‘Dawson’s Creek’: Capeside Isn’t a Real Place but Dawson’s Creek Is

After watching a few episodes of Dawson’s Creek, many viewers will find themselves wanting to take a trip to Capeside, Massachusetts. The show depicts the coastal Cape Cod town as small and idyllic and with Boston just around the corner, it’s not too far from the delights of a big city. Unfortunately, for Dawson’s Creek fans, Capeside isn’t actually a real place but rather a fictional town made up for the sake of the show.

Dawson's Creek Capeside
Katie Holmes, James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson | Warner Bros. via Getty Images

Capeside may be fictitious but a lot of Dawson’s Creek was actually inspired by the real-life experiences of Kevin Williamson, who created the show. Williamson, like Dawson, grew up on a creek with a desire to become a famous filmmaker. Like his eccentric character, Williamson revered Steven Spielberg and made home movies in his backyard with his friends.

‘Dawson’s Creek’ is loosely based off the life of the creator, Kevin Williamson

And Dawson wasn’t the only character who was inspired by Williamson’s life. Joey Potter was actually loosely based on himself and a few other friends, particularly his high school girlfriend who, like Joey, would often travel to his home by boat. Though Dawson’s Creek fans may have thought that teenagers spending the night over each other’s homes was unrealistic, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Williamson revealed that that part of the show was actually rooted in reality also.

RELATED: ‘Dawson’s Creek’: Who Do the Main Characters Lose Their Virginity To?

“The character of Joey was based on a combo platter of me and a few other people that inspired me — namely my high school girlfriend — I came out much later — who would sail her little Sunfish sailboat to my house,” the creator of Dawson’s Creek shared. “Our homes were closer by water than road. It took five minutes by boat and an hour by foot.  She would crawl through my bedroom window because it was a faster entry.  We would watch TV all night and she’d sleepover … and, well, you know the rest.”

Dawson’s Creek is actually a real place where fans can visit

Funnily enough, the name for the show came from Williamson’s life also. While Capeside isn’t a real place, Dawson’s Creek actually is. According to Williamson, it was a popular hangout spot when he was growing up and he had some wonderful times there. “Dawson came from a real place called Dawson’s Creek where we all hung out as kids and partied,” the writer shared. “It’s a very fond place from my childhood and a nice memory.”

Why North Carolina may be a good substitute for Capeside

But where is the real Dawson’s Creek actually located? Williamson grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, so if you want to visit the real creek which served as the inspiration for the show, that’s where you can head. Wilmington is also where the show was filmed so if you’d like to feel like you’re in Capeside, your best bet will be booking a trip to North Carolina.