Inside The Filming Locations For Sweet Magnolias

If you've found yourself hooked on the Netflix original "Sweet Magnolias," a series that follows the lives of three close friends in a tight-knit small South Carolina town, chances are you may have wondered where exactly the series is filmed. After all, with so many television shows and movies opting to film on sound stages and in studios, it can be challenging to tell which shows are actually filmed in a real location you might be able to visit and tour for yourself. Well, "Sweet Magnolias" fans are in luck — though Serenity is a fictional town, the filming actually took place in the quaint town of Covington, Georgia, as Good Housekeeping reported.

And, though Covington is a small town containing only about 14,000 full-time residents, it's positively booming with temporary visitors, serving as a popular filming location for various films and television shows. As per IMDB, besides "Sweet Magnolias," Covington has appeared extensively on-screen in television shows like "The Vampire Diaries" as well as movies such as "Remember the Titans" and "Sweet Home Alabama" (that's right — the hometown Melanie Carmichael returned to in the rom-com classic wasn't even in Alabama!).

While some of the scenes in "Sweet Magnolias" may feature idyllic outdoor settings that could be filmed virtually anywhere, there are a few recognizable landmarks that are important to the show and can actually be visited in real life by any fans who may be passing through Covington and surrounding areas.

Dana Sue's stomping grounds

One of the main characters on "Sweet Magnolias," Dana Sue Sullivan, owns a restaurant in Serenity called Sullivan's. If any fans of "The Vampire Diaries" thought the exterior of the spot seemed familiar when watching, it's because the filming location has appeared on camera before, as the popular local haunt Mystic Grill.

The restaurant thrilled fans by sharing a few behind-the-scenes snaps on their Instagram page from when the "Sweet Magnolias" cast was filming. After all, given that Sullivan's is the restaurant owned by one of the main characters, her best friends frequently stop by for a bite (and perhaps a bit of gossip), making it a central filming. As the restaurant explained, there were a few transformations that took place, primarily the Sullivan's branding appearing in the form of a large modern sign on the exterior, as well as branding on the fabric awning and the front door. However, the team seems to have kept the eye-catching forest green exterior.

While Dana Sue may not be the one whipping up your meal if you decide to stop by the real-life Sullivan's, the restaurant's Instagram page showcases plenty of delectable dishes, so you may just find a new chef to support. And don't worry — just like Sullivan's, Mystic Grill has some serious Southern flair, with the menu featuring items like sweet tea fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and pimento cheese.

The Corner Spa and other locations

Another key component in the show's larger storyline is the business that the trio of friends decides to open up together, The Corner Spa — which just so happens to be a real location in Covington as well, as This Is My South reported. The interior of the building isn't accessible to the public, but fans likely won't care, because it's only the exterior that's used for the show — the interior scenes within The Corner Spa are shot elsewhere. After all, while it's relatively easy to spruce up a space and make it look like a spa on the inside, it's a whole lot more challenging to come up with such a show-stopping antebellum-style exterior. Given that the building features a law office inside, as Newsweek explained, privacy concerns mean it's no wonder that the public isn't able to step inside the grand front doors. 

If you're a huge "Sweet Magnolias" fan considering stopping by Covington for a self-guided tour, there are also a few more spots within driving distance, as Good Housekeeping reported. Scenes in the fictional Serenity High School were actually filmed at Henry County Middle School in nearby McDonough, Georgia, whose exterior you can check out. And, the Sunday church scenes that take place at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Serenity are actually filmed at a real church, Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, in nearby Decatur, Georgia.