The fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana is the setting for the Netflix smash hit, Stranger Things. Many exterior filming locations are actual places in and around Atlanta. Fans can take a self-guided tour to many of these iconic landmarks. My family jumped in the car, drove to Atlanta, and here’s what we saw.
UPDATED: July 2019 – Season 3 Locations
The Starcourt Mall (read our insider scoop on this location)
Gwinnett Place Mall, 2100 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, Georgia
In Season 3, Steve Harrington and Robin worked at Scoops Ahoy in the mall’s food court. The Starcourt Mall location can be found in a real mall, Gwinnett Place Mall. It’s a declining mall where only 37 stores out of 200 are opened for business. The rest of the mall is vacant providing a perfect place for a filming location.
Driving around the mall, we ventured to the back of the mall where we found the entrance to the set. There was a sign stating photos and videos are strictly prohibited. The doors looked like any other mall entrance and the doors were open. So, we went in and it looked like a construction zone, but we proceeded until we reach the balcony overlooking the set. Down below, we saw Scoops Ahoy, so that’s when we realized we made it to the actual filming set!
We were so excited to see this iconic set in real life. Then, we got yelled at by a security guard to leave, since it was a construction zone. We quickly listened and headed for the exit. We didn’t see anyone else in this part of the mall.
On our last day in Atlanta, we decided to venture back to the mall to see if we could see this set again. Upon entering the back entrance, we got yelled at by another security guard who I believe has grown tired of fans trying to enter the set.
Once outside, we met another fan who had friends visited right after Season 3 premiered and they got in by paying the security guard $10 each! And they got to take as many photos as they wanted.
Then, we headed inside the mall to the lower level where we meet a nice security guard who freely shared some insider information. He was very friendly, but stood firm on doing his job.
The guard shared that he has met fans as far as Europe, New York, Chicago, North Carolina and Florida just on this day. He said, “Someone even offered me $100 to walk on the set. I don’t want to lose my job, so I said no. Two security guards have been fired for taking money and allowing people on the set.”
I asked, “Why don’t the producers just remove the set?”
He responded, “Everything is going to be gone in two weeks. Then, this part of the mall will reopen and you can walk down there all you want.”
Fans venturing to Atlanta at the end of July or beginning of August could have a whole different experience than ours at this mall.
We were able to peer through an opening and saw the clock – where blue and yellow meet in the West.
South Bend Park Pool, 2000 Lakewood Avenue SE, Atlanta
We stopped by where Billy worked as a lifeguard. It was a Monday, when we happened to visit this location and it’s closed to the public. Maintenance workers were cleaning and the gate was opened. We asked to use the bathroom and they happily let us in, so we were able to get up close to this filming location. Opened seasonally and closed on Sundays & Mondays.
6501 Church Street, Douglasville, Georgia
Stop by the arcade where the boys first learned of Mad Max. Once on Church Street, you can’t miss the orange, yellow, and purple design of the Palace Arcade. Currently, the building is vacant and is up for sale.
Hawkins Police Station
8485 Courthouse Square W, Douglasville, Georgia
Right down the street from the Palace Arcade, you can see Hawkins Police Station where exterior locations were filmed. Currently, the building is under construction.
Hawkins Middle and High School
109 South Lee Street, Stockbridge, Georgia
Formerly known as Patrick Henry High School, show producers turned this school into Hawkins Middle and High School. Many of the series most memorable scenes were filmed here.
Don’t just stop at the side of the building under the painted Hawkins Middle School sign. Walk around and you’ll find locations of other scenes, like the entrance to the school where the boys wore their Ghostbusters costumes.
We weren’t the only ones who had this same great idea to check out some of Stranger Things filming locations. There were about 15 other fans checking out this location.
If you stand on the railing outside of the gym, you can see this painted mural on the wall that was featured in the show. Be careful!
2530 Piney Wood Lane, East Point, Georgia
Just outside Atlanta, we found the Wheeler’s Home on a quiet cul-de-sac in a truly authentic 70’s neighborhood. I quickly noticed a bright red no trespassing sign with a handwritten note – Photos only in street! Obviously, more than a few fans have stopped here and ventured farther than they should have gone. When we were there, we were the only people around and the house looked unoccupied. We didn’t linger, but did take a few photographs before departing after about five minutes. The fictional homes of characters Dustin Henderson and Lucas Sinclair are located on the same street, so check those homes out as well.
Lucas and Erica Sinclair House
Two doors down from the Wheeler’s House on Piney Wood Lane, East Point, Georgia, you can see the Sinclair house.
Melvald’s General Store – Joyce’s Work
4 Second Street, Jackson, Georgia
In the quaint downtown of Jackson, you can find Melvald’s General Store where Joyce works. Currently, the building is vacant. We looked inside and saw the Radio Shack sign leaning against the wall.
Right next door to Melvald’s General Store is where Radio Shack was located during filming, Currently, it’s Jackson Creek Liquidation.
25 Third Street, Jackson, Georgia
Across the street from Melvald’s General Store and Radio Shack is Butts County Probate Court, which was used for exterior shots for Hawkin’s Library.
Hawkins National Laboratory
1256 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, Georgia
Located on Emory’s University’s Briarcliff campus, the building used for Hawkins National Laboratory was formerly the Georgia Mental Health Institute. It appeared to be an unused building on an isolated part of the campus.
Using an actual scene of Hawkins Laboratory from the series, we captured this cool I have been there shot.
Photo by Kiele Mauney
Johnson Road NW, Atlanta, Georgia
You can skip this one. Formerly known as Bellwood Quarry, it’s currently not opened to the general public. It’s a restricted area with a guarded gate for authorized personnel only. It’s owned by the city of Atlanta and construction is underway to create a public park from the 280-acre greenspace.