A long time ago… We used to be friends but I… Haven’t thought of you lately at all… Ah, good times… Now, I have to tell you, I am a huge Veronica Mars fan, and if you have to ask what that is, I will simply groan, and perhaps grunt in your direction. Veronica Mars was the ill fated series that started in 2004. It ran for two seasons on UPN before transferring onto the CW for its third and sadly final season. Now, before you say, “Why do I care about a show that only lasted three seasons and has been off the air for over four years…?” Why? Because it’s awesome! Those three seasons literally were some of the best television ever!
So, when my friend said, “Hey Mike, do you want to go to San Diego for a weekend?” My first thought of course was “That’s not Comic Con weekend!” And then I said, “Oh… San Diego where Veronica Mars was shot!” It was met with eye rolls, but that was the agreement, simply so I could bask in Veronica Mars-dom…
And even though I do not hold a candle to fellow celebrity enthusiast Lindsay from www.iamnotastalker.com to finding filming locations, I figured I would give it a shot!
So, without further adieu, I give you the Mike The Fanboy pictorial guide and list of Veronica Mars filming locations!
We started and mapped out our journey. The first stop was in Cabrillo State Park. This was the site of the season 2 opening episode that featured the bus crash that would propel the main mystery for that season.
Even if you are not crazy out Veronica Mars, go to Cabrillo State Park… It is so beautiful and the view is stunning!
I got a tad excited when I saw the site and I think a bunch of tourists were sorta confused when I started talking about school buses full of children crashing into the ocean! Lol…
Then going with the whole bus stop crash second season fun, I tracked down the gas station that the school bus stopped at and where Ms. Veronica Mars was left behind thus saving her life.
I don’t know why this was so important to me, but it was important in the whole scope of the show I guess… There was some homeless people hanging about and it was a tiny bit seedy, so be careful of this one.
I even had to make sure I rewatched the episode to make sure it was the right gas station.
Our next stop was one of the coolest spots… It is the site of Veronica’s apartment. Now, this is not the fictional town of Neptune but the Inn at Sunset Cliffs on Point Loma, 1370 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. They shot using the exteriors and the inside as well.
The pool area can best be seen in the pilot episode where Veronica is by the pool and thinks that she see’s Duncan Kane.
This is an actual hotel/motel and you can stay here… Did I? No, but I did sneak in, and got some fun photos!
Then, just a hop, skip and a jump away is the Dog Beach in Ocean Park. If you watch a lot of the first and second season episodes this is the main area of beach used for filming and it was instantly recognizable.
The pilot had a lot of these locations used extensively, simply because they didn’t have the sets built that the later seasons used.
I can just see Backup (Veronica Mars dog) running around here! Sigh…
Next up we headed to Stu Segall studios… Now, I wasn’t expecting much from this spot, but it is the studio where all the Veronica Mars sets were housed. Granted that was a few years ago and I’m sure all the sets are gone by now, otherwise… I might have tried to sneak in… I know I’m terrible Muriel.
However, next door is the Studio Diner! I insisted we have lunch here and fine the booth were Mac and Wallace sat in the season 3 opening credits.
This spot was also used in season 2 when Wallace’s dad arrived in Neptune and used the payphone to try and find his address.
This next spot wasn’t a huge find for me, but it was kinda fun. It is the exterior location of Kane software. The infamously evil corporation that crushed Veronica Mars life… Grrrrrrr…
This was a Sunday and there was no one around so that was kind of fun, and a tad more menacing. Lol…
Now, this is going to be… well… It’s a Carl’s Jr. I know I know… but this is the location of Woody’s Burgers! This is where Veronica Mars discovers that Steve Guttenberg molested some kids from his baseball team including Beaver which led to Beaver going crazy, killing a busload of kids, and jumping off the top of a hotel.
See it’s pivotal!
This is the interior where the baseball team photos once hung… I know I know… I’m a dork… go ahead and say it.
Now comes one of the more… difficult spots of stalking… It’s easy to find… San Diego State University, AKA Hearst College! But now where did they actually film! Lol…
We took a bunch of pictures of the main courtyard, and I think I recognize a lot of the area… Damn me for not bringing my DVD player! Grrrrrr…
We don’t have a lot of time here so I have to more pretty quick.
It is a beautiful campus nonetheless!
Now, we had to find another of the main locations. This is the site where the first shot of Veronica Mars was actually filmed! It’s the Navajo Lodge otherwise known as the Camelot Motel.
This is the seedy hotel where Jake Kane and a wide variety of seedy activity transpired…
Actually someone asked us if they were shooting another TV show here since we were taking photos. Lol… I was like; nope I’m just a dork. Lol…
Now, I only went to the next spot because…. Well, it was right across the street! It was Father Patrick Fitzpatrick’s church used in the episode Rashard and Wallace Go to White Castle. Lol… you know… it was right across the street!
Now, this super colorful spot is the exterior of The River Styx but it is actually The Tower bar in City Heights.
It is right down the street from the Camelot Motel actually.
Now, the fun stuff.. The Cabrillo Academy of the Sword which is also known as Mars Investigations! The exterior only of course.
This is the main exterior used throughout all seasons of Veronica Mars.
I got very excited!
Plus right across the street, is the car wash from season 1 where Lily Kane and Veronica Mars were at in the season 1 flashbacks. And yes, I did say, “I have a secret, it’s a good one”
I couldn’t resist!
And finally, who could resist a trip to Neptune High? On the way back we stopped at Oceanside High School where they shot season 1. Now, the interiors were on a set but they used a lot of the exteriors and the parking lot throughout season 1.
We could only get as far as across the street because it’s pretty well secluded/guarded so… we could only get so far, but it was a nice way to end our journey into Veronica Mars!
Until next time!