TV Road Trip
Tour the real life locations that either inspired – or were the backdrop to – some of TV’s most iconic shows
With a Gilmore Girls reboot that has fans desperate to once again circle the Stars Hollow gazebo, we rounded up the towns and cities where you’ll find all the best small-screen landmarks. We’ve planned a few trips that weave nostalgia with wanderlust to pay homage to your fave TV franchises…
Take a Seussian-Stars-Hollow-Suburban-60s Flashback
START in Springfield, Massachusetts – not the Springfield of The Simpsons but the birthplace of Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, whose rhythmic musings inspired the iconic childhood TV specials. Features of the town channel the surrealist illustrations from the books and television shows.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE when you hear a Who.
DRIVE 103 kilometres south-west to the town of Washington, Connecticut where the creator of the Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote the pitch and most of the pilot episode of the beloved mother-daughter dramedy. While it might not have the studio-set charm (or the gazebo), it may just be the perfect backdrop to incessant strings of witty banter at a caffeine-induced pace.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE when Miss Patty starts giving you the eye.
DRIVE 185 kilometres south-west to cruise the streets of Ossining, New York in dapper style as you channel your best Don or Betty Draper. The streets of this Westchester County village are less Stepford-Wives ominous than they were portrayed in the very stylish Mad Men.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE when you spot Betty with a shotgun.
Do a Canadian-Creek-even-(Gil)more-and-the-Six Circuit
START in Goodwood, Ontario – the town used to represent the unfortunately named Schitt’s Creek. The real townsfolk have graciously embraced their TV moniker and are serious fans of the show. Located in Uxbridge, Goodwood has set the scene for a number of other productions from Lars and the Real Girl (Oh hey, Ryan Gosling!) to Grey Gardens.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE when the Rose family approach you for money.
DRIVE 44 kilometres south-west to Unionville, Ontario, which was the original Stars Hollow for the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls. What? More Gilmore Girls? Yes, because as any fan knows, the idyllic and charming town was as much a character as Kirk, Babette or Mrs. Kim. And the fact that Stars Hollow is in Canada kinda rules.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE if Taylor comes at you with a town ordinance.
DRIVE 53 kilometres south-west to Toronto, Ontario, where you can take your pick from the famous locations of this popular stand-in city. From the suspense-filled streets of Orphan Black to the teen-angsty sidewalks of Degrassi (the original stomping ground of the 6 god himself, Drake), Toronto is a small-screen hotbed.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE at the first sign of Helena.
Take a Heroes-&-Aliens-Good-vs-Evil Excursion
START in Dallas, Texas where the legacy of an oil tycoon and his good-looking-but-damned family played out in both the 80s and again in 2012 via Dallas.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE before pistols are drawn.
DRIVE 565 kilometres west to Odessa, Texas to mingle with heroes of both the everyday and “super” variety. Heroes fans will recognize it as the hometown of HRG (aka Noah Bennet) and his regenerating cheerleader daughter Claire, and where a lot of the Heroes action took place. TV High School football fans may know it as the real town on which Friday Night Lights was based.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE before Sylar tries to pick your brain.
DRIVE 338 kilometres north-west to Roswell, New Mexico if alien encounters are your thing. Between YA-books-turned-teen-drama Roswell and the constant references to the famed (alleged) alien crash site in The X-Files, the New Mexico town has become synonymous with televisual close encounters.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE when you see lights in the sky.
DRIVE 322 kilometres north-west to Albuquerque, New Mexico to cook up some trouble. Home to the heroes and antiheroes of Breaking Bad, the desert surroundings created a stunning backdrop to some of the most haunting scenes on television.
IT’S TIME TO LEAVE when the Winnebago starts smoking.