The Gilmore Girls graced TV screens from 2000 to 2007. It was a great show for moms and their daughters to watch together. It may take place in a little town but that little town wasn’t where you might think it is. So just where was Gilmore Girls filmed? Hopefully, you won’t be disappointed with the answer.

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - The Family
Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed Backdrop - The Entire Cast

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed?

The show’s interior shots were mostly filmed on sound stages at Warner Bros Studio in Burbank. The exterior shots of Rory’s prep school, Chilton, were filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, CA. The Harvard visit wasn’t actually filmed at Harvard. It was filmed at UCLA.

The Storyline Behind The Gilmore Girls

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - Early Cast

The story is about a young 30-something mom named Lorelai Gilmore who’s raising her daughter in a quaint little town in Connecticut called Stars Hollow. The town of Washington, Connecticut served as the inspiration for the series.

The story follows Lorelai and Rory through the tangled web of their many relationships with the local townsfolk as well as the men that move in and out of their lives.  It’s a mother/daughter story that also has the pair acting and behaving more like best friends. So you can see how intriguing this dynamic can be. This heartwarming program actually helped make it cool for daughters to talk to their moms.

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - Later Cast

Lorelai comes from a wealthy background and falls pregnant at the age of 16. Instead of marrying the baby’s father, she chooses instead to strike out on her own so she can make her own decisions. The many characters of Stars Hollow provide a rich backdrop that has many relationships intertwining.

The Cast

The main cast of Gilmore Girls featured Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore), Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore), Melissa McCarthy (Sookie St. James), Keiko Agena (Lane Kim), and Scott Patterson (Luke Danes).

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - Lauren Graham

Other major recurring characters include Edward Herrmann (Richard Gilmore), Yanic Truesdale (Michel Gerard), and Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore). Sean Gunn (Kirk), Liza Weil (Paris), and Matt Czuchry (Logan) also had major recurring roles throughout the series.

In addition to the main cast, many other notable stars made guest appearances on Gilmore Girls, including Chris Eigeman, Chad Michael Murray, Jon Hamm, Danny Strong and Milo Ventimiglia. 

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - Mother and Daughter

The show featured a plethora of celebrity cameos over its seven-season run, with stars like Ariana Grande, Nick Offerman and Amy Sherman-Palladino appearing in various episodes.

In the final episode of Season 7, Bon Voyage, Christiane Amanpour makes a guest appearance at the Dragonfly Inn. 

The Director

The show was created, directed and produced by Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel. Unfortunately, in April 2006 the pair could not come to an agreement to continue their contracts. The dispute involved the hiring of additional writers. The pair wanted to hire two more writers to maintain the integrity of the show. Unfortunately, the CW network didn’t think it was necessary. 

While Gilmore Girls was renewed for another season, Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband, Daniel would no longer be involved.

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - Kitchen Conversation

Fun Facts About the Gilmore Girls

One of the most notable fun fact is that Lauren Graham has a clause in all of her contracts that allows her to take time off from a production if there’s a Gilmore Girls revival.

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - BTS with Lauren Graham

The theme song is a revised version of Carole King’s 1971 song “Where You Lead.” Carole King also played the part of a music shop owner during the series.

Time Magazine listed the Gilmore Girls as one of the “All-Time 100 TV Shows” in 2011 and was ranked the 87th greatest American television series.

Keiko Agena was 26 playing the part of a 15 year old when she started with the Gilmore Girls in 2000. 

It should go without saying that Melissa Gilbert (aka Sookie) went on to feature in movies.

Can You Visit Stars Hollow?

If you ever find yourself in Burbank, California, you can absolutely go on the Stars Hollow Studio Tour

If you find yourself in Connecticut and need a Gilmore Girls fix, you can always take the road trip tour that inspired the show. 

Where Was Gilmore Girls Filmed - Skateboarding Down the Street

What is Connecticut Famous For?

Being one of the six New England states, Connecticut is the nutmeg state and famous for its fall foliage and great universities. There’s Yale University in New Haven, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Connecticut is also home to the famous author, Mark Twain, and where the first American dictionary was written. It’s been called the insurance capital of the United States because of its number of insurance companies.

Connecticut has several native American tribes that have lived in the state. The first native American tribe dates back to 1636. You’ll see that the state has several places that include native American tribe names such as Pequot, Niantic, Mohegan, and Hammonasset.

Unique Places in Connecticut

There are some weird places to visit in Connecticut. Here are a few to help get you started:

  • Hogpen Hills Farms
  • Thread City Crossing Bridge
  • Chapel of Our Lady of Assumption
  • The Facade House
  • Old Newgate Prison
  • Witch’s Dungeon
  • The Crypt at Center Church
  • The Barnum Museum
  • Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal

I can honestly say that I’m disappointed that I never knew about these places before. I would’ve definitely visited a few of them. 

Things to Do in Connecticut

The weather will definitely be a factor when visiting Connecticut especially if you plan on taking part in outdoor activities. But here’s a list of places you might want to check out:

  • Mystic Seaport*
  • Historic Ship Nautilus & Submarine Force Museum
  • Lake Compounce Amusement Park
  • Beardsley Zoo
  • Hammonasset Beach State Park*
  • Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration*
  • Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum
  • Gillete Castle State Park*
  • Mark Twain House
  • Yale University Art Gallery
  • Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center
  • New England Air Museum
  • Roseland Cottage

*These are places I have visited myself and can personally recommend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Gilmore Girls house a real house?

Sadly, the house doesn’t exist in real life. It was built on the Warner Bros. Studio lot.

Where is Emily and Richard Gilmore’s house?

This is a fictional house located in Hartford, Connecticut. The Gilmore house in the very first episode is a real house located in Toronto, Canada. The fictional house you see in the future episodes was built on a studio lot.

When was Gilmore Girls filmed?

Gilmore Girls debuted on October 5, 2000 and aired for 7 seasons until May 15, 2007.

A Little Trivia

As a Connecticut native myself, I found a few interesting things about the Gilmore Girls. For instance, the number on Luke’s Diner is 156. Route 156 is a secondary road that runs from Devil’s Hopyard/North Lyme along part of the coast all the way to New London. Coincidence? Hmmm!

There are two places in the opening scenes of the pilot that I actually recognize. One is Route 11 where they had to blast through rock to build the highway. The second thing I recognized was that you can see the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam is in the background during that first drive to Chilton.

Additional Film Location Resources

If you are looking for more film locations similar to The Gilmore Girls, insider information and behind the scenes footage of your favorite movies – here are some additional posts for you to check out:

Final Thoughts

I think that most will agree that Gilmore Girls became a phenomenon. Many Gilmore Girls fans are anxiously awaiting the announcement of a final, final show to further tie up the loose ends dropped at the end of the Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life movies from Thanksgiving 2016. 

If you want to check out the inspirational town of Washington, it is west of Hartford and very near the New York border. As someone born and raised in Connecticut, any time of year is a good time to visit Connecticut. But most people enjoy going during the summer and fall. You can’t beat the seafood, beaches, and weather in the summer. And the fall will provide you with plenty of color on crisp Autumn days.

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