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The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13-Stop Tour Of The Show’s Best Filming Locations

February 12, 2014 6:00 AM

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crop down22 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations

This article is from Thrillist Nation

If we’ve learned anything from 3½ seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, it’s that Rick makes debatable decisions, the writers aren’t afraid to kill off popular characters, and if Daryl and Michonne ever hooked up, they’d have the most badass kid on the post-apocalyptic playground. And, since the show’s shot mostly on location in Georgia (rather than on a Hollywood lot) it’s remarkably easy to hop in a car and visit the real-life locations.

To help you to do just that, we used über-fan sites like Walkingdeadlocations and Walking Dead Wiki to map out an easy-to-follow, DIY road trip around Atlanta, complete with behind-the-scenes dirt on 13 locations. Which hospital did Rick wake up in? How far’s Woodbury from the prison? Is the CDC really rigged to explode? It’s all here. Now, let’s go hunt some walkers.

crop down23 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming LocationsSPOILER ALERT: Whatever the statute of limitations is for discussing on-going shows, if you haven’t watched through the end of Season 3, move along.

Total distance: 132.5mi
Estimated driving time: 3 hours, 12 minutes. As it is Atlanta, be sure to build in PLENTY of time to idle in traffic — or, like, two extra days, if there are flurries in the forecast.
Start and finish: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport6000 N Terminal Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30320

crop down24 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Zillow

#1: Rick’s house
Address: 817 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
Distance: 9.1mi north of the airport on I-85 (13min)
First appeared: Season 1, Episode 1 — “Days Gone By”
In the show: After suffering a gunshot wound in the line of duty, Rick awakes from a coma to find himself alone in the hospital. Upon realizing everything’s gone to sh*t, he hops a sweet bike in the park and, gown aflutterin’, peddles home to find the door ajar and his house abandoned.
In real life: Supposedly located in a small rural town in fictitious King County, the house actually sits in the heart of Atlanta across from historic Grant Park and the zoo. Empty and for sale at the time of shooting, it’s since been renovated and is no longer on the market.

Related: Legendary Concert Venues Across America

#2: Rick enters Atlanta on horseback
Address: 170 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Distance: A 2.3mi straight shot up Cherokee Ave and around historic Oakland Cemetery (7min)
First appeared: Season 1, Episode 1 — “Days Gone By”
In the show: In search of his wife and son, Rick heads toward Atlanta but runs out of gas. He comes across a lone horse on a nearby farm and trots into the city on horseback, observing that the outbound lanes are littered with abandoned cars.
In real life: Despite indications that Rick’s riding north into Atlanta on I-85, he actually enters from the East on Freedom Parkway, a highway that runs through Freedom Park. The heavy-on-the-CGI scene appears to be shot from the Jackson Street Bridge, a spot with a ridiculous view of the city’s skyline.

Pit stop: On the drive from Rick’s House to the bridge, you’re going to pass Illegal Food on Edgewood Ave — they flip one of the ATL’s best burgers.

crop down30 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Art Deco Architecture/Wendy Darling

#3: Tank in the street
Address: Forsyth St NW & Walton St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Distance: A quick 1.2mi across town (5min)
First appeared: Season 1, Episode 1 — “Days Gone By”
In the show: With the streets of Atlanta resembling a war zone, Rick finds himself at an abandoned military blockade. After accidentally riling up a zombie horde, he’s forced to take refuge inside the tank and eventually escape with Glenn’s help.
In real life: The tank, a British Chieftan, was located off the downtown intersection of Forsyth and Walton Streets. It sat adjacent to the aptly named Forsyth-Walton Building, a historic, two-story Art Deco walk-up built in 1920 that once (if the dilapidated retro sign out front is to be believed) housed a pretty sweet pipe shop.

crop down31 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre/Wikimedia Commons

#4: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Address: 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339
Distance: 10.9mi up I-75 (14min)
First appeared: Season 1, Episode 5 — “Wildfire”
In the show: In search of answers, the group reaches the CDC and is reluctantly allowed in by Dr. Edwin Jenner, the agency’s last remaining employee. After a rip-roaring night of boozing, the generators run out of fuel and our crew narrowly escapes before the building self-destructs.
In real life: The actual CDC is located in downtown Atlanta (about 8.5 miles from the real survivors’ camp) and — no matter what you read in some chat room — is NOT rigged to blow sky high in case of emergency. The CDC building depicted in the show is actually the 2,750-seat Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, about 11mi northwest of the city, and most of the interiors were shot on a set inside the Georgia World Congress Center.

Random TWD question: Why does no one in the group ever reference Dr. Jenner’s brain scan video when explaining to skeptics (Hershel, Milton, etc.) that their loved ones-turned-zombies are never coming back? Is it so hard to say, “Look, man, we’ve been to the f*ck#ng CDC and we know for a fact THEY’RE NOT HUMAN ANYMORE!!!”?

crop down32 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: WalkingDeadLocations.com

#5: Hospital where Rick wakes up
Address: 2352 Bolton Rd, Atlanta, Georgia 30318
Distrance: Head 6.9mi West on I-285 (11min)
First appeared: Season 1, Episode 1 — “Days Gone By”
In the show: Here’s the place where Rick awakes from a coma after getting ditched by his partner and best friend, Shane, who claims he thought Rick was dead — when really he just wanted to sleep with his wife. Either way, Rick emerges from the back door into a yard full of bodies.
In real life: It’s not a hospital at all, but the administrative campus of the Atlanta Mission, a local non-profit that combats homelessness. The parking lot littered with helicopters and military vehicles is next to the main building, while the backdoor from which Rick exits is behind the Carpenter House.

Pit stop:As you love both BBQ and sexy waitresses wearing Daisy Dukes, best stop off for some ribs and brisket at Hottie Hawg’s Smokin’ BBQ — it’s less than a mile down the road.

crop down33 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Kenneth Lowry

#6: The survivors’ camp — Bellwood Quarry
Address: Lois Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30318
Distance: It’s pretty much a straight 3.3mi down Marietta Rd (7min)
First appeared: The camp (Season 1, Episode 1 — “Days Gone Bye”), The quarry (Season 1, Episode 2 — “Guts”)
In the show: We’re first introduced to the group of survivors here, where they’ve set up camp on the outskirts of the city. It’s eventually overrun by walkers, forcing the group to move on, but not before Amy’s sister is killed, Shane kicks the crap of Carol’s deadbeat husband, and Rick is reunited with Lori and Carl.
In real life: Much closer to the city than the show’s skyline shots might lead you believe (as in, a few miles from downtown), the site’s a former 100yr-old granite quarry that was bought by the city in 2006, and is being converted into a 300-acre park and reservoir. While you can spy it from above, you’ll need to catch an Atlanta Beltline bus tour if want to hike down to the bottom.

crop down34 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: WalkingDeadLocations.com

#7: Steve’s Pharmacy
Address: 58-98 Main St, Sharpsburg, GA 30277
Distance: The longest stretch of the trip, take I-285 to I-85 for 43.4mi (52min)
First appeared: Season 2, Episode 4 — “Cherokee Rose”
In the show: While on a run for medical supplies, Maggie finds Glenn (who was trying to score a pregnancy test for Lori) holding a box of condoms and, to prove the show was written by comic book geeks, offers to have sex with him. Like, out of nowhere!!! Glenn doesn’t even have to say anything. If only life was really like that.
In real life: Located in the heart of wee tiny Sharpsburg (pop. 347), the “pharmacy” was an unused storefront before production. After shooting, it became Toodles Children’s Boutique, which shuttered at the end of last year.

crop down35 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Old Sharpsburg Auction

#8: The Carriage Bar
Address: Terrentine Rd and Main Street, Sharpsburg, GA 30277
Distance: 200yds down the street (15sec)
First appeared: Season 2, Episode 8 — “Nebraska”
In the show: After Shane goes apesh*t on Hershel’s barn full of walkers — which results in one of the greatest reveals in TV history — Hershel reunites with his old buddy Jack Daniels (well, whiskey at least) at the local tavern. Shortly after Rick and Glenn find him, they’re forced to ace two goombas from another group.
In real life: Down the street from the pharmacy, the Old Sharpsburg Auction Building played the part of the Carriage Bar, as well as Shrugg’s Hardware. It was emptied, transformed into a tavern, and the returned to an auction house post-shoot. In yet another stunning defeat for the non-existent (though clearly needed) Sharpsburg Chamber of Commerce, the auction house’s in the process of changing its name and moving to nearby Newnan.

crop down36 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Elders Mill Road Waterfall and Campsite/Facebook

#9: Post-farm campsite
Address: 1739 Elders Mill Rd, Senoia, Georgia 30276
Distance: A short 5.8mi ride down GA-16 (8min)
First appeared: Season 2, Episode 13 — “Beside the Dying Fire”
In the show: The farm overrun and group (sans Andrea) reunited, the survivors make camp by this waterfall after running out of gas. In addition to defending the killing of Shane, Rick makes his kick-ass “get-onboard-or-get-out-you-couldn’t-survive-two-minutes-without-me-this-is-NOT-a-democracy” speech as the season comes to a close with a CGI shot of the prison on the other side of the lake.
In real life: They were set up at Elders Mill Road Waterfall and Campsite, a local spot marked by the stone remnants of old grist mills. While it’s on gated private property, you can either check it out from the road or drop $10 to walk around.

Random TWD question: Does Lori push Rick away after he reveals he killed Shane because: a) she’s horrified that he could kill his best friend, even though she instigated it; b) she was upset that Carl was the one that put Shane down; c) she loved Shane more than Rick all along? We think it’s C — what’s your take?

crop down25 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Walking Dead Haralson GA/Facebook

#10: Rick meets the Governor
Address: Railroad Street, Haralson, GA 30229
Distance: Head 6.6mi down Gordon Road (11min)
First appeared: Opening Credits/ Season 3, Episode 13 — “Arrow on the Doorpost”
In the show: After Andrea arranges a rendezvous, Rick meets the Governor in a local barn to negotiate a detente. Merle’s later killed here by the Governor, but not before first taking down eight of his men in a surprise ambush.
In real life: As you might’ve guessed from the rusted sign (yea, no CGI required on this set), it’s the old ESCO Feed Mill. While the silo scenes with Daryl, Andrea, and Martinez were shot here, the actual Rick-Governor meeting took place around the corner on Main Street. Bonus: the Sportsman’s Deer Cooler where Michonne and Andrea were holed up in the meat freezer is a legit hunting shop located a stone’s throw away on Addy Street.

#11: The Prison
Address: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276
Distance: 6.5mi up GA-74/GA-85 (11min)
First appeared: Season 2, Episode 3 — “Seed”
In the show: Their lives upended once again after being driven from the farm, the group spends the winter awkwardly watching Rick and Lori not talk about their feelings before stumbling across an abandoned (and overrun) prison. Much to the disbelief of everyone they later come across, the group clears the prison of zombies on their own and settles in.
In real life: Despite random Internet chatter claiming the show was filmed at a real Georgia prison outside of Zebulon, the “West Georgia Correctional Facility” you know and love is actually the back lot of Raleigh Studios Atlanta. And access is prohibited. You probably have to know somebody who works there.

Random TWD question: How did it take these guys the entire winter to stumble upon the prison when it’s right over the tree line from their campsite? They have maps, for God’s sake. And some of them are even from the area!

Related: Best Bachelorette And Bachelor Party Destinations In The US

crop down27 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Google Maps

#12: Hershel’s Farm
Address: Unlisted, Senoia, GA
Distance: Backtrack 2.3mi on Chestlehurst Road and up GA-74/GA-85 to an unmarked drive (6min)
First appeared: Season 2, Episode 2 — “Bloodletting”
In the show: While searching for Sophia in the woods, Carl is shot by Otis in a hunting accident and brought to the farm for medical treatment. Taken in by Hershel, a local farmer/ veterinarian and his daughters Maggie and Beth, the survivors settle in for most of Season 2 before all hell breaks loose.
In real life: Located just outside of the town of Senoia and around the corner from “the prison”, all evidence indicates the driveway to the farm where the show was shot is locked tight. It appears there’re technically two entrances — one on GA-85 and one off Chestlehurst Road — but how close you’ll actually get is anybody’s guess.

Random TWD question: In the comic, it’s actually Carl who kills Shane, after witnessing him draw a gun on Rick during an argument. That’s a better way for Shane to die, right?

crop down28 The Walking Dead Road Trip: Your 13 Stop Tour Of The Shows Best Filming Locations Credit: Senoia Downtown Development Authority/Facebook

#13: Woodbury
Address: 1 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276
Distance: 1.9mi into town (4min)
First appeared: Season 3, Episode 3 — “Walk With Me”
In the show: Andrea and Michonne are captured in the woods by Merle, and brought to the rural town of Woodbury, where they find 70 or so survivors living it up pre-apocalypse-style (just behind giant walls) and deferring to a “Jim Jones-type” megalomaniac. Maggie and Glenn are tortured here after being nabbed (also by Merle), and the second half of Season 3 pretty much pits the Governor and his Woodbury goons against Rick and the survivors at the prison.
In real life: Recognize the street above? Now imagine it fronted by a giant makeshift wall of tires. While there’s a real town named Woodbury in Georgia, TWD shot in scenic Senoia. It’s already been announced that Season 5 will also be filmed in, and around, the town.

Final pit stop: After a casual stroll up Main Street, speculate on what’s going to happen in tomorrow night’s mid-season return over a slice from Matt’s Smalltown Pizza or cup of java from the Senoia Coffee & Cafe.

Return to the airport: 32.3mi (43min)

Dave Baldwin is Thrillist’s senior travel editor, and is still waiting for someone to sell Walking Dead t-shirts that read “Daryl Cares”. Follow his exploits at @ThrillistTravel.

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