Virgin River filming locations – is it a real place?

Chris Tilly
The Virgin River stars in one of the beautiful locations.

It’s hard not to be enamored with the cozy vibes of the hit Netflix series, but where are the Virgin River filming locations in the real world?

Mel Monroe has given us endless drama across five seasons of the show already. And, with Virgin River Season 6 on the way, there’s more to come.

We can’t wait to see what shocking storylines unfold next, but before the Virgin River cast get back to work, we have questions.

Is the beautiful setting a real place? And if so, where is it? Here are all the Virgin River filming locations explained.

Where is Virgin River filmed? All filming locations explained

Virgin River is filmed in British Columbia, and more specifically Vancouver and its surrounding areas.

Snug Cove on Bowen Island is a key location. Fun fact: this is where Nicolas Cage shot his infamous Wicker Man remake.

Scenes are also shot in New Westminster (where you can find Doc Mullins’ clinic), Burnaby (the Mayor’s house and Paige’s food truck), Port Coquitlan (various shops and bars), and Richmond (which doubles for Steveston Harbour).

Is Virgin River a real town?

A beautiful shot from Virgin River.

No, Virgin River is not a real town. It’s a fictional place invented by author Robin Carr, and the location of the majority of her Virgin River novels.

Speaking of her creation to Entertainment Weekly, Carr said: “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.”

Carr places the town among the redwoods of North California, where the waterfalls are high and the fishing is good.

Snug Cove would be your best bet if you wanted to visit Virgin River, as it’s the dominant location for the show. The Vancouver tourism website even has a whole page dedicated to the connection.

Interestingly, there is an actual river called Virgin River. However, it’s located in Colorado, and has nothing to do with the TV show.

Where is Mel’s waterside cabin in Virgin River?

Mel's waterside cabin in Virgin River.

Mel’s waterside cabin is a house in Murdo Frazer Park, on Vancouver’s North Shore. The stunning spot has previously been used in the likes of Fringe, The Flash, and Once Upon a Time.

Speaking of the house, location manager and scout W. Robert ‘Fluffy Millar told Netflix: “The interior, of course, is on a soundstage. They use big photographic backdrops hanging from the ceiling, so when you’re inside and look out the window, it’s actually high-resolution photos taken of the area around the real cabin.

“It’s a beautiful little park with tennis courts and running trails and a pond on it with turtles and stuff. Last year we were almost at risk of not being able to go there because right adjacent to it is a massive British Columbia hydro substation. They were upgrading it, so we had all these logistical challenges.

“We also found out last year that the District of North Vancouver received a heritage grant to refurbish the cabin, because it’s actually sinking. The foundation is actually sinking into the soft earth by the water table with the pond that’s right beside it. They need to come in and do an actual house lifting, like you’d see on the Discovery Channel.”

Where is Jack’s bar in Virgin River?

Jack's bar in Virgin River.

Jack’s bar, where Mel meets the Jack, is the Watershed Grill in Brackendale, which is just north of Vancouver. Again, interiors are shot on a soundstage, but the outside overlooks Squamish River.

Of that location, Millar says: “It’s a great destination – it’s near the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world, where they come to eat and feed and mate. And we always just shoot the exterior on the dike by the river at Jack’s Bar.

“The thing that I always find so funny is when you look at it from the river, when you see the drone shots of Jack’s Bar or the establishing shots, you can’t see too many trees, as if you’re looking toward the back of the bar and it looks kind of narrow.

“But then, when you cut to the interior of Jack’s Bar, that’s on our soundstage. And all of a sudden you realize [there’s] a big fireplace and a billiards table and a long bar, and then wait a minute, there’s a staircase that goes up to where Brie’s room is. But when you look at it on the dike, there’s no second floor.”

Jack's Bar in Virgin River

Well, you had us fooled! That’s all on the Virgin River filming locations for now. While we wait for Season 6, learn more about when Virgin River takes place, and what the upcoming time jump means for the show. We can also recommend these eight shows if you love Virgin River.