Road Trip to the Northeast’s Most Famous Television Locations

Hit all the hangouts from your favorite shows on a TV-themed road trip.
nyc tv and movie tour

The Northeast is the setting of some of the most iconic television shows of all time, from “Cheers” to “Sex and the City.” Relive some of your favorite TV moments with a road trip to famous television locations.

There are TV shows that simply took inspiration from the Northeast and filmed elsewhere, others included establishing shots of real buildings and some filmed extensively in and around real Northeast landmarks and locations.

Here are some of the spots you should visit on your small-screen tour of the Northeast.

New York

Sex and the City

It’s right there in the name! New York City is a major character in “Sex and the City,” and you can find filming locations all over.

Visit Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, at 64 Perry St. in the West Village. While you’re in the neighborhood, swing by Magnolia Bakery for a taste of its iconic cupcakes. If you want to buy the exact same cupcake as Carrie, get the vanilla cupcake with pink frosting and a sugar daisy. You can also stop and grab a cosmo at Onieal’s, which “Sex and the City” fans will recognize as the filming location for the in-universe bar Scout.

“FRIENDS”

So no one told you that “Friends” wasn’t actually filmed in New York City? That’s OK! New York is still there for you – and it’s filled with locations used for exterior shots that inspired some aspect of the show.

First off, you’ll want to visit Pulitzer Fountain, across from the Plaza Hotel. It’s said to be the inspiration for the fountain featured in the opening credits. It’s probably not a good idea to dance around inside it, though. You’ll find the exterior of Monica, Rachel, Joey and Chandler’s apartment building on the corner of Bedford and Grove streets in the West Village. You can also visit Bloomingdale’s, where Rachel got her start, or the American Museum of Natural History, which inspired Ross’s workplace.

If you want to be even more immersed, check out The FRIENDS Experience, where you can pose for photos inside detailed set replicas and see real props and costumes from the series. It just might make your day, your week, your month or even your year!

“Seinfeld”

“Seinfeld” is a New Yorker’s show about New York. “Seinfeld” fans must stop for a meal at Tom’s Restaurant, which was used as the exterior of their favorite hangout, Monk’s Cafe. The interior of Tom’s Restaurant was finally featured in Jerry Seinfeld’s other show, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” when he interviewed none other than Jason Alexander.

Still feeling peckish? The Original Soup Kitchen, the inspiration for one of the show’s most iconic episodes, is still serving up delicious bowls of soup. Jerry Seinfeld might be banned, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying some!

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Connecticut

“Gilmore Girls”

“Gilmore Girls” wasn’t actually filmed in Connecticut, but the state is ever-present in the show’s cozy New England aesthetic. The fictional town of Stars Hollow is said to be based on the real-life towns of Kent, Washington Depot, West Hartford and New Milford. If you want to run away to live your “Gilmore Girls” dreams – sipping coffee on a brisk fall day and strolling past the town gazebo – they might be the next vacation spot for you.

New Jersey

“The Sopranos”

“The Sopranos” is not only one of the best shows to come out of New Jersey, it’s one of the best shows ever. If you throw a rock in New Jersey, you’ll probably hit a “Sopranos” filming location. Get a sweet treat at Holsten’s in Bloomfield, the site of the series finale. Sneak a peek at the Soprano family mansion, which sits on a real cul-de-sac in North Caldwell. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even try a visit to the notorious Pine Barrens. And those are just the G-rated locations.

Reality TV

New Jersey has been home to many reality TV shows, but perhaps none so famous as “Jersey Shore” and “Cake Boss.” “Jersey Shore” fans can visit the iconic boardwalk in Seaside Heights, as well as the Shore Store, where the cast worked, and the Beachcomber Bar & Grill, where they played. Just don’t forget to GTL. “Cake Boss” fans can get a taste of their favorite show at the real Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken. Yum!

Massachusetts

Cheers Boston 053” by Michael Kappel is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Cheers

Do you want to go where everyone knows your name? At Cheers on Beacon Hill, you can step into the bar that inspired the TV show. Originally known as the Bull & Finch Pub, it was rocketed to fame when it served as the exterior location for the eponymous bar in “Cheers.” Now, the inside of the bar looks like “Cheers,” too. It’s a complete replica, plus some modern conveniences. Diners can enjoy a themed menu, as well as “Cheers” trivia. If you’re a fan, it’s a can’t-miss trip.

Castle Rock

Nothing says “New England” like Stephen King. “Castle Rock,” a horror anthology series loosely based on King’s works, was filmed mostly in Massachusetts. A large portion of scenes took place in Orange and the surrounding areas, including Gardner.

“Castle Rock” fans can see the Slencil Company buildings, which served as the Castle Rock police station and other local shops in the series, and catch a glimpse of Ruth Deaver’s house, a Victorian style mansion, in Orange. King fans can even visit the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, which served as the filming location for the Juniper Hill Psychiatric Hospital.

Rhode Island

“Family Guy”

It’s no secret that “Family Guy” wasn’t filmed in Rhode Island … because it’s animated. But the fictional town of Quahog was heavily influenced by real-world locations. The stated inspiration for Quahog is Cranston, and the show heavily features the Providence skyline in the distance. Brown University, McCoy Stadium and even the Big Blue Bug have all been featured on the show. The show’s Nifty Fifties Diner is said to have been inspired by the Modern Diner, a historic train car diner in Pawtucket. While you’re in the area, stop by the Rhode Island School of Design, where creator Seth MacFarlane went to college and fell in love with the Ocean State.

Have you ever been to any of these locations? What about the location of your favorite TV show? Let us know in the comments below!

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9 Thoughts on “Road Trip to the Northeast’s Most Famous Television Locations

  1. What about both Dark Shadows & the Stepford Wives filmed at Lockwood Mansion in Norwalk, CT? The Ice Storm filmed at Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT?

  2. If you travel on Route 95 in Providence, near R.I. Hospital you will see the BIG BLUE BUG. AKA “Nibbles Wood Away”. I have eaten in the diner in Pawtucket, a real diner with good food.

    1. Soup Man kitchen (basis for Seinfeld show) located at 259A West 55th St. Just a small take-out window. Not a walk-in like on the show.

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