‘Gilmore Girls’: Is Stars Hollow, Connecticut a Real Place?

When it comes to nostalgic television shows, few TV shows are more beloved and charming than Gilmore Girls. The show, a staple of early 2000s television, became an early flagship series for The WB network, running for seven years.

In the years since Gilmore Girls went off the air, the fandom has remained as dedicated to the show’s history as ever before. In 2016, many of the main cast members returned for a highly-anticipated series revival.

Still, the original run of Gilmore Girls remains the most popular with fans, and many still wonder about the show’s setting, including the charming, quaint town of Stars Hollow, where the characters lived and worked.

When did ‘Gilmore Girls’ run on television?

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore, Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore, Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore | Mitchell Haddad/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

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Gilmore Girls debuted on television in 2000. Starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as single mother Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory, Gilmore Girls struck a unique chord with viewers, many of whom were drawn to the gentle humor and realistic situations.

Lorelai and Rory, who live in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, have a very close relationship, often seeming like best friends rather than mother and daughter. 

Gilmore Girls dealt with very real issues that many families all over the world are forced to face — issues including education, familial disappointment, ambition, money struggles, and late-life romance. Critics, as well as fans, praised Gilmore Girls for the brilliant writing and character development, and by the end of the show’s first season, it was a certified hit.

Ultimately, it ran on television until 2007 before going off the air. 

Stars Hollow is a beloved TV town

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For many fans, the characters featured in Gilmore Girls were unlike any others on television. Still, as popular as characters like Rory and Jess were with viewers, the town of Stars Hollow was also a major presence in the series, week after week.

According to a report by Yardbarker, Stars Hollow, Connecticut is widely considered to be one of the most charming TV towns of all time, full of quirky characters, unique local businesses, and beautiful scenery. Viewers were often treated to the sight of fun events as well, from The Festival of the Living Art to the dance marathon and the lunch basket auction.

It’s no wonder that fans of all ages have often dreamed of moving to Stars Hollow — and many have wondered if the lovely small town is actually a real place. 

Is Stars Hollow a real town in Connecticut?

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Unfortunately, those who might want to plan a trip (or even a permanent move) to Stars Hollow, Connecticut, might be disappointed to learn that Stars Hollow is not a real place. According to TravelChannel, Stars Hollow itself is fictional, but showrunners for Gilmore Girls were directly inspired by small New England towns like Washington Depot, Connecticut.

One Gilmore Girls superfan, known as “Amy D.” has made it her mission to find and locate various towns that perfectly represent the spirit of Stars Hollow, naming Connecticut towns like Kent and Essex as great places for fans to visit. Still, the show itself was filmed far from those small New England towns.

According to The Cinemaholic, Gilmore Girls was primarily filmed in Burbank, California, on the backlot of Warner Brothers studios. This might disappoint some fans, but in the end, the magic that the show produced was the same. And if any fans want to experience a bit of that Stars Hollow joy for themselves, a number of New England towns might offer just the ticket.