Please note that this guide was written while the show was still filming. Some locations may not exist any more.
Here's a rough guide to Wilmington, North Carolina. Thanks to Eric and Jamie for the info and if you have any specific questions about Wilmington they've kindly opened their mailboxes. You can reach Jamie at CapesideActor@webtv.net and Eric can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's really easy to watch them film the show. As long as you don't interfere with the cast or crew, You can watch when they are filming on location. The studio is a closed set when they are filming there.
The outside of Dawson's house is off of Oleander. The owners use it as a summer home.. the show won't give you the address but it isn't that hard to find.
Historic Downtown District:
The downtown area where most of the filming is done.
Front Street: Here you can find the video store Dawson works at (it's an actual video store that has a movie poster of Scream signed by Kevin Williamson near the front window), the Icehouse (where they don't film anymore), the opening scene where Dawson is sitting on some steps, the opening views that show the water and the town, any area that has brick streets, etc..
Market Street: New Hanover High, the school that fronted as 'Capeside High' for the first season.
Water Street: (located on the Cape Fear River) Here you can find the Water Street Restaurant (known as 'Leerys Fresh Fish' the restaurant that Gale owns on the show).
Intercoastal Highway: Any time you see them in fast boats (ie where Joey worked at the dock station) is filmed on the Intercoastal Waterway.
Studio where DC is filmed. It's located on 23rd street by the airport. The inside of the school, inside of Dawson's house, the inside of Jen's house, the cafeteria are all filmed on two sound stages. Dawson's room is actually folded up on the top floor. They expand it when they use it. All of the videos in his room are from movies filmed in Wilmington. On saturday and sunday you can get a tour of the sound stages. It has a mural of the four main characters on the restaurant outside the studio (which they frequent)
Southport, North Carolina:
Located 20 miles from Wilmington, some filming is done here as well.
University of North Carolina, Wilmington:
Currently serves as the front for 'Capeside High'. Located on College Road.
Crystal Pier: The former opening credit where they are standing under the pier is Crystal Pier on Wrightsville Beach.
Other Locations to Visit:
These locations aren't DC related, but if you're down in Wilmington you might want to check them out for fun:
The U.S.S. North Carolina: a battle ship that fought during World War 2
Airlie Gardens: located on Airlie Street
The Cape Fear Museum: located on Market Street
The Cotton Exchange: a section in Downtown Wilmington with about 40 gift shops.