The ABC Family series, "Bunheads", is supposed to take place in Paradise, CA.
But in reality, the show is filmed in Los Angeles County.
The most memorable locations on the show are the red barn / Paradise Dance Academy
(where the girls take their ballet lessons)
and Michelle's cottage
You'll find that both of them (and several other familiar spots) at
Calamigos Ranch, located at 327 Latigo Canyon Road, in Malibu, CA.
(You can see an entire page full of photos of the barn here.
And you can see photos of Michelle's cottage here.)
In fact, most of the show is filmed there. The grounds of the ranch are
rural & woodsy, complete with ponds, which allows for a lot of different looks.
What exactly is Calamigos Ranch? That's not an easy question to answer.
It's not strictly a movie ranch, per se, although they do have a lot of filming there.
Covering 130 acres, it's bigger than Disneyland, and serves a number of roles.
As an event center, it hosts weddings, bar mitzvahs, company picnics,
conferences, seminars, workshops - that sort of thing.
But it also contains a restaurant called the Malibu Cafe, which is open to the
public (Thursday through Sunday from 12 noon - 12 midnight), and that might
afford you a chance to wander over and see the "Bunheads" locations.
(But since I haven't been there in person, I can't say for sure.)
Also on the property is the "The Biggest Loser Resort" (they apparently film
that reality show here at the ranch), as well as a summer camp for kids
called "Camp Summertime", and "Milestones Ranch", an adult rehab center.
Here is the official Calamigos Ranch website.
Although the address says Malibu, it's up in the hills, about half way between Malibu's
Point Dume and the Valley's Agoura Hills / Westlake Village area.)
But if you're not in the mood to scale the hills of Malibu, don't despair.
They have also filmed at several other locations.
In the pilot episode, Michelle visits "Sparkles", a dress store that
she discovers is owned by her husband's old girlfriend (Truly Stone).
That scene (of Michelle entering the shop) was filmed at a storefront
located at 419 Pier Ave, in Hermosa Beach, CA.
Hermosa Beach is located in the South Bay section of Los Angeles county,
between Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach. The store is on the north
side of the street, 7 or 8 blocks inland from the Hermosa Pier.
In the current Google StreetView, the storefront houses Maximus hair salon.
In the 5th episode, Boo goes to work at the Oyster Bar, a cafe which
becomes a regular location, where the girls often meet up.
That scene was shot in the very same restaurant that used to be the "Crashdown Cafe"
in the TV series "Roswell". It's located at 223 N. Citrus Avenue, in Covina, CA.
Back then, it was known as the Citrus Cafe, but today
it houses Casa Moreno Mexican grill.
How do I know? In that 5th episode scene, as the girls are being seated, you can
see out the windows and can read the signs on the businesses across the street.
That view includes Joslin's Bakery (at 230 N. Citrus) and Covina Book store (at 234).
Covina is located in the northeast section of Los Angeles County, a good
60 miles east of Calamigos Ranch, and 40 miles northeast of Hermosa Beach.
Here is a Google StreetView of the restaurant.
( It should be noted that in more recent episodes, they appear to have changed the filming location
of the Oyster Bar, so. I assume that they simply built a similar set, either at the studio
or more likely at Calamigos Ranch, to avoid trekking out to Covina every week. )
So what about the school where the girls go? Where is Paradise High?
It's actually LeConte Middle School, at 1316 N. Bronson Ave, in Hollywood.
It's just two blocks east of the Sunset-Gower studio - where "Bunheads" films,
as does "Dexter", "Castle" and a number of other TV shows.
(In fact, Dexter" used the same school's playground for Isaak's prison yard in the 7th season.)
Here is a Google StreetView of the school.
However, in Episode 16, they threw this new school exterior at us:
That is not LeConte.
Instead, it is University High School at 11800 Texas Ave, in West Los Angeles.
In the screencap above, we are looking west, at its east side,
which faces in towards the athletic field (rather than towards the street).
(University High was also seen in "Valentine's Day" and "Pineapple Express".)
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