Real Life Towns that are Like Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow (pictures)

Are you a big fan of Gilmore Girls? Want to visit Stars Hollow, CT? Believe it or not, Stars Hollow is a fictional town in Connecticut! The producers of Gilmore Girls did a great job recreating the quaint, charming Connecticut town. Every detail of Stars Hollow feels so real- from the idyllic church to the Town Green to Luke’s Diner. I live in Connecticut and I sometimes feel like I live in Stars Hollow! The good news is there are many towns in Connecticut that will remind you of Stars Hollow. Below are real life Connecticut towns that are like Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow.

south royalton vt village green
(c) Can Stock Photo / snehitdesign

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Where is Stars Hollow?

Stars Hollow is a fictional Connecticut town. It is 30 miles from Hartford, CT. It is a very believable Connecticut town created for the show Gilmore Girls.

What towns in Connecticut are like Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow?

There are many quaint towns in Connecticut that are like Stars Hollow. Most charming Connecticut towns follow the same layout- there is usually a Town Green with a gazebo. Shops and restaurants line the Town Green. Here are three Connecticut towns that are like Stars Hollow.

1. Washington, CT

It is said that the creators of Gilmore Girls were inspired by Washington, CT. Washington, CT is the quintessential New England town located in Connecticut’s Litchfield County. Similar to the fictional Stars Hollow, Washington is also near Hartford, CT. It is about an hour away from Hartford.

Real Life Gilmore Girls Independence Inn

The real-life Independence Inn is in Washington, CT. There is a wide consensus that the Mayflower Inn and Spa in Washington, CT is the inn that inspired Stars Hollow Independence Inn (the Inn where Lorelai worked at before she opened her own Inn). Mayflower Inn and Spa is an award-winning, luxury New England boutique hotel known as being one of the best hotels in the Northeast.

Check Rates and Availability at Mayflower Inn and Spa

mayflower inn and spa
Photo Credit: Mayflower Inn and Spa

The dining room at Mayflower Inn and Spa will remind you of dining on the set of Gilmore Girls.

Mayflower inn dining room
Photo Credit: Mayflower Inn and Spa

Real Life Luke’s Diner

po cafe
Photo Credit: The Po Cafe Facebook Page

You will feel like you are in Luke’s Diner when you step into The Po Cafe in Washington, CT. You can almost imagine Luke standing behind the bar, pouring a fresh pot of hot coffee. The Po Cafe is the real-life Luke’s Diner!

Grab lunch or coffee, sit at the bar and you will feel like you are in Luke’s Diner. Even the bar stools are almost identical to the bar stools on the set of Gilmore Girls!

po cafe gilmore girls
Photo Credit: The Po Cafe Facebook Page

Get the table by the window for a view of the idyllic New England church and watch the hustle and bustle of this charming Connecticut town. It will give you deja vu- transporting you back to Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow.

The PO Café at 5 Kirby Rd, Washington, CT 06793

gilmore girls po cafe
Photo Credit: The Po Cafe Facebook Page

2. Ridgefield, CT

Ridgefield, CT is another charming town in Connecticut that will remind you of Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow. Ridgefield is located in Fairfield County, CT. It is an hour and a half away from New York City, located at the foothills of the Berkshire mountains.

Real Life Gilmore Girls Dragonfly Inn

Staying at The West Lane Inn in Ridgefield, CT will remind you of Gilmore Girls’ Dragonfly Inn. Built in 1849, The West Lane Inn is a designated Ridgefield Historic Landmark. Innkeepers Christine and Danille started updating the decor in 2020.

Gilmore Girls’ Dragonfly Inn shares a similar story! Originally built in 1893, Dragonfly Inn was renovated by Lorelai and Sookie when they purchased it in 2004. In the show, Lorelai had to get a loan from Luke in order to afford Dragonfly Inn.

The real-life Dragonfly Inn is West Lane Inn in Ridgefield, CT! West Lane Inn is a 5-minute walk to downtown Ridgefield. It’s the perfect home base for exploring Ridgefield and the surrounding area. Visit the Aldrich Museum and Keeler Tavern Museum. Stroll down Main Street, go antiquing, and grab a cup of coffee. Visiting Ridgefield is the perfect Gilmore Girls weekend getaway.

Check Rates and Availability at The West Lane Inn

West Lane Inn
Photo Credit: West Lane Inn

Real Life Stars Hollow Books

When you stroll down Ridgefield’s Main Street, do stop by Books on the Common. You will feel transported back to Stars Hollow Books (Rory worked there). It’s the quintessential, charming little New England bookstore. Books on the Common is the real-life Stars Hollow Books!

Books on Common at 404 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT

Photo Credit: Books on the Common Ridgefield
Photo Credit: Books on the Common

Real Life Stars Hollow History Museum

Keeler Tavern Museum is a museum in downtown Ridgefield that portrays life in rural Connecticut from the early 18th century to the mid 20th century. Similar to Stars Hollow History Museum, Keeler Tavern was originally the home of local Ridgefield resident and architect Cass Gilbert. Stars Hollow History Museum was originally the home of local Stars Hollow resident, Joshua Twickham. The Stars Hollow Historical Society turned into a museum portraying Stars Hollow History. Keeler Tavern is the real-life Stars Hollow History Museum!

Keeler Tavern Museum at 152 Main St, Ridgefield, CT

3. New Canaan, CT

New Canaan, CT is another charming Connecticut town that will remind you of Stars Hollow. The moment you drive by St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in New Canaan, you will be reminded of the church in Stars Hollow.

St. Michael’s Lutheran Church at 5 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT

St Michaels New Canaan
St Michaels New Canaan (c) Can Stock Photo / sainaniritu

Gilmore Girls Street Names

The street names in New Canaan will remind you of Stars Hollow. Rory’s best friend, Lane lives on Elm Street in Stars Hollow. In New Canaan, Elm Street is the main downtown street! Go shop at Elm Street in New Canaan! It’s a bigger downtown than Stars Hollow but nevertheless, it’s great fun exploring this picturesque New England town.

elm street. Gilmore Girls stars hollow
Elm Street in New Canaan

Stars Hollow Homes

Drive around New Canaan and the homes will remind you of Stars Hollow. Just take a look at the photos of New Canaan homes below. Doesn’t it remind you of Lorelai Gilmore’s home and Emily and Richard Gilmore’s mansion?

Lorelai Gilmore’s Home

This private home in New Canaan will remind you of Lorelai Gilmore’s home. Take a look at the big wraparound front porch, it’s the real-life Lorelai Gilmore’s front porch!

New Canaan Home. Gilmore girls stars hollow
Private Home in New Canaan

Emily and Richard Gilmore’s Mansion

The private New Canaan home below will remind you of Emily and Richard Gilmore’s mansion. The brick facade and that grand entrance is the real-life Emily and Richard Gilmore’s mansion!

Private home in new Canaan. Gilmore Girls stars hollow
Private Home in New Canaan

Other Places in Connecticut that Inspired Gilmore Girls

Which School in Connecticut Inspired Chilton?

Chilton is a fictional school and was inspired by one of the many private preparatory schools in Connecticut. More likely than not, Chilton was inspired by Choate Rosemary Hall.

Choate Rosemary Hall is one of the most highly regarded co-ed, preparatory schools in Connecticut. Located in Wallingford, CT, Choate Rosemary Hall is a competitive prep school sending graduates to Ivy League institutions.

Rory Gilmore received a private prep school education at Chilton which ultimately got her into Yale University. Because of all the similarities between both schools, I’d say Choate Rosemary Hall is the real-life Chilton!

How Much Does it Cost to Go to Chilton?

It costs $50,000 a year to attend Chilton. This is based on the tuition at Choate Rosemary Hall which is $50,000 a year for day students.

In the show, Lorelai could not afford Rory’s tuition. Emily and Richard Gilmore supported Lorelai by paying for Rory’s tuition at Chilton.

Choate Rosemary Hall at 333 Christian St, Wallingford, CT 

St. John Hall At Choate Rosemary Hall
St. John Hall At Choate Rosemary Hall (c) Can Stock Photo / Gearmo

Yale University

Yale University is not a fictional college. Rory Gilmore graduated from Chilton and attended Yale University. Yale University is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It is located in New Haven, CT which is 38 minutes from Hartford, CT.

Rory Gilmore majored in English at Yale University. She aspired to be a journalist with Christiane Amanpour as her role model.

In the show Gilmore Girls, Rory becomes the editor of Yale Daily News. Yale Daily News is a real-life college newspaper. In fact, it’s one of America’s oldest college newspapers.

How Much is Tuition at Yale University?

Annual tuition at Yale University is $77,750. This includes room and board. Emily and Richard Gilmore helped pay for Rory’s tuition at Yale University.

Yale University Visitors Center at 149 Elm Street, New Haven, CT

Yale University Gilmore Girls
Yale University (c) Can Stock Photo / appalachianviews

Hartford, CT

Similar to Yale University, Hartford, CT is not a fictional town. Hartford is the capital of Connecticut. It is located 30 miles from the fictional Stars Hollow. Below are photos of Hartford, CT.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch Hartford ct
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch Hartford, CT (c) Can Stock Photo / appalachianviews
Connecticut State Capitol Building In Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut State Capitol Building In Hartford, Connecticut (c) Can Stock Photo / appalachianviews

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