50 states in 52 weeks: The US as seen on screen: Minnesota, Washington, Georgia, South Dakota, and Maryland

Ellen E Jones
16 February 2016

From icy mountains to cinematic towns and spooky cornfields these five states have all been used for cult US TV shows. Ellen E Jones checks out places to visit from the shows

Maryland (House of Cards
Baltimore’s drug-dealing ‘corners’ were depicted The Wire, but this city is also home to elegant galleries and monuments, making it the perfect Washington DC stand-in for House of Cards. Capitol Hill power couple, Frank and Claire Underwood have attended many an exclusive charity gala at Baltimore’s Lyric Opera House and the War Memorial Building. Sadly Frank’s favourite deal-making spot, Freddy’s BBQ Rib Joint, doesn’t exist in reality, but you’ll find food just as lip-smacking good at Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbecue (5713 Harford Road), and there’s much less chance of becoming embroiled in a White House conspiracy.

Washington (Twin Peaks
Special Agent Dale Cooper isn’t the only one who appreciates a “damn fine cup of coffee”. You can get yours (and a slice of cherry pie, too) at Twede’s Cafe, the location for the Double R Diner in cult series Twin Peaks. Don’t leave the state until you’ve also taken in the spectacular 270-ft Snoqualmie Falls and posed for pictures by the imposing Great Northern Hotel (actually the Salish Lodge & Spa). Diehard David Lynch fans may also want to pay homage to “Laura’s Log”, which you’ll find in front of the Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, identified by a gold plaque. 

Minnesota (Fargo
Where in the world combines icy snowscapes with that famously warm Midwestern hospitality? Try the town of Luverne, Minnesota, a key setting for the second series of Fargo, which opened with a shootout in a fictional Waffle Hut. If you prefer your old-fashioned roadside diners to be free of gun crime, JJ’s Tasty Drive In comes highly recommended by locals. Their Grizzly burger provides all the fuel you’ll need for a day of exploring the beautiful wilderness that this state is famous for and the Blue Mounds State Park, a few miles north of Luverne, is the perfect place to start.

Georgia (The Walking Dead
Arrive in Atlanta via the Jackson Street Bridge and you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline — although riding in on horseback, as Rick does in The Walking Dead may not be an option. The art deco Forsyth-Walton Building, which features memorably in the series, makes a great starting point for exploring the shops of downtown ATL and happily this lively district shows no signs of a zombie apocalypse. For a taste of rural Georgia, stroll around the picturesque, nearby town of Senioa. Be sure to stop by The Walking Dead Cafefor an espresso strong enough to revive the undead.  

South Dakota (Deadwood
Hitch a wagon and head for the Black Hills of South Dakota, where you’ll find the setting for HBO series Deadwood. The city of the same name first gained notoriety in the late 19th century, as a lawless gold rush settlement, and later as the place where Wild Bill Hickok met his ignominious end. Visit the spot where he was shot during a poker game, then pay your respects at his grave. Or, if you don’t fancy the hike up to Mount Moriah Cemetery, simply raise a glass to old Bill’s memory at one of several saloon bars in town.