Where is Virgin River filmed? Virgin River is the hit Netflix show about a nurse searching for true love in a small town, and that town is as important to the series as the characters – so is it a real place, and if not, where is Virgin River filmed?
Virgin River launched on Netflix in 2019, and has since become one of the streamer’s most popular shows. So-much-so that in 2022, it amassed 13.6 billion minutes viewed, ranking number six on Nielsen’s streaming chart.
The story is simple, with the official synopsis as follows: “Searching for a fresh start, a nurse practitioner moves from LA to a remote Northern California town and is surprised by what – and who – she finds.”
That remote town is the stuff that dreams are made of; a beautiful, safe, cosy, environment to learn life lessons while searching for “the one.” So here’s everything we know about the location.
Is Virgin River a real town?
No, Virgin River is not a real town. Virgin River a fictional place invented by author Robin Carr, and the location of more than 20 of her 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.
However, not only does the town not exist, but the locations that double for Virgin River throughout the show are in Canada rather than California.
Where is Virgin River filmed? 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, which was previously 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).
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Where is Mel’s waterside cabin in Virgin River?
Mel’s waterside cabin is where much Virgin River magic happens, and that’s 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 actually need to come in and do an actual house lifting, like those proper things you see on Discovery Channel where they lift a house up and jack it up.”
Where is 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.”
The fourth season of Virgin River is now streaming on Netflix, while you can read everything we know about Season 5 here.
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