Where is Virgin River filmed? Real life locations of Mel's cabin and Jack's bar

Season five has arrived, and fans want to know more about the beautiful filming locations in Virgin River

Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan sat by a stream and a campfire in Virgin River
(Image credit: Netflix )

It’s not just the unfolding love stories that have Virgin River viewers captivated, as the rolling mountain scenery and crystal clear lakes leave fans wondering where Virgin River is filmed.

The central love story between Virgin River protagonists Jack and Mel has fans of the Netflix show enthralled. Those who are returning to the show for its fifth season are keenly looking for a season four recap and to have the Virgin River season four ending explained ahead of the latest episodes. Meanwhile, with Jack’s former girlfriend pregnant with twins, questions over their paternity have been raised - fans are keen to find out who is the father of Charmaine’s twins on Virgin River, as well as who Mel's father is too - a mystery which was finally revealed in the holiday episodes. 

Not only are the characters of the sleepy rural town leaving viewers glued to their screens, but the beautiful mountain scenery adds to the draw of the show. From the infinite views from Mel's cabin to the Victorian splendour of curmudgeonly Doc’s practice, there’s no shortage of delightful sets and locations. Here’s everything we know about where Virgin River is filmed.

Where is Virgin River filmed? 

Virgin River is filmed entirely in Canada. Filming for season five took place over the summer in 2022, and the cast and crew returned to the Canadian city of Vancouver and various locations around British Columbia to work on the latest installment.

Predominantly, the areas of Squamish, Burnaby, and Port Coquitlam are used within the series. No stranger to being used as a filming set, this area of British Columbia has played host to the shooting of shows including Riverdale and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, among many others.

The show's location scout, W. Robert "Fluffy" Millar, previously told Netflix's Tudum, "I’m always trying to one-up each episode, always trying to find a prettier, more stunning vista, or another easily accessible, dense forest, and it’s quite a blessing to be doing a show like this in British Columbia."

Other productions filmed in and around Vancouver include Lucifer, The Vampire Diaries, The X Files, and Yellowjackets, while more recently Thor: Love and Thunder was filmed in the city.

Is Virgin River a real place?

No, Virgin River is not a real place. Robyn Carr - author of the book series of which the Netflix show is based on - has previously confirmed that Virgin River is a fictional town.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the hordes of fans asking her if Virgin River is real, Carr said "I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds". She added "But to further that thought, we can have that sense of community in our own neighbourhood or school or church group or community centre or library association. All we have to do is try to create it. We create it by being helpful neighbours and good friends and positive people".

Where is Mel's cabin in Virgin River? 

The cabin is real, and is in the Murdo Frazer Park in North Vancouver. Built in 1950, the cabin is actually inhabited - it is the home of the park’s caretaker. 

Aptly named 'The Caretaker’s Cottage', the cabin is also no stranger to featuring on television. According to Movie Maps, the cabin featured as the Lost Creek ranger station in Supernatural, and Henry Allen’s home in The Flash. It also featured heavily as Jack’s fishing cabin in Stargate SG-1, and has made a host of further appearances. 

Location scout Millar offered an insight into how the scenes in Mel's Cabin are filmed, revealing, "They use big photographic backdrops hanging from the ceiling, so when you’re inside and look out the window, it’s actually high-resolution photos taken of the area around the real cabin."

He added, "We also found out last year that the District of North Vancouver received a heritage grant to refurbish the cabin, because it's actually sinking. 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."

ALEXANDRA BRECKENRIDGE as MEL MONROE and TIM MATHESON as DOC MULLINS sat next to Mel's cabin in Virgin River

(Image credit: Netflix)

When Mel arrives in Virgin River in season one, the interior of the cabin is in a dilapidated state. She immediately begins to regret her decision to move from the bright lights and comforts of Los Angeles. Hope McCrea promises the cabin will be made fully habitable, finding Mel alternative accommodation. Jack later renovates the cabin to the cosy place Mel comes to call home. 

Where is Jack's bar in Virgin River filmed? 

The external filming of scenes at Jack’s Bar takes place at the Watershed Grill in Brackendale, North of Vancouver - beside the Squamish River. For the interior scenes, a studio was used. 

According to Condé Nast Traveller, the Watershed Grill is 40 miles north of Vancouver, and is a popular spot for eagle-spotting. The bar and restaurant’s website announces it to be "One of Squamish's best kept secrets, our riverside patio provides the best vibes in the corridor".

Meanwhile, the Instagram account for the Watershed Grill shares not only pictures of the delicious-looking food served, but also the picturesque scenery keen location spotters will recognise. One fan wrote under a picture shared by the account, "I’m ready for some Watershed Gill in July - Virgin River".

Where is Doc Mullins practice in Virgin River?

Doc Mullins’ Family Practice Clinic can be found in New Westminster, Canada. Built in 1889, the address is 122 First Street, New Westminster. 

According to Marie Claire, the Queen Anne-style property is situated in the historic Queen’s Park neighbourhood, and boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a wrap-around veranda, and beautiful gardens. The property last went on sale in 2021, for a cool $2.3 million.  

Where is the waterfall in Virgin River? 

The waterfall is situated in Shannon Falls Provincial Park. According to the park’s website, Shannon Falls comprises a series of cliffs, and the third-highest falls in the province.

The featured flowing waters of Shannon Falls originate from Mount Habrich and Mount Sky Pilot. The area is popular with cyclists, climbers and hikers, and has many viewing platforms providing access to stunning views of the falls. 

Where is Snug Cove in Virgin River? 

Snug Cove is located on the east coast of Bowen Island, British Columbia. The small coastal town is used as the Virgin River town, as is a community of approximately 3,700 people.

Scenes featuring the characters shopping take place here, and the local library and high street have featured in the show. According to Destination Vancouver, Snug Cove provides an idyllic escape for those seeking relaxation and wellness. Among the relaxation-inspired experiences on offer, are yoga and massages, horseback riding and scuba diving. 

Where is Virgin River set?

Virgin River is set in northern California, where the fictional town is said to be located.

Though Virgin River is not a real place, 'Virgin River' is actually the name of a real stretch of water in the US. Although not related to the series, it's a tributary of the Colorado River in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Approximately 162 miles in length, it became Utah's first designated wild and scenic river in 2009. The endangered Virgin River Chub can be found living in this stretch of river.

Real life towns like Virgin River 

Aside from Snug Cove providing a Virgin River experience, visiting British Columbia will largely offer a similar atmosphere. Near Snug Cove, Burnaby also provides the same Virgin River vibes, and the exterior of Hope’s house is found here, as well as Paige’s Bakeaway truck being situated in Burnaby’s Fraser Foreshore Park. 

East of Vancouver is Port Coquitlam. Local businesses here have acted as Samz Pub, and Charmaine’s hair salon. Agassiz, 90 minutes east of Vancouver, has the accolade of being the place where the 'Welcome to Virgin River' sign was placed for filming. Although the only time the town was featured, it has the same beauty and stunning scenery of other places featured heavily in the show.

Virgin River fans might also want to know more about Mel's pregnancy in season three. Elsewhere on Netflix, we've taken a look at where matchmaking reality show The Ultimatum is filmed, and revealed whether Painkiller is a true story.

Lucy Wigley
TV writer - contributing

Lucy is a multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ experience writing about entertainment, parenting and family life. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and telling you why you should watch them.