Dexter Filming Locations: Rita's Beach


The location: Rita's Beach.

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

    A. A public beach.

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

    A. In the Miami area.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. Twice, both times in season 2.

    In Episode 6 (of Season 2), "Dex, Lies and Videotape", Dexter takes Rita and her two children to the beach for an outing.

    We first see Dexter with Cody, showing him the location of Saudi Arabia on a globe/beach ball. Nearby, Rita and her mother talk about how good he is with the kids.

    Dexter excuses himself, saying he has to leave to meet Lila.

    The mother (Gail) asks Rita who Lila is, and Rita tells her that Lila is his sponsor. The mother, suspicious of the other woman in Dexter's life, suggests that he bring her to their house for dinner.

    We see this beach again in Episode 10 (of Season 2), "There's Something About Harry".

    Angel, looking for something to do with his own kids (while he has visitation rights with them), convinces Dexter to let him tag along on another beach outing with Rita and her kids.

    We see them all on the beach. While Angel plays 'monster' and chases the happy kids around the beach, Rita and Dexter talk, and he tells her about his father's suicide.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A public beach, but not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Both scenes were on Alamitos Beach, in Long Beach, CA.

    That stretch of beach lies between the downtown Long Beach/Shoreline Drive area (on the west) and Bluff Park (on the east).

    It would appear that the first scene was shot towards the west end of that beach, around 1st Street, while the second scene (with Angel) was shot farther to the east on the same beach (closer to Bluff Park).

    The beach runs parallel to Ocean Blvd (the main highway that runs along the coast of Long Beach), between Shoreline Drive and Cherry Avenue.

    ( The twin, crossed palm trees seen in the scene with Angel are fake, a throwback to a similar scene shot in Florida for the first season. )

    (I shot the photo below in 2007 - looking northwest up from the east end of Alamitos Beach)

    Here is an aerial photo of the beach.  And here is a map link.

    They also shot a lot of scenes at the west end of this beach for the show's third season.

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

    A. The first obvious giveaway is that big oil island visible offshore behind Dexter & Cody.  Those artificial islands are Long Beach landmarks. But one can also see part of the downtown Long Beach skyline in the distance (behind Angel), an occasional glimpse of the condos along Ocean Blvd, and even the tall freight elevators down at the harbor (to the right, in the shot of Dexter walking). And the lifeguard tower, visible in a far shot as Angel chases the kids, is also a perfect match for the towers on Alamitos Beach.

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