Virgin River’s magic heavily lies in where the series takes place: a small, fictional town set among dense forests, enchanting mountains, and soothing waterfalls. Now that the first 10 episodes of season five are officially on Netflix (with the final two coming out in November), it’s once again time to revel in the ethereal filming locations that bring the quaint community to life. And at least one of those locales is currently facing a drama of its own!
But first, the back story: While the show is set in Northern California, it was actually filmed in Vancouver and its surrounding areas. Here's what we know about the places that make up the dreamy backdrops—from Mel's cabin, which is actually sinking in real life, to the restaurant that portrays Jack's Bar.
Where Was Virgin River Filmed?
Canada's British Columbia provides most of the scenery for Virgin River. Location manager W. Robert Millar, LMGI told Tudum that he's always trying to "one-up each episode" of the series by finding a prettier view with more raw beauty than the last, or another thick forest that's easy to access. "We always coordinate with the First Nations themselves," Millar added, referring to Indigenous people of Canada. "The Squamish Nation has been really supportive of our show because we do a lot of filming on First Nations land."
According to Vancouver's tourism website, many establishing shots that portray the fictional town of Virgin River were taken in Snug Cove, a community of less than 4,000 people located on Bowen Island. Snug Cove's sweet local library, main streets, and Artisan Lane were tapped for the series.
Perhaps the most popular filming location featured in the series is Mel's cabin, which is represented by Murdo Frazer Cabin in North Vancouver. The abode has appeared in various productions including Once Upon a Time, The Flash, and Supernatural. But it turns out the location has as much drama as the show itself. Prior to filming season five, the Virgin River production team found out that the building was actually sinking. The District of North Vancouver got a heritage grant to refurbish the cabin—meaning the team likely wouldn’t be able to shoot there. Millar explained to Tudum: "The foundation is actually sinking into the soft earth by the water table with the pond that's right beside it. They actually need to come in and do an actual house lifting, like those proper things you see on Discovery Channel where they lift a house up and jack it up."
Luckily, the team was able to get a mix of day and night establishing shots using a "techno crane and drone" to include in season five. As for the interior of the cabin, it was built on a soundstage. Big photographic backdrops, similar to the ones used in Suits, create the illusion of the cabin's window views. Millar noted that the hanging backdrops are "actually high-resolution photos taken of the area around the real cabin," which encompasses "a beautiful little park with tennis courts and running trails and a pond on it with turtles."
Over in the town of Squamish, The Watershed Grill was tapped to portray the exterior of Jack’s Bar. "It's a great destination—it's near the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world, where they come to eat and feed and mate," Millar said of the location.
Vernon's Family Practice Clinic
The clinic where Mel works is actually a Victorian located on First Street in New Westminster. Built in 1889, the basement of the home served as a speakeasy during the prohibition era, according to the Daily Hive. In 2021, the outlet reported that the Queen Anne-style home hit the market for nearly $2.2 million.
Filming also took place in the city of Burnaby, where the house that plays the home of mayor of Virgin River stands on Deer Lake Drive. Known as the Edgar Residence, the craftsman-inspired bungalow was built in 1912 and is deemed a heritage site because of its connection to businessman Robert McBeth Edgar whose "contribution to Burnaby and British Columbia was far-reaching and significant," according to The Canadian Register of Historic Places.
There are countless stunning views of nature featured throughout the series. A few of those locales include Grouse Mountian, where the Lumberjack Games took place during season three; the waterfalls at Shannon Falls Provincial Park; Capilano Suspension Bridge Park; and a river just south of Whistler in an area called House Rock, where Jack and his marine buddies go kayaking.
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Kelly Allen is the current Associate Editor at House Beautiful, where she covers design, pop culture, and travel for digital and the print magazine. She’s been with the team for nearly three years, attending industry events and covering a range of topics. When she’s not watching every new TV show and movie, she’s browsing vintage home stores, admiring hotel interiors, and wandering around New York City. She previously worked for Delish and Cosmopolitan. Follow her on Instagram.