Top tips for things to do, places to stay, great restaurants and best times to visit "The Hollywood of the South."
Historic downtown Covington is known as a film town, home to locations from "The Dukes of Hazzard," "In the Heat of the Night" and, most recently, "The Vampire Diaries" and "Sweet Magnolias," along with 140 other films. The thriving downtown has locally owned boutiques, antique stores and restaurants. Settled in 1822 by European immigrants, many antebellum structures were spared from Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War. The Newton County Courthouse is the area’s most iconic structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Things to Do
Mystic Falls Tours
Visit the landmarks from The Vampire Diaries and other Covington film landmarks with Mystic Falls Tours. Fans will visit locations like the Lockwood Mansion and the home used as the Gilbert house.
Main Street Trolleys
Take a trolley tour with Main Street Trolleys to see filming locations that represented Mystic Falls, Virginia; Sparta, Mississippi; Hazzard County, Georgia; and Serenity, S.C.; right in Covington. Hear stories and get exclusive views of some of the most iconic places to appear in Georgia films.
Covington Ghost Tours
Experience the spooky side of Newton County with Covington Ghost Tours, which operates walking tours of the historic sites in town. The expert guides are associated with The Atlantic Paranormal Society.
Historic Home Self-Guided Tour
You don’t need a guide for the Historic Home Self-Guided Tour, just a brochure from the downtown visitor’s center. It showcases the historic homes and buildings in downtown Covington.
On Location Self-Guided Tour
Fans of film can’t miss the On Location Self-Guided Tour, a walking or driving tour that visits the locations from the "Dukes of Hazzard," "In the Heat of the Night," "Remember the Titans" and numerous other television and movie locations. Pick up a brochure from the visitor’s center.
The Twelve Oaks Bed & Breakfast is an 1836 antebellum home that has also been used as a filming location. The eight guest rooms have flat-screen televisions, free WiFi, fireplaces, and plush robes, as well as daily breakfast.
Holiday Inn Express Covington
The spacious rooms at the Holiday Inn Express Covington are another option, which have free WiFi and coffee makers. The property has a fitness center and outdoor pool, daily breakfast and event space.
Hampton Inn Covington
Similarly, the Hampton Inn Covington is right off the highway and has pet-friendly rooms, complete with free WiFi, mini fridges, flat-screen televisions, microwaves and workspaces.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Covington
La Quinta Inn & Suites Covington has comfy pillowtop beds, flat-screen televisions, free high-speed WiFi and work space, as well as coffee makers, microwaves and mini fridges. The hotel also has a swimming pool, fitness center and sundries market.
Baymont by Wyndham Covington
The well-located Baymont by Wyndham Covington is pet-friendly and offers free hot breakfast, free WiFi, microwaves, refrigerators, a fitness center and a business center. There are also laundry facilities and a seasonal outdoor pool.
Dine at one of Covington’s many local restaurants that have a variety of flavors.
Mystic Grill Restaurant
Inspired by the restaurant in The Vampire Diaries, Mystic Grill Restaurant has a menu of chef-driven and seasonal Southern food like fried chicken and burgers.
Set in a pharmacy from the 1920s, City Pharmacy serves a new generation of visitors with chef-prepared dishes and cocktails for dinner and brunch. It also has a raw bar with oysters on the half shell.
The casual pizza chain Your Pie has an outpost in the historic Covington square, where you can get custom-built pizzas, including those with vegan and vegetarian toppings, as well as gluten-free bases.
Town House Cafe
Opened in 1964, Town House Cafe is a family-owned and operated restaurant serves hearty breakfasts as well as sandwiches for lunch and chicken, pork, and Southern-style sides for dinner.
The Social Goat Tavern
The Social Goat Tavern is set in a historic building in downtown Covington, serving fan favorites like burgers, street tacos, Georgia craft beer and signature drinks.
Bradley's Real Pit Bar-B-Que
Enjoy the hickory smoked pork, beef, and chicken and all the sides at Bradley's Real Pit Bar-B-Que, the area’s best barbecue restaurant. They offer dine in or take out services.
Bread and Butter
Start your day with coffee and pastries at Bread and Butter, a popular cafe in Covington. They bake their own bread for sandwiches and use Georgia-grown ingredients. They also serve soups and salads.
RL’s Off the Square
RL’s Off the Square opens for dinner, serving daily specials and Louisiana-inspired entrees like gumbo, fried green tomatoes and barbecue shrimp.