A Gilmore Girls Weekend Q&A

Never did I think that in my 20’s I would visit the hometown inspirations of a show I used to watch as a kid. My show of choice throughout middle school & high schoool was Gilmore Girls. There was something witty and funny about watching the relationship between mother & daughter (Lorelei and Rory), while experiencing similar experience and life changes with my own mom. We could have definitely worked on our dictionary and historical references, but I will credit that to the writer of the show, which obviously my mom and I didn’t have the opportunity in hiring for our own chapters. 

About 4 months ago a former co-worker, Katie, and I, were discussing states we needed to check off of our bucket list and what better way to marry our favorite tv-show as a kid, and Connecticut. A Gilmore Girls inspired trip!

To start I will say I was somewhat disappointed in realizing the the show was filmed in a Hollywood Studio. I didn’t realize shows like this had sets built for years while the seasons unfolded. Quite remarkable when you think of it. 

Random questions people have been asking:

Q: Can you do this trip in one weekend 

A: Yes! Who would have thought the ritzy state of Connecticut could be driven in just a 3 hours from the two furthest points. This can definitely be done in a weekend, and with no rush! Katie and I even had time to visit an apple orchard, and the first half of the Michigan football game on Saturday (#GOBLUE).

Q: Did the places of inspiration truly look like the show? 

A: Some were a stretch. There was no doubt that the Independence Inn, Dragon Fly, and Gazebo were inspirations pulled from New Haven, New Milford, and Washington, Connecticut. But the others involved a little imagination and some re-watching of a few episodes.  Especially, the spot for the Kim’s Antiques, which the inspiration has been converted into a modern retail store. And with two girls with messy buns looking for Lane, did not feel welcomed; with a belt in the store costing nearly $300. 

Q: Was it easy to find affordable hotels to stay in Connecticut? 

A: I have mostly traveled alone, and so I have grown accustomed to rooming with strangers through Air B&B. On this trip Katie and I rented a room at an Air B&B in New Haven. I would recommend this location, as it is near Yale University and provides a serene unique setting. You could stay at the inspiration of the Independence Inn, or Dragon Fly, but the difference in price would be approximately $80 more a night.

Q: Were the cities bigger or smaller than you anticipated? 

The cities were quite small, with those living in them knowing our exact purpose for visiting. One store owner told us “our small town of Washington has many girls joining to find the Gilmore Girls inspiration. I don’t think some realize how small our town really is.” The towns inspiring the show of New Haven and Washington, were quite small- but quite refreshing. I mean Kirk had 30 jobs, so it’s not like Stars Hollow could have been that big. Just saying. 

If you have additional questions, please leave a comment and I will answer back! 

Hobbition is a Place? Hell Yeah! Video Spoiler!

Forewarning: This is more about me, than it is my experience in New Zealand… but you should read it anyway. We all need to read more #justsaying.

Have you ever watched a film, and almost feared seeing what the set looked like in person in fear that it would be ruined? I was! And my nerdy place of choice… Hobbiton, and YES it’s really a place! 

What is Hobbiton? It is a set in New Zealand, where “The Shire” from Lord of Rings was filmed. Not to spoil the ending… it was exactly like the movie, and it did not disappoint. 

Imagine entering a new country, with little/no people, driving on the opposite side of the road for the first time through hundreds of miles of farm land (rural as I have ever experienced by the way… literally waiting on “highway” roads for cows to pass) to see a “Hobbiton” tour sign. The funniest part of this story is that my mom had no idea what Hobbiton was even when flying on the airplane from Australia to New Zealand. But, as soon as she got on set, she knew… and the movie on the flight helped too…


Now only those who have enjoyed the books, or movies, can appreciate seeing the Hobbit houses everywhere, the adventure for Bilbo Baggin’s residence, seeing the Party Tree, and eating a Thanksgiving feast at The Green Dragon Inn. This experience was surreal. ​​

What topped off the perfect day, was the night sky, and… sharing a moment with my mom where we both saw the Milky Way for the first time. Clear as day. Near the Party Tree, even.


So… for those of you considering paying an additional flight to New Zealand, from Australia (which I found to be the cheapest), don’t miss out on this experience. If you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan… go. My mom can attest to this beautiful experience, the journey through the country to find the place, and the memories made all by a “Hollywood” movie. Dreams, my friends, can exist.