*All Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Immortal (and the author)
When I was first told that I would be meeting a local Vampire who would show me the sights of Mystic Falls, I was a little nervous. After all, what does one wear to meet a vampire? Would a turtleneck sweater seem presumptuous and offensive? Obviously, silver jewelry was out. I figured black was a safe choice. Assailed of my fears of wardrobe faux pas, on a dark and moonlight night, I set out to meet my undead date (sans turtleneck). He was a local legend, a true Vampire icon, who knew Mystic Falls better than most mortals. He’d promised to show me all of the sites where vampires like to relax, unwind, and grab a bite to eat. I didn’t delve too deeply into that last one.
After assuring me that he was vegan (a true modern vampire), Restin Peace* and I set off for a moonlit Mystic Falls tour. Our first stop, a quick cocktail at the Mystic Grill. Or, so I thought. While the Mystic Grill is an excellent spot for delicious southern food and Bloody Mary’s, it was a dark stairway to the left of the front entrance that drew my date.
Known as Murder Alley, it’s a frequent hunting spot for vampires, who immediately made their presence known. Surely, Restin wouldn’t throw me to the wolves (so to speak) so soon? I hadn’t even interviewed him yet! Instead, we stepped around the undead and inside the small shop (also called The Alley) located underneath the Mystic Grill. Inside, vampire treasures abounded, from jewelry to coffee mugs, and every sort of vampire trinket your immortal soul could crave. Restin swears that all the best vampires buy their gifts and home goods from the Alley, and seemed particularly drawn to a burlap pillow with Mystic Grill emblazoned on the front.
Next up, Vampire Stalkers. This little shop is the home of the Mystic Falls Tour, where you can get insider information about the television shows The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Visitors can tour The Mystic Grill, the Mystic Falls Courthouse, Whitmore Campus and the Lockwood Mansion, an exclusive tour only available through Vampire Stalkers, which Restin says is not to be missed. Plus, there is a good chance that you could run into Damon or Stefan! Since I had my own vampire tour guide, we skipped the tour itself, but you can book your very own tour here.
And, since this human needed real food, Restin’s pick was the Porterdale Speakeasy. Located in an old brick building in the center of Porterdale, the Speakeasy opened in October and has become THE hangout for the mortal and immortal alike. In front, a New York-style deli serves toasted sandwiches and secrets. A Reuben and a nod got Restin and me into the Speakeasy bar, through a doorway concealed by a painting. I could see why this bar is a vampire’s favorite haunt: Speakeasy is filled with Old-World charm and even older scotch. As Restin and I settled in at the bar, our friendly bartender poured incredible drinks, served up amazing appetizers and kept the conversation flowing throughout the night. And, as Restin became the vampire he is today in the 20’s, he assured me that the bar was authentic. Be sure to ask about the history of the Speakeasy. You might learn a few more of Porterdale’s secrets. If you’re lucky.
As we wrapped up the night (it was close to dawn after all), our last stop was the Jackson St. Cemetery. You might recall the cemetery if you’re a fan of the Vampire Diaries because it was used during the filming. Restin claims that most vampires use this space as a sort of meditation area/after party hangout. Indeed, many vampires were walking and talking between the headstones, which bear the names of Covington’s (I mean Mystic Falls) famous citizens. Here, I left Restin Peace to return to the land of the living. I figured he was safe among the dead.
Interested in your own immortal undead tour? Check out our Go Covington website for more information!