Home TV

Where is ‘Virgin River’ filmed, and is it a real place?

Can you visit the setting for Netflix's romantic drama series?

Via IMDb

In 2019, Netflix released a captivating and romantic series, Virgin River, and fans have been dreaming of moving to the fictional town ever since. The drama is inspired by a set of books from author Robyn Carr; Virgin River tells a complicated and quite beautiful story of a nurse named Melinda Monroe, played by the talented Alexandra Breckenridge, on her journey to a new life in a small town after experiencing the most heartwrenching pain in Los Angeles.

It doesn’t take long for Mel to realize that moving to a small town can’t erase her pain, nor can it prevent more from coming, but it can also bring her new wonders and magic to experience.

Martin Henderson, Tim Matheson, Annette O’Toole, Ben Hollingsworth, Colin Lawrence, and Lauren Hammersley are some of the other talented names that make up the cast of Virgin River, the series which has made quite a name for itself for fans of the genre. Virgin River continues to receive awards, accolades, and unofficial gold stars from fans and critics alike, and with good reason.

The storyline deals with grief, love, friendship, romance, and all the ways that we try to shoulder the weight of our heaviest emotions amid the brightest days, and anyone sitting down to watch the series can find a piece of themselves within it. In addition to beautiful storylines and parts of the puzzle that are sure to make you cry, the backdrop of the engaging series is so beautiful it’ll make you want to turn in your two weeks in every aspect of your day-to-day life and find a Virgin River of your own to immediately move to.

Where is the real Virgin River

Virgin River, the sweet small town, is set in North California for the story’s sake, but filming locations happen in different areas. Vancouver, British Columbia, houses many of the scenic and stunning locations in which Virgin River is set, with Canada as the playground for the series in its entirety.

Destination Vancouver has a website that has a link explicitly dedicated to locations fans can visit if they hope to find themselves immersed in Virgin River history, beauty, and romance of their own. Snug Cove, Bowen Island is an “anchor” to the series, as the website describes, and fans who hope to visit what acts as the center of the town would need only take a 20 minute Ferry Ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to get there.

A community profile for Snug Cover highlights a town we’d love to find ourselves living in, with an array of shops lining the main street, a warm and cozy feel to the stunning backdrop, and it provides guests with a “vibrant arts community” as well.

In addition to different amenities, events, and start-up opportunities, a main draw of Snug Cove is a community of people who want to give back.

“Volunteerism is arguably Bowen’s most important ‘amenity,’ making possible an abundance
of charitable, arts, social and recreation initiatives. There is no Community Centre yet, but
Islanders make creative use of other venues, presenting a calendar chock-full of events
and classes all year. Tourism Bowen Island maintains a Community Calendar at its website
identifying local events and activities.”

If you find yourself taking a trip to Canada to visit Virgin River must-see spots, you can have a seat at Jack’s Bar, which is the Watershed Grill, located in Brackendale. Everyone knows Jack’s Bar is a central location to the story, and we’d imagine it would be the perfect place to spend an afternoon. The Watershed Grill — but you can call it Jack’s Bar forever if you’d like — has a beautiful riverside patio, many specialty menu items, and delicious craft beer options.

Many locations that are used to film Virgin River welcome visitors, but Mel’s cabin is a little different — as it is a personal residence, all of its cozy glory is something treasured by the person who gets to call it home — or at least, it might. There are several publications that say the cabin still belongs to someone for personal use, but one states that it’s exclusively used for filming these days.

So, who might own Mel’s cabin? It’s widely reported that it is actually the caretaker’s home for Murdo Frazer Park, and it’s as stunning as you’d imagine. If the cabin looks familiar to you, it’s to be expected — many other projects have been filmed in the same space, such as A Dog’s Way Home, Once Upon a Time, and MacGyver.

Fans can also take a look at Doc Mulligans’ office, which is filmed at 122 First Street in New Westminster, British Columbia. Paige’s Bakeaway Truck can be seen near Vancouver at Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park.

Gear up to visit some scenic parks

There are many trails, parks, and beautiful locations that viewers and fans of the series can visit easily, and they’ve all been a piece of the backdrop for some of the most important scenes in the series, some of the most romantic and mesmerizing.

Snug Cove offers some of those very locations, as well as Princess Park, Shannon Falls Provincial Park, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Deer Lake Park, and, of course, Murdo Frazer Park, as we mentioned above.

If you can’t travel to Canada right now, don’t fret — you can still be captivated by its beauty. Season five of Virgin River is streaming on Netflix now, with part two soon to follow on Nov. 30, 2023.

About the author

Ashley Marie

Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.