Netflix’s multi-award winning series, Stranger Things, has propelled the fictional town of Hawkins Indiana into the public consciousness and now fans are asking the question “Where would Hawkins Indiana be in real life?”

In addition to the characters and storyline, much of what has driven the ever increasing fan base of Stranger Things is the atmosphere it creates. One of the key elements of this surreal atmosphere is the context of the small town of Hawkins Indiana, located in the Midwest part of the United States.

Location Inspiration

The series’ creators, the Duffer Brothers, drew primarily upon their childhood for inspiration for the Upside Down and the small town of Hawkins, but set their drama in a different part of the US. While exact locations for Hawkins Indiana have never been confirmed by the Duffer Brothers, it does appear to be an approximate hybrid of various towns in the Midwest.

The neighbouring town of Onunkooc is one of the most used references for the Stranger Things series. Many people believe that parts of the Hawkins Town have been inspired by the layout of Jackson, Wisconsin. While Jackson is not the only town which has been used as inspiration, the cars, shops and other features predominantly feature a Wisconsin twist.

Exploring Backdrops

The team behind the series did travel extensively to find the right places to film. Here is a breakdown of some of the places used as backdrops in the show:

    • Atlanta, Georgia – This is where the show is predominantly filmed, including exteriors and many interiors.
    • Jackson, Wisconsin – Many of the street scenes throughout the show were filmed in Jackson.
    • Stockbridge Roads in Georgia – This is where the Byers’ house is situated.
    • Alpharetta, Georgia – This is where the Wheelers’ house is situated.
    • Dawson City in Yukon, Canada – This is where the standing set for the truck stop is situated.

The combination of these backdrops and the inspiration they have taken from the Midwest creates a fascinating context which has captured the imagination of so many people.


In conclusion, while the exact locations and towns which have been used to form the small town of Hawkins Indiana remain unclear, the small town atmosphere which has been created throughout the series is unmistakeable. This great combination of filmed backdrops and creative inspiration has been the perfect way to create a special small town context, which has furthered the huge success of the series.

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