Is Stars Hollow a Real Place? 'Gilmore Girls' Home, Unfortunately, Is as Fictional as Jess Mariano
If you didn't dream of running away to Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls as an angsty teenager, then congratulations, I guess you managed to skip all of the troubles of puberty. For everyone else who dreamed of a town just like Stars Hollow, Conn. and a stomping ground like Luke's Diner, the town seemed like a magical mystical place. Before you start packing your bags, though, I do have to break the news to you: Gilmore Girls' Stars Hollow is not a real place. It is however, based on very real feelings about small town life.
Show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino once vacationed in Washington, Conn. and as she told the Hartford Courant, she "fell in love with the state over the course of two days." She stayed at the Mayflower Grace Inn and couldn't get over the fact that everyone in all these little towns across the state knew each other and were nice to each other — a far cry from living in crowded Los Angeles. In an interview back in 2001 with the Desert News, Sherman-Palladino explained, "it was beautiful, it was magical, and it was feeling of warmth and small-town camaraderie...There was a longing for that in my own life." Thus, Stars Hollow was born.
The Stars Hollow we know and love is a combination of all these feelings, and what it's like to live in a town where everyone knows your name. The fictional town is supposedly set about 30 minutes from Hartford, where Lorelai's parent's live. It's also not too far away from Yale, which Rory later attends. I guess you could say that Stars Hollow was our Pawnee back in the 2000s; we wondered why our small towns couldn't be more like it, and if given the option we would pack our bags and be on the next train out there.
What remains of the fictional Stars Hollow set can now be found on the Warner Brothers' back lot, and yes, you can take a tour through the area. The exterior sets are now used to films shows like Pretty Little Liars and Hart of Dixie, so you might have already seen it pop up on TV in the last few years. Also, the big musical number that opens 2011's The Muppet Movie was filmed on the Stars Hollow town square, because that is most definitely the iconic gazebo in the background. It's just a shame that Luke's Diner isn't a real place, because I could always go for another cup of coffee.
Image: Warner Bros. Television