Where was Storm of the Century filmed?
Southwest Harbor, ME; San Francisco, CA
Ship Docks, Restaurant, Retail, Hotels/Motels, Diners/Coffee
Bed & Breakfast, Classic Car, Hotel/Motel Style, Shipping Yard/Dock
About Storm of the Century
Storm of the Century is a television miniseries written by horror icon and master storyteller Stephen King. Unlike many of his novels that turned into drama series and movies, this masterpiece is crafted specifically for the small screen. It was directed by Craig R. Baxley and aired in 1999 on NBC.
Whether you’re a horror fan or just love King’s works, it’s a show you don’t want to miss. But if you’re still contemplating whether to stream or skip it, this guide can be your easy-to-digest introduction to the show. We’ve also included a few scenes (spoiler alert!) and some of the notable Storm of the Century filming locations you might want to check out.
The townsfolks call it the Storm of the Century because it’s nothing like any other storms the Little Tall Island has experienced before. It is the worst and about to hit the coast. However, it isn’t the only issue that the residents have to face. They have a bigger problem – a devil in the form of a sinister stranger carrying a walking stick with a wolf’s head, terrorizing the town during a massive blizzard.
At the beginning of the series, viewers meet Martha Clarendon (Rita Tuckett), one of the oldest residents of Little Tall Island. She was the first person in town to meet Andre Linoge (Colm Feore), and he was the last person Martha saw.
Meanwhile, people are busy buying food at the local supermarket. Families and individuals get their own supplies to prepare for the coming natural disaster, oblivious of the dark force that has penetrated the town.
This strange visitor knows about the people in the tight-knit community. He uses this knowledge to drive some of them to murder and suicide. But when he meets them, he only has one proposition: give me what I want, and I’ll go away.”
Storm of the Century Locations
The fictional small town of Little Tall Island off the coast of Maine serves as the setting for the TV miniseries. But the Storm of the Century production actually took place in Southwest Harbor, Maine. The filmmakers used the town’s main thoroughfare for location shots, but then they recreated it in an abandoned factory in Toronto. They needed to build a Storm of the Century film set to be able to control the weather while filming.
If you’re curious about Southwest Harbor, it is one of Maine’s top commercial harbors, known for its intricate boatbuilding and design. It also has enough restaurants, shops, nearby hikes, and several inns and hotels for those who plan to stay and explore the town.
Additionally, the town is a stunning yacht center and harbor. It is considered the ‘quiet side’ compared to the more lively and bustling Bass Harbor. It makes it an ideal location for the tight-knit Little Tall Island in the series. Bass Harbor and Bernard, Maine, are other essential film sites used in the series.
If you pay attention, you’ll also see shots of several streets and iconic landmarks in San Francisco. This includes shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and the city’s Financial District. Many waterfront scenes also featured the mountains of the Acadia National Park as a backdrop.
Colm Feore, who plays the role of the main antagonist in the series, took it upon himself to befriend all the child actors in the Storm of the Century. That’s because he did not want them to be genuinely scared of him.
The store scene in Storm of the Century
Drydock Inn & Café, 357 Main St, Southwest Harbor, ME
The opening scene of the first episode of Storm of the Century highlights Mike Anderson’s (Tim Daly) General Store. You’ll see an older woman leaving the store carrying groceries with two other women.
While looking at the sky, she says, “You wouldn’t think there was a big storm coming, would you?” It’s one of the scenes showing the townspeople preparing for and anticipating what would be the storm of the century.
Locals and those who frequent the coastal Maine village will probably recognize Mr. Anderson’s General Store. But instead of a shop, what you’ll find in the actual location is the Southwest Harbor’s Drydock Inn & Café. It’s a convenient place where you can enjoy lovely accommodations at the inn and great food at the restaurant.
The Drydock Inn & Café is a must-visit spot when you’re in town. It’s located opposite the Village Green at the heart of the harbor, surrounded by the beautiful Acadia National Park. It’s only a walk-minute walk from the boatyards and docks, so it’s in an accessible location, especially if you plan to get there by ferry. Plus, it’s within a short distance of many activities, like kayaking, swimming, biking, sailing, and canoeing.
The driving scene in Storm of the Century
The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA
At the end of the miniseries' third episode, we see Mike driving alone in San Francisco. “I wound up here, back on the water again… Ironic, but it’s different somehow,” Mike narrates as the viewers see stunning shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.
A lot of things have happened since the storm of the century that changed their lives forever. They lost people, including their son Ralphie (Dyllan Christopher), breaking their family, and causing him to leave on the ferry to San Francisco. It has been nine years since he left, and he has never returned to Little Tall Island.
The aerial shots of the Golden Gate Bridge where Mike is driving in the final episode are not CGI. It is the actual suspension bridge, a symbol of the country’s power and progress. Each year, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge draws in over ten million visitors worldwide, offering a unique experience for everyone.
Onsite exhibits and free walking tours are available for those interested in the bridge’s history. They are open twice weekly, every Thursday and Sunday, provided by San Francisco City Guides. Both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge also have access to a national recreation area where you can enjoy scenic trails and picturesque vista points.
Due to limited parking, public transportation is the best way to get to the bridge. Whether you’re accessing the North or South End of the bridge, there are plenty of buses you can catch. You may check the Golden Gate Transit bus schedules and maps for bus schedules and routes.
The humming scene in Storm of the Century
Chinatown, San Francisco, CA
Near the end of the TV show’s final episode, Mike hears a familiar humming sound from a couple of people walking by as he’s about to get in his car. When he looks back, he sees a man walking with a crane. Beside him is a young boy he assumes his lost son, so he yells, “Ralphie.” But he is no longer the little kid he raised.
He thought about writing to Ralph’s mother, Molly (Debrah Farentino), about what he saw, but it wasn’t an easy decision. “When every choice hurts, how do you tell which one’s the right one?” Mike wonders. So, in the end, he didn’t say anything.
The scene where Mike saw his son with an older man was filmed in Chinatown in San Francisco. It’s one of the city's first thoroughfares, the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, and the oldest in North America. It’s also one of San Francisco’s top tourist destinations, with lines of shops, boutiques, museums, galleries, and eateries.
There are numerous ways to get to Chinatown from San Francisco. You can visit the place on foot, ride the tram, catch a taxi or train. BART Red, Yellow, and Red lines will take you to Chinatown, or you can take LTD 5.
Stephen King’s TV miniseries Storm of the Century made the most of the idyllic town of Southwest Harbor. It effectively showcased the coastal life on the island and highlighted the close relationships of the townspeople in a quaint seaside town like Little Tall Island. It has the perfect blend of Maine crafts, harbor life, shopping, history, restaurants, and accommodations to cater to a tourist’s requirements.
Although the show is a horror miniseries, every filming location of Storm of the Century is carefully picked to still bring out the beauty of the area. It may not have emphasized everything that the town has to offer, but it featured several must-visit destinations. It includes the Drydock Inn & Café, a couple of shots of the Kingleigh Inn, and even the stunning Acadia National Park in the background.
Also, the city of San Francisco only made a short cameo near the end of the series. However, it shows tourist spots like Chinatown on Grant Avenue and the symbolic Golden Gate Bridge.