If, like us, you waited almost two years for the return of Stranger Things, only to binge-watch the latest season on a Saturday afternoon, you’re in luck. A comprehensive new tour promises to give fans their real-world Hawkins fix by visiting many of the show’s most iconic filming locations.
Sadly, the popular Netflix show did not take place in fictional Hawkins, Indiana. Like all good shows these days ‚ The Walking Dead, Ozark, Divorce Court — Stranger Things was filmed mainly in Georgia. Visitors to Atlanta can join the Stranger Things Tour with specialists Civitatis. At four hours long, the immersive guided tour is clearly for hardcore fans. It includes stops at nearly every pivotal location throughout the show’s entire three-season run.
The first stop is Emory University’s Briarcliff campus, which provided all of the exterior shots for Hawkins Laboratory. The tour continues at Melvald’s General Store — the quiet shop where Joyce Byers works, magnets don’t work, and no one ever seems to shop. Nearby is the real-life Starcourt Mall (Atlanta’s Gwinnett Place Mall) — the (sort or spoiler alert) most critical location in season three and arguably the entire series. Other stops include Radio Shack, Hawk Cinema, the town library, and Hawkins Middle School. Tour-goers will also visit several locations around “Hawkins” where Eleven hid out while on the run in season two. The final stop is Atlanta’s Screen Gems Studios, where many of the show’s interior shots were filmed.
The ability to binge-watch is the greatest gift Netflix ever bestowed upon us. Sadly, it often means a year or more between seasons. That’s forced hardcore fans of shows like Stranger Things to seek out other ways to get their fix through real-world tours, dedicated conferences, and show-inspired pop-up concepts. Shortly after the show’s debut in 2016, D.C.’s now-defunct Eat the Rich bar revealed a Strangers Things-themed room, complete with a Christmas light “alphabet wall” and an ST-inspired menu (including a “Strange Grilled Cheese” sandwich and a “Barb Deserved Better” cocktail). In 2017, Chicago’s Emporium Arcade Bar launched The Upside Down — a very unofficial Stranger Things-inspired pop-up bar that was swiftly shut down by Netflix in hilarious fashion.
Tickets for the four-hour Stranger Things Tour are priced at $150 per person, including a guide and private bus transportation. Eggo Waffles not included. Be warned, however, that if the Mind Flayer makes an appearance, Eleven won’t be there to save you.
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