It’s all too easy to wonder where is Virgin River filmed after being swept away by the evocative landscape shots that make the Netflix show so special.
It might seem like only yesterday that Virgin River seasons 4 and 5 were confirmed but already many die-hard fans will likely have binge-watched their way through the fourth series and be looking ahead to Virgin River season 5. With so many of the huge questions answered, like who *actually* shot Jack and does Brady die in Virgin River, the next installment looks set to be every bit as dramatic. Though if there’s one constant that anchors us in the world of Virgin River it’s the town itself, with its majestic forest and lakeside scenery.
But where is Virgin River filmed, is it the same as the book and adaptation’s settings and is there a real Virgin River? We reveal what you need to know about where the showrunners captured those stunning shots…
Where is Virgin River filmed?
Alongside the regular Virgin River characters we’ve come to know and love since the hit show first landed in 2019, the town of Virgin River itself is key to the show’s sense of community. Just like where Sherwood was filmed and where The Bay was filmed, there’s a unique sense of drama and atmosphere evoked by the stunning Virgin River filming locations. And they might just be more than a little familiar to anyone who’s also watched everything from the X-Files to Once Upon A Time over the years.
Just like these fellow dramas, Virgin River is filmed in Vancouver and British Columbia in Canada and according to Conde Nast Traveller, there’s a range of locations in the area that stood in for key spots in the fictional town. They report that establishing shots of Virgin River were filmed over “small-town scenes in the region”, with Pioneer Avenue in Agassiz apparently being chosen for the first shot of the Welcome to Virgin River sign.
And the bounty of the Canadian landscape was used once more to great effect with Snug Cove in British Columbia apparently also a Virgin River filming location.
Meanwhile, Mel’s picturesque lakeside cabin is understood to be a real place on Vancouver’s North Shore. It was reportedly built in the 1950s in Murdo Frazer Park and is said to be the real-life home of the caretaker.
South-East of Vancouver in New Westminster is reportedly the location Virgin River filmed in for Doc’s clinic - a mansion known as Breezehurst built in 1889. Other locations believed to have been used for filming Virgin River are Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, and Squamish.
Conde Nast Traveller reports that the Watershed Grill in Brackendale overlooking the Squamish River is the site of the fictional Jack’s Bar, owned by Jack Sheridan.
Anyone who can’t get enough of those powerful waterfall shots in Virgin River might be interested to discover that Shannon Falls Provincial Park is said to have stood in for this. And with its water flowing from over 1,100 ft, it’s no wonder it makes such an impression in the show!
Where is Virgin River set?
Although many fans might well have been wondering where is Virgin River filmed after being immersed in the beautiful scenery of the long-running drama, they might be a little surprised by the answer. Like many of the best book-to-TV and best book-to-movie adaptations, Virgin River isn’t filmed in the same place as the Robyn Carr novel and show are set. Just like Firefly Lane which is filmed in Canada, but set in the US, both the Virgin River books and show are set in remote Northern California.
Speaking to Smashing Interviews, Virgin River cast member Tim Matheson (who plays Vernon ‘Doc’ Mullins) previously described the town of Virgin River as being amongst the “redwoods” that are common in that area of the US.
“Virgin River is about a small town in Humboldt County up in the Redwoods. It has incredible beauty,” he explained at the time. The geography of the area in the show also includes the stunning waterfall and lakes to complete the beauty of the Virgin River setting.
Is there a real Virgin River?
Sadly for any fans hoping to uncover a real-life inspiration for the show’s Virgin River town, this is very much a fictional location. No town called Virgin River actually exists in Northern California and although there is a Virgin River that’s a tributary of the Colorado River that runs through Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, this has no connection to the Netflix series.
Robyn Carr, who wrote the books on which the Virgin River show is based, has previously discussed how the idyllic town only exists in the “hearts and minds” of fans.
Opening up to EW, she shared, “People always write and say, “Where is it? I want to go there,” and I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds. But to further that thought, we can have that sense of community in our own neighborhood or school or church group or community center or library association.”
Robyn went on to reflect that her characters aren’t “without their flaws” and that we can try and create a sense of community in our own lives.
“All we have to do is try to create it. We create it by being helpful neighbors and good friends and positive people. They’re not without their flaws,” she explained. “Poor Jack, the most popular man in the series and the anchor of the series, he gets himself in trouble constantly by being nosy and a butt-in-sky, and thinking he should direct traffic all the time. But at the end of the day, they help each other. What a thought.”
But while Virgin River might not be a real-life location amongst the giant redwoods of Northern California, that hasn’t stopped viewers across the world from being drawn into the world of the fictional town and its residents. And with Virgin River season 5 already confirmed, fans can rest safe in the knowledge that the latest installment won’t be the last we see of these atmospheric locations.
Virgin River seasons 1-4 are available to watch on Netflix now.
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Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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