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One of the things to see in Georgia is Senoia where The Walking Dead films. Walking downtown, fans will immediately notice scenes from the show. TWD is one of my favorite shows right now.
My 50th Birthday Has a Tie to Senoia
I celebrated a milestone birthday this year, I turned 50. This may sound geeky, but I had planned a trip to Senoia. I heard it’s common seeing walkers (zombies) walking the streets and eating in cafes when the show is filming.
My birthday is May 1 and because of the coronavirus pandemic, I didn’t take the trip I had planned. Except for a morning hike, I was confined to my home for my milestone celebration. Friends and family made it special with flower deliveries, video chats, and a surprise visit from my aunt and uncle from up the road.
I baked a cake, red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Instead of water for the cake, I substituted Sugarlands Mark & Digger Hazelnut Rum. This is the most delightful rum I’ve ever tasted. It was a nice complement the chocolate of the red velvet cake.
My pre-pandemic vision for my birthday dinner was spending it at Nic & Norman’s in Senoia . Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus, both artists/creators involved with The Walking Dead, among other projects, co-own the restaurant. So, I looked at the menu online and cooked up my own version of their Choice Cut Ribeye. Onion straws top it and roasted potatoes and green beans accompany it. I picked up a Daryl Dixon Funko Pop to join me for dinner. If I was celebrating my 50th birthday at Nic & Norman’s, it would be highly probable for Norman Reedus to come over and say “hello.” Yup. It could happen. I mean, it’s 2020.
The Gold Ticket Treasure Hunt Led me to Georgia
Fast forward to October 2020. Yes, the coronavirus pandemic is still a threat. However, travel restrictions have relaxed and we’re more capable of living with it rather than living in fear of it. I participated in the Candyman’s Gold Ticket Treasure Hunt for Georgia and decided to visit Senoia.
Clues for the treasure hunt didn’t lead me there but figured since I was up that way, I needed to visit Senoia. Coincidently, The Walking Dead returns this weekend! I spent the night prior at the Red Roof Inn & Suites in Macon (LOVED it! Plus, they have some great deals happening through the rest of 2020) then headed to Senoia, less than a 90-minute drive to the northwest.
Big Pictures Filmed in Senoia
Once arriving with dog in tow, which makes logistics a bit trickier, we quickly walked downtown. This area has been the set for many other television shows and movies. Embedded in the red brick sidewalks are plaques with TV and film names. Movies filmed include Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), and Sweet Home Alabama (2002). In addition to The Walking Dead, I’ll Fly Away and Drop Dead Diva have filmed in this Georgia town.
Population is just over 3,300, according to the 2010 census, but the film industry can generate millions of dollars in economic impact. I haven’t researched how the film industry is economically impacting Senoia but just think of the services they need, lodging, meals, resources for sets. Film crews typically hire local experts to help with production from hair and make up to production assistants. Add in the tourism element from curious fans like me, destinations that support film and TV productions can do quite well economically.
OMG! The Walking Dead Films Here!
Parking downtown can be a challenge, but I found a (free) space on Main Street. Additional public parking is easily identifiable with signs.
Walking Senoia’s adorable downtown and seeing the water tower, I immediately recognized Woodbury, a fortified town in season 3 of The Walking Dead. Lisa’s Creperie had a poster advertising “The Original Walking Dead Coffee Shake” along with a Cotton Candy Shake. It is a sweet, indoor/outdoor café. Other businesses promote The Walking Dead-themed merchandise and food items, but I was on a schedule and could not stay long. Plus, having my dog with me prohibits me from exploring the shops.
The Alexandria Safe-Zone
We walked down Main Street to a little park at the intersection of Main and Travis Street. A set a train tracks ran behind it and behind that was the set for The Walking Dead’s Alexandria Safe-Zone.
Goosebumps ran down my spine. Here I am, in the middle of a global pandemic where at times I thought civilization would go to hell in a handbasket, and I am looking at the walls of Alexandria! Yellow caution tape and signs warned of charging trespassing kept me at a distance. I mean, I wasn’t sure if I crossed the line if a herd of walkers would be released and I couldn’t risk being bitten! A trailer sat next to an opening which really didn’t offer a new view into the production area.
Walking along Gin Street and looking at the walls of rusting, corrugated sheet metal, I saw a group of people. I assumed they were part of a walking tour. A woman driving a golf cart emerged from one of the closed areas. As she drove by, she smiled at my dog and I, and proceeded into Senoia. Was she part of the production team?
We walked a bit along the train tracks. Although I don’t think we were in the exact portion, the tracks have been featured in the show, too. They lead to Terminus, which sends shivers down my spine!
Senoia, Until We Meet Again
There was treasure still left to find somewhere in Georgia. So, I ordered a burger with a side Brussels sprouts online from Nic & Norman’s, ate it in the car, then was off on another adventure, with a pit stop at another thing to see in Georgia, Barbie Beach!
I did not see zombies walking around or anyone I recognized as part of the crew. I don’t even know if they were filming that day. Someday I’ll be back to Senoia on a better planned trip, one where I find a place to leave my dog. I’d like to explore, take a tour, and enjoy a proper lunch or dinner.
Interested in learning more about Senoia? Visit their website www.enjoysenoia.com.