The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Intro Utilized a Different New England State for Footage

The infamous Gilmore Girls’ town, Stars Hollow, was supposed to be nestled somewhere in the middle of Connecticut. The state is known for its fall foliage, and the series absolutely used that as inspiration for its intro. While the intro for Gilmore Girls captures the fall colors that Connecticut is known for, the overhead footage was shot in a completely different state. 

The town used in the ‘Gilmore Girls’ intro is actually in Vermont 

The Gilmore Girls intro offers fans an overhead view of a quaint New England town surrounded by trees in various shades of orange and red. It makes for the perfect opening, and if you only took a quick look once, you’d assume it was the town of Stars Hollow shown from a bird’s eye vantage point. 

An aerial view of Royalton, Vermont, the town used in the 'Gilmore Girls' intro
Royalton, Vermont | Spencer Grant/Getty Images

The opening credits utilized a real New England town, but it isn’t in Connecticut. The town in the opening shot of the Gilmore Girls intro is actually Royalton, Vermont. Royalton is a tiny town in Windsor county, Vermont. The town, with under 3,000 residents, is flanked by the Green Mountains on one side and the White River on the other. 

Royalton, Vermont, didn’t inspire Stars Hollow, but a real town did 

Royalton, Vermont, may not be Stars Hollow, but the tiny town is a fairly good stand-in. The town even has a Gazebo, just like Stars Hollow. Still, it isn’t the town that inspired the famed series and its beloved tiny hamlet. The inspiration for Stars Hollow is Washington Depot, Connecticut. 

'Gilmore Girls' cast members Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore standing in a snowy Stars Hollow
Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore and Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Washington Depot is a neighborhood inside the small town of Washington, Connecticut. With a population of just over 3,000, the town embodies small-town living. Just like Stars Hollow, Washington has a neighborhood eatery and even a bookstore similar to Stars Hollow Books. According to the town’s official tourism pageGilmore Girls creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, was inspired to create Gilmore Girls by the warmth of the town during her stay at the Mayflower Inn & Spa. 

How far is Royalton, Vermont, from the fictional town of Stars Hollow?

Stars Hollow doesn’t actually exist. Still, Gilmore Girls offered enough context clues to decipher roughly where in Connecticut it was supposed to be located. Stars Hollow was about 25 minutes from Hartford, Connecticut, and just over 20 miles from Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. 

Fall leaves in Macedonia Brook State Park, Connecitcut
Macedonia Brook State Park, Connecticut | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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‘Gilmore Girls’: Where Exactly in Connecticut Was Stars Hollow?

While Stars Hollow doesn’t actually exist, based on clues from the series, the town would sit right where Meriden, Connecticut, is located. Meriden is in New Haven County. With a population of over 60,000 residents, it’s much larger than Stars Hollow. It still has a quaint downtown shopping district and the distinct fall vibe that Gilmore Girls fans have grown to love, though. 

If we assume Stars Hollow sits where Meriden sits in real life, the town used in the Gilmore Girls intro isn’t exactly nearby. Royalton, Vermont, is nearly 200 miles north of Meriden. It would take 3 hours to drive between the two towns.