Is Virgin River a Real Place? Here’s Where the Netflix Series Is Filmed
Netflix’s Virgin River really has it all. The show, which follows a nurse named Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) who leaves the big city behind for life in a picturesque Northern California town, delivers a must-watch mix of romance, suspense, and heartfelt moments, all set against a stunning backdrop of mountain views, tumbling waterfalls, and sun-dappled rivers.
Virgin River Season 5 premieres Sept. 7. The new episodes are sure to inspire more than a few dreams of ditching the city for a quaint small town. Unfortunately, for those planning to visit to the real Virgin River, we have some bad news. The place is wholly fictional.
Virgin River isn’t a real place, but the Netflix show is filmed in Canada
In the show, Virgin River is located somewhere in Northern California. It’s far away from the glitz and glam of LA, and Mel definitely has a little bit of trouble adjusting when she first arrives. But it doesn’t take long before the dramatic scenery (and the local bar’s handsome owner, Jack) begin to work their magic on her.
The town of Virgin River is fictional, but scenes from the show are filmed in British Columbia, Canada. Filming locations include Snug Cove, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, and Shannon Falls Provincial Park, according to Destination Vancouver.
Where are Jack’s Bar and Mel’s cabin?
Local watering hole Jack’s Bar is also a creation of the show. But you can visit the real-life Watershed Grill in Brackendale, B.C., where some scenes from Virgin River were shot, according to the restaurant’s Instagram account. The restaurant is on the shores of the Squamish River and is close to a prime spot for viewing bald eagles.
Mel’s rustic cabin is located at Murdo Frazer Park in North Vancouver, though interiors are filmed 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,” location scout W. Robert “Fluffy” Millar told Netflix. “It’s a beautiful little park with tennis courts and running trails and a pond on it with turtles and stuff.”
‘Virgin River’ author Robyn Carr says the town ‘only exists in our hearts’
Virgin River is based on a series of novels by Robyn Carr. (There are 20+ books in the series, which means there’s plenty of material for future seasons of the Netflix show.) In a 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Carr said that people often write to her with questions about Virgin River. Specifically, they want to know where the town is and whether they can go there. She has to gently let them know that her Virgin River is not a place on the map.
“I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds,” she said.
However, she added that people can create their own Virgin River by getting involved in their community.
“We can have that sense of community in our own neighborhood or school or church group or community center or library association,” she said. “All we have to do is try to create it. We create it by being helpful neighbors and good friends and positive people.”
Virgin River Season 5 premieres Sept. 7 on Netflix.
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