Description: In search of Stranger Things, we visited dozens of Stranger Things filming locations in fictional Hawkins, Indiana (actually filmed in the greater Atlanta, GA metro). But first, some backdrop to our adventure-seeking. We both love stories told through cinema. For me, it started in 1979 with Star Wars, A New Hope in a mountain town theater known for Mule Days. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the lost ark were a late-night showing for poor grad students on Mizzou’s college campus in middle school. After paying for an age-appropriate PG film for Stephen King’s Rated R Stand By Me in high school, I snuck in.
For our cinematography college student daughter, a Middle-school obsession with the vanishing of Will Byers sparked the quest for us to explore Hawkins, IN. For the release of Stranger Things season 2, she hosted a binge-watching all-nighter fit with our transmission-ready Upside Down Christmas light alphabet keyboard.
Length: 3-4 days
Pro tip: We rented a Scamper Van in Atlanta and slept at RV Parks and one Walmart Parking lot.
The rewards: After we finished walking the railroad tracks in Stone Mountain Park, where 11 throws off the boys’ compasses needles to prevent them from finding “the gate.” Averi connected to her film class over zoom from the Scamper Van mobile office. “Hey Averi, where are you?” What better learning for a film degree than to visit actual filming sites to appreciate the complexity, diversity, geographic expanse required to stitch together the fictional Hawkins, IN.
We arrived at Hawkins Middle School to be greeted by a security guard. We bashfully mentioned why we were on campus in our not so cognito Scamper Van, “Have you ever heard of the show Stranger Things?”
His response was, “well you guys need to leave.”
“Oh, sorry, just wanted to look around.”
“They are filming now (Season 4), and the cast is inside the school.”
MINDBLOWN tears followed.
Locations we visited in Hawkins, IN:
-Mike’s House (The Wheeler Family Home)
-The van flip location
-Melvald’s General Store
-Hawkins Middle School
-Hawkins Community Pool
-Hawkins Town Hall
Here’s the map that we used from Atlanta Magazine. Each location address is listed.
The Stranger Things Season 1, Episode 1 script