“Stranger Things” Filming Locations You Can Visit

BY Hilary Harty | September 2, 2022

You’re looking for “Stranger Things” filming locations? You’re in the right place.

First, though: As a rule, I don’t binge shows, films or albums when they’re first released. I’m not sure how or when it started, but I’ve always put a good bit of distance between myself and new media, allowing the shine and hype to wear off before slowly digesting it and forming an opinion. “Stranger Things” is the exception to this rule. Within days of its release, I voraciously binged the entire first season, drawn to the show’s ominous and rhythmic synth soundtrack and complex yet approachable storyline. And I’m not alone. The sci-fi dramedy is essentially a love letter to the 1980s and is wildly popular among everyone from Boomers to Zoomers.

While “Stranger Things” is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind., much of the series is filmed in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs. As we anxiously await the fifth and final season, the most excited (or least patient) of us can book a ticket to Georgia, check into a hotel and explore some of the most interesting “Stranger Things” filming locations. While you won’t get trapped in the Upside Down, this list does contain spoilers, so proceed with caution.

Benny's in Stranger Things
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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Benny's

Benny’s Burgers

7413 Lee Road, Lithia Springs, GA, USA

After Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) escapes from Hawkins National Laboratory in season one’s first episode, she seeks refuge at Benny’s Burgers, where she meets benevolent chef and owner Benny Hammond (Chris Sullivan). Hammond offers her clothing and a freshly griddled burger before meeting his untimely death at the hands of a rogue agent. Tiffany’s Kitchen is the actual restaurant where the scene was filmed, and they still welcome hungry fans eager to eat burgers at the Lithia Springs outpost. With a board featuring daily specials scribbled atop, photos of local Little League teams and a sign that reads “Children left unattended will be given an energy drink and a free puppy,” the modest restaurant has all the trappings of a locally loved institution. Scarf down a burger like Eleven did before enjoying a slice of homemade apple pie. 

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Bradley's in Stranger Things
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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Bradley's

Bradley’s Big Buy

506 Center St, Palmetto, GA, USA

Fans have come from far and wide to visit Bradley’s Big Buy, the grocery store where Eleven called the manager a “mouth breather” before stealing four boxes of Eggos and shattering the automated glass doors. The retro-fitted grocer was also featured in the third season when the gang broke into the store seeking bandages after the Mind Flayer’s proxy bit Eleven. Later in the same episode, a possessed Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) visits the store and finds a pool of Eleven’s blood. Outside of the “Stranger Things” cinematic universe, the grocer is a Piggly Wiggly located 28 miles southeast of Atlanta in the small town of Palmetto. A glass case above the freezer section displays a box of Eggos that Eleven stole, and employees have been known to wear “The Strangest Things Happen at the Pig” shirts. Grab as many boxes of Eggos as you want — just make sure to leave the doors intact on your way out. 

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Butts County Courthouse
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Jackson, GA - January 11, 2019: A view of the statue of a Confederate States solider in front of the historic Butts County Courthouse.

Downtown Hawkins

4 2nd Street, Jackson, GA, USA

Located less than an hour from Atlanta by car, Jackson is a small town home to a handful of Hawkins’s most beloved institutions. As with many small towns across America, downtown Jackson is located in a town square surrounding the local courthouse. The Butts County Courthouse is unmissable: constructed in 1898, its Georgian architecture landed it on the National Register of Historic Places. Though the court moved its headquarters in 2019, its old residence has served as the exterior shot of the Hawkins Public Library, where everyone from Chief of Police Jim Hopper (David Harbour) to Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) has conducted research. Directly across the street from the courthouse is the building that housed Melvald’s General Store, the retailer where Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) worked, and the local Radio Shack that Bob Newby (Sean Astin) managed before tragically losing his life to a Demodog. Previously a Jackson Drugs pharmacy, Melvald’s General Store is now a Papa John’s. The Radio Shack is an LS Juice and Smoothie Bar where you can snag a more delicious alternative to a Walkman cassette player. 

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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Family Video and Palace Arcade
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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Family Video and Palace Arcade

Family Video and Palace Arcade

6501 Church Street, Douglasville, GA, USA

Video rental stores and arcades were never better than they were during the ’80s. Kids raised in the ’90s can wax poetic about perusing the aisles of Blockbuster or playing “Crazy Taxi” all they want, but the nostalgic hangouts were churches for ’80s kids. The Duffer Brothers knew this when they first introduced Palace Arcade in season two, followed by Family Video in season three. After the boys learn that the “Mad Max” besting them at their favorite arcade games is a girl, Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) becomes a core character in the series. Likewise, the Family Video featured in the third and fourth seasons acts as the perfect backdrop for Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) to hone their friendship at their new job (RIP Scoops Ahoy). Today, fans can still visit the building where so many exciting scenes were filmed in Douglasville, less than 30 minutes from Atlanta. Formerly an old laundromat, the “Stranger Things” crew expertly transformed the building into part purple and orange arcade, part Kelly green video store for the shoots. The building is vacant in our world, but you can still dress like your favorite character and pull into the parking lot for a makeshift photo shoot.  

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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Hawkins Community Pool
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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Hawkins Community Pool

Hawkins Community Pool

2000 Lakewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA, USA

Some of the most memorable scenes in season three were the flirtatious interactions between Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono) and Billy Hargrove at the Hawkins Community Pool. It may have been Hargrove’s slow-motion saunter to “Moving in Stereo” by The Cars or Karen Wheeler nonchalantly sipping a New Coke in her teal and hot pink ensemble, but something about the scene has it forever etched in our minds. Luckily, the episode was filmed at the South Bend Pool in Atlanta, a public outdoor swimming oasis that opens seasonally. Don your favorite ’80s-inspired swimsuit, grab a pool floaty and cool off at the pool in the summer of 2023 — with plenty of sunscreen, of course. Fun fact: the South Bend Pool is located less than a mile from EUE/Screen Gem Studios, where many of the show’s interior shots were filmed.

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The actual site of Hawkins National Laboratory from Stranger Things
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The actual site of Hawkins National Laboratory from Stranger Things

Hawkins National Laboratory

1256 Briarcliff Rd NE, Atlanta, GA, USA

Hawkins National Laboratory has played a vital role throughout the entire “Stranger Things” series. Helmed by director Dr. Martin Brenner a.k.a. “Papa” (Matthew Modine), Hawkins National Laboratory is known as the ominous research facility where children with telekinetic abilities undergo testing — most notably the show’s main character, Eleven. Though interior shots of Hawkins National Laboratory were filmed at a studio, the Duffer Brothers used the Brutalist façade of Emory University’s Briarcliff Campus in Atlanta for exterior shots. The five-story building previously operated as the Georgia Mental Health Institute from 1965 to 1997 and is located on the grounds of the Briarcliff Estate, the former residence of Asa G. Candler, Jr., the son of Coca-Cola’s founder. In 2017, “Rings” featured the eerie and massive building as a filming location. You can’t go inside the building (why would you want to?), but you can still take sufficiently creepy photos outside.

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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Piney Wood Lane in East Point
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"Stranger Things" filming locations: Piney Wood Lane in East Point

Piney Wood Lane

2530-2980 Piney Wood Drive, East Point, GA, USA

Some of the most light-hearted scenes in “Stranger Things” take place at the main characters’ homes, where we watch them play Dungeons and Dragons and formulate schemes via vintage walkie-talkies. Fittingly, the crew chose similarly appointed houses on Piney Wood Lane in East Point for the exterior shots of some of our favorite homes. The leafy stretch of homes is located just 11 minutes from Atlanta and is the location of the houses for the Wheeler, Sinclair and Henderson families. The late, great Barb Holland’s (RIP) family home is also located on Piney Wood Lane and is briefly showcased in season two, as is a scene on the street where the kids go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. But what about the Byers house, you ask? The home’s owners have requested that their address not be shared with the public. 

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Real life site of Starcourt Mall from Stranger Things
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Real life site of Starcourt Mall from Stranger Things

Starcourt Mall

2100 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, GA, USA

Season three of “Stranger Things” primarily takes place in Starcourt Mall, a fluorescent-hued shopping plaza dotted with iconic ’80s businesses like Orange Julius, Jazzercise and of course, the fictional sailor-themed Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream Parlor. To set the scene for the bitchin’ Hawkins mall, the crew scouted Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, just 42 minutes outside of Atlanta, which had closed just before filming. The building underwent a significant overhaul in the summer of 2018 to give it the ’80s design, and the results were stunning. The set designers did a particularly stellar job detailing stores like Gap, which was called “The Gap” for a 10-year-period until 1986, and showcased the appropriate logo at the store on the main level of the mall. Starcourt Mall also included a cinema with a marquee featuring film titles like “Back to the Future,” “Fletch” and “The Stuff.” Fans can still visit Gwinnett Place Mall today to take a peek at the exterior, though the mall’s interior is closed to patrons.

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Real life Stone Mountain Cemetery from Stranger Things
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Real life Stone Mountain Cemetery from Stranger Things

Stone Mountain Cemetery

1025 Silver Hill Road, Stone Mountain, GA, USA

Founded in 1850, Stone Mountain Cemetery is a historic graveyard featured in both the second and fourth seasons of “Stranger Things.” Located just 15 miles outside of Atlanta, the cemetery was the season two setting for the funeral of Barb Holland (Shannon Purser) before receiving more screen time in season four as the grave site of Billy Hargrove. In the most recent season, Hargrove’s stepsister, Max Mayfield, visits his grave and reads a heartfelt letter before being overtaken by Vecna and levitating. Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) is forced to play Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” on the Mayfield’s Walkman to bring her back to reality. Fans can visit the exact spot where the scene was filmed and listen to Kate Bush to their heart’s content, though I would probably play “Cloudbusting” if it were up to me. The cemetery is also home to grave sites of early village settlers and several Civil War veterans. After paying your respects, head to Stone Mountain Park, a 3,200-acre stretch of land where several Hawkins Woods scenes were filmed, including the infamous railroad track scenes featured in the first and second seasons.

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Victor Creel’s House in Stranger Things
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Victor Creel’s House in Stranger Things

Victor Creel’s House

906 East 2nd Avenue, Rome, GA, USA

During season four, the gang learns more about Victor Creel (Robert Englund). In the film, Creel is a family man whose disturbed son is Henry Creel (Jamie Campbell Bower), who acquires telekinetic abilities and eventually becomes Vecna. A crucial part of Creel’s story is the house he and his family moved to in Hawkins circa 1959, a massive Victorian-style mansion that the gang later breaks into as they look for clues. A little over an hour from Atlanta, the historic house was built in 1882 and has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. It was a bed and breakfast called Claremont House until it closed in March 2019. After Claremont House closed, exterior shots were filmed on the property and interior shots were captured at a studio. A family has since purchased the home and renovated it, hopefully closing up any cursed gates to the Upside Down. Fans can admire the property from afar if they don’t trespass.

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