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Netflix's Virgin River is the perfect TV escape. The low-key show, season 4 of which dropped in July of 2022, boasts Hallmark-level drama, steamy romance, an unforgettable cast, and a cozy locale I wish I could relocate to for the rest of eternity. Unfortunately, the northern California town of Virgin River is a place of fiction—major bummer, I know. That doesn't stop people from asking Robyn Carr, who wrote the novels that inspired Virgin River, about the idyllic town it's based on. Carr told Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), "I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds."
Yet, Carr believes the feel of Virgin River can be just about anywhere: "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. All we have to do is try to create it."
Which is just what the show creators did—but in Canada. Per Vancouver's tourism website: "In fact, the “town” [of Virgin River] is actually an amalgamation of filming locations in and around Vancouver. "
Virgin River Filming Locations
Virgin River is filmed in Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia, in locations such as Burnaby, Squamish, and Port Coquitlam. If certain locations in Virgin River looks familiar, it's because many of your other favorite TV shows film in and around Vancouver, including Riverdale, Once Upon a Time, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, X-Files, The L Word, and more.
But Virgin River is intended to take place in the United States—specifically California, in "Humboldt County, up in the Redwoods," according to Tim Matheson, who plays Doc. He summarized the town while speaking to Interviews Magazine: "It has incredible beauty. Most of the people who live there have come there just to get away from some kind of pain or heartache or loss to try and redeem themselves and turn their lives around."
Some glimpses of the Virgin River we see in the show:
How to Visit Virgin River
Your best bet at a real-life town with a Virgin River feel is Snug Cove, a 3,700-person, seven mile-long island in Bowen Island. Per Vancouver's tourism website—which has an entire page dedicated to Virgin River—"Snug Cove anchors the show as the fictional town of Virgin River, with establishing shots including the local library, main streets and Artisan Lane." You can get to Snug Cove via a 20-minute ferry from Horseshoe Bay, close to Vancouver in B.C.
Side note: Virgin River is an actual river in the U.S., in Colorado—albeit a small one that has nothing to do with Virgin River the show. But if you're looking for ideas for a Virgin River vacation, you shouldn't visit that river. Instead, you should go to British Columbia and hunt down some of your favorite spots in Virgin River, including Snug Cove. Here, our handy-dandy guide to how you can find these locations IRL.
The show filmed Jack's Bar's exterior scenes at the Watershed Grill in Brackendale, located 40 miles north of Vancouver—meaning you can go and order a burger (and take a selfie, of course). Its Instagram (opens in new tab) says "Everyone Welcome," presumably meaning fans of Virgin River who show up in the hope of spotting a Jack lookalike. Just don't expect it to look exactly like it does on the inside, because all of those interior shots were filmed at a local studio. (And make sure it's open on the day you visit, because sometimes it closes for filming.) (opens in new tab)
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Doc Mullins's Practice
Vernon Mullins's Family Practice Clinic house is located at 122 First Street in New Westminster, according to Conde Nast Traveler (opens in new tab). The house, built in 1889, went on sale in 2021 on sale for a cool $2.3 million if you want to live out your Virgin River fantasies IRL (and have a casual couple million to do it). The home boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two staircases, a wrap-around veranda, and some seriously stunning gardens.
Mel's Log Cabin
Mel's creepy-turned-cozy cabin gifted by Mayor Hope McCrea is actually home to the caretaker of the Murdo Frazer Park, located in Canada. The house has been around since 1950 and is featured in series of other Hollywood favorites like Stargate, Psych, The Flash, and more (opens in new tab).
Hope's house is situated along Deer Lake Drive, close to Deer Lake Park, in Burnaby.
Fitches Bed and Breakfast
It doesn't appear too much in the show, but Fitches Bed and Breakfast is in fact the Klahanie Campground in Squamish. See a side-by-side.
Paige's Bakeaway Truck
The Bakeaway truck owned by Paige—which Lizzie works at after Paige is forced to flee town—is filmed in Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park, which is close to Vancouver. The park is famous for its walking trails next to the water (opens in new tab).
Some scenes were filmed behind Hart House, which Vancouver's tourism website bills as "an idyllic place to stop for a cup of tea or West Coast-inspired lunch, situated in a charming heritage house with manicured lawns and gardens that often host warm-weather weddings." Sold!
Vancouver's tourism website elaborated on filming locations on other, smaller scenes across the series: "Scenes between Melinda and Jack were also filmed in Squamish, near the river; and the show’s waterfall scenes were filmed at Shannon Falls Provincial Park, a 10-minute drive from Squamish along the Sea to Sky Highway, one of the most stunning highway drives in the world," it noted. "A half-hour drive from Vancouver, Port Coquitlam is located on the north banks of the Fraser and Pitt rivers. Here, Virgin River crews filmed inside locally loved businesses like Samz Pub, which appears as a pub visited by Melinda and Jack; and In a Wink Beautique, which plays a hairdressing salon."
Just make sure to wrap up before your Virgin River trip. To quote Breckenridge: "To be quite frank with you guys, I’m pretty done filming in Vancouver in the winter. Not really interested in doing that ever again actually, it’s really cold." Speaking to Narcity, Breckenridge said the people of Canada were "really kind" and recommended her favorite places in B.C. that aren't in the show, including Deep Cove and several restaurants.
Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.
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