Neither True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto nor city officials from the location in question have tried to hide that the Season 2 setting of Vinci, California is inspired by Vernon, a real place in Los Angeles County, as the showrunner confirmed to Vanity Fair. Although none of us are clamoring to move to the decidedly bleak industrial city of Vinci, many fans are intrigued by the unique setting and we certainly wouldn't mind spending a day or two there. If the city hasn't exactly attracted tourists in the past, that may be about to change — it's history is undeniably fascinating and True Detective has brought Vernon into the public eye.
Vernon's physical appearance is strikingly similar to what we see on HBO every Sunday, which is likely due to the fact that some scenes were actually shot there, as city spokesman Frederic MacFarlane confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. This authenticity further aids the eerie feeling that Vinci itself is a character with as many secrets as the brooding detectives investigating Ben Caspere's murder. If we stepped off the train in Vernon, we'd probably feel as though we had walked into a scene from True Detective — and not just because the two cities share a water tower as their distinguishing landmark.
So next time you're in Los Angeles, consider spending a few hours in Vernon and taking in the scenery of the city that looks just like Vinci.
1. City Of Vernon Water Tower
This photo of Vernon's water tower and the surrounding area was taken from an Amtrak train in 2011. It looks nearly identical to the Vinci landmark we see on True Detective every week.
2. Los Angeles River
The LA River, which is 51 miles, begins in Canoga Park and runs through Downtown Los Angeles and its neighboring cities, including Vernon (shown here).
3. Moon Over Vernon
This photo's otherworldly quality really makes it look like it belongs in a scene from True Detective.
4. Panoramic View Of Vernon
This panoramic photo, which was taken in 2013, captures the same industrial wasteland feel that we see on our screens every week.
5. View Of The Cityscape
With Vernon's main landmark in the distance, we can see that the small city (5.2 square miles, to be exact) is dominated by plants and warehouses.
6. Sunset Over Vernon
We've seen Detectives Velcoro and Bezzerides drive these roads as they have some of their best conversations. Vernon's sunset game is pretty strong; can we please get some shots of it on the show?
7. Empty Spaces
Any empty spaces in Vernon appear to be mainly pavement. Beyond the warehouses, manufacturers, and industrial plants, there are few businesses or even buildings.
8. Train Tracks
Although at the time of a 2007 Forbes article Vernon's population hovered around 100 people, the magazine reported that approximately 44,000 workers commuted to the city every day, many by train.
I suddenly feel as though I've been transported to Vinci. Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, where are you?