Is ‘Virgin River’ A Real Place, And Can You Visit It? The Answer To One Of These Is ‘Yes’

While Virgin River, in theory, is only an idea, the actual filming locations are there today exactly as they’re shown in the Netflix series.

Like much of the population this past year, everyone seemed to turn to streaming services such as Netflix to find ways to virtually escape the current time and head to a world that was altogether different, or a timeline that was so vastly different than the one we live in right now. Whether it was a fantasy saga or a romantic drama, binge-watching TV shows has definitely skyrocketed as a coping mechanism. Virgin River happens to be the latter of the previously mentioned genres and for many fans, it was the epitome of greatness in terms of both an escape, visually and mentally.

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The show itself is based on the books of the same name and the storyline is nothing short of dramatic with a hint of ever-present realness, tragedy, and a classic dose of ‘not everything is always as it seems.’ Virgin River, much like the river in the show that shares its name, is a journey of twists and turns through love, loss, grief, friendship, and healing. In a literal sense, the ‘healing’ begins with a dramatic backdrop set against humbling mountains, densely-wooded forests, and small-town charm that only Virgin River can deliver. After watching landscape after landscape, the question on most fan’s minds was this: Is this actually a real place? It is, but it’s not called Virgin River.

Where Was It Filmed?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the author of the book series, Robyn Carr, said “I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds” in response to fans asking if Virgin River was a real place. While this is true of the novel, when it comes to the Netflix series, the place where Virgin River was filmed is, indeed, a very real place… just not the place most people would think upon watching it. While the series has the show set in the mountains of California, the actual filming location was in Vancouver, Canada. Many of the show’s most scenic shots were filmed in various locations around Vancouver that look exactly as they’re shown, giving way to a tremendous backdrop of nature, mountains, and, well, rivers.

via Shutterstock

The most popular filming locations throughout British Columbia were Burnaby, Squamish, and Port Coquitlam. However, for the most iconic shots from Virgin River, it’s none other than Snug Cove in Bowen Island which was used to film most of them. The show has made Vancouver such a popular point of interest that the tourism board offers an itinerary that fans can follow on their way to seeing some of the most well-known scene locations.

Jack’s Bar

Sadly, Jack’s Bar doesn’t actually exist as it’s seen in the show, at least, not with the same name. The interior of Jack’s Bar is a set that was built specifically for the purpose of filming but the restaurant seen from the outside, is a real place, called the Watershed Grill. This location was chosen specifically because of its views which lent themselves well to grand, forested backdrops and stunning waterside scenes.

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The restaurant’s Instagram account even posted on the days it was closed for filming, and for those who visit the Watershed Grill having been familiar with Virgin River, it’s almost like walking right onto the set.

Mel’s Cabin

The cabin that started out as shabby and was quickly turned into chic with the help of Jack and friends is actually a real home. While it’s not a home that people can go and explore, it is home to the park caretaker of Murdo Frazer Park.

via The Pioneer Woman

While the caretaker lives there year-round, it can be presumed, it hasn’t stopped the cabin from becoming the focal point for several other movies and TV shows. Apparently, it’s a popular destination for filmmakers as the land around it, along with the cabin’s authentic rustic nature, looks incredible on film.

Doc Mullin’s Practice

In echoing that small-town charm, it’s doesn’t come as a surprise to know that the practice belonging to Doc Mullin is actually another home. Located in New Westminster, the location of Mel and Mullin’s jobs is actually for sale at the time of writing.

via Soaps.com

The house itself is a Victorian that was built in 1889 and boasts even more charm – including wonderfully enchanting gardens – than what’s actually seen in the show. Furthermore, all the features that are seen in the show such as the oversize doorways, stained glass windows, and overall aesthetic of the home, are real. The house is going for more than two million, for those who are interested in having a real piece of the charm for themselves.

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About The Author


Katie Machado
(1009 Articles Published)

Originally from New York, Katie is used to a fast-paced lifestyle. She got her personal start with writing in the second grade, and carried that passion with her until she won a spot in her high school’s published poetry book – but not before becoming the News Editor and columnist for the high school newspaper.

In college, she majored in English Literature with an emphasis in Political Science, soaking up most creativity and method from one of the last professors to study under famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg. The more she wrote, the more she learned about the world and, more importantly, herself.

She has been writing professionally and has been published since the age of 19, and for nearly a decade has covered topics in entertainment, lifestyle, music news, video game reviews, food culture, and now has the privilege of writing and editing for TheTravel.

Katie has a firm belief that every word penned is a journey into yourself and your own thoughts, and through understanding this, people can begin to understand each other. Through her voice, she brings personality, research, and a bit of friendly sarcasm to every piece she writes and edits.

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