Remember when the movie "The DaVinci Code" came out and suddenly European travel promos were advertising DaVinci tours, featuring visits to many of the pivotal spots mentioned in the story? More recently, the Twilight movie series gave a boost to travel in Washington state. Now, North Carolina's got its own Hollywood blockbuster to promote — "The Hunger Games". From waterfalls near Hendersonville to abandoned buildings in Shelby, the film, which opened in March 2012 was shot entirely in North Carolina.
If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about this futuristic survivalist movie, The Hunger Games is about a post-apocalypse society in which the government demands tribute from its surrounding districts by having one teenaged boy and one girl from each one compete in the Hunger Games. Only one teen survives. The story follows Katniss Everdeen who competes in the vicious tournament, which is televised for the entertainment of the masses. In order to survive the game and emerge the victor, this young combatant must put all of her skills to the ultimate test.
If you or your kids are big fans of the movie (or the book), North Carolina is your "must-go" destination this summer. The film was shot on location in many different areas of western N.C. , from woodlands to the cities. The filmmakers needed run-down buildings and warehouses for the dark film, and found them in places like Shelby, which used to be a mill town. Shelby became District 12, home to Katniss and her family. Other areas in western North Carolina were essential to the film as well. “The Hunger Games” was shot at an abandoned cigarette factory around Charlotte. Another scene was shot at Triple Falls, a popular waterfall at DuPont State Forest near Brevard.
The North Carolina Tourism Board has mapped out 12 Hunger Games locales in the state and you can explore them on your own, following this 4-day itinerary. If you prefer to share the experience with other fans, take part in one of the packaged tours which provide a more immersive experience, including Hunger Games style meals and survival "training camps" with simulated activities like archery, sling shot training, fire building, orienteering. Tours include locations where the film was shot, such as DuPont State Forest and the NASCAR Hall, to the stars’ favorite off-duty spots and attractions that District 12 denizens would love.
And don't forget your camera — you may just spot a mockingjay!