Where Is ‘Stranger Things’ Filmed? Turns Out, Not in Indiana

actually, make that atlanta, georgia

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*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Still no word on when exactly we will be getting the last season of Stranger Things, but we’re trying to remain optimistic that it’ll be worth the wait. In the meantime, we’ve got a handful of burning questions. Like who is returning for season five? And where was Stranger Things filmed? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Netflix show.

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1. Where Is Stranger Things Filmed?

Despite the series taking place in Hawkins, Indiana, the show is actually shot in Georgia. The Peach State has been dubbed the "Hollywood of the South" by TIME, thanks to its generous tax incentives and other production perks. It's attracted franchises like The Hunger Games and The Walking Dead, and both Marvel Studios and filmmaker Tyler Perry have set up shop there—among other big names.

Stranger Things production began scouting in areas of Georgia before they settled on the towns of Jackson and Atlanta. Various places serve as pivotal locations for the show including its major landmarks. For example, Emory University serves as the Hawkins National Laboratory. The former Patrick Henry High School was used for Hawkins Middle School and Hawkins High School.

Surprisingly, the Hawkins Starcourt Mall (a major setting for season three) is a real mall just outside Atlanta, Georgia. Because the mall had been largely abandoned, the production team rebuilt dozens of storefronts to make it look like a mall functioning in the ’80s.

While an abandoned mall may not be accessible to fans, you can still visit other locations, like the deserted psychiatric hospital at Emory University, Bradley's Big Guy (actually a Piggly Wiggly in Palmetto), Palace Arcade (an abandoned former laundromat in Douglasville), Benny's Burgers (Tiffany's Kitchen in Lithia Springs) and downtown Hawkins (Jackson).

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2. Is Hawkins a Real Place?

Nope, it’s fictional. Series creators, the Duffer Brothers, made up the town after high production costs prevented the duo from giving the series a coastal setting of Montauk, New York. “We started to talk a lot about Castle Rock, Stephen King’s fictional town (in Maine),” Matt Duffer previously told IndyStar. “We thought, ‘How cool would it be to create our own fictional town?’ Then we're not bound by anything in the real world. We could do whatever we want."

3. What Is it About?

The show’s official synopsis reads: “Set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.”

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4. Who’s in It?

The cast includes David Harbour (Hopper), Winona Ryder (Joyce), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Noah Schnapp (Will), Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) and Joe Keery (Steve). And yes, the entire cast is expected to return for season 5.

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5. When Is Stranger Things Returning for Season 5?

Unfortunately, Netflix hasn’t released an official premiere date for Stranger Things season 5. At the Middle East Film & Comic Con, David Harbour (who plays Jim Hopper) revealed that Stranger Things 5 was initially scheduled to begin filming in June 2023, but that was then postponed due to the actors' and writers' strikes. So, the new episodes won’t hit Netflix until 2024 at the earliest.

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