This romantic inn with blue shutters from the Richard Gere-Diane Lane tear-jerker Nights in Rodanthe used to sit on the edge of the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Then it started to wash away. After I featured the beach house known as Serendipity two years ago, local residents wrote to tell me it was “on death watch” after every storm. But I’m happy to report it has since been rescued and renovated — take a look!
The Inn at Rodanthe
The house was styled for the film with blue shutters and wraparound decks:
After filming, the shutters and decks were removed and it looked like this:
Not only was it looking kind of naked after the film crew left, but it was declared a public nuisance and condemned. One local wrote to tell me that vandals had been breaking into it and stealing things.
When the beach house was built in the 1980s, it had 400 feet of beachfront. But rising waters were slowly washing it away.
After a particularly bad storm in 2009, the road buckled:
The owners told the Island Free Press at the time that they had “everything tied up in this house,” and didn’t know what to do next. They had tried to sell it for a couple of years but no one was willing to take it on.
But last year I got an email from Ben and Debra Huss, who described themselves as “extreme fans” of the movie, telling me they had decided to buy Serendipity and move it to safety. Not only that, but they wanted to “restore it to the original splendor of the movie.”
Moving Serendipity to higher ground:
In its new location, renovated and reopened for business as The Inn at Rodanthe:
They have also given some of the rooms a makeover to look more like they did in the movie (the interiors were filmed on a separate soundstage).