Have you been binging on movies lately? I wouldn’t blame you!
Between chilly winter weather and a slew of fantastic, award-nominated films, winter is a great time to escape with a little movie magic.
Of course, nothing beats an actual escape. With spring break right around the corner, I’ve been dreaming of traveling to a destination that’s the setting in one of my favorite films.
If you’re planning a spring break trip, why not consider these film-inspired locales for wanderlust inspiration? But, make sure to watch the movie first!
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8 Best Spring Break Destinations Straight From the Movies
1. Hollywood, “La La Land”
Photo by Sean Pavone
This year’s awards show darling “La La Land” opens up on the Los Angeles freeway with a sunny group musical number featuring hopeful starlets, and only continues to dive deeper into Hollywood’s “make it or break it” culture from there.
While Los Angeles and Hollywood aren’t exactly known for their picturesque beauty, seeing the town through Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s rose-colored vision casts a whole new magical spell over the City of Angels that’ll make you want to visit.
Double feature: Alicia Silverstone’s turn as valley girl Cher in “Clueless” gave Los Angeles a candy-coated makeover, and poked loads of fun at the vapid, flippant lifestyles of the rich and famous.
2. Canada, “One Week”
Did you know Canada was named Lonely Planet’s No. 1 travel destination for 2017? That’s partially because the nation is celebrating its 150th Jubilee, but also because there’s so much to do from coast to coast.
Joshua Jackson is close to a one-man show in this dreamy cross-country motorcycle tour from Toronto to Tofino. Come for the eye candy, stay for the breathtaking landscapes (and heartstring-tugging story!).
With dozens of destinations to choose from in Canada, it’s easy to plan a spring break getaway with your family, friends, or spouse!
Double feature: While many movies are filmed in Canada, they aren’t often set there. Try Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski’s “Away We Go” for a memorable segment set in the francophone city of Montreal.
3. Hawaii, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
Jason Segel knows what he’s doing. In setting his raunchy rom com in Hawaii, he basically got his entire cast and crew a free tropical vacation while shooting on the island of Oahu.
Amidst the ruckus and mishaps of a romantic vacation gone terribly wrong, you have to admit those crystal clear waters and pure white sandy beaches look awfully inviting. If you really want to bask in the sun this season, book a ticket to any of Hawaii’s islands.
Double feature: George Clooney and Shailene Woodley shine in “The Descendants,” which many have credited for showing a more authentic, less touristy view of Hawaii, set and shot on Kauai.
4. New York, “When Harry Met Sally”
There are many, many amazing films and TV shows shot in New York that work the city into the story, but “When Harry Met Sally” is such a classic.
If you re-watch and re-fall in love with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s easy chemistry, then consider a springtime visit to New York. There are even tours that take you to some of the destinations that serve as a backdrop for the plot, including The Met and Central Park. Be sure to track down Katz’s Deli and order “what she’s having.”
Double feature: If you want to go way back in time, try Audrey Hepburn’s iconic turn as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” as she traipses through swinging 60s NYC.
5. Las Vegas, “Ocean’s 11”
With an all-female “Ocean’s 8” coming soon, this original heist caper film is a fun throwback (it’s actually a remake of a 1960 film of the same name).
Set in the glittering casinos of Las Vegas, the all-star cast dazzles and keeps you on your toes throughout the entire film. While I don’t recommend trying to rob a casino during your visit to Vegas, it’s certainly a fun spring break destination where the party truly never stops.
Double feature: Vegas must bring good luck to film franchises: “The Hangover” also got its start in Vegas when a trio of friends try to retrace their steps after a hard night of partying.
6. London, “Notting Hill” (and more!)
If you can swing it for spring break, a trip off the continent is always inspiring. There are many direct flights to London from several major U.S. airports, and an endless supply of classic history and new culture to get wrapped up in while you’re there.
Double feature: I know I just named four Hugh Grant films to get you in the London spirit, but try Gwyneth Paltrow’s cult classic “Sliding Doors,” which many have credited for Gwyneth adopting England as her second home.
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7. Savannah, “Forrest Gump”
Yes, Forrest’s story takes you all around the country (and beyond), and his hometown is in Alabama, but the scenes of Forrest telling his story on the bench were all set and shot in Savannah, Georgia.
This idyllic southern town is a history lover’s dream, with beautiful architecture and scrumptious southern cuisine. And yes, you can most definitely get a box of chocolates while you’re there.
Double feature: “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” put Savannah on the map through both the book and film adaptation. Be sure to devour them both to get a sense of the city’s history.
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8. Alaska, “Into the Wild”
Like “One Week” and “Forrest Gump,” this film takes a rambling route before getting to the final destination. But Emile Hirsch’s tirelessness in getting to Alaska, and the rugged beauty of the land when he arrives, make this a striking source of spring break travel inspiration.
If you do go over spring break, be sure to catch the northern lights and the kickoff to the legendary Iditarod dog race.
Double feature: A stunning number of films have been set and shot and in Alaska, but few use the scenery and landscape to the effect that “White Fang” does.