Summer is right around the corner. And when the mercury rises, we can’t help but daydream about some of our favorite summer getaway spots. The one on our minds right now: the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
While most visitors cross the bridge and immediately start unpacking in tourist-heavy Kill Devil Hills, we prefer the quiet sands and surf of the sleepier southern town of Rodanthe.
Even if you’ve never been here, you’ve probably heard of it, thanks to the Nicholas Sparks book-made-movie, “Nights in Rodanthe.” In the movie, a woman oversees a bed and breakfast visited by a troubled doctor.
The starring roles are played by Diane Lane and Richard Gere, though arguably, another star of the film is the house—a gorgeous inn, adorned with blue awnings and wrap-around porches, and hoisted up on stilts mere feet from the water’s edge. A real swoon-worthy place to rest your head.
In reality the house, named Serendipity, was nothing like Hollywood said. Once filming wrapped, the shutters and wraparound decks that were added for the movie were removed, leaving the house barren as it was before (only exterior shots of the house were filmed here; inside scenes were shot on a separate sound stage). And years of erosion had worn away the 400 feet of beach that used to stand in front of the property, leaving the foundation unsteady.
The house was declared a public nuisance and condemned. After every major storm, locals would check to see Serendipity had survived. The owners tried selling it, but no one was willing to take it on.
That is, until two self-professed “extreme fans” of the movie bought the house with the mission of restoring it to its big screen glory.
For starters, the house was lifted and moved less than a mile south to a safer beach-front lot in 2010. Then, each room was painstakingly recreated using stills from the movie.
Wallpaper was carefully selected, the ornate swinging doors in the movie-version kitchen were fabricated and Richard Gere’s blue bedroom was recreated. Not to mention the three levels of wrap-around porches and blue awnings were added back to the property.
The house—now named the Inn at Rodanthe, after the fictional B&B—even includes some actual props from the film.
The restored house has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in the OBX, and can even be rented by the week. Looking to stay in the silver screen abode? Check out Sun Realty for rates and availability.
photo credits: Realty