Created by Sue Tenney, Virgin River is based on Robyn Carr’s widely popular eponymous novel series, and it debuted on Netflix in 2019, successfully managing to secure a spot in the hearts of the subscribers due to the sublime filming locations and sheer emotional depth of the characters in the series.
Ridden with melodrama, conflict, tension and romance, the series abounds in realistic characters that are incredibly played by stellar actors. Harrowing music and complicated narrative are juxtaposed against the brilliance of nature. Mel, a nurse and midwife, escapes to the beautiful small town of the Virgin River to start afresh. While healing herself, she must adjust to the various obstacles that lie in her path while acquainting herself with the ways of the mall town.
The name of the series reflects the eponymous title of the small town that was derived from the Colorado River tributary that flows through Utah, Nevada and Arizona. However, filming has not taken place in the United States but in Canada.
Picturesque locations and tranquillity galore, the series is definitely popular for its wonderful setting. If you are a Virgin River fan who is dying to know more about the location, here is everything that you need to know.
What are the filming locations for the Netflix series Virgin River?
Is Virgin River a fictional place?
Virgin River is the titular small town in the series located in northern California with a close-knit population. However, there is no such location named the Virgin River in California as it is a fictional small town constructed for the purpose of the series.
Most of the filming has taken place in Vancouver, Canada. So if you want to get the authentic feel of being a Virgin River resident for a few days, fish out the shooting spots and make a quick visit.
What is the small town like?
Despite the town appearing to be realistic, fans cannot follow Mel’s footsteps to start life afresh in the titular small town. Although it is extremely tempting to indulge in the simplistic life that would allow us to escape the drudgery of mundane urban life, it seems nearly impossible to find a town like the Virgin River.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Robyn Carr, the author of the popular novels on which the series is based, spoke of how Virgin River is considered “utopian” by various sociological studies. While she talks about how we all want to go and stay in this serene and tranquil small town, she constantly reminds us that “it only exists in our hearts and minds”.
The small town is tight-knit, happy and somewhat mellow. It is a “town where people are nice to each other and help each other” and have “that sense of community”, which makes many believe that the setting is too ideal, as portrayed by Carr.
Where has the series been filmed?
Although the series is allegedly based in California, most of the filming takes place in Vancouver and some parts of Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Some other popular shoot locations include Port Coquitlam, Breckendale and Burnaby.
Mel’s pristine waterside cabin exists in Vancouver’s North Shore in Murdo Frazer Park and is inhabited by a caretaker. Her workplace is actually located in New Westminister, while her employer, Doc’s lavish house, is actually a Queen Anne-style five-bedroom 1889 house.
Jack’s bar s located in Brackendale, while the other picturesque location spots, including the Shannon Falls, have all been conglomerated into adding a rustic, small-town feel to the show.
The various regions are used to film the intro to the series, while the Welcome to Virgin River is shot in Agassiz on Pioneer Avenue.