What better way to enjoy the nice warm weather than to travel to the same location where your beloved television show was filmed? Not all the scenes from television shows are filmed in a studio with a live audience like Wandavision (2021) or in front of a green screen where the editors add in the digital background.
Depending on the nature of the television series, whether it is set up as a comedy series or a drama, some are filmed at a location that is made out to be a completely different place than it is in the series. Yet, there are a few shows that are filmed on location and can be visited by tourists whenever the show’s not being filmed.
‘Chicago Fire’ (2012 – ), ‘Chicago PD’ (2014 – ), & ‘Chicago Med’ (2015 -) – Chicago, Illinois
NBC’s Chicago Fire (2012 -), Chicago PD (2014 – ), and Chicago Med (2015 – ) emphasize how relationships can triumph over the harsh everyday realities that these characters handle whether they are putting out fires, solving crimes, or treating patients. Just like the names entail, all three shows are filmed in Chicago. Even though the locations used in the shows are renamed, these actual places that were used in the show can be seen around the city even if the owners of the building won’t allow tours.
The exterior shots of the fire station on Chicago Fire are of the real Chicago Fire Department Engine 18 and the exterior shots of the police station in Chicago PD are of the UIC Police Headquarters at 943 W. Maxwell St, according to Choose Chicago. The shots of the Gaffney Medical Center on Chicago Med are actually shots of the Rush University Medical Center. Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med are available on Peacock and NBC.
‘The Walking Dead’ (2010 – 2022) – Senoia, Georgia
The Walking Dead (2010 – 2022) followed multiple characters as they hunted, and fought their way to survive a never-ending zombie or “Walker” attacks. The characters continuously traveled whether it was by horse, on foot, or by boat to a new location hoping to gather food and other materials before they started walking again. They developed independent communities and defended them from attackers.
In season three, one of the first organized communities that the characters met was run by the Governor. This city, protected by a wall fence, was located in Woodbury, Georgia. The actual location where The Walking Dead’s season three was filmed was on Main Street in Senoia, Georgia. The Walking Dead is available on AMC and on Netflix.
‘Yellowstone’ (2018 – ) – Darby, Montana
The neo-western Yellowstone (2018 – ) starred Kevin Costner as Jon Dutton, a proud owner of the largest family-owned ranch in Montana. His family members all had some position of power and made sure to protect their family’s property. They were often battling land developers, politicians, and the Indiana Reservation who all wanted a piece of Dutton’s land. Season 5 of Yellowstone will premiere in 2022 on Paramount.
The fictional Duffon ranch surrounded by breathtaking Montana landscapes is actually filmed on the historical Chief Joseph Ranch in Darby, Montana. When the television show isn’t filming its newest season, guests can stay a few nights at the ranch. The filming locations that were filmed at the ranch include Rip’s cabin, Trapper cabin, armory, barns, etc.
‘The Flight Attendant’ (2020 – ) – Queens, New York
Cassie Bowden’s (Kaley Cuoco) life revolved around work. As a flight attendant, she traveled all around the world, but one night she woke up without any recollection of what happened the night before. This proved to be problematic since the man in her hotel room is dead, and she could have been the last person that saw him alive.
The Flight Attendant took place in New York City where Cassie boards her flight to Bangkok. The real airport that was used in The Flight Attendant was the actual JFK airport in Queens, NY without closing it off for filming, according to Bustle. Some backdrops used for the scenes in Bangkok used the Picnic Hotel in the Rangnam District, while others were created only for the TV show.
‘Vikings’ (2013 – 2020) and ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ (2022- ) – Wicklow County, Ireland
Vikings (2013 – 2020) focused on Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his Viking clan as they fought those who got in their way as they conquered nearby lands. Vikings: Valhalla (2022- ) is the sequel to History Channel’s TV series Vikings. In Vikings: Valhalla, the focus shifted to Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and Harald Sigurdsoon (Leo Suter) as they strived to protect Kattegat and defeat England.
Both TV shows filmed their scenes in Ireland and in both shows the city of Kattegat played a vital role. In Vikings, Ragnar controlled the village. In Vikings: Valhalla, Kattegat was under Jarl Estrid Haakon’s (Caroline Henderson) control. The real Kattegat is not a city, but the area between Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The harbor was built for the Vikings series and sat on Lough Tay in Wicklow County, Ireland while the backdrops of Norway scenery were later added in. Vikings is available on Hulu, and Vikings: Valhalla is available on Netflix.
‘Bridgerton’ (2020 – ) – England
The Netflix Original Bridgerton (2020- ) included heartfelt romances that fans from around the world couldn’t get enough of. The television series was set in England during the Regency Era when the Bridgerton family members were seeking the ideal partner to wed. Each season concentrated on different characters as they navigated their romantic relationships.
The settings used in the tv series set in the 1800s had to match those that would typically be seen during that time; most of the filming took place in Bath. The first two seasons that showed the Bridgerton family mansion were filmed at the Ranger’s House in Greenwich, England. Queen Charlotte’s home in the TV series was filmed at the Hampton Court Palace, which belonged to King Henry VIII. Bridgerton is streaming on Netflix.
‘Downton Abbey’ (2010 – 2015) & ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ (2022)- Hampshire, England
Downton Abbey (2010 – 2015) focused on the aristocratic Crawley family as they handled romances and tensions in the early 20th century. Downton Abbey fans had a chance to rejoice as the period drama released its film, Downton Abbey: A New Era in 2022, a sequel to the series. While the series started off with the family preparing for the upcoming visit from the Royal family, the 2022 film focused on a family mystery.
The period drama Downton Abbey based its storylines on authentic events from history. Similarly, the TV series and the film used real-life locations such as the Victorian castle which is home to the Crawley family in the TV series, is real Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England which belonged to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Visitors have a chance to tour the Highclere Castle and rent the castle for special events. Downton Abbey is available on Peacock and Downton Abbey: A New Era is currently in theaters.
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