Where was Safe Haven filmed? The House & ALL the Filming Locations:

Posted by Ra Moon

Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, the 2013 movie is a classic romantic tale set in the gorgeous real town of Southport in North Carolina.

The lovely and whimsical streets of the village are filled with stunning architecture, including the house of Alex. Safe Haven was filmed in Southport and Wilmington, both located in NC.

Cast actors Alex and Erin

Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars, Grease Live) plays Erin Tierney/Katie Feldman, a woman fleeing her abusive husband, looking for a fresh start.

Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) plays Alex Wheatley, a recent widower struggling to raise his two kids. Katie and Alex are the cutie couple blessed by Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as the mysterious Carly/Jo.

Congratulations. You’ve made it to the world’s greatest guide to Safe Haven filming locations. Now let’s get started:

Bridge and forest scenery of the bus scene
During the opening credits, the bus goes along the spectacular Linn Cove Viaduct, a seven-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Newland.

Completed in 1987, the building of the structure was delayed for twenty years until environmentalists, engineers, and architects found a design that could preserve and protect the stunning landscape of Grandfather Mountain.

You can visit the Linn Cove Visitor Center to learn about the viaduct, recognized internationally as an engineering marvel.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Safe Haven city
The central location of the movie is the general store, which was situated almost across the street from Alex's House in Brunswick Street.

Ryan's Port Market was built for the movie and burned down, so it doesn't exist anymore.

The town of Southport has been featured in multiple productions including Dawson's Creek, Under the Dome, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Nights in Rodanthe, and A Walk to Remember.

Safe Haven house
What you can still visit is Alex's beautiful family home. The filmmakers used the historic Grey Burriss house at 410 W Brunswick Street in Southport to film many key scenes of the movie.

The local news site Wilmington Star-News reported that the structure, built circa 1879, is one of the oldest homes in town.

According to the real estate website Zillow, this two-bedroom cabin has an estimated market value of about $682,000. This is a private residence, please be considerate to the owners of the property.
Image by Relativity Media and Google Maps

Fish Shack Restaurant
Ivan’s Fish Shack, the restaurant where Katie works as a waitress, is the Old American Fish at 150 Yacht Basin Drive.

You can catch a sunset and a cocktail on the terrace of this splendid waterfront bar.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media and Google Maps

Safe Haven town location
From the restaurant, you can walk up the beach and find some more locations filmed on Bay Street. The pier where Katie spends her first night in town is located nearby.

At some point in the movie, one of the characters says that Southport is situated somewhere south of the Mason–Dixon line.

This 18th-century demarcation line along the southern Pennsylvania border later became informally known as the boundary between the free (Northern) states and Confederacy, the slave (Southern) states.

Katie in the restaurant
Katie and Jo go for a coffee at Moore Street Market at 130 E Moore Street.

The gorgeous town and environment remind us a lot of the city where the Netflix series Outer Banks is set in Kildare County, NC.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Southport Community Building
This is the same street where the 4th of July celebrations are held.

The dance takes place nearby, in the Southport Community Building at E Bay Street.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Romantic scene under the rain
When it rains, Katie and Alex take shelter at the Wildlife Restaurant and Grill on Oak Island.

You can have dinner at the same table as Alex and Katie had! Also, there's a very short scene with Katie sipping oysters filmed at Ports of Call Bistro in Southport.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media and Google Maps

Safe Haven Beach
The scenes on the beach were shot at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, in Pleasure Island, the same location doubling as Cousins Beach in the 2022 Amazon series The Summer I Turned Pretty.

This large state park located near Kure Beach between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River covers nearly six miles of unspoiled beaches and trails.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Ferry boat kiss scene
Katie and Alex's 'I love you' and kiss scene was filmed at the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry Terminal.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

House in Boston
The house of Kevin (the policeman) and the neighbor, who helps Katie, are at Metts and Brookwood Avenues, also in Wilmington.

The Wilmington Convention Center was transformed into the Boston Bus Station for the scene at the beginning of the movie.

Wilmington is a port city located about a 40-minute drive north of Southport, and one of the locations where the Colby Beach town from Along for the Ride was filmed.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Katie's cabin house
The shack where Katie lives is one of the most beautiful locations of Safe Haven, reminiscent of the Barkley Cove house in the marshes featured in the 2022 movie Where the Crawdads Sing.

It was built for the movie on the grounds of the Pleasant Oaks Plantation, near Town Creek.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Pleasant Oaks Plantation
This family-owned historic plantation is a premier boutique event venue, offering a magnificent space to celebrate weddings, corporate events, and milestone parties.

The estate is set on 10 acres of pristine lands with oaks and a pond.

Safe Haven drehorte
The romantic canoe tour takes place in the cypress swamp in the area of Winnabow.

On the same trip, you can visit Brunswick Town and Fort Anderson State Historic Site, a major pre-Revolutionary port on North Carolina's Cape Fear River.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media - Map

Can you help to improve this post about the filming locations of Safe Haven? To complete and correct this report, any feedback, info, or images that you may have are more than welcome, thank you!

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1- Anonymous - Nov 11, 2021, 11:14 PM
Thanks for sharing these great movie locations, this is one of my holiday favorite movies. I really appreciate you putting it together for us. Thanks again.

2- Anonymous - Aug 11, 2022, 3:30 PM
Thank you for this post. We visited Southport today and saw Alex's house and ate at the restaurant. We also visited the beach where Katie and Alex were. We tried finding the plantation with Katie's cottage but with no luck. It seems to not be accessible. Maybe we were at the wrong place.

3- Anonymous - Sep 30, 2023, 11:33 AM
I have watched the movie a dozen times. I love the locations. Just beautiful.

4- Anonymous - Feb 17, 2024, 9:08 PM
Thank you for creating this list of the Safe Haven movie sites and locations. It provides a great summary of the most important scenes and places.

One minor point…”The romantic kayak tour takes place in the cypress swamp in the area of Winnabow.” The kayak is actually a canoe.


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