S 3rd St. To get here, hop onto bus number 108 and get off at Market St (WB) & 4th St (after Cape Fear Museum). From there, walk about 4 minutes to reach the Graystone Inn. This Inn is known for its exclusive restaurants, bourbon, and hospitality. You can book your stay here for a day or two and enjoy the One Tree Hill experience.

The school shooting scene in One Tree Hill

Cape Fear Community College - Joe and Barbara Schwartz Center, Wilmington

Sensitivity warning for this scene in One Tree Hill.

This season 3 scene is shocking and hits too close to home when Jimmy Edwards (portrayed by Colin Fickes) pulls a gun and opens fire on his fellow students while at Tree Hill High School. Jimmy hated school because he did not fit in with the 'it' crowd, and he later committed suicide by gunshot.

Jimmy injures several students, and as the school goes on lockdown, he locks himself in with others. When here, he notices Peyton Sawyer coming out of the library to get help for her injury. She's accompanied by Lucas Scott. Keith Scott (portrayed by Craig Sheffer) comes in to diffuse the situation and talk Jimmy into putting the gun away. However, Jimmy felt Peyton would die because of him, and nothing would ever get better, so he shoots himself and ends his own life.

One of the lines that made viewers reel from the shock was Jimmy saying, "I didn't mean it."

This horrifying scene is shot at Cape Fear Community College - Joe and Barbara Schwartz Center in Wilmington. All the Tree Hill High filming locations are the same. Tree Hill High holds many beautiful memories for fans, including winning the state championship, classes, and relationships. To get to the CFCC Community College from Graystone Inn, hop on to bus number 203 from Front St/Orange St and get off at the CFCC Joe and Barbara Schwartz Center at Front St/ Hanover St.

Peyton Sawyer and Brooke Davis are held hostage by Ian Banks scene in One Tree Hill

1901 Chestnut Street, Wilmington

This is one of the few One Tree Hill action scenes in season 4 with Peyton Sawyer and Brooke Davis (portrayed by Sophia Bush) being held hostage by Ian Banks (played by Matt Barr) at Peyton Sawyer's house on Prom night. Ian is a stalker known by his instant message names watchmewatchu and LukesScott3.

Ian is pretty psychotic and thinks Peyton and he are meant to be together. When Lucas comes to take Peyton to the prom, Ian holds her down and covers her mouth while saying, "I would never give up on you that easily. You hear me? Our love is forever!" He then injects her with a drug, gags her, and ties her to a chair in the basement.

Since Peyton doesn't show up at prom, Brooke goes to her house because she realizes something is wrong. As she reaches the basement and sees Peyton, she tries to untie her, but Ian grabs Brooke and ties her up. Peyton convinces Ian that she hates Brooke, and while Ian is trying to kill Brooke, asks to do the deed herself. She, instead, stabs Ian in the shoulder, and the girls end up saving themselves.

This violent scene is shot at 1901 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, in the house where all of Peyton's home scenes were filmed. To get here, turn onto N 23rd St and then right onto Chestnut St. However, this is a private home, so visitors should respect the owner's privacy.

Lucas Scott and Skills Taylor at the door scene in One Tree Hill

1829 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington

In this highly emotional scene in season 6, Skills Taylor (portrayed by Antwon Tanner) knocks on Lucas Scott's main door. As Lucas opens the door, Skills asks him if he heard about Quentin's death. Skills is devastated at the news of Quentin's murder (Quentin was shot dead in the earlier episode). So Lucas invites him in.

Samantha Walker (portrayed by Ashley Nicole Rickards) has a voiceover in this segment of the episode where she narrates a part about the reality of Quentin's death. She says, "There's nothing romantic about death. Grief is like the ocean: it's deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair."

These emotional lines brought tears to the faces of countless teens who had to endure the deaths of friends, family members, and loved ones either by gunshots, accidents, or disasters.

This entire scene is shot at Lucas' front door at 1829 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington. Visitors can see the beautiful house with its front porch steps and bright yellow paint but need to be careful since it is private property. It is best to ask permission to click photographs before wandering onto the property. To get here, hop on to bus number 108 from Padgett Station to Market St (EB) & 12th St and walk a few minutes to your destination.

Peyton and Lucas in the hospital scene in One Tree Hill

North College Road

Like most One Tree Hill scenes, this season 6 scene is also an emotional one. After the accident, Peyton is in the hospital and is taken in for an emergency cesarean. Lucas is distraught as he feels he may lose his new wife and unborn child. The doctors take Peyton in for surgery where their baby is born, but Peyton is still unconscious. Lucas takes the baby home, and he holds her and tells her, "Daddy's here. It's okay. Shh, it's okay."

The next day, he visits Peyton at the hospital and tells her, "You know who else will be here when you wake up? Our beautiful daughter.. you should see her. She's amazing, Peyton." He goes on to tell her, "She needs her mom. I need her mom. She doesn't even have a name. I can't do this without you. And I'm just afraid." Suddenly Peyton regains consciousness and tells Lucas, "Sawyer. Her name's Sawyer, okay?"

Fans may be disheartened to know that Tree Hill Hospital was not really a hospital at all. It was part of a set turned into a medical center at the Corning Manufacturing site at North College Road. Visit the One Tree Hill location by driving via Blue Cray Rd and turning right onto US-117 S. North College Road is 2 miles out from the turning. You can click photographs at the site, but the set has been torn down.

Conclusion

For many viewers, One Tree Hill was like their own religion. It was a great show for many reasons – a group of teenagers living in a small town with their ups and downs, and everything from millionaires, death, school shootings, basketball games, romance, babies, and the works – all before they turn 25.

While there were many parts that viewers could identify with, like the fabulous locations around Wilmington, there were a few things that were far out of the realm of normal – like the persistent accidents, a dog eating a heart meant for transplant, constantly dying and returning, and more.

Like most teen dramas, One Tree Hill lived up to its hype with gorgeous actors, who did a fabulous job, and the producers and directors who cohesively brought the whole nine seasons together.

Will One Tree Hill be a hit if it's made today? Or will most teenagers have different views on what actually goes on in their lives? Time will tell. At least the fabulous locations in Wilmington will be there for us to drool over.