Get Inspired: Favorite Travel Destinations Inspired by Box Office Movies
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Feb 21, 2012

Get Inspired: Favorite Travel Destinations Inspired by Box Office Movies

When was the last time you watched a movie and gazed in wonder at the scenery thinking ‘I wish I was there’? It seems to be something that I do on a regular basis so I figured I’d start tailoring some of my trips around a few of those destinations that made me feel really inspired.

Last year I made it to Las Vegas for the first time, where I gazed at the fountains of the Bellagio in the style of Ocean’s Eleven, stared skyward at the gargoyle which was made famous by the flying mattress in The Hangover and watched the sinking of the Pirate Ship without the drama of Miss Congeniality 2. I also found time to visit Muscle Beach in Los Angeles, wander through Notting Hill, and sit aboard the Scottish steam train made famous as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express.

But if you think I’m some sort of ‘movie groupie’, think again. I don’t stalk location directors in my spare time, and I don’t plan all my vacations around the Hollywood box office’s opening reviews. It’s just that I see movies as a sort of personal travel assistant, opening the doors of opportunity by giving me a brief glimpse into some of the most amazing locations on Earth.

I’m not alone, either. Movie buffs from around the world follow in the footsteps of their icons to set foot on hallowed ground. Here are a few of the most popular destinations for adventure tours inspired by movies from this decade.

Lord of The Rings
Tongariro National Park
This fantastic trilogy was filmed mostly in New Zealand, and in some of the most inaccessible parts of the country as well. The Tongariro National Park, with its three not entirely extinct volcanoes, played home to the dark lands of Mordor and are regularly visited by fans (and Orcs) alike. A private estate called Alexander Farm played the part of Hobbiton, and the remains of the tiny town can still be visited there today.

Twilight
Portland, Oregon is the filming location for this trilogy, and little about the area has changed. It was chosen for its eco-friendly outlook and its lush green vegetation that features so heavily in the movies. The towns of St Helens and Corbett are still there, of course, and true fans will recognize man of the waterfalls and other iconic landscape sights.

Pirates of The Caribbean
Who hasn’t fantasized about setting sail on a pirate galleon in the tropical blue water of the Caribbean? No? Well, if you ever find yourself craving a life on the open seas then your destination of choice should be St Vincent and the Grenadines,
Sailing St. Vincent and the Grenadines
the series of islands which played host to Johnny Depp’s infamous Captain Jack Sparrow and his cutthroat band of swashbucklers.

The Tourist
Even with the excellent acting skills of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in this beguiling tale of thievery and intrigue, it’s hard not to notice the even more enchanting lure of the famous city of Venice in which the film is set.
  Venice at dusk. Venice, Italy
Of course The Tourist wasn’t the only movie to be set here, with Casanova, Casino Royale and Just Married only a few more on the illustrious list. The iconic St Mark’s Square is a main attraction, while the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge are must-visit sights in this remarkable city.

The Terminal
Actually, this one’s probably best avoided. The tale of Viktor Navorski and his enforced stay in New York’s JFK Airport is based on the true story, and will certainly strike a chord with anyone who’s had to endure the purgatory of being stuck in the departures lounge for any length of time. But even an unplanned overnight stay pales into insignificance in comparison to the ordeal suffered by Mehran Karimi Nasseri who was forced to live in the Charles de Gaulle International Airport for an incredible 17 years due to a bureaucratic loop hole. Not recommended.

Author Bio: Fiona Galloway is a travel writer who regularly takes adventure tours to fulfil her movie fantasies.