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Where CSI: Miami Was Really Filmed Might Surprise You

For 10 seasons and over 200 episodes, the Miami-Dade Police Department had its hands full with a litany of crimes. Fortunately, everyone who worked on the force was more than capable of handling themselves out in the field, making "CSI: Miami" one of the most exciting TV series of the 2000s. It was a visceral experience watching the team take down drug and firearm runners, keeping the streets of Miami, Florida safer for all to enjoy. 

When the show wasn't delving into the city's seedy underbelly, Miami looked like a reasonably idyllic locale. It's filled with pristine beaches and fabulous homes. The show practically served as a tourism ad for the city any time it came on the air ... provided you didn't catch an episode where something terrible happens to a tourist. That's what makes it all the more interesting that "CSI: Miami" didn't film in Miami outside of the B-roll footage shown from a helicopter's perspective. Instead, the show was shot in another beautiful community.

CSI: Miami was primarily shot in Southern California

The only other state that could really give Florida a run for its money when it comes to beautiful beaches is California. It's for this reason not a ton of people noticed that "CSI: Miami" shot the bulk of its exterior scenes in the South Bay of Los Angeles instead of Miami (via Republic World). Most exterior shots were filmed in the cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Long Beach. Even interior filming took place at the Raleigh Manhattan Studios in SoCal.

If you pay close attention to the backdrops of certain shots, the California locale should've stuck out like a sore thumb. There are certain scenes where you can see mountains in the background. Miami is notoriously made up of flatlands with hardly a hill in sight. On the other hand, California is home to numerous mountain ranges, and that's precisely what you see throughout the show's run.

You can see what other California landmarks are present in certain scenes by going back and rewatching the series. It's available to stream on Hulu and Paramount+.