Where was Virgin River filmed?
Vancouver, Canada, and other locations around British Columbia
American, NatureScapes, Rustic, Hospitals/Medical, Restaurant
About Virgin River
If you love a good romantic drama, chances are you’ve already fallen head over heels for Virgin River.
This Netflix series, which first premiered in late 2019, follows the story of Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge), a nurse and midwife from LA. Recently widowed, Mel is ready for a tree change and a chance to start afresh, so she accepts a job in the small town of Virgin River in Northern California. But she’s about to discover that small-town living is very different from life in the big city.
Mel has been hired to assist the town doctor, Doc Mullins (Tim Matheson), who is unhappy that Mel has been appointed without his knowledge. But it’s when she meets the town’s mysterious bartender, Jack (Martin Henderson) that sparks really start to fly.
A former Marine with a complicated past of his own, Jack immediately hits it off with Mel. It’s clear the two have feelings for one another, but is either one of them ready for romance? And even if they are, will they be able to overcome the many obstacles that life throws in their way?
Virgin River is comfort viewing at its finest. Mixing romantic entanglements and a host of small-town dramas with some truly spectacular scenery, it’s one of those shows where it’s easy to lose yourself for an hour or two. And if you’re so inclined, you might also start fantasizing about finding your own remote cabin in a pretty small town somewhere and starting anew.
Virgin River has delivered plenty of memorable scenes in its first few seasons, so let’s take a closer look at where this iconic Netflix series was filmed.
Virgin River Locations
Before you start getting your hopes up, we’re sad to say that there’s no town called Virgin River in Northern California. In fact, if you want to visit the filming location of Virgin River, you’ll need to head a whole lot further north than Northern California and instead venture all the way across the border into Canada.
Virgin River is largely filmed in British Columbia, with a host of locations easily accessible from Vancouver. Many of the exterior shots of Virgin River, for example, were taken in the gorgeous little town of Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Jack’s Bar, which in real life is known as the Watershed Grill, is found around 40 miles north of Vancouver.
As for Mel’s beautiful log cabin home in Virgin River, that can be found in Murdo Frazer Park in North Vancouver. The cabin has also featured in a range of other productions including Once Upon a Time and A Dog’s Way Home.
So if you’re planning a real-life visit to ‘Virgin River’, the good news is that a host of the most memorable settings from the series are all within easy reach of one another. We’ve gathered together the location details of some of the best scenes from Virgin River (spoiler alert!) so that you can check them out for yourself.
Can’t get enough of Virgin River? Check out the book series on which the TV show is based. Written by Robyn Carr, the series has seen over 13 million books sold.
Mel meets Jack scene in Virgin River
Government Road in Brackendale
Mel’s first introduction to Virgin River was certainly less than impressive. After a minor car accident on the way to town, Mel is dismayed to discover that the cabin she’s meant to be living in is nowhere near ready. While the town mayor Hope McCrea (Annette O’Toole) whips the cabin into shape, Mel heads for the nearby bar to grab a bite to eat.
And there, while seated at the bar, she gets her first glimpse of the handsome Jack. Mel is surprised and confused to notice Jack staring at her intently. “What?” she asks, but she’s disarmed and a little embarrassed by his response: “Sorry, we don’t tend to get a lot of visitors in here, certainly not as beautiful as you.”
“Does that line really work?” she fires back, but it’s already clear that these two have chemistry.
Plenty of memorable scenes in Virgin River take place in Jack’s Bar, so why not check this famous establishment out for yourself? Exterior shots of the venue were filmed at The Watershed Grill, which is found on Government Road in Brackendale, roughly an hour’s drive north of Vancouver. Grab a drink, get something to eat, and try to imagine yourself coming face to face with Jack.
Establishing shots of Virgin River scene in Virgin River
Throughout the first season of Virgin River, Mel experiences something of a culture shock as she adapts to life in a small town. Mel is much more accustomed to life in the big city, so moving to a place where everyone knows everyone else was always going to take some getting used to.
The good news is that Virgin River has a lot to offer in the way of small-town charm. It’s an undoubtedly pretty little community boasting a number of cute homes and buildings set against a beautiful natural backdrop.
To capture this distinctive look and feel, the crew relied on a number of shots of streets and buildings in the gorgeous town of Snug Cove. Located on Bowen Island, Snug Cove is accessible by ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. The town has a population of less than 4,000 and is a very pretty place to visit, with the town library and a number of other sites all recognizable to eagle-eyed viewers.
Doc fires Mel scene in Virgin River
Klahanie Campground in Squamish
From the moment he first meets Mel, the cantankerous Doc is clearly unhappy to have her around. After Hope hired Mel without his knowledge, Doc isn’t shy about pointing out that he doesn’t want Mel around. Aware that Doc isn’t going to just let her do what she was hired to do, Mel gives notice that she intends to quit.
But everything changes when Jack discovers a baby who has been abandoned at the clinic. Mel wants to call Social Services, but doc won’t have it: in Virgin River, they look after their own. But when Mel is left with no choice, she reports the abandoned baby to Social Services, much to Doc’s anger.
He confronts Mel at the B&B where she’s staying, and in a furious confrontation tells her she’s fired.
The Fitches Bed and Breakfast is actually Klahanie Campground in Squamish. It’s about 40 miles north of Vancouver on the way to Jack’s Bar’s real-life location, and sits near spectacular Shannon Falls, which also makes an appearance throughout the series.
Mel and Jack kiss scene in Virgin River
Murdo Frazer Park
In season one episode eight, Virgin River fans finally got to see what they’d been waiting for: Mel and Jack sharing a kiss. With Jack romantically entangled with Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley), and Mel still struggling to come to terms with her husband’s death, any chance of intimacy between the two had for a while seemed a long way off.
But that all changes in this memorable episode, when Mel finally realizes she needs to stop blaming herself for her husband’s death. And now that Jack has moved on from Charmaine, he’s ready to show Mel just how much she means to him. And in touching scenes, he takes Mel back to her cabin for one very big surprise: the cabin is finished at last.
“I can’t believe this is the same cabin,” Mel exclaims. “I mean … this is incredible.” Jack explains that he hopes the cabin will offer some comfort to Mel and help her make a fresh start. “I hope you’ll stay,” he says, and the two share a passionate kiss.
Mel’s log cabin home is actually the caretaker’s cabin in Murdo Frazer Park, located in North Vancouver. It’s even listed on Google Maps as Melinda Monroe’s Shack, so this is one Virgin River filming location that’s very easy to track down.
Mel returns to Virgin River scene in Virgin River
First Street in New Westminster
After fleeing town at the end of season 1, Mel returns to Virgin River in episode 1 of season 2 — and she’s met with a frosty reception. Jack is understandably upset that he hasn’t heard from Mel since she left town, and is busy trying to help Charmaine through a difficult pregnancy.
Jack is shocked when he takes Charmaine to the doctor’s practice and finds that Mel has returned. Mel’s explanation that she just needed some time to herself to sort things out isn’t well received. “You don’t need to explain anything to me,” Jack says curtly.
But the person who is truly put out by Mel’s return is Charmaine. With Mel out of the picture, Charmaine hoped she and Jack could start building a future together. “What is she doing here?” Charmaine snaps to Jack, and it’s clear this love triangle is about to get a whole lot messier.
If you’re looking for the doctor’s clinic where Doc Mullins and Mel deal with a host of medical (and romantic) problems, head to 122 First Street in New Westminster. Located roughly 15 miles southeast of downtown Vancouver, this Queen Anne-style residence boasts a wrap-around verandah and is instantly recognizable to any Virgin River fan.
Community picnic scene in Virgin River
Deer Lake Park in Burnaby
In the “Rumor Has It” episode from season 2, the Virgin River community comes together for a picnic and festival to raise some funds for a family in need. It’s meant to be a day of fun and games, but it’s also a chance for the locals to indulge in some good old-fashioned gossiping.
When Mel arrives at the picnic, she can’t help but feel that everyone is staring at her. “Well, can you blame them?” Jack says. “Look at that dress. You're a knockout.”
But Mel is in for a rude shock when she learns the truth: Charmaine has been spreading a nasty rumor about Mel, as Ricky (Grayson Gurnsey) reveals: “My grandma heard from her hairdresser in Clear River that … that you, um … you had sex with Jack to steal him away from Charmaine.”
The Virgin River filming location for this community picnic was Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, a 10-mile drive southeast of the Vancouver city center. It’s a scenic spot with walking trails and lovely lake views, so be sure to include it on your Virgin River itinerary.
Virgin River is pure escapism, offering viewers a wholesome getaway from everyday life. Mel and Jack’s on again, off again romance may be the central plot, but there are plenty of intriguing subplots to follow on the way — and no shortage of gorgeous scenery to admire while you do.
Best of all, the show ain’t done yet. With season four set for release in July 2022 and season five still to come, fans can look forward to a whole lot more romantic intrigue set against a beautiful backdrop.
And while there’s no real-life Virgin River in Northern California, Vancouver and its surrounds offer up the ideal setting for this small-town drama. If you want to visit some of the most memorable Virgin River locations, check out the production venues featured here and treat yourself to a tree change just like Mel.