Based on the eponymous novel by Sarah Dessen, Netflix’s romantic movie ‘Along for the Ride’ follows Auden, who aspires to reconnect with her father Robert after completing high school. Auden arrives at Colby, a pleasing seaside town where Robert stays with Auden’s stepmother Heidi and their kid. The seaside town witnesses Auden’s endearing romance with Eli. The couple shares their love on the beaches and secret spots of the town. Since the appealing landscape of Colby plays a pivotal part in the narrative of the film, the viewers must be wondering whether it is a real town. Let us share the answer!
Is Colby a Real Town?
No, Colby is not a real town. Although the name Colby reminds us of an eponymous city in Wisconsin, the fictional town in the film is conceived by Sarah Dessen, the author of the source novel of the film. Colby is a setting Sarah has used multiple times in her novels. The setting is reportedly inspired by Emerald Isle, a town in Carteret County, North Carolina, located in its entirety on Bogue Banks, a barrier island. Like Colby in the novel and the film, Emerald Isle is a seaside town, known for its enchanting coastal area.
As someone who lives in North Carolina, Sarah prefers to set her novels in a setting familiar to her. Colby, a North Carolina town in her novels, enables her to conceive her characters’ tales in a setting familiar to her in real life. The small-town feature of Colby also adds to the authenticity of the narrative, especially in ‘Along for the Ride.’ “[…] I think the small connections that thread my books together are made more possible in a small town like Lakeview or Colby,” Sarah told Barnes & Noble regarding the narrative significance of the town.
Placing the story of Eli and Auden in a seaside town like Colby is intentional. Sarah’s love for beaches influenced her while setting the novel in the town of Colby. “I love the beach and I just, I think it’s sort of like we all dream about that one summer when you get to go away and everything changes and you’re at the beach and it’s just sort of an escapism I think,” she told to Penguin Teen. As Sarah indicated, Auden arrives at Colby as part of escapism, where she will get to spend days with people who aren’t aware of her past and nature.
The scenes that feature Colby’s beaches were mainly filmed in Carolina Beach, a town in New Hanover County, North Carolina. The production crew of the film succeeded in transforming the town into Colby exceptionally. Choosing a North Carolina location to stand in for the fictional Colby also adds authenticity to the setting.