If you’re a cinephile who thought the only place to visit for fun, film vibes was Hollywood in Los Angeles, think again. In fact, plenty of places around the country (and world!) were once “sets” to some of our favorite movies. And there’s no denying that these destinations are even more popular now then they were originally because of their time on the big screen. You don’t even have to be a die-hard film “nerd” or “stan” to enjoy the interactive sites, natural ruins, or hot-spot cities. But if you are a film fan, these nostalgic travel spots can provide some pretty aswesome shots for the ‘gram.
1. Firehouse, Hook & Ladder Company 8 (New York, NY), Ghostbusters
The Ghostbusters New York City headquarters sits at 14 North Moore Street on the corner of Varick Street in TriBeCa. But, it’s not just an abandoned building. The fully working and operational firehouse is actually the home of Hook & Ladder Company #8, an FDNY fire station. Although the exterior of the Ghostbusters’ HQ was in New York City, all the interior shots were filmed at another firehouse in Los Angeles.
2. The Making of Harry Potter; Warner Bros. Studio (London), Harry Potter
Even after seven books and eight films, the world still hasn’t lost its interest in all things Harry Potter-related. So what better place to visit than one of the places where the wizardry actually went down. This behind-the-scenes tour takes fans through the iconic locations from the movies: the Great Hall at Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and, of course, Platform 9¾ with the gleaming Hogwarts Express steam train. It’s the actual set where the seven flicks were filmed, so you’re walking where Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Alan Rickman, among others, actually stood!
3. Walt Disney Family Museum (San Francisco, CA)
If Mickey and the gang are your main squeezes, then a trip to Northern California to the wonderful Walt Disney Museum is for you. The interactive galleries include drawings, animation, movies, music, and listening stations and it brings fans’ favorite childhood movies to life. Best of all, the museum includes a theater that screens classics like Snow White and Cinderella all day, every day.
4. A Christmas Story Family Home and Museum (Cleveland, OH), A Christmas Story
While A Christmas Story was based in Indiana, the iconic house you see in the film is actually in Cleveland, Ohio. After purchasing the house that the movie used for filming, the owner renovated it to match the movie home’s interior. The house is now open to the public and serves as a museum full of props and movie memorabilia.
5. Max’s House (Salem, MA), Hocus Pocus
This is the very house where Dani let out that God-awful scream because she wanted to go trick or treating, and where she later got kidnapped from. It’s the house where Max and Allison opened Winnie’s spell book. So much history. What would Halloween be without watching Hocus Pocus? But, you don’t have to wait until fall to enjoy this classic film. A trip to Salem gives you unfettered access to the place where the Sanderson Sisters ran amuck! Amuck! Amuck!
6. The Real Halloweentown (St. Helens, Oregon), Halloweentown
Speaking of Halloween, who could forget the equally memorable Halloweentown, where Marnie discovered that she was a witch too! While some of the creatures in the Disney Channel fave might not be real, the great big pumpkin in the center of town was. Every fall, visitors to St. Helens experience the magic of this film at the Spirit of Halloweentown festival. Count us in!
7. Yavin IV (Tikal, Guatemala), Star Wars
In the original Star Wars film, the Massassi Outpost rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin was shot on location at the Mayan temple ruins in The Tikal National Park in Guatemala, a place where fans can still visit today. The location was picked by director George Lucas after he saw a poster at a travel agency while shooting in London, England.
8. Subterranean Pool (Midway, Utah), 127 Hours
At the beginning of 127 Hours, climber Aron Ralston, played by James Franco, meets two hikers. Soon after, the trio dives 55 feet into a subterranean pool. The pool is actually a natural hot spring located at the Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah and can be visited and swam in. Unfortunately, fans can’t recreate the scene as the resort won’t let visitors dive into the spring like for safety reasons. Fair enough, TBH.
9. The Tribute Training Center (Atlanta, GA), Hunger Games: Catching Fire
A trip down south brings you closer than ever to the dystopian land we all love. Well, kind of. The Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia is where you’ll find the posh tributes’ quarters and training center from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Chosen for its gigantic atrium and beautiful glass elevators, the tributes’ living quarters were filmed on the 10th floor and additional set pieces were built on the hotel’s roof.
10. Steel Magnolias House (Natchitoches, LA), Steel Magnolias
Fans of the hit movie, Steel Magnolias will find plenty of film sites to connect with in historic Natchitoches including the house where Sally Field and her family lived in. The house is now a Bed & Breakfast, so you can actually stay there! Additionally, visitors can opt to take a walking or driving tour and see the other characters’ houses and the church Shelby got married in. Ah, history.
11. Christ Church College and Cathedral (Oxford), Harry Potter
Another visit-able gem for Harry Potter lovers (for a small fee!) is the real-life location of the Great Hall. With so many fans of the teenage wizard flocking to the school and church, visitor numbers at the cathedral have risen to 350,000 a year. And while the adjacent bar might not serve butter beer, we can’t help but to think that The Buttery’s name is a nod to the film.
12. The Millennium Biltmore Hotel (Los Angeles, CA)
On the outside it might seem like just your average hotel, but given that so many famous scenes were filmed here, this hotel should be on any movie buff’s must-visit list. Not only have numerous Academy Award ceremonies been hosted here, but virtually every square inch of the place has appeared on screen at some point in films like Ghostbusters, Cruel Intentions and The Nutty Professor.
13. Stuyvesant Avenue between Quincy and Lexington (Brooklyn, NY), Do The Right Thing
Located in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, the block Between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street and running parallel to Malcolm X Boulevard honors Spike Lee’s 1989 classic film. This iconic block is where Buggin Out’s shoes got smudged, Radio Raheem delivered his love/hate monologue, and Sal’s Famous Pizzeria burned to the ground.
14. Lenny’s Pizza (Brooklyn, NY), Saturday Night Fever
Pizza isn’t the same everywhere. Just ask John Travolta, who took one the most famous bites ever in Saturday Night Fever right outside Lenny’s Pizza in Brooklyn. His character, Tony Manero, orders up two slices at the window and then proceeds to lay them atop one another coining the term “double-decking” as he struts down the street. Not in the mood for two slices? The affordable joint also offers sandwiches, pasta and salads.
15. Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA), Rocky
Taking a trip to Philly? The Rocky Statue and the “Rocky Steps” — better known as the Art Museum steps — are two of the most popular attractions in these parts. No worries if you’d prefer to walk up them instead of running like he does in the movie. That trek is still totally worth the power pose. And just wait until you see the view…
16. Camp Istrouma (Greenwell Springs, Louisiana), Pitch Perfect 2
Who doesn’t love going to camp? Especially one where some of the most aca-amazing moments took place. In the second chapter of the Bellas’ story, the ladies find themselves disconnected and, in an attempt to get back on track, they make their way to woods. Enter: Aubrey’s corporate retreat grounds better known as Camp Istrouma IRL. Like the Bellas, visitors here get to do team-building exercises and other traditional camp activities like zip lining, water sliding, and a mud obstacle course. Sounds pretty fun!