Netflix's Virgin River is the perfect TV escape. The low-key show, which saw its third season released in July of 2021, boasts Hallmark-level drama, steamy romance, hot bartenders, and a cozy small town I wish I could relocate to for the rest of eternity. Unfortunately, the northern California town of Virgin River is a place of fiction—major bummer, I know. That doesn't stop people from asking Robyn Carr, who wrote the novels that inspired Virgin River, where the idyllic town it's based on is. Carr told Entertainment Weekly, "I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds."
Yet, Carr believes the feel of Virgin River can be just about anywhere: "But to further that thought, we can have that sense of community in our own neighborhood or school or church group or community center or library association. All we have to do is try to create it."
Which is just what the show creators did, but in Canada. All the episodes of Virgin River were filmed in Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia, in locations such as Burnaby, Squamish, and Port Coquitlam. But your best bet at a real-life town with a Virgin River feel is Snug Cove, a 3,700-person community in Bowen Island. Per Vancouver's tourism website—which has an entire page dedicated to Virgin River—"Snug Cove anchors the show as the fictional town of Virgin River, with establishing shots including the local library, main streets and Artisan Lane."
If certain locations in Virgin River looks familiar, it's because many of your other favorite TV shows film in and around Vancouver, including Riverdale, Once Upon a Time, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, X-Files, The L Word, and more.
Interestingly, Virgin River is an actual river in the Colorado river, albeit a small one that has nothing to do with Virgin River the show. But if you're looking for ideas for a Virgin River trip, you probably shouldn't visit the river itself. Instead, you should go to British Columbia and hunt down some of your favorite spots in Virgin River. Here, our handy-dandy guide to how you can find these locations IRL.
The show filmed Jack's Bar's exterior scenes at the Watershed Grill in Brackendale, located 40 miles north of Vancouver—meaning you can go and order a burger (and take a selfie, of course). Its Instagram says "Everyone Welcome," presumably meaning fans of Virgin River who show up in the hope of spotting a Jack lookalike. Just don't expect it to look exactly like it does on the inside, because all of those interior shots were filmed at a local studio. (And make sure it's open on the day you visit, because sometimes it closes for filming.)
Doc Mullins's practice
Vernon Mullins's Family Practice Clinic house is located at 122 First Street in New Westminster, according to Conde Nast Traveler. The house, built in 1889, is currently on sale for a cool $2.3 million if you want to live out your Virgin River fantasies IRL.
The Victorian home boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two staircases, a wrap-around veranda, and some seriously stunning gardens. Feel free to watch a virtual tour of the space below and drool over the interior with me.
Mel's log cabin
Mel's creepy-turned-cozy cabin gifted by Mayor Hope McCrea is actually home to the caretaker of the Murdo Frazer Park, located in Canada. The house has been around since 1950 and is featured in series of other Hollywood favorites like Stargate, Psych, The Flash, and more.
If you're interested in checking out another character's house, Hope's home is situated along Deer Lake Drive, close to Deer Lake Park, in Burnaby. Filming also took place behind Hart House, which Vancouver's tourism website bills as "an idyllic place to stop for a cup of tea or West Coast-inspired lunch, situated in a charming heritage house with manicured lawns and gardens that often host warm-weather weddings." Sold!
Paige's Bakeaway truck
The Bakeaway truck owned by Paige—which Lizzie works at after Paige is forced to flee town—is filmed in Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park, which is close to Vancouver. The park is famous for its walking trails next to the water.