Movie Sets You Can Explore
Even though Star Wars took place in a galaxy far, far away, the set is actually really, really close. Want to visit District 12 of The Hunger Games or the battlegrounds of Gladiator? How about Elliots’ house from E.T or The Misty Mountains from Lord of the Rings? Whatever your cinematic pleasure, chances are you can still immerse yourself in your favorite flick.
Star WarsCredit: gorik/photo on flickr
Sure you might have to fly to Africa but that’s better than the hyperspace jump to Tatoonie (actually that’s not true). Preserved in the Southern deserts of Tunisia is a collection of buildings that will bring the die-hard Star Wars fan to a state of absolute delirium. Wander the streets of Mos Eisly or stay the night in Luke Skywalkers boyhood home (now a converted hotel).
The Hunger GamesCredit: NCBrian / photo on flickr
Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina are some of the sights and sounds of this incredibly popular series. May the odds be ever in your favor as you follow the path of Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne through the infamous District 12 (abandoned Henry River Mill Village). You can even sign up for a Hunger Games weekend adventure complete with archery classes and survival skills.
If apocalyptic science fiction isn’t your thing how about some small town vampires? Fictional Forks is actually not fictional; filmed largely in and around Portland Oregon, explore the haunts of Bella, Jacob and the entire Cullen clan. All the familiar sights are accessible from the local high school (548 China Garden Rd in the town of Kalama, Washington) to the La Push Beach (Indian Beach, Ecola State Park, off Hwy 101, only two miles north of Cannon Beach, Oregon).
Even after all these years the original appeal of E.T can still tug at your heart-strings. Camouflaged by an inconspicuous Tujunga, California neighborhood is the boyhood home of Elliot. Although the NASA security and scientists are long gone you can still do a quick drive by one of the 1980’s most popular and profitable movie landmark.Credit: Rberg/panoramio.com
Credit: Vince Millett / photo on flickrTucked away in the deserts of Morocco is Ait Ben Haddou, one of the many awe-inspiring locations of Gladiator and about as close to time travel as you will ever experience. Get lost in a labyrinth of narrow streets as you explore this UNESCO world heritage sight (entirely of earthen construction). If deserts aren’t your thing, you can always visit the Coliseum in Rome. Although Russell Crowe never actually set foot inside this mega structure, its history and cinematic presence is always worth a visit.
The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R Tolkein couldn’t have picked a better location himself. With a landscape tailor-made for Middle Earth, New Zealand is the perfect backdrop for Orcs, Ents, Elves and Hobbits. Hike along the Misty Mountains or follow a path through captivating Hobbiton. Arrange a guided tour through some of your favorite scenes with the help of the many travel guide services dedicated to LOTR fans.
For die-hard movie buffs, the enchantment of the silver screen doesn’t have to end when the credits roll. Combining travel and your favorite film is a perfect way to experience different cultures and relive a little of that movie magic. So the next time you're sitting in a darkened theatre, keep an open mind...you might just find the inspiration to travel.