The Hunger Games mania has officially hit the tourism industry.
Fans who were inspired by the survival skills, archery, and action in the blockbuster hit can tap into their inner Katniss Everdeen or Peeta Mellark with several recently announced tours in North Carolina, where much of the movie was filmed. On select weekends throughout the summer, Hunger Games Fan Tours is offering both day trips and weekend outings that teach guests fundamental survival skills like orienteering, archery, and shelter building, based in DuPont State Recreational Forest – a.k.a, the Arena where the Games took place.
In addition, North Carolina's official tourism and travel website has outlined two self-guided tours that highlight filming locations and attractions where the cast stayed, ate, and dined throughout the state.
The Hunger Games Fan Tours includes a daylong tour of exploring DuPont State Park, which encompasses 10,000 acres of forest, trails, and waterfalls between Hendersonville and Brevard, with your “sponsor” to discover the film locations. You’ll learn basic survival skills that Katniss and other tributes demonstrated in the movie, such as orienteering, camo-face painting, and shelter-building.
The $79 fee includes shuttle service, park permit, guide, and lunch, and pre-registration is required. Tour dates are May 26 and 27, July 14 and 15, and August 11 and 12; more dates are expected to be announced.
The weekend excursion is a longer simulation of the actual Hunger Games competition from the book, kicking off with a lottery to separate guests (tributes) into their own Districts. After that is a welcoming banquet with the other tributes, followed on Saturday by a tour of film locations in the park and an afternoon of survival classes, including archery, sling-shot training, and fire and shelter building. The day finishes with a “Capitol-sponsored” dinner and night zip-lining, recreating what it was like for Katniss and Rue in the treetops.
The following day, all tributes will compete in a Hunger Games Simulation: a timed competition of the skills learned over the weekend. Cost for the weekend is $349 per person (plus a $2 ticket processing fee), which includes two nights' accommodation at Earthshine Mountain Lodge, transfers from Asheville Regional Airport, six meals and guide, training, and zip-line fees. Tours will be held April 27-29, June 8-10, June 22-24, July 27-29, August 24-26, and September 21-23.
For more leisurely outings, fans can check out two self-guided Hunger Games tours put together by North Carolina’s official travel and tourism website. The website’s 12 Places To Experience ‘The Hunger Games’ includes filming locations throughout the state, as well as restaurants, hotels, and attractions where the cast made appearances. Among them: the Lexington Avenue Brewery and Hotel Indigo in Asheville and a 3.5-hour eco- and canopy-tour at the edge of the Pisgah National Forest, which Josh Hutcherson, the actor who plays Peeta, experienced with then-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens.
There’s also a longer itinerary that hits the highlights from Charlotte to Asheville and then back, taking about four days to complete. Highlights include exploring the Capitol (i.e., Charlotte), District 12 (the town of Hildebran), and several outdoor spots where action scenes from The Games were filmed.
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