Earlier this month at the Stars & Stripes Fest 2017 on the 4th of July, our historic square welcomed over 10,000 guests for a day of food, fun, and fireworks. Among these many visitors were our friends and frequent visitors from Gerrards Cross, in the United Kingdom, Lisa Alessi and Johanne Thomas. We first met this English duo during The Vampire Diaries Finale event this past March, and featured their trip as a segment in our Tourist Tales series. Well, these traveling jetsetters told us that the recent trip for the 4th of July was actually their third time visiting us within eight months!
Repeat Tourists Lisa Alessi [left] and Johanne Thomas [right]
Lisa and Johanne began their travels to Newton County originally due to their passion for The Vampire Diaries series. “The trip started off being about my love for The Vampire Diaries,” Lisa told us. “It has now turned into my love of Covington.” She even mentioned that she would love to rent or own a home here! The two have traveled quite a bit recently by attending at the Vampire Diaries Convention in New Jersey, and then taking a 3-day journey to New York to see the sights immediately following their stay in Georgia. But they said that during their planning, they didn’t want to cut their trip short without making a return visit to Covington, GA. “After some thought we both agreed we really wanted to return to Covington, the third time in 8 months and to celebrate the 4th July with you all,” said Johanne.
“I booked an Airbnb on Conyers Street, staying in a beautifully restored 1910 period house. Karen, our host, her husband, and their 3 little children were delightful. The room was spacious, clean and immaculate. The house was amazing, and all the furniture were restored period pieces with a little quirky touch added. I would definitely go back and stay there again,” Johanne added.
Airbnb Location on Conyers Street in Downtown Covington
“We had breakfast each day in either the Bread and Butter Bakery or The Old Town Cafe, lunch in Your Pie and then dinner in the Mystic Grill each night. We really made use of all of lovely local cuisine. We made a couple of visits to Scoops too!”
Cocktails at the Mystic Grill Restaurant during Stars & Stripes Fest 2017
Lisa and Johanne began to explore more than just the tourist attractions to get more of a local experience out of their stay. In addition to enjoying the local cuisine, they also did some online searching to find Newton County merchants off the square, like Serendipity on US-278.
For their day on the square during Stars & Stripes Fest 2017, our friends came prepared with folding chairs and spent the entire day enjoying the square, talking with other visitors, and walking around until almost midnight! They also had a very special opportunity to visit the Hollywood of the South® TV & Film Museum that had just opened on July 4th. These friendly tourists return each time for a real taste of Mystic Falls, and we hope they enjoyed their tour among the costumes and memorabilia collected for local productions like The Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow, Dukes of Hazzard, and more.
English tourists Lisa & Johanne enjoying the brand new TV & Film Museum
Johanne shared some very kind words about our town, by saying:
The Stars and Stripes Fest finale fireworks literally took our breath away. They were awesome! The thing with Covington is that everyone is so friendly and welcoming. The problem is, we always run out of time in Covington. We absolutely adore everything about it, and we've made friends we now keep in touch with.
Fun on the Square in Downtown Covington
It’s comments like these that warm our hearts each time we hear them. It’s so amazing to meet so many different personalities from around the world who are willing to travel great lengths for a short stay in our lovely, little town. We hope that more tourists return to Covington not only because they love the film & TV being produced here, but also because they love the community.
We thought there is no better way to sum up this Tourist Tale feature than with Johanne’s unforgettable quote, “Covington, you really are a special place.”
*If you are a domestic/international tourist planning to visit Covington and would like to be an upcoming Tourist Tale feature, please contact us on our Facebook Page. We would love to track your trip and tell everyone the story of your travels to Covington, Mystic Falls, or the original Hollywood of the South®.