This week we are taking a look at the top fictional travel destinations. You can’t actually visit them anywhere other than on the screen, in a book, or in your own imagination however you can see the locations where they are filmed. Just don’t expect to actually find the Jax Teller and other members of the Sons, or catch a glimpse of the Man of Steel saving Metropolis, again.
10 Best Film Locations to Visit
Recently featured in the HBO show Game of Thrones, Westeros is a continent roughly the size of South America and is home to all kinds of attractions and interesting people. Maybe you want to see the Red Keep down in Kings Landing, or dine with the Starks up in Winterfell. Perhaps you want to travel to the free city of Braavos (edit: which is actually in Essos, not Westeros), for some fresh seafood and warrior training, or gaze upon the 5 Fingers of Harrenhal. Don’t lose your head if you get lost- there are plenty of sell swords to accompany you for the right amount of coin. Wherever you go, do try your best not to step on the wrong cloak, or else you’ll be sent up to the Wall to live out your days as a man of the Night’s Watch, and those guys hardly ever earn vacation time. If you’re familiar with George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire you may know that different parts of Westeros have been filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Doune Castle in Scotland, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The first season is currently up for 13 Emmy Awards, while Season 2 of Game of Thrones is currently filming and should air this spring, but winter is coming before that happens.
2. Charming, California
This town from the FX series Sons of Anarchy is protected by the local motorcycle gang. Head down to the now defunct Impeccable Smokes cigar shop in downtown Charming before making your way over to the local fundraiser where you can watch Bobby Munsin doing his best Elvis impersonation for some schoolchildren. If you have any car problems, stop by the Teller-Morrow Garage. Charming is based roughly on some small towns outside of San Francisco and is mostly filmed in Los Angeles, so you can cruise the area yourself with a motorcycle rental in California. Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy has just started on FX, so check your local listings.
3. Bon Temps, Louisiana
You will want to see Bon Temps because all vampires and other mythical creatures are just like southern food and weather- HOT. The fictional town is home to the events in the popular HBO series True Blood. If Bon Temps were real, visitors could dine in Merlotte’s, a local watering hole and restaurant where you can enjoy the finest dishes served up by Layfayette Reynolds, Bon Temps finest short order cook. Watch out there though, order a drink from Tara Thornton the wrong and you’re bound to get an earful of smack talk. The Bon Temps Cemetery is one of the oldest in Louisiana and is perfect for late night walks, just don’t forget your silver necklace. Bon Temps is based on some of the many small Cajun towns in Louisiana. Season 4 of True Blood has just ended, but the show has already been renewed for season 5.
These next two cities have been portrayed in comics, television shows, and film so many times that it feels as if they could be real. Gotham is of course home to the Wayne Enterprises, and the CEO of the company, Bruce Wayne. Keep an eye out for the celebrity millionare, as he likes to crash expensive cars, buy expensive bars, and party all hours of the night. Gotham also has another famous resident, a crime fighting vigilante known only as the “Bat Man.” Some credit the drop in crime to him, while others think he is just another law breaker. Gotham has been shot in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New York, and Los Angeles. The next Batman movie titled The Dark Knight Rises should be out in theaters in July of 2012.
In Metropolis, you can pick up and read a little newspaper called the Daily Planet, which features some of the fine photography of Jimmy Olsen, paired with the journalism of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. There’s also many sightings of Superman, but that’s not related to the newspaper at all. Metropolis has been shown on screen in the masked form of Los Angeles, New York and Chicago in the USA, Calgary and Vancouver Canada, and Sydney Australia. The latest installment of Superman titled Man of Steel is slated to come out in June 2013.
6. Diagon Alley
Wands at the ready! Ever wanted to visit the magical world of Harry Potter? Chances are you won’t be accepted into Hogwarts anytime soon, but you can make your way to London and search for the famous Diagon Alley. Deposit your money in Gringots, get your wand at Ollivanders, and pick some great pranking material at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. You can actually visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Florida for some actual magical experiences. It’s for people of all ages, so don’t be afraid to dawn your
graduation wizard robes.
7. Golden Pond
This is probably the only place on the list where you could actually relax and take a real vacation. Made famous in the classic movie On Golden Pond, the real Golden Pond is actually Squam Lake in Holderness, NH.
8. Forest Moon of Endor
It’s a moon, it’s covered in cute little bear like creatures, and it is a dream come true for outdoor adventurists. I’m sure Les Stroud would love a week or two alone on Endor. That is provided the Empire isn’t housing any shield generators. Brought into the spotlight in Return of the Jedi, the scenes featuring Endor were shot in Smith River,California. Grab your
Speeders mountian bike and lets roll!
9. The Shire
For ultimate in rest and relaxation, head over to the Shire, specifically Hobbiton. There you can enjoy the finest ales and smoke the best pipe leaf. You will want to be sure to enjoy dinner at the Green Dragon. Just try to stay out of Farmer Maggots crops! The Hobbit is currently filming in New Zealand and part one is slated for release in December of 2012.
Be sure to arrive to Caprica before the Cylon invasion and enjoy all the finest that the 13 colonies have to offer. Unless of course you are a Cylon. The New Batttlestar Galactica series Blood and Chrome is currently being filmed in Vancouver, Canada.