Dexter Filming Locations: The park where they find Miguel Prado's body


The location: Park where they find Miguel's body.

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

    A. A park, near a lake.

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

    A. Somewhere in Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. At the start of the final episode (11) of Season 3: "Do You Take Dexter Morgan?".

    We first see Miguel Prado's dead body lying alone on the lawn of a park.

    Via time lapse, we see a jogger discover the body, and then the police cars and wagons slowly arrive for the investigation.

    As Dexter shoots photos, Vince examines the corpse and remarks on skin removed from the body's shoulder area (a little something extra by Dexter, planting the assumption that the killing was the work of the Skinner).

    Dexter looks up to see Miguel's brother, Ramon, watching in anger from the sidelines.

    They load the body into the medical examiner's van. Dexter reaches out to touch Miguel, and Ramon angrily stops him, then tells Dexter that he plans to find out who killed him.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A public park, but not in Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This scene was shot at Colorado Lagoon Park, at 5119 E. Colorado Street, in Long Beach.

    But the bit of lawn where they find Miguel's body isn't near Colorado Street.

    It's a small jetty of grass, near the east end of the parking lot on the north side of the lagoon. To reach it (without walking all the way around the lake), enter via the park entrance on the south side of 6th Street (about a quarter of a mile east of Park Avenue).

    (Check the maps below for the exact location.)

    The park is as much an inland beach as a park, and the lagoon itself appears to be an isolated extension of the same ocean inlet that forms Alamitos Bay, the waters of the Alamitos marina, the Naples channels, and the waters of the Marine stadium (although it's significantly northwest of those spots).

    A site about the lagoon says it is a "part of the greater Los Cerritos Wetlands" that once covered most of this part of Long Beach.

    The park is located just south of the larger Recreation Park, and about a mile northwest of Naples Island (where they filmed Lila stealing wind chimes last year) and the Appian Way bridge (where they filmed Doakes shooting a guy).

    The general area is about three or four miles east/northeast of the downtown/Shoreline Village section of Long Beach.

    I shot the photos below in 2009

    Here is an aerial photo of the Lagoon with the spot marked. And here is a map link.

    ( There is talk of restoration efforts that might significantly change the layout of the park, so there's a possibility that this grassy jetty might disappear at some future date. But as of 2009, it shows no signs of vanishing any time soon... )

    Update: it turns out that the Colorado Lagoon was seen again on "Dexter", in the very same episode.

    It's glimpsed in the background of a very brief scene in which Dexter, searching for Ramon Prado (after Miguel's murder), phones a former partner of Ramon's, pretends to be a family friend, and talks him into giving him the names of bars that Ramon used to frequent.

    Part of the Colorado lagoon and its beach, as well as a white bridge (over the Lagoon to Appian Way), can be seen in the background, behind the partner, as he talks to Dexter on the phone. The partner is standing about 75 yards west from where Miguel's body was found in the park.

    Thanks once again go to Julie, who ID'd this scene, as well as the original location (of Miguel's body).

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

    A. Originally, I thought that this scene was probably shot at El Dorado Park, since Dexter had filmed there before on more than one occasion. I assumed it would be on the shore of one of the upper lakes at El Dorado.

    But the more I looked for the exact spot, and failed to pinpoint it, the more I became convinced that it probably wasn't shot at El Dorado after all.

    Fortunately, a fan came to my rescue. Julie, who lives near the park in Long Beach, spotted the filming activity at the Lagoon on her way to work, and learned that they were filming the season finale of Dexter. She was kind enough to drop me an email and let me know.  ( Thanks, Julie! )

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