- Ratched -‘Ratched’ Filming Locations Span The California Coast, Including That 'Big Little Lies' Bridge
When diving into Netflix's newest Ryan Murphy psychological drama Ratched, a few things feel certain. You are going to get thrills; you are going to get period outfits; and you are going to get Sarah Paulson. (This is Murphy we're talking about. There's usually Sarah Paulson.) One thing you might not have expected, though, is the stunning coastal scenery.
If Ratched's filming location feels familiar beyond just saved Instagram photos on your "Explore" page, it's because it is the setting of another popular show — HBO's Big Little Lies. The two series were filmed in and around the same places in Northern California.
While Ratched takes place, and films some scenes in the real-life small cliffside town of Lucia in Northern California, the filming locations span across the state from Monterey County to good ole Los Angeles (specifically Fox studios, admittedly not as fun), per Netflix.
Lucia is in fact a real region of Monterey County, though it is only an unincorporated community (not governed by its own local municipal corporation). The small area just five hours north of Los Angeles does not have a state hospital that houses rehabilitation patients or serial killers, but it does have a delightful restaurant called Pacific Edge (geographically speaking, very accurate) according to Google Maps.
Within the early moments of the series, Sarah Paulson's Mildred sets off to Lucia, where the Clergy Killer is being held. On her way there, viewers are treated to wide-frame shots of the Big Sur coast and the Bixby Creek Bridge, located in Monterey County, Calif. The bridge has recently become a busy tourist destination after appearing in the opening credits for Big Little Lies and now sets the scene for Lucia in Ratched.
The motel where Mildred stays is in fact a real motel that cuddles the cliffs. It's called Lucia Lodge and you can book a room right now if you find yourself driving up the coast anytime soon. (Extra points if you show up in a 1940s car.)
Lucia State Hospital
Of course, the show wouldn't have a backdrop without Lucia State Hospital, the fictional psychiatric rehabilitation hospital where Mildred snakes her way into a nursing job. The hospital, which feels grand and rich despite the twisted happenings within its walls, is not a real hospital. According to Variety, the exterior of the hospital is actually the King Gillette Ranch in California (also home of The Biggest Loser), while the inside of the hospital is inspired by the Arrowhead Springs Hotel, a historical landmark in San Bernardino, Calif.
At peak old-Hollywood glamour, Arrowhead Springs Hotel was the go-to place for celebrities in the late 1930s and 19040s. Using the architectural masterpiece as inspiration, production designer Judy Becker was tasked with creating a similarly spectacular interior to the psychological series on a set at 20th Century Fox Studios.
So while not entirely filmed on location, the setting for Ratched creates a stunning juxtaposition to the otherwise sinister plot. And in case you're still thinking about sitting on an Adirondack with the salty sea air whipping through your hair like I am — here is the link that allows you to be one click away from booking a room at Lucia Lodge.