Or can it?
You’re not alone in wondering. In fact, one sociology student even wrote their Ph.D about the relationships of the town in the books by author Robyn Carr that the Netflix series is based on. While there aren’t any exact replica towns that Carr based Virgin River on, she recently explained to Entertainment Weekly that it’s up to us to create such a place.
“People always write and say, 'Where is it? I want to go there,’ and I have to remind them that it only exists in our hearts and minds,” said Carr. “But to further that thought, we can have that sense of community in our own neighborhood or school or church group or community center or library association. All we have to do is try to create it. We create it by being helpful neighbors and good friends and positive people.”
The titular town of Virgin River, which the show places in northern California, is not based on any specific real towns. The Netflix show opted for scenery from Vancouver and British Columbia to bring it to life. Specifically, some establishing shots were taken on Snug Cove in Bowen Island, Burnaby, and Port Coquitlam. Port Coquitlam, which is 17 miles from Vancouver, is specifically where Samz Pub was shot, reports the Cinemaholic.
And just in case you’re about to Google Virgin River the town out of last-minute desperation, there isn’t such a place. The Virgin River is actually geographically just a tributary of the Colorado River that spans Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. So, technically speaking, you could escape Los Angeles like Melinda Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge) by going there fairly easily. Just...don’t expect it to look the same — and there’s probably not a Jack’s Bar to duck into for a glass of whiskey.