On your next trip in the United States, whether it's for vacation or for business, why not pay tribute to your favorite-ever movie by visiting the place where it was filmed? If you're feeling in a dramatic mood, you can even recreate the scene for yourself. Don't forget to bring your camera.
10 Movie Filming Locations You Should Visit
1. Forrest Gump - South Carolina, Georgia, Maine
While much of the filming for Forrest Gump took place in South Carolina (minus the bench, which is in Savannah, Georgia), there are many stunning shots around the US during Gump’s numerous runs that are worth visiting. Marshall Point Lighthouse is located near Port Clyde, Maine and is where Gump, “…got to another ocean” and “…figured since I’ve gone this far, might as well just turn back, keep right on going.” The city of Augusta (about 55 miles northwest of Port Clyde) has an airport you can fly into as well as rental car accommodations.
2. When Harry Met Sally - New York City
Order “what she’s having” in Katz Delicatessen, the café where Sally puts on a show for Harry (and everyone else in the café) to prove a point. Katz is located on East Houston Street in New York City. Fly into LaGuardia, Newark, or JFK and choose practically any mode of transportation you want that is in your budget (taxi, bus, subway, private car, rental car, helicopter ride.)
3. Good Will Hunting - Boston, Massachusetts
Pretend you’re a regular at L Street Tavern in South Boston, the pub where very young Matt Damon and Ben Affleck hang out in Good Will Hunting. L Street is about 15 minutes by car and 30 minutes by bus from Boston Logan International, making it an ideal spot for a drink if you have a layover. It’s also less than 3 miles from downtown Boston so if you get in a tussle with some Harvard students over a girl and miss your flight, maybe just stay in Boston.
4. The Shining - Mount Hood, Oregon
Stay at the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon and don’t worry: only the exterior was used in filming (the interior was shot in England so there’s absolutely no chance of ghost twin girls popping up, right?) In any case, it’s a ski resort that’s only 62 miles to the east of Portland so the beautiful Mount Hood scenery will keep any lingering willies you have about the movie at bay. There are many shuttles and cars that offer a lift to the lodge and plenty of rental car services in Portland if you prefer to drive yourself.
5. A Christmas Story - Cleveland, Ohio
5 minutes from downtown Cleveland, Ohio is Ralphie’s house from A Christmas Story. It has become quite the tourist attraction, equipped with tours (guided and self guided), original props, memorabilia, a gift shop, and museum. Yes, you can even buy a leg lamp if your heart desires it (don’t expect your significant other to love it as much as you do, though.)
6. Jaws - Mount Hood, Oregon
Amity Island exists, although it is better known as Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Much of the shooting for Jaws occurred on Joseph Sylva State Beach and according to National Geographic, you have a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark in your lifetime (so leave your oxygen tank and rifle at home). Martha’s Vineyard has it’s own airport and is located approximately 90 miles from both Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts.
7. Shawshank Redemption - Mansfield, ohio
Check out the beautiful prison where Andy Dufresnes did time in Mansfield, Ohio. Known as the Ohio State Reformatory (AKA Mansfield Reformatory), you can see Andy’s solitary confinement cell and the warden’s safe, not to mention Lil Wayne’s cell from his music video, “Go DJ” (unrelated, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. It’s painted gold!). Mansfield is located about equidistance (80 miles) from Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio.
8. Home Alone - Winnetka, Illinois
The house where Kevin McCallister fended off two inept criminals is real and is in Winnetka, Illinois (20 miles north of Chicago). It’s a private residence so you won’t be able to do too much snooping (I’m not advising you to snoop, but if you do, please don’t take lessons from Harry and Marv). It was recently purchased for a nice sum of 1.585 million dollars.
9. Up! - Emeryville, California
Admittedly, Up! Is an animated movie and unless you have the magic ticket from Last Action Hero you’re not going to be able to visit the wonderful places Pixar dreamed up. Or can you? Pixar’s headquarters are in Emeryville and they have paid tribute to more than a few local treasures. The ice cream store featured at the end of the movie, Fenton's Creamery, is very real and is on Piedmont Avenue in nearby Oakland. Even if you haven’t seen the movie and just love ice cream this place deserves a visit.
10. Rocky - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, down a glass full of raw eggs, run multiple miles whilst shadowboxing in order to sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You only have to book yourself a flight to Philadelphia International Airport, take a cab/car/bus, and sprint up the stairs (humming the theme song from Rocky never hurts). Having said that, the montage of Rocky running has been estimated to cover 31 miles so if you do like running and have a gray sweat suit…
This article was written by Eric Dressel.