- Top Five Fictional Places You Can Actually Visit
- Wakanda: Cape Town
- Coruscant: Tokyo
- Neverland: Belize
- Metropolis: New York
- 40 Houses From Movies You Can Actually Visit
- 15 Real Movie Locations You Can Actually Visit
- 1. The Firehouse from Ghostbusters
- 2. Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard
- 3. The House from A Christmas Story
- 4. OCP Headquarters from Robocop
- 5. The Hotel from The Grand Budapest Hotel
- 6. Yavin IV from Star Wars
- 7. The Tribute Training Center from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
- 8. Subterranean Pool from 127 Hours
- 9. The Overlook Hotel from The Shining
- 10. Camp Towanda from Wet Hot American Summer
- 11. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters from X-Men
- 12. The Baseball Diamond from Field of Dreams
- 13. The Cherry Street Inn from Groundhog Day
- 14. Top Notch from Dazed & Confused
- 15. Hogwarts from Harry Potter
- 10 Locations From Hit Films You Can Actually Visit Today
- 10 Art Museum Steps (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – Rocky
- 9 Randy's Donuts (Los Angeles, California) – Iron Man 2
- 8 Central Market (Los Angeles, California) – Blade Runner
- 7 Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford, England) – Harry Potter Series
- 6 Tiffany & Co. (New York, New York) – Breakfast At Tiffany's
- 5 The Getty Center (Los Angeles, California) – Star Trek: Into Darkness
- 4 Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse (New York, New York) – Ghostbusters
- 3 Timberline Lodge (Mount Hood, Oregon) – The Shining
- 2 King's Cross Station (London, England) – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- 1 The Beverly Wilshire Hotel (Beverly Hills, California) – Pretty Woman
- 15 famous movies and the *actual* countries they were filmed in
- 2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Tunisia, England, Guatemala, USA)
- 3. Gladiator (Morocco, England, Italy, Malta, USA)
- 4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (England, Scotland, Australia)
- 5. Skyfall (England, Scotland, Japan, Turkey, China)
- 6. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Italy, Spain)
- 7. Dark Knight Rises (India, England, Scotland, Italy, USA)
- 8. Mamma Mia! (Greece, Morocco, England, USA)
- 9. Lawrence of Arabia (Morocco, Spain, England, USA, Jordan)
- 10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Jordan, Spain, USA, Germany, Italy, England)
- 11. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USA)
- 12. The Beach (Thailand, UK)
- 13. Cast Away (Fiji, Philippines, Russia, USA)
- 14. Die Another Day (Spain, England, USA, Iceland, Norway)
- 15. Mad Max: Fury Road (Namibia, Australia, South Africa)
Top Five Fictional Places You Can Actually Visit
Movies and books not only captivate us with their clever plot lines and lovable characters, but with their magical settings. Whilst you’ll find plenty real life locations, it’s the ones set within an imaginary city, country or even whole world, that truly have the power to capture our imaginations and transport us to these fantasy destinations.
Fortunately, some of these places have been inspired by the wonderful world we already have. Don’t believe us? Here’s our pick of the top five fictional places you can actually visit.
Wakanda: Cape Town
One of the most eagerly anticipated movies of 2018, Black Panther made box office history as the first big budget superhero movie with a black-led cast. It was also significant as the main character T’Challa is king of a fictional African country named Wakanda.
Africa has historically been negatively portrayed in the West as a continent of poverty and little development. However, Wakanda is presented as a rich, powerful and technologically advanced nation.
Surrounded by mountain ranges and thick forest, Wakanda is also stunning. And, understandably, the hit Marvel movie is inspiring many to visit Africa in search of the real-life alternatives to Wakanda.
One such destination is the beautiful city of Cape Town. Located on the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Town is overlooked by the dramatic Table Mountain, from which you can enjoy unforgettable sunrises over the ocean. The city also boasts a stunning coastline of golden beaches, alongside plenty of restaurants, shops and nightlife, making it a must-visit whether you’re a movie buff or not.
Recommended Tours to Cape Town: Cape to Namibia or Cape to Falls
With worldwide box office taking of over $2.8 billion, Avatar remains the highest grossing film of all time. Directed by James Cameron, the movie is iconic for its setting on a fictional moon known as Pandora.
This life-bearing moon is covered in tropical rainforest and mountains. It’s home to the Na’vi, a race of aliens with blue skin, as well as other exotic fauna and flora. Whilst it may not exist in real life, it’s well-known among Avatar fans that Pandora was inspired by Tianzi Mountain in south-central China.
Situated within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Tianzi Mountain forms part of an otherworldly landscape of precariously stacked pillars, hidden valleys, limestone caves, rivers and waterfalls. The mountain is steeped in legend and you can take a cable car to view this surreal scenery for yourself.
Inspired to visit Tianzi Mountain? Our tailor-made team can put together your very own China itinerary visiting this spectacular landscape and other top sights such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors.
Recommended Tours to China: Great Wall & Pandas or Shanghai to Beijing
The city-covered planet of Coruscant is the capital of the galaxy in the famous Star Wars franchise. Featuring towering skyscrapers and streams of airborne traffic, this futuristic world is home to both humanoid and alien species.
Whilst cities are fast-growing across our world, we’re fortunately far from experiencing the urbanization of Coruscant. However, a real-life alternative to the ‘Galactic City’ is the Japanese capital of Tokyo.
With a population of over 13 million, Tokyo is not only the biggest city in Japan, but one of the largest in the world. Its gleaming skyscrapers, huge overpasses, cosmopolitan entertainment districts and neon-lit streetscapes present a city hurtling towards the future. Spend a few days exploring then catch a bullet train Tokyo to experience Japan’s traditional side.
Recommended Tours to Japan: Best of Japan or Snow Monkey Explorer
One of the most beloved children’s books ever written, J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ has continued to inspire generations since its publication in 1904. The tale of the boy who never grew up has since been made into several movies and TV shows, with the original setting being the mythical island of Neverland.
Although Neverland is a fictional place, popular r Mathew Patrick from The Film Theorists claims Peter Pan is set on the beautiful Turneffe Atoll off the coast of Belize. Forming part of the world’s second largest reef system, this atoll is alive with colourful corals, fish and rays, perfect for diving and snorkeling.
It’s also the only location on the planet to match key aspects of Neverland from the book and movies. Turneffe Atoll has its own species of crocodile and was where real-life pirate Blackbeard (who Captain Hook originally worked for in the book) used to capture ships. And there’s no denying, it certainly is a little slice of paradise.
Recommended Tours to Belize: Guatemala to Mexico or The Mayan Trail
Metropolis: New York
Hitting the big screen in 1978, Superman was the first modern superhero movie. Since then, the franchise has grown considerably and the superhero is still a cultural icon today.
The movies and original comics are set in the fictional city of Metropolis, believed to be New York. Various iconic buildings appeared in the first movie, with a chase scene taking place through Grand Central Station and the Daily News Building in midtown acting as the Daily Planet.
Alongside visiting these filming sites, a visit to New York takes in some of the most famous buildings and sights in the world. Climb the Empire State Building, experience Times Square or take a stroll through Central Park. With so much to see and do, New York could keep you entertained for weeks.
Recommended Day Tours in New York: New York in One Day or NYC Central Park Bike Tour
40 Houses From Movies You Can Actually Visit
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Nestled near downtown LA, the building used for the exterior shots of the Fox sitcom is actually a real-life apartment building you could rent, although I can't guarantee the roommates will be as fun.
836 Traction Avenue, Los Angeles, United States
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It's hard to believe that it's been 30 years since M'Lynn, Shelby, Ouiser, and the rest of the ladies from Truvy's Beauty Shop first graced the big screen.
And there's no better way to celebrate the milestone anniversary than grabbing your gal pals and spending a weekend in the beloved house turned bed and breakfast. Plan your visit here.
320 Jefferson St, Natchitoches, LA 71457-4355
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This beauty was featured in the opening credits of the family-friendly '90s TV show, Full House. The exterior used for the Tanner household sits in a row of homes called “The Painted Ladies.” If you plan a visit, just remember, it's a private residence, so be respectful.
1709 Broderick St. San Francisco, CA 94115
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A Christmas Story
Nothing says Christmas spirit (re)watching A Christmas Story on repeat, but now you can take your love of the movie to the next level. Not only can you go visit the house from the movie, but you can actually stay overnight in it—AND you could stay in Ralphie's room! Just an Airbnb, but tied to an iconic pop culture relic. Plan your trip here.
3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109
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10 Things I Hate About You
I'm sure you recognize this almost 6,000-square-foot home as the home from the 1999 rom-com/drama cult classic starring the late Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. In 2018, the house went up on the market for $1.6 million. If you find yourself near Seattle and want to pay the home a visit, just remember it's a private residence and to be respectful.
2715 N Junett St. Tacoma, WA 98407
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This home featured in the majority of the thriller is located in a suburb of Los Angeles and had film buffs flocking to the scene to see it in person during the height of its popularity. The owner says the home has been featured in three other movies over the last two decades as well.
304 N Canyon Blvd Monrovia, CA 91016
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The Amityville Horror house still stands to this day and honestly, it's a little hard to miss. While the eye-shaped windows featured in the film are gone, the house itself is still there as a private residence. I'm all for a nice road trip, but I'm just gonna let you go solo to this one…
112 Ocean Ave Amityville, NY 11701
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Boy Meets World
The Matthews' fictional home hit the market for more than $1.5 million back in 2016 and is still a private residence. In reality ,it's a two-bedroom, two-bathroom spread ideal for any family. What I wouldn't give to be neighbors with Mr. Fenny.
4196 Colfax Ave Studio City, CA 91604
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Tourists in Salem, MA, might recognize the massive, white Colonial house with black shutters that sits at 318 Essex Street.
It's Allison's house from Hocus Pocus, the 1993 Halloween flick that's now reached icon status and plays more than 20 times each October on ABC's Freeform channel.
But while fans of the movie might already know that the house is real and not a Hollywood sound stage, they probably didn't know this: It's a museum, and you can visit it right now.
318 Essex St Salem, MA 01970
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If you're still going through Breaking Bad withdrawals, I have a fix! You could take a trip to New Mexico and see where the fictional White family lived. It's a private residence, so keep that in mind, okay?
3828 Piermont Dr. NE Albuquerque, NM 87111
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Did you know that the isolated mansion where a bunch of high schoolers decide to party regardless of a killer on the lose—yes, that house—is on Airbnb? Well it is, and your dream to live you're Sidney Prescott can finally come true. Although the '90s thriller may have been terrifying, the house and property it sits on is STUNNING. Bonus: You can even get married there.
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While most scenes of the hit drama were actually filmed in Long Beach, California, Dexter Morgan's sun-faded apartment complex exists in Southern Florida. In real life, they are the Bay Harbor Club condos in Miami Beach. It's a private residence that only members can enter, but drive east and you should be able to see the complex.
1155 103rd St (at Bay Harbor Club) Miami Beach, FL 33154
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Hey Potterheads, I've got some good news for you! You can visit the house that was used as the exterior shots of the home in the first HP. If you want to see the interiors from the movies—including that under-the-stairs “bedroom”—you'll have plan a trip to Warner Brothers Studios for a tour.
12 Picket Post Close, Bracknell, Berkshire
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Silence of the Lambs
The house featured in 1991 classic thriller where “Buffalo Bill” stalks Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is actually located in rural Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh.
And, in 2016, it sold for nearly $200,000. However, luckily for the new owner, the basement used in the movie was actually on a soundstage.
The scariest part of this house? It has five bedrooms but only ONE bathroom. Talk about a horror.
8 Circle St. Layton, Pennsylvania 15473
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Sabrina the Teenage Witch
This one goes out to all my fellow '90s kids! We all remember the Spellman Manor, filled with doors leading to other worlds and the aunts we wish we all had—plus, the most important thing, Salem, the talking cat. These days, the home actually holds multiple businesses, so fans can feel free to take a peek inside as long as visits are kept brief and quiet.
64 E Main St. Freehold, NJ 07728
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When Kate Winslet's character comes from her small cottage in the UK and begins her stay at Cameron Diaz's LA mansion, you could tell she was a little starstuck—I would be too! This gorgeous 10,324-square-foot home became a tourist attraction for fans of the romantic movie. It features a media room in the finished basement, a pool and spa, paddle tennis court, and a rose garden. So yeah, I'd want to live there too.
1883 Orlando Rd. San Marino, CA 91108
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Attention all Downton Abbey fans! You could visit the primary filming location for the show and truly see what it feels to be Lady Grantham. The grounds and select parts of the castle are open to the public between 60-70 days a year so just be sure to plan your visit accordingly.
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The home featured in the 1978 slasher film is now a South Pasadena Historic Landmark AND an art gallery dedicated to the flick. That's right, you can now visit the residence—now painted baby blue and pale pink to give it a happier look—and get in some Halloween pop culture moments while you're at it.
1000 Mission St. S. Pasadena, Ca. 91030
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Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The home used for the exterior shots of the Banks' home was built roughly 70 years ago actually sits in nearby Brentwood, not Bel-Air.
The 2-story, 17-room mansion is complete with with 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 3,898 square feet of living space, a master suite with a massive walk-in closet, multiple fireplaces, a pool, a spa, a putting green, a detached 3-car garage, and a gazebo.
But the real question is: Does Will Smith come with the house?? This a private residence, FYI, so don't trespass.
251 North Bristol Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90049
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Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The traditional Colonial where Ferris started his infamous day off may have been set in Chicago yet actually stands in Long Beach, California. The nearly 5,000 square foot home was used for interior shots in the movie as well as exterior shots. Who else painfully remembers that wallpapered staircase?
4160 Country Club Dr. Long Beach, CA 90807
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In real life, in the movie, the victorian is actually a bed and breakfast, and you can stay there still! The Cherry Tree Inn bed and breakfast sits in Woodstock, Illinois not Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The spectacular house is worth a stay if you find yourself in that suburb of Chicago.
344 Fremont StWoodstock, IL 60098
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While I'd love to think Ryan Gosling actually did renovate the house for the movie, filmmakers chose to take the already beautiful Martins Point home and make it look dilapidated for the early “before” scenes. This gorgeous 5-bedroom, 4.
5 bathroom estate spans 4,255 square feet is just one of 18 homes on Martins Point Plantation, a 900-acre private waterfront community, Noah's house would cost approximately $12,000/month to rent today—according to an estimate experts at ForRent.com gave Domino.
So there's that. Plan your trip here.
204 Martins Point Rd. South Carolina 29487
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I think it's safe to say that every '90s kid wanted to have their turn in Kevin McAllister's sprawling house.
That staircase, along with the rest of the home featured in the movie, is located on a quiet, tree-lined street outside of Chicago.
Although you can't take a tour of the inside (I'd to imagine it's still covered in wallpaper), you can see the exterior in person on a tour. Plan your tour here.
671 Lincoln Ave Winnetka, IL 60093
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A Star is Born
Fans think they have found Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's secluded rockstar hideaway and that it might actually be a four-bed, three-bath home in rural Calabasas.
While no one from the cast or crew has confirmed the news, I'll be the first to say that this home looks identical to the one shown in the film.
From the art studio to the barbecue area, I can see why it was recently on the market for just over $2 million.
481 Cold Canyon Rd Calabasas, CA 91302
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This iconic corner Victorian was the exterior setting for the 1993 classic where Robin Williams's character pretended to be a British nanny just to nab more time with his kids.
However, after Williams' passing, the steps on the corner have become so much more of an attraction, as people left tributes to the late actor there. In 2016, the house was sold for $4 million.
Plan your trip here.
2640 Steiner St. San Francisco, CA 94115
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Father of the Bride
Did you know that Steve Martin's house in Father of the Bride is actually a private residence in Pasadena, California? Movie buffs can drive past the home and imagine the wedding happening in the backyard.
843 S El Molino Ave Pasadena, CA 91106
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Let's be honest, the Cullens' house was just (if not more) as attractive/incredible/mysterious as the Cullen family. Because the house was built on a slope, it has that “floating among trees” illusion. Although you can only see the residence from the street, it does not disappoint.
3333 NW Quimby St Portland, OR 97210
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I think we all coveted the loft area Max had in his bedroom. But what you don't realize in the movie is that the house is actually right on the water and has gorgeous views. Fans can drive by the home in Salem, MA to see for themselves. Just be sure to be quiet and respectful, though, since this is a privately owned home.
3 Ocean AveS alem, MA 01970
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This charming little 500 square foot cottage was the set where Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, waited on the porch after he's late for dinner with Charlie. The house even has large photos from the movie on the exterior of it. Fans can easily grab a snap of the home.
102 N Pacific St Oceanside, CA 92054
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The classic NYC show was mostly filmed on a set at Warner Brothers Studios in California, the exterior shots of their apartment building are of a real place in Greenwich Village in New York. While there is a little cafe below the apartment, it's unfortunately NOT named Central Perk.
90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
15 Real Movie Locations You Can Actually Visit
While many major films shoot on a closed sound stage, sometimes productions venture out into the real world to create movie magic. Here are 15 locations from famous films that you can actually visit.
1. The Firehouse from Ghostbusters
The Ghostbusters' New York City headquarters sits at 14 North Moore Street on the corner of Varick Street in TriBeCa. It's actually the home of Hook & Ladder Company #8, a fully working and operational New York Fire Department firehouse.
Though the exterior of Ghostbusters HQ was in New York City, its interiors were filmed at another firehouse in Los Angeles, which is located at 225 E. 5th Street.
Fire Station #23 was decommissioned in 1960 and the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission declared it a Historic Cultural Monument.
2. Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard
Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza is located at 2121 Avenue of the Stars, which is actually Fox Plaza, the corporate headquarters for Twentieth Century Fox in Los Angeles, California.
A majority of Die Hard was filmed there, despite the building being under construction at the time of shooting. Fox Plaza is also featured in Speed, Airheads, and Fight Club.
All four movies were released by Twentieth Century Fox.
3. The House from A Christmas Story
While A Christmas Story is based in Indiana, the exterior house shots were filmed on location in Cleveland, Ohio. The Parkers' home is located at 3159 W. 11th Street in the Tremont neighborhood.
After purchasing the house, Brian Jones set about renovating the house—including the interior, which the production shot on a soundstage in Toronto—into an exact replica of the Parkers’ house in the film. It's open to the public and serves as a museum that is full of props and movie memorabilia.
There's even an “official” Chinese food restaurant located a few blocks away from A Christmas Story House and Museum, but it's not the same location featured in the holiday film.
4. OCP Headquarters from Robocop
Although the original RoboCop took place in Detroit, Michigan, future downtown Detroit was an amalgam of Pittsburgh and Dallas. In fact, OCP corporate headquarters was actually Dallas City Hall; the production used matte paintings to make the building appear taller.
5. The Hotel from The Grand Budapest Hotel
The department store Görlitzer Warenhaus (de) was used for the atrium lobby of the titular Grand Budapest Hotel. The store was scheduled for demolition, but the production saved it.
“The columns, the staircases, that really magnificent window and that huge chandelier, that was already there, that’s all original,” production designer Adam Stockhausen told The Hollywood Reporter. “We built everything else.
” Currently, the department store is under renovation and will re-open in early 2016.
6. Yavin IV from Star Wars
The Massassi Outpost rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin in the original Star Wars film was shot on location at the Mayan temple ruins in The Tikal National Park in Guatemala. Director George Lucas picked the location after he saw a poster at a travel agency while shooting in London, England.
7. The Tribute Training Center from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Marriott Marquis Hotel at 265 Peachtree Center Avenue NE in Atlanta, Georgia is where you'll find the posh Tributes' Quarters and Training Center from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
The hotel was chosen for its gigantic atrium—at one time the largest in the world—and beautiful glass elevators.
The Tributes' living quarters were filmed on the 10th floor and a set was built on the hotel's roof.
8. Subterranean Pool from 127 Hours
At the beginning of 127 Hours, Aron Ralston (James Franco) meets two hikers (Kate Mara and Amber Tamblyn); the trio dives into a subterranean pool with a 55-foot drop.
The pool is actually a natural hot spring located at the Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah.
But you can't recreate the scene: The resort won't let you dive into the hot spring the actors did in the movie for safety reasons.
9. The Overlook Hotel from The Shining
While the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining was an elaborate set on a sound stage at EMI Elstree Studios in England (the largest set ever built at the studio), the fictional hotel is two real hotels in the United States. The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, California was the inspiration for the interior of the Overlook, while Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon was used for its exterior and establishing shots.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was the original inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in the novel The Shining. Author Stephen King was disappointed that Kubrick didn't shoot at The Stanley, but the made-for-TV version of The Shining was filmed at the Colorado hotel in 1997 instead. The Stanley also appeared in Dumb and Dumber in 1994.
10. Camp Towanda from Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Summer was shot at Camp Towanda, a sleepaway summer camp in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Though the movie takes place during the summer, it was actually filmed during the spring before new campers arrived for the season.
Un what the title suggests, it was actually very cold and rainy throughout the 28-day shoot. The producers told the owners that Wet Hot American Summer was a family comedy, so they could get clearance from Camp Towanda to shoot there.
After the camp owner's watched it, they were appalled by the movie.
11. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters from X-Men
Hatley Castle, located in British Columbia, Canada, was used as the exterior for Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men movies.
It first appeared in Generation X, a made-for-TV movie in 1996, but later it found its way into X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand throughout the 2000s.
Twentieth Century Fox also used Casa Loma in Toronto and Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario for exteriors, while movie sets on a soundstage in Los Angeles were used to shoot interiors.
12. The Baseball Diamond from Field of Dreams
Universal Studios built the field of Field of Dreams in Dubuque County, Iowa, near the city of Dyersville, straddling the land of two farmers. After filming completed in 1988, the field was left behind for the landowners: the Lansing family, who owned the house, the infield, and right field; and the Ameskamp family, who maintained left and center.
At first, there were two driveways, two gift shops, and two parking lots, and equipment purchased from left field couldn’t be used on the right. But in 2007, the Ameskamps sold their part of the baseball diamond to the Lansings.
Currently, Go the Distance Baseball, LLC owns the 193 acres where the film was shot; there are plans to develop a new $74 million complex called Baseball Heaven.
13. The Cherry Street Inn from Groundhog Day
While Groundhog Day takes place Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, it was almost entirely filmed in Woodstock, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
The cozy bed and breakfast where Bill Murray's Phil Connors stays is Royal Victorian Manor, located at 344 Fremont Street.
Woodstock also hosts an annual Groundhog Day, where fans can experience the movie with special events around the town—including a two-night stay at the Royal Victorian Manor.
14. Top Notch from Dazed & Confused
Top Notch, located at 7525 Burnet Road in Austin, Texas, served as one of the teen hangouts in Dazed & Confused: It's where David Wooderson, played by Matthew McConaughey, first got the word out about the party at the Moontower (no longer a functioning site) at the film's climax. You can still grab a burger at the Top Notch today.
15. Hogwarts from Harry Potter
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter film series is actually a few locations around England: Christ Church College and Cathedral in Oxford was used for its 16th-century stone staircase, and the design of its dining hall inspired Hogwarts' Great Hall; Gloucester Cathedral was used for the school's hallways in the first two films; Lacock Abbey near Chippenham in Wiltshire was used for a number of Hogwarts’ classrooms; and Bodleian Library of Oxford University, Fourth Form Room of Harrow Old Schools in Greater London, and Alnwick Castle in Northumberland were all locations used to bring Hogwarts alive on the big screen.
A majority of Christ Church College and Durham Cathedral's architecture inspired the design of the numerous Hogwarts movie sets at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, England.
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10 Locations From Hit Films You Can Actually Visit Today
The world of film is often wrought with fantasy worlds and magical landscapes. Filmmakers can even use their craft to make real-life areas look unbelievable setpieces.
With many locations being either hand-designed sets or being hyperbolized, a fan of a film looking to experience a place from their favorite film could find themselves disappointed. Fear not, for here are 10 locations from hit films that you can visit, that look the way you'd hope they would.
10 Art Museum Steps (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – Rocky
The iconic training montage in Rocky culminates with the underdog boxer hero running up a set of stairs and celebrating at the top of them. Good news for anyone looking to fulfill their dream of doing the wildly famous cardio exercise, you can.
The steps, located at the front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, are the exact same as when Stallone ran up them over forty years ago. There is now even a life-size bronze statue of the fighter at the top of the steps, so no one has to celebrate their ascent alone.
9 Randy's Donuts (Los Angeles, California) – Iron Man 2
It turns out the giant-sized donut that a depressed Tony Stark sits in while gorging himself is real. What makes the donut shop worthy of a place on this list isn't only the fact that an Avenger was a fan of them.
The restaurant supposedly has the best donuts in Los Angeles, and multiple reviews would back that huge claim. It's no wonder a billionaire playboy philanthropist would choose them as his comfort food.
8 Central Market (Los Angeles, California) – Blade Runner
The market is one of the more iconic looking aspects of Blade Runner's vibrant neon-drenched city. While the actual market is not as futuristic as it appears in the film, due to real-life 2019 not looking quite 2019 portrayed by the movie, it is still a colorful sight at night that is worth seeing.
Plus, it is an actual functioning market, so it is more than just something to look at and move on. Throw on a long coat and the experience instantly becomes 10x cooler.
7 Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford, England) – Harry Potter Series
The beautifully crafted Harry Potter films utilize locations all over England, as well as sets, to bring the magical world to life. Just Hogwarts, the massive boarding school for wizarding inclined children, is made up of real-life places all over the country.
Maybe the best choice for someone looking to see the castle for real is the cathedral in Oxford. This location has the advantage of being used for both interior and exterior shots in the films. Walking through the massive grand hall will surely make you feel you're heading to be sorted by that crazy sentient hat.
6 Tiffany & Co. (New York, New York) – Breakfast At Tiffany's
The luxury jewelry store that Audrey Hepburn gazed longingly at is a regular store in New York. While you ly won't get away with reenacting any scenes or eating a Denny's Grand Slam inside the expensive showroom, you could always get a picture gazing into the front window with a bagel and coffee in hand. Close enough.
5 The Getty Center (Los Angeles, California) – Star Trek: Into Darkness
Fans that boldly go to the center might be disappointed to find that the futuristic-looking building isn't actually Star Command headquarters it is in the film. However, this museum still has a lot to offer to anyone looking for a nice way to kill a few hours in L.A.
Visitors' disappointment will also be dissuaded instantly upon arrival when they learn the museum is completely free to walk through.
4 Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse (New York, New York) – Ghostbusters
Okay, so a really excited visitor might be disappointed to find this building isn't actually home to a team of ghost hunters. It is, however, still a fully functional firehouse. While this means they don't let visitors come inside, there is something cool about knowing the building is genuinely being used for good.
The spot is typically pretty light on tourists, and there is a decent-sized Ghostbusters mural, so it's a great spot to stop and take a picture when already seeing the sights in the city.
3 Timberline Lodge (Mount Hood, Oregon) – The Shining
If you're planning on taking a ski trip, why not do it somewhere you can be in constant fear of things other than the black diamond your uncle is peer pressuring you to ski down despite your overly expressed lack of experience.
This lodge was used for all the exterior shots of the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's horror masterpiece. While it might seem disappointing to go inside and not see the iconic carpets or rooms, the massive building genuinely evokes a sense of awe and even dread when you pull up, and it is covered in snow.
2 King's Cross Station (London, England) – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
This fully functioning station is where the first installment of the wizarding saga shot the iconic wall teleporting scene. The station has a statue of a luggage cart halfway through the wall, with a sign above that reads “Platform 9 3/4.”
After taking a picture posed the station scene, you can go over to a nearby store that's made up to look just Ollivander's Wands.
1 The Beverly Wilshire Hotel (Beverly Hills, California) – Pretty Woman
The luxury hotel where Julia Roberts stays for the majority of the classic romantic comedy looks even grander in person. It is no wonder it was chosen to highlight the vague riches Richard Gere touts in the film.
Amazingly, the hotel welcomes fans of the movie to come inside and look around, making it a fine stop on a tourist trip. After all, not everyone can afford to stay there or find someone willing to house them in an effort to fill a void in his life.
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15 famous movies and the *actual* countries they were filmed in
Though the film was shot at various locations across New Zealand, easily the most iconic and recognizable set in the whole LOTR trilogy was Hobbiton, the small hobbit village where we’re introduced to series protagonists Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf the Grey.
The set, which still exists and offers daily tours, was built in the Hinuera Valley of Matamata in Waikato (an hour south of the famous glow worm caves) and looks every bit the part today as it did nearly two decades ago, when the movie was originally filmed.
2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Tunisia, England, Guatemala, USA)
If you’re me (and any of a bajillion other nerds out there), you saw this first film in the preposterously successful Star Wars franchise and were easily convinced that Tatooine was just some barren wasteland of a planet (in a galaxy far, far away).
But as it turns out, those scenes were actually just shot in the convincingly barren Djerba, Sidi Jemour, Tozeur, Mos Espa, Tataouine (yes, this is where the name came from), and Matmata in southern and western Tunisia. Bonus: You can actually spend a night (or several) in Luke Skywalker’s home, the Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata.
3. Gladiator (Morocco, England, Italy, Malta, USA)
Stripped of his rank and left for dead, Gladiator protagonist Maximus Decimus Meridius is carted off by slave traders to the Roman province of Zuccabar, where he embarks on a series of epic training montages to become the infamous gladiator.
In reality, you can visit “Zuccabar” (aka Aït Benhaddou) in Morocco’s Hollywood, Ouarzazate.
If those burnt-orange clay spires seem awfully familiar, it’s probably because they’ve been featured in > 20 films and television shows since the ’60’s (including: Gladiator, The Mummy, and Game of Thrones).
Sadly, each film that passes through the ancient city (which people still live in today) leaves a permanent mark, including the massive pit that was dug to house the arena for Gladiator and never filled in, and an entire temple gateway facade that was built for the Mummy and just left there.
4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (England, Scotland, Australia)
A British cult-classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a textbook example of movie magic at work. Apparently, the film’s producers originally secured the rights from the National Trust in Scotland to shoot at a variety of Scottish castles, as well as special permission to shoot at the Doune Castle from the Lord of Moray.
At the very last minute, the National Trust reneged on their deal, forcing the Monty Python producers to shoot several different scenes using only the various parts of Doune Castle (including, among others, the famous King Arthur vs. the garrison guards scene, the “Knights of the Round Table” musical number, and the Trojan Rabbit scene).
5. Skyfall (England, Scotland, Japan, Turkey, China)
The third film in Daniel Craig’s James Bond incarnation, Skyfall opens with an intense motorbike chase scene across the rooftops surrounding Eminonu Square, and then through the Grand Bazaar in the old quarter of Istanbul, Turkey.
According to local reports, on the first day of shooting the chase, Craig’s stuntman lost control of the bike — and smashed right through the crystal glass window a 330-year-old historic storefront.
6. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Italy, Spain)
Nothing says “authentic Old West America” … Spain? As odd as it sounds, apparently outsourcing our tumbleweeds and swinging saloon doors to locations in Italy and Spain was the common practice for nearly every (now famous) spaghetti Western produced in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
If you’re itchin’ to get some dust on your spurs and experience the American Old West as only the Spanish city of Almería could capture, you can actually visit some of those sets (which they still use for shooting) in the pseudo-amusement park now called “Texas Hollywood” or “Fort Bravo.”
7. Dark Knight Rises (India, England, Scotland, Italy, USA)
In the third and final film of Christian Bale’s stint as the Dark Knight, Bale’s Bruce Wayne finds himself trapped with a broken spine, deep inside a prison pit in some faraway land.
After (ostensibly months of) rehabilitation, Wayne manages to liberate himself from the pit, and emerges to find himself at the foot of the impressive Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur, the second-largest city in the northwest state of Rajasthan, India.
The fort was also heavily featured in one of the dream story sequences from Tarsem Singh’s 2006 film, The Fall.
8. Mamma Mia! (Greece, Morocco, England, USA)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 2008 ABBA-inspired film Mamma Mia! that is set in Greece, was largely shot in Greece (even though producers took other liberties, filming scenes set in New York in London, for example). Filmed largely on the Greek island of Skopelos, and in parts of nearby Damouchari in Pelion, Mamma Mia! was shot almost entirely without a hitch… save for one exception.
According to director Phyllida Lloyd, during the “Dancing Queen” musical number scene: the cast was joined by a chorus of extras comprised of Pelion locals, and (somewhat randomly) one German expat who brought along her donkey. Apparently, every time the music started, the donkey became agitated, and proceeded to charge full speed through the set, jeopardizing the shot.
9. Lawrence of Arabia (Morocco, Spain, England, USA, Jordan)
Featuring some of the most quintessential and archetypal “camels crossing the desert” scenes in the history of film, Lawrence of Arabia may be single-handedly responsible for my insatiable desert-lust.
Though producers hit a number of dune hotspots around the world (including the Imperial Sand Dunes in California, and Ouarzazate in Morocco), the majority of the sweeping desert panoramas that immediately come to mind when recalling the film were shot in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
Bonus: it is probably no coincidence that Wadi Rum was selected as the image of the desert the production team wanted to relay, as it was the desert that the real Lawrence spent time in, and which the film itself was inspired by.
10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Jordan, Spain, USA, Germany, Italy, England)
While the temple may not be filled with booby-traps or contain the holy cup of Christ, the cliffside facade at Al Khazneh (featured in the climax of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) really *does* look that, and can be found in Petra, Jordan.
As a direct result of the film’s success, tourism to the region has exploded exponentially, and the phenomenon has even been acknowledged by Middle Eastern satire publications ( this article, titled “Petra to be renamed ‘That place from Indiana Jones’“).
The Matador Network recently visited Jordan, and shot some killer footage around the country (and at Al Khazneh). Check it out here.
11. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USA)
The first in a remarkably successful 4-film franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean was actually shot largely in the Caribbean…who knew? If you’ve seen the film, you probably remember the scene where Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swan find themselves marooned on a deserted island — the same island where Jack is later forced to utter the most quotable line from the whole movie: “but why is all the rum gone?”
That island is actually known as “Petit Tabac,” in the Tobago Cays island group of St. Vincent and the Grenadines off the Northeastern coast of Venezuela. To get there in real life, you’ll need to charter a boat (ly at the Tobago Cays Marine Park on Clifton Union Island), and sail just 6 miles northeast.
12. The Beach (Thailand, UK)
For those who have not seen the movie, the film The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio is essentially about trying to find that perfect, untouched beach we all imagine when we think of “idyllic, sun-swept, footprint-less paradise.
” You know, the kind of beach you’d see in a travel brochure or “epic beaches” listicle.
So naturally, producers had a pretty tall order to fill… but ultimately settled on Koh Phi Phi Leh, one of the largest islands in the Krabi province of Thailand.
And for those looking to find the same thing as Leo’s character in the movie: I have good news and bad news. The bad news, is that while still amazingly beautiful, Koh Phi Phi Leh is now regularly swarmed by tourists.
The good news, is that Thailand is so jam-packed with literally hundreds of remote islands (including, for example, Ko Tarutao), that you’ll definitely be able to find whatever flavor of “paradise” you’re looking for.
13. Cast Away (Fiji, Philippines, Russia, USA)
I dare you to tell me you haven’t once stopped and wondered where exactly it was that Tom Hanks (and Wilson!) washed up in the film Cast Away.
As it turns out, it actually is a completely uninhabited 99-acre island off the coast Viti Levu, the largest of the islands in Fiji.
A member of the Mamamuca island chain, Monuriki Island now sees daily “Cast Away” boat tours, many of which depart from Port Denarau on Viti Levu.
14. Die Another Day (Spain, England, USA, Iceland, Norway)
I grew up with Brosnan’s Bond, so while I freely accept that he is probably the lamest blip in James Bond history, he’ll always be the one I think of when I hear “007.” In the 4th installment of Brosnan’s tenure as Bond, Die Another Day culminates in one of the craziest car chases I’ve ever seen on film: sliding and skidding across a glacier.
On the one hand, I was disheartened to learn that the actual glacier they filmed on in the glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón, Iceland doesn’t exist.
On the other hand, I also learned that the production team actually had engineers dam the lake in an effort get it to freeze for the scene… and that it only froze to a safe thickness for the stunt days before the production team was scheduled to move the shoot to Alaska.
15. Mad Max: Fury Road (Namibia, Australia, South Africa)
Sure, it may be the new kid on the block (it is still in theaters, after all), but Mad Max: Fury Road is already comfortably seated as Imdb’s #38 best movie of all time. So in an effort to tiptoe around spoilers for those of us who haven’t seen the film yet: there are car chases. In the desert. And it’s pretty freaking sweet.
Unique to this installment of the Mad Max franchise, large swaths of the film were shot in the Namib desert of Namibia (of NatGeo “this picture looks painted but it isn’t” fame).
Director George Miller made the tough call to break from tradition (and move the shoot to Namibia) after the third wettest rainy season in Australia’s recorded history left the original shooting site of Broken Hill too lush with new growth to be considered gritty and post-apocalyptic enough for the film.
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