On Location Vacations

Top 5 Travel-Inspiring Movies 2013

by Christine on December 31, 2013 · 3 comments

in News, Travel Inspiration

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This year’s list of travel-inspiring films was challenging but after some deliberation, we have decided the following five films best capture the locations where they were filmed and make us want to go there, too!

5. Safe Haven

Safe Haven wasn’t one of the year’s most critically acclaimed movies but its setting was award-winning to us.

Shot in Wilmington and Southport, North Carolina in 2012, the movie perfectly captures the beauty of the area and was one of the reasons we were inspired to travel there earlier this year.

A few stand out locations in Southport include Ports of Call where Julianne Hough celebrated her 23rd birthday, the Fishy Fishy Cafe which served as the set for the Safe Haven General Store, and the Old American Fish Co., which was transformed into Ivan’s Fish Shack for the movie.


4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Every year a new Hobbit movie hits theaters, we can guarantee it will land on our annual list because there are no other movies more intertwined with the country in which they were filmed than these. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and the entire series of Lord of The Rings and Hobbit films have fans all over the world planning trips to New Zealand. Hobbiton, the permanent set on a farm in Matamata complete with hobbit holes, gardens, bridge, the Mill and The Green Dragon, has become the highlight of these trips. Hobbiton is open to the public for tours, events, and even the occasional wedding. For more information, visit hobbitontours.com.


3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Like The Hobbit movies, The Hunger Game Ffranchise has launched an entire travel industry of its own. There are already Hunger Games-themed survival camps, filming location tours, and talk of an amusement park.

Catching Fire was primarily filmed in Hawaii and Atlanta, where the Swan House is taking full advantage of the movie’s popularity. The Atlanta History Center’s Capitol Tour includes a guided tour through the Swan House showcasing the rooms that were used during filming. Find out more at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.


2. Before Midnight

Before Midnight is the third film by Richard Linklater that focuses on the love affair between French activist Celine (Julie Delpy) and American writer Jesse (Ethan Hawke), following Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004).

Like the first two films, which were shot in Vienna and Paris, Before Midnight was shot on location in Europe and makes us wish we could hop on the next flight to Greece!

Most of the movie’s shoot took place at the once beautiful home of Patrick Leigh Fermor in the Kardamyli area which is fitting as the author had hoped it would be turned into a writer’s retreat after his death.

During filming, the cast and crew stayed at Costa Navarino Resort, whose owner, Christos Konstantakopoulos, also co-produced the film.

Check out visitgreece.gr for more information about the movie and its filming locations.


1. Nebraska

Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, about a father and son who reconnect as they travel 750 miles from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska, is this year’s must see road trip movie. And, like most of Payne’s films, it makes us want to hit the road, too!

The movie was filmed in various locations throughout America’s Midwest including Johnny Carson’s hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska, Rapid City, South Dakota, and Buffalo, Wyoming.

We dare you to watch Nebraska and not crave your own good old fashion road trip through America’s Heartland.

Here are a few movies that didn’t make our list but deserve an Honorable Mention: Big Sur (Big Sur, CA), Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012 (Chile), Blue Jasmine (San Francisco, CA), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Iceland & NYC).

Let us know what movie inspired you to travel in 2013 in a comment below!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Andy Graham January 1, 2014 at 11:22 am

If you find any good movies, here is my best travel movies page.


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