Self-guided Tours for Film Buffs in Vancouver

Courtesy Fangirl Quest.

At any given moment, Vancouver is rife with superheroes, sci-fi detectives, romantic (and raunchy) duos and other fantasy characters. The city is one of North America’s biggest film and TV show hubs, and home to more productions than ever before – and the gorgeously scenic backdrops seen on the big and small screens can easily be visited IRL. Check out our filming locations roundup below highlighting popular blockbusters ranging from fantasy to thriller to save-the-world superhero.

50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. Stroll through downtown Vancouver past Bentall 5 (fans will recognize this pristine business tower as the home of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.) and along the seawall in tranquil Coal Harbour (where Grey went for runs beside the water). Drive or catch a bus to the sprawling University of British Columbia campus, which doubled as Washington State University where Ana attended school. Stop for a photo at Beaver Lake in Stanley Park where Grey and Ana finalize their “contract” terms and share a kiss. Retire to your room at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (bonus points for staying in the infamous Lieutenant Governor’s Suite where the Grey and Ana’s trysts took place!).

Courtesy Flickr/Ruth Hartnup.

Riverdale. Rent a car and travel 25 minutes to historic Fort Langley, then to Mission for a look at Rocko’s Family Diner (also known as the infamous Pop’s Chockl’lit Shoppe, though only the pilot was filmed here). Riverdale High School is actually John Oliver Secondary School, and Sweetwater River – where Jason Blossom mysteriously vanished – is based on Alouette Lake in scenic Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Bates Motel. Drive out to Horseshoe Bay where ferries regularly transport passengers to Vancouver Island. This small community doubles as White Pine Bay, home to subtle psychopath Norman Bates and his even crazier mother (touring tip: nearby Lighthouse Park features a series of hikes leading out to stunning viewpoints). White Pine Bay scenes were also shot in Steveston, Richmond (a 25-minute drive from downtown Vancouver) – walk along the docks by the fishing boats, which feature prominently in the show, and treat yourself to boardwalk fish ‘n chips.

Courtesy Britannia Mine Museum.

Supernatural. This otherworldly thriller has left its mark all over Vancouver and surrounding regions. Take a trip up the Instagram-worthy Sea to Sky Highway to the Britannia Mine Museum, where Dean and others are found hanging from the ceiling in the chilling “Wendigo” episode. Tranquil Buntzen Lake (near Port Moody) is where strange drownings occurred in the “Dead in the Water” episode. And Vancouver International Airport – considered one of the best airports in the world – featured in the episode “Phantom Traveler”, where Sam and Dean try to stop Amanda Walker from catching her flight.

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