It’s Motivation Monday, and this post is all about motivating you to visit movie filming locations of the world! Whether you love sci-fi, classic, or adventure movies, there’s a film-worthy location out there waiting for you to discover it!
Na’Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii, USA
Many films have been made, at least in part, with the stunning Na’Pali Coast as the backdrop. Jurassic Park, South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and more were all filmed here. Actually, even the computer animated movie Avatar used real footage of these majestic cliffs for the scenes of the mountains in the clouds!
I’olani Palace, Honolulu, O’ahu, Hawaii, USA
There is only one state in the USA that can boast an actual royal palace where kings and queens resided, and that’s Hawaii. And only one movie has, at the time of this writing, been allowed to film there. The I’olani Palace in Honolulu is one of the locations where the film Princess Kaiulani was filmed.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are some of the most protected and sparsely touched in the world. So when the movie Master and Commander needed to create a 19th century visit to the islands, it wasn’t too difficult. They didn’t have to contend with urban development or other factors. The Galapagos are truly stunning, with unique terrain and animals found nowhere else in the world. There is also footage from a documentary called The Galapagos Affair that details the mysterious lives (and a few deaths) of the first human occupants of the islands. If you can find it, it’s worth watching for the story and also the actual footage shot by some actors who chose to live there. One recommendation: watch it during the day!
Siem Reap, Cambodia
This is one of my favorite sites in the world. The temples at Angkor Wat and surrounding temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia, not only impressed me, they stunned me. The detail and sheer size of these temples is a marvel. So much so that scenes from both Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were filmed here. Several other movies have taken advantage of this awe-inspiring location, but those are two of the best-known!
Some of you may have read about my own time in Japan, including a couple of visits to Kyoto in 2006! But did you know that both The Last Samurai and Memoirs of a Geisha filmed several scenes in this beautiful former capitol city? Next time you’re stuck for some travel inspiration, book your ticket to Japan and be sure to watch those movies in preparation!
It’s to my shame that I have yet to set foot on the African continent, but my sweet husband has visited before! As a matter of fact, he visited some of the top sites in Uganda–the location of the source of the Nile, safaris, waterfalls, and filming locations for the classic movie The African Queen!
The Eternal City will forever be memorialized in the movies. Classics like Three Coins in the Fountain and Roman Holiday were filmed here. More recently, Eat, Pray, Love and Spectre were filmed on location here. And you can see it for yourself!
London is so historic and iconic, it is a coveted location for movies, TV shows, vacations, cultural experiences, and more. Some well-known movies with notable scenes filmed in London include Notting Hill, Love Actually, Bridget Jones Diary and Bridget Jones Baby, Casino Royale, the Harry Potter franchise, and, of course, Muppet Treasure Island.
New York, New York, USA
What hasn’t been filmed in New York, right? From Ghostbusters to the Batman movies to Enchanted and Maid in Manhattan, the Big Apple is a prime filming location. Classics like An Affair to Remember and The Belle of New York were filmed here, and it hasn’t been out of the movies ever since. One of my favorites is Working Girl. As you explore New York, you’ll notice some of the iconic “establishing shot” locations like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Times Square!
Los Angeles, California, USA
Like New York, Los Angeles (LA) is a Mecca for filming. LA’s own Hollywood is the hometown of the American movie industry! Even movies set elsewhere in the world are filmed on man-made sets in LA. Rebel Without a Cause, A Star is Born, Earthquake, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Holiday are just a few of the movies filmed in LA!
Washington, DC, USA
My adopted hometown of DC is home to lots of movies, miniseries, TV shows, and streaming services’ original projects. I actually happened to be downtown in 2008 when Eagle Eye was being filmed. I got to sit in the presidential motorcade! Other movies filmed on location here include Air Force One, The American President, The Exorcist, Forrest Gump, and Independence Day.
So what do you think? What movies have inspired you to travel? Or what locations have inspired you to watch a movie?