10 Real-Life Locations of Fictional Television Hangouts
Fans of the original version of The Office planning a trip to England in order to snap a picture in front of the Crossbow House in Slough, which served as the exterior of the Wernham Hogg Paper Company, are bound to be disappointed. In late 2013, it was announced that the building was set to be demolished. But pop culture fans looking to make a road trip visiting the real-life locations featured in some of their favorite television shows shouldn’t fret: plenty of other photo ops await!
1. A1A CAR WASH // BREAKING BAD
John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons
The A1A Car Wash in Breaking Bad was really the Octopus Car Wash in Albuquerque, one of the mini-chain’s seven locations in the area. Which means that even if you opt for the priciest package, no one will tell you to “Have an A1 day!”
2. THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL // THE WALKING DEAD
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre/Facebook
Think all the way back to the first season of The Walking Dead—before The Farm and/or The Prison—and you might recall that the band of survivors had one destination in mind: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And when they finally reached their destination, it was glorious (at least for a few hours). Anyone looking to take a peek inside the location is welcome to do so … as long as you’ve got a ticket. Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre doubled as the CDC.
3. THE DOUBLE R DINER // TWIN PEAKS
In David Lynch’s early ’90s cult series, The Double R Diner is known for serving up a fabulous cherry pie and “a damn fine cup o’ coffee.” In real life, the diner—located in North Bend, Washington—is known as Twede’s Café, and counts both of those menu items among its specialties. (Just don’t ask who killed Laura Palmer… they’ve gotten enough of that over the years.)
4. CHEERS // CHEERS
Though the long-running series shot on a sound stage in Los Angeles, the Boston pub where everybody knows your name was based on The Bull & Finch Tavern, a real tavern in Beantown’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, which changed its name to Cheers in 2002.
5. DOWNTON ABBEY // DOWNTON ABBEY
Yes, there really is a Downton Abbey. In Newbury, England. Only it’s called Highclere Castle. It’s just as stunning in real life as it appears on the show—with its Victorian stylings and 1000 acres of land. And yes, it is open to the public, but only for a handful of days each year (so make your plans early).
6. FANGTASIA // TRUE BLOOD
With HBO’s True Blood getting ready to launch its final season, Bon Temps’ favorite vampire bar, Fangtasia, isn’t long for this world. But the punk dive bar that serves as its filming location, Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, California, isn’t going anywhere. You don’t find any Tru Blood on tap, but they do pour a mean Guinness. And there’s karaoke!
7. THE PEACH PIT // BEVERLY HILLS, 90210
Just as Brandon and Nat moved on to bigger and better things, so too did The Peach Pit, the beloved diner that supposedly served up some of 90210’s best burgers. But during the teen drama’s first season, Los Angeles’ Apple Pan provided the diner’s exterior. In season two, filming moved to Ruby’s Diner in Pasadena, which has since closed.
8. MIAMI METRO POLICE STATION // DEXTER
Though it was set in Miami, the bulk of Dexter was filmed in and around Los Angeles. At least after it was clear that the show was a hit. In order to establish authenticity, the first few episodes of the series’ first season were shot in Magic City, with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Headquarters playing the part of the Miami Metro Police Station. Close enough!
9. OLIVIA POPE & ASSOCIATES // SCANDAL
There’s a whole lot of drama happening behind the ornate exterior of the building that houses the offices of Olivia Pope & Associates on Scandal. And the same can be said for what happens here in real life, as Olivia’s crisis management skills are put to the test on the top floors of the Downtown Palace Theatre.
10. MISS ROBICHEAUX’S ACADEMY // AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Shooting in New Orleans gave the third season of American Horror Story just the right amount of creepy Southern Gothic style. This includes the Buckner Mansion, a privately owned home in the city’s Garden District which served as the location of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies (a.k.a. a witch school).