Dexter Filming Locations: The Tropical Beach Cafe


The location: The Poolside Cafe.

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

    A. A patio cafe, next to a pool.

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

    A. Somewhere in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 4 of Season 2: "See-Through":

    The scene opens with a young woman swimming in a blue pool, then widens to reveal Dexter & Lila (the woman Dexter met in rehab) sharing iced drinks at a table in what appears to be an upscale café.

    She pushed him to "open up", asking him what's going on inside his head.

    He tells her they are done.

    She says "You're breaking up with me?"

    To which Dexter says "I don't think I want to answer any more questions."

    At which time, Dexter has a flashback to his childhood, and an interview with a school psychiatrist, where Dexter (following his father's advise) answer's the shrink's questions with the exact opposite of what he believes.

    He then gets up and leaves.

    Lila appears to take the break-up calmly, but not longer after, she shows up at Dexter's police station, insisting that his breaking up with her was a mistake.

    She tells him that she is angry because she had never given any real thought to what would happen to their relationship after the case ended, but she liked it that way, an open future filled with possibilities - and that he had robbed her of that happy fantasy by assuming their relationship would end when the case ended.

    He tells her that he worried that the novelty of dating a much older man would wear off soon, and she would dump him.

    During the lunch, he gets a cell phone call from the office and they have to leave.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A poolside patio at a seaside hotel - and not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This was shot poolside at the Hotel Maya, at 700 Queensway Drive, in Long Beach.

    It was known as the Coast Long Beach Hotel at the time. The hotel can be reached either by taking the Long Beach (710) Freeway to it's south end, or from downtown Long Beach by taking the Queensway Bridge across the river.

    That hotel is located right on the water, just southeast of the southwest end of the Queensway Bridge, just north of the Queen Mary. It has a fine view, across the river, of the Shoreline Park and the downtown Long Beach skyline.

    They shot several other season 2 scenes at the Hotel Maya, including the scene where Dexter & Lila go to an expensive restaurant after dark, a scene where Debra & Lundy stroll & talk, and a scene that is supposed to be outside the police station.

    Just to the south is a small dock that was used for the dock scene where Doakes shoots a dark-ops agent on a boat.

    And just to the north are the launch ramps where they filmed the crime scene on the rocky breakwater.

    If you plan to visit, be warned that the hotel can be rather difficult to reach. It's basically at the end of the 710 (Long Beach) Freeway, but the main roads leading on and off that dock offer little access to the hotel.  For that, you have to turn off on a small, winding side road known as Queensway Drive.  Be sure to study a map of the area before you go

( I shot the photos below in 2008)

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

    A. This was easy, and something of an accident. While looking at photos on Flicker, I came across a collection of shots taken by a tourist who had docked his boat at the Hotel Maya (then called the Coast Hotel).  It so happened that "Dexter" was filming this pool scene at the time, so the tourist took a lot of photos of the production area, including the poolside set.

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