The girls of Pretty Little Liars seem to have it all, don’t they? In the fictional town of Rosewood, the people are gorgeous, the lawns are manicured, and it only rains when there’s an escaped Toby (Keegan Allen) on the loose or Aria (Lucy Hale) and Ezra (Ian Harding) need to have a steamy makeout sequence. So where exactly is the magical town of Rosewood, where everyone has great hair and a dark, deadly secret?
Although the pilot was filmed in Vancouver, B.C., the show itself is shot in Los Angeles. But according to the Pretty Little Liars book series by Sara Shepard, from which the show is adapted, Rosewood is an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, situated along the Main Line — the old train route connecting posh towns like Gladwyne, Villanova, and Devon to downtown Philly. On the Main Line, six-figure incomes and million-dollar homes are standard, and the area also hosts some of the nation’s most elite private colleges, like Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford.
It’s likely that Rosewood was inspired by scenic Rosemont, a town in the upper Main Line that’s already famed for its Hollywood connection: Agnes Nixon, the creator of the iconic soap opera All My Children, also used Rosemont as the template for fictional Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, where the soap is set. For that reason, it comes as no surprise that residents of Rosewood are constantly besieged by sudsy drama — and we don’t mind a bit.