Ever since I was introduced to the world of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls nearly 16 years ago, I have always wanted to live in a small town. Though Stars Hollow's assortment picturesque landmarks and quirky townsfolk are strictly fictional, it's the eccentricity, the tight-knit communities, and the charm of rich storytelling possibilities that make me want to pack my bags and move to a town like it. For me, the idyllic setting — which Rory and Lorelai called their home for the seven seasons the series was on air — was hard to not be swept up into.
Granted, Luke Danes — the grumpy diner owner and long-time resident of the town — constantly questioned the insanities of such close quarter domains, like there being “twelve stores in [the] town devoted entirely to peddling porcelain unicorns,” the trials and tribulations of small town life wouldn't be the same without such a captivating setting.
In the midst of my Stars Hollow dreams, I began to think about all the other shows that would bring me what I craved so much while watching Gilmore Girls — that perfect small town feel, witty personalities, and an abundance of crazy drama. I thought it was only best to take a little trip, and knew you would want to come along — because wherever Stars Hollow leads, who wouldn't want to follow? So, without further delay, here's your convenient travel guide to steer you in the right direction of all the best small towns in TV shows that all fans of Gilmore Girls — and Stars Hollow — will love.
1. Bluebell, Hart Of Dixie
When a young, up-and-coming New York doctor Zoe Hart takes up a job offer from one Dr. Harley Wilkes that's based in the very hot Alabama town of Bluebell, she comes to find that he is dead and has left half his medical practice to her. Though the town is full of mosquitoes, flies, fire ants, and the occasional alligator, Bluebell's old-fashioned town traditions and clothing will give you serious Stars Hollow flashbacks. Not to mention, it uses the old Gilmore Girls set on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, complete with the iconic gazebo in the center of town.
2. Dillon, Friday Night Lights
The blue-collar suburb of Dillon, Texas was a staple for a show, which surrounded relatable, hard-working families who struggled under the economic decline. Though the show followed the lives of football players and their home lives, Dillon represented countless real American small towns that exuded real heart and substance, as well as obvious devotion to their local high school football teams. Gooooo Panthers!
3. Tree Hill, One Tree Hill
There is only one Tree Hill, and believe me when I say, it is your home — because, it seriously is. This drama-filled, basketball loving town in North Carolina, stopped being quiet a long time ago, but with the stories that unfold between half-brothers Lucas and Nathan Scott, there is never a dull moment walking through the hallways of Tree Hill High School. Throw in some crazy nannies, a murderous brother, a psycho stalker, and a few love triangles and you have yourself a recipe fit for the perfect basket on the river court.
4. Sunnydale, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
As Xander Harris says, "Sunnydale: come for the food, stay for the dismemberment." Despite this town being inhabited by a ton of vampires, demons, and various other mystical creatures, there is really no need to worry, because one fated high-schooler will be there to save the day. Also worth mentioning: the residents of Sunnydale are always positive, and no matter the number of apocalypses they have survived, they continue to celebrate the living again and again at The Bronze.
5. Mystic Falls, The Vampire Diaries
Another small town... even more vampires. If you can look past the fact that this small town is overrun by vampires, then Mystic Falls is the real place to be. Especially given the fact that this town has richer history than any other, celebrating with the blood-sucking Salvatore brothers at town festivals and balls is seriously worth the risk.
6. Neptune, Veronica Mars
Looking for a home with high brows, high class, and high wads of cash? Then you found it in Neptune. Sure, it is basically a town of the no middle-class community, but with much coin comes much misconduct. Throw in a teenage girl's murder, child abuse, scandal, sardonic humor, a disbarred sheriff, and a super-sleuth best friend, and you are in for a treat at Neptune High.
7. Capeside, Dawson's Creek
Just as dreamy as Dawson and Pacey, Capeside has all the makings of a fairy-tale retreat. Whether you want to meet up with friends and navigate through all adolescence has to offer on the dock, at The Icehouse, or Leery's Fresh Fish, Capeside has that quaint surroundings you wish you grew up in. Also obviously THE place to visit and drink the water because everyone who inhabits the tiny Massachusetts coast is gorgeous AF.
8. Rosewood, Pretty Little Liars
Sometimes, the best small towns have the biggest secrets. And Rosewood is chalk full of them. But let's not forget the beautiful restaurants, grand hotels, hip coffee shops, one hell of a church tower and mental institution, this little sordid town in Pennsylvania that follows the lives of four pretty friends who try to solve the mystery of the murder of their best friend, Rosewood really has something for everyone and seriously guys, it's really is to die for.
But, word of caution: buckle up b*tches, because here, nothing is as it really seems. - A
9. Twin Peaks, Twin Peaks
One more town, one more murder... who knew small town charm also meant small town danger?! In Twin Peaks, Washington, the bizarre murder of a young girl who washes up on a the shore of a beach rocks the entire rural area and brings an FBI detective solving much more than a slain. FYI: have a blanket close by while you watch because this trippy town will send chills through your entire body.
10. Everwood, Everwood
After a widowed brain surgeon leaves his home in Manhattan and vacates the quaint town of Everwood, Colorado — this picturesque landscape is what postcards are made of.
11. Pawnee, Parks And Recreation
Said to be the greatest town in America, Pawnee is filled with hilarious quirks of the town's public officials. Always sunny and home to a famous miniature horse, Pawnee is downright sunshine, rainbows and crazy. Special stand-outs: Leslie Knope played by Amy Poehler, 'nuff said.
12. Smallville, Smallville
I guess the name says it all. Local boy superhero Clark Kent takes up residence in this typical American Kansas town where hiding behind a tall crop of corn is not the best place to conceal your alter identity. With the best points of interest being the Kent Farm and Smallville High School, this town has more than its fair share of extraterrestrial-borne wackiness.
It's no wonder, small towns have all the fun or better yet, mystery. In such small quarters, with such big personalities, the charm and appeal of each one, can definitely take a village. So, are your bags packed yet?
Images: Warner Bros. Television (3); The CW (3); NBC Universal (2); 20th Century Fox Television; Freeform; CBS