10 Iconic Places in Movies You Can Actually Visit
Would you like to visit the most iconic places in the movies? If so, this is the ultimate list for you. We’ve scoured the box office hits and have put together a list of the 10 most iconic places to visit from movies. Whether you love the beach, the highlands, or are a fantasy buff, we’ve got a destination we think you’ll want to explore.
Check out these 10 iconic places that every movie buff should visit.
10. Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii – Jurassic Park
Not only is this location one of the most iconic scenes of the Hollywood blockbuster, but it is also one of the most beautiful open fields there is to be seen with its lush grassy fields and its vast mountain ranges. This valley on the island of Kauai is a popular tourist destination for any nostalgic fan of the prehistoric trilogy. You can actually take pictures in front of the actual tree stump that Sam Neil hides behind in the stampede during the first movie. Plus you can say you survived the real Jurassic Park.
9. Hallelujah Mountains, China – Avatar
Apparently the planet of Pandora is actually closer than we once thought. Originally named the Qiankunzhu mountains, these majestic landmarks were renamed as a tribute to the movie who used them as inspiration – and it’s easy to see why. The surreal, out of this world mountain ranges are some of the most majestic in the world, and in some ways are even more astonishing than the floating ones in the movie. Okay, maybe not, but still.
8. The Storr Isle of Skye, Scotland – Prometheus
This beautiful piece of scenery on the Trotternish Peninsula makes for the opening scene of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film. It’s no wonder why he felt strongly about adding this breath-taking landscape to his movie, with its bright grass and the rocky terrain of its mountains. This Isle is one of the most stunning and captivating sights Scotland has to offer.
7. Angel Falls, Venezuela – Up
Believe it or not, the waterfall seen in the movie up was actually inspired by Angel Falls in Venezuela. At a towering height of 3,212 feet, Angel Falls is the tallest waterfall in the world and one of the top tourist destinations in Venezuela. This colossal waterfall was featured in another disney film titled Dinosaur, and the 1990 film Arachnophobia.
6. The Stanley Hotel, Colorado – Dumb and Dumber, The Shining
This recognizable hotel from one of the most beloved comedies of the 90’s is where author Stephen King gained the inspiration to write his most famous novel, The Shining, and is also where the Shining mini-series was filmed. After being open for more than 100 years the Stanley hotel still holds up to a warm, welcoming atmosphere with an incredible view of the rocky mountains (In case you were wondering the rocky mountains are a lot rockier than expected).
5. The Shire, New Zealand – Lord of the Rings
Explore the hometown of Frodo Baggins where you can tour the real movie set from the Lord of the Rings franchise. Just off the town of Hamilton, you can step into middle-earth in what is every Lord of the Rings fanatic’s real-life dream. They also hold weddings here but call ahead, they have a pretty packed schedule.
4. Alnwick Castle, England – Harry Potter Franchise
This castle can be easily recognized by the interior and exterior for parts of the Harry Potter franchise and other films including Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Since its popular use in the movies this castle located in the English county of Northumberland has become a popular tourist destination for Potterheads (yes, that’s actually what they call themselves). It receives nearly a million visitors per year.
3. James Bond Islands, Thailand – James Bond: The Man With The Golden Gun
This set of islands has its own feature role as the evil lair for James Bond’s antagonist, Francisco Scaramanga, in the movie the Man With The Golden Gun. Nicknamed by tourists the James Bond islands the real name of this Thai landmark is Khao Phing Kan. About 100 feet off of its coast is the highly recognizable evil lair known as Ko Tapu (evil lair not included). This stunning natural formation stands at about 66 feet tall and is surrounded by numerous marine life including sharks and manta rays, just as an evil villain would want to surround his lair. Tourists can take day trip tours departing from Phuket, don’t try pronouncing that one in front of your grandma, to explore the jaw-dropping islands.
2. Alcatraz – Escape from Alcatraz
“Welcome to the rock!” This historic prison off the coast of San Francisco has been used in numerous amounts of movies including The Rock, X-Men The Last Stand, Birdman of Alcatraz, Catch Me If You Can, and of course Escape from Alcatraz. This Penitentiary was built in 1847 but wasn’t used as a federal prison until 1933, holding notorious criminals such as Al Capone. After being closed in 1963 the prison was reopened to the public as a tourist attraction in 1973. With its haunting atmosphere and fascinating history, Alcatraz is a great place to visit – but I would definitely not want to stay too long.
1. Utah Monument Valley, Utah – Forrest Gump
So many films have been shot in this desert location we couldn’t pick exactly which one to put in the title. This accolade includes films such as Forrest Gump, Back to the Future III, The Lone Ranger, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Vacation, Star Trek and numerous westerns including The Searchers and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Tourists have come here to gaze upon the familiar backgrounds of so many classic films from just about every generation. Just watching the sunset on the flat top mountains makes the journey worth your while.
What do you think of our list, would you like to visit any of these iconic destinations? Tell us what real-life place you’d like to visit from the movies in the comments section below!