Reese Witherspoon’s latest book to movie adaptation – Delia Owens’ debut bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing (2018) – arrived in cinemas earlier this year to mixed reviews, with some viewers criticising the rushed pace in comparison to the depth of the novel it is based on. If you’re anything like us at C&TH, though, one thing is sure to have stuck with you: the beautiful scenery, with its gorgeous colours, aerial images of the winding marsh, and stunning wildlife. But where was it filmed, and can you visit? Lovers of the book (who are hopefully now lovers of the movie, too), you’re in luck: you can in fact visit North Carolina, which serves as the film’s plot and filming location. But that’s not all: SevenTravel have just launched a Where the Crawdads Sing travel experience to see all the sites and learn all the tidbits.
Where Was Where the Crawdads Sing Filmed? (& Can You Visit?)
Where Is Where the Crawdads Sing Set?
Following Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) in the 1950s and 60s, Where the Crawdads Sing is based in North Carolina, USA. After being abandoned by her family as a young girl, Kya learns to survive on her own, ostracised from the local Barkley Cove community – a local fishing village – who call her the ‘Marsh Girl’.
The movie’s producer, Reese Witherspoon, referred to the novel as ‘a love letter to growing up in the Deep South’; it has a strong sense of the beauty and remoteness of the marshlands, and Kya’s connection with nature.
Delia Owens does not specify where the marsh that Kya grows up in is supposed to be, other than somewhere on the North Carolina coast. Other key locations include Chapel Hill, Asheville and Greenville, all in North Carolina.
Where Was Where the Crawdads Sing Filmed?
Filming for Where The Crawdads Sing took place over four months in New Orleans, according to Vanity Fair. Filming over a particularly rainy yet hot summer, the sets were flooded by torrential rain. ‘I never sweated so much in my life,’ director Olivia Newman told Vanity Fair. ‘I learned how wonderful linen is.’
With some filming also taking place in Houma, Louisiana, the movie strays from the novel’s North Carolina setting. That said, efforts were made to emulate North Carolina authentically.
Where the Crawdads Sing Filming Locations
Lafayette Street, Houma
Production used new storefronts, vintage cars and extras wearing old fashioned clothes to transform Lafayette Street in Houma into the fictional, early 1960s Barkley Cove fishing village.
Kya’s home in the marshes was filmed on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain, specifically in the wetlands in Fontainebleau and Fairview-Riverside State Parks, in the neighboring towns of Mandeville and Madisonville.
Beauregard Courthouse, DeRidder
Some of the most dramatic and tense scenes in the movie take place in a courtroom. According to a Sony Pictures Entertainment representative, Chalmette, Louisiana’s Historic St. Bernard Parish Courthouse – also known as the Beauregard Courthouse – served as the filming location. Built in 1916, the 16,800 square foot courthouse is now a post office and a library, but was taken back to its roots for filming.
Other private properties across rural Louisiana served as filming spots for the novel’s other iconic locations, like Feather Stump Forest and Jumpin’s Bait & Gas.
How To Visit Where the Crawdads Sing’s Filming Locations
The positive-impact luxury travel company, SevenTravel, has a special travel package to immerse fans in the movie’s beautiful filming locations. This specialist tour will take fans around New Orleans, Louisiana, aiming to weave fans into the fabric of the story, and allowing visitors to absorb the natural beauty of the American marshlands.
Taking place over seven days, SevenTravel’s itinerary will start with guests in the dizzying and vibrant New Orleans, where they’ll experience an expert-led cooking class to learn to make Deep South staples like grits and crawfish boil. Guests will stay in the Maison de la Luz hotel, a playful building with art deco flourishes that could have been plucked right out of a Wes Anderson film. A deep-dive guided tour will acquaint guests with the city, before the trip heads for the nearby wilderness and marshlands.
In the wetlands, guests will experience a painting class led by a local artist, emulating Kya’s mother’s love for art. Kayaking, birdwatching and nature photography – as well as a traditional seafood lunch in a nearby fishing village – also fill the agenda as guests explore the marshes.
BOOK IT: The Where The Crawdads Sing package costs £10,995 per person for six nights and seven days in the USA, excluding flights. The package can be booked directly via SevenTravel’s website and is not available through any other travel operators. The cost of the trip is £10,995pp for six nights and seven days in the USA, excluding flights. seventravel.co.uk
How To Visit The Real Where the Crawdads Sing Setting
Although many of the novel’s locations are fictional or only vaguely specified, fans can travel to North Carolina to immerse themselves in the spirit of the novel.
Wexas Travel have itineraries inspired by the beauty of the USA’s Deep South, where the novel and movie are set. The ‘Best of the Carolinas & Georgia’ self-drive holiday travels through mountain peaks, trails, vineyards and quiet coastal beaches across 14 days. Highlights include the Blue Ridge Parkway (often described as ‘America’s favourite drive’), two nights in the cultural and gourmet haven of Charleston, and time at North Carolina’s pristine Outer Banks beaches.
Alternatively, try the ‘Rhythms of the Deep South’ trip for a city-inspired journey, or the ‘Southern Plantation Homes’ route to explore Louisiana’s rural landscapes on the banks of the Mississippi River, with nights in Natchez and Lafayette.
BOOK IT: Wexas Travel offer the ‘Best of the Carolinas & Georgia’ self-drive holiday from £4,160 per person including flights, UK airport lounge access, 14 days car hire and 12 nights’ accommodation on a room-only basis. The ‘Rhythms of the Deep South’ 15-day route starts from £2,905 per person including flights, UK airport lounge access, 11 days car hire and 13 nights’ accommodation on a room-only basis. The 10-day ‘Southern Plantation Homes’ route starts from £1,895 per person including flights, UK airport lounge access, 6 days car hire and 8 nights accommodation on a room only basis. wexas.com
Images courtesy of Sky Pictures.