Dexter Filming Locations: The Pit Stop.


The location: The Pit Stop.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A rest stop, in a park-like area.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In Collier County, Florida, somewhere between Miami and Tampa.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 8 (of Season 4), "Road Kill".

    Learning that Arthur Mitchell, the Trinity Killer, is leaving town to begin another killing cycle, Dexter talks his way into tagging along on the trip to Tampa. He does so by telling Arthur that he's troubled.

    In this scene, Dexter & Arthur are driving to Tampa, when Dexter points and says "pit stop!"

    We next see them outside of what looks like a small cabin, in a park-like area. A sign says "Collier County Rest Area."

    Trinity is sitting at a picnic table, drinking a Coke, and Dexter is buying a burrito from a vending machine next to the cabin.

    When he joins Arthur at the picnic table, Arthur remarks that Dexter is brave to eat food from a vending machine.

    But he's soon badgering Dexter again to share what's bothering him. When Dexter hesitates, Arthur becomes loud, drawing the unwanted attention of neighboring campers.

    To shut him up, Dexter tells him a half-truth.  He tells him that he killed a man - by accident. Pushed for details, he lets Trinity believe that it was a hunting accident, that he thought the man was an animal.

    When he says it left him with a strange feeling, Arthur tells him that it is remorse, an idea that seems to surprise Dexter.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A park.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot at El Dorado Park, in Long Beach, CA - the same park where they filmed Dexter's auto accident.

    In fact, the spot is in the same general area as that accident scene, the section of the park just north of Spring Street.

    There is an archery range in the southwest corner of that section, and a long, narrow parking lot runs (east-west) between that archery range and the Spring Street fence.  The small restroom building that they used as the rest stop "cabin" is located at the east end of that parking lot, just west of the Spring Street Entrance.

    They shot the west side of the cabin, with the camera generally looking east. The sat the picnic tables just northwest of the cabin. They added the fake sign reading "Collier County", and they added the burrito vending machine (although the two Coke machines are really there.)

    And in the first season, they used the park's Nature Center for some Everglades scenes.

    Fan Kerry Weiss, who lives nearby, shot the photos below in 2009.

    Here is an aerial photo, with the cabin marked. And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A.  When I saw the scene, my first hunch was El Dorado Park - perhaps because I knew they had been shooting so much in Long Beach this season, or perhaps because I knew they had already filmed here.

    So I went to Bing "Birds-Eye" aerial photos to take a look at the park and see if I could spot anything that might resemble the cabin seen in the scene. To my surprise, I found it almost immediately, since the aerial photos of that part of the world are particularly sharp and detailed.

    Then Kerry Weiss, a Dexter fan who lives near the park, checked it out and shot the matching photos you see above. (Thanks, Kerry!)

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