The Top Ten Most Travel-Inspiring Movies of 2010

Its that time of year again when we pick the film that made us want to jump on a plane more than any other.

Since this year had some serious contenders it was hard to narrow down the list, but here’s our final list of the Top Ten Most Travel-Inspiring Movies of 2010 (with a little help from our Twitter followers)!

10. Inception

Inception was shot all over the world, in Tokyo, Morocco, Alberta, CA, on soundstages in the London and L.A., but the most travel-inspiring location in the movie has to be Paris, even if we aren’t able to fold its streets in our dreams.

One of film’s most memorable scenes was shot at a Parisian deli, Da Stuzzi, which played the Café Debussy in the movie. Read more about Inception’s Paris locations here.

9. True Grit

The Coen Brother’s True Grit is not only bringing Westerns back, but its inspiring others to get their cowboy on. We have a feeling that Dude Ranches across the Southwest will be booked solid this spring with city slickers wanting learn how to ride and rope. True Grit was filmed in various locations throughout New Mexico, but most of the shoot took place in Granger, TX, where the streets were transformed to look like 1870s Fort Smith, Arkansas. Check out a few of our set photos here and here.

8. Country Strong

In order to make the story of a struggling country superstar seem believable, Gwyneth Paltrow took singing lessons, Tim McGraw was cast as her husband, and most of the movie was shot on location in Nashville. “There’s so many ways (the movie) could fall apart authenticity-wise, from the music to the actors’ singing,” McGraw said. “I think Nashville played an important part. Nashville is a character unto itself. There’s such a vibe in this city, and I think the soul of the city is country music, and if we didn’t have that sort of intangible thing there that sort of lingers on film … it would have been just one more obstacle.”

Correction: Even though there was a lot of promotion for Country Strong in December 2010, the movie doesn’t officially open until Jan. 7, 2010, so it technically doesn’t qualify for our 2010 list.

So what would be our replacement? Probably Winter’s Bone, which was filmed in and around Branson, Missouri. The movie may not be an obvious choice, especially since after watching it the last place on earth you want to go is Missouri. But, the movie uses the location like a character and captures the essence of the location better than just about any other movie released in 2010. Check out a trailer here.

7. Leap Year

Leap Year didn’t do much to help catapult Amy Adams’ career but it did help continue the lure of the Emerald Isle. I have to admit that we were in Ireland around the same time that the movie was shot in 2009, and found to be a little cold and dreary, but watching Leap Year actually made me want to go back, with its quaint pubs and sweeping green landscapes. Who wouldn’t want to experience that Ireland? Leap Year was primarily filmed in County Galway and County Dublin.

6. Letters To Juliet

If you can watch Letters To Juliet without at least checking flights to Italy, you’re stronger than I am. The movie was filmed almost entirely in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. according to Jerry Garrett, “Most of the movie seems to have been filmed in and around Caparzo’s sublime Relais Borgo Scopeto – that’s the hotel with swimming pool they stay in. It is in the Castelnuovo Berardenga area just northeast of Siena. The borgo (neighborhood, in Italian) surrounding the inn is where Caparzo’s well-regarded Chianti Classico and Tenuta wines are grown.”

5. Sex and the City 2

In the first Sex and the City movie, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda made us all want to be New York City girls, but in the second one, they made us wish we could afford an exotic girls getaway. Though the girls take a trip to Abu Dhabi in the film, the actual shooting location for those scenes was Morocco. It turns out the United Arab Emirates turned down the production’s request to shoot in the country thanks to the movie’s name, it seems they weren’t crazy about the “sex” part.

4. The Tourist

Venice wasn’t just one of the filming locations in The Tourist, it also played a critical role in the movie as the plot revolves around a meeting between Elise (Angelina Jolie) who randomly sits next to an American tourist, Frank (Johnny Depp), on a train going to Venice while the police have been following her for two years waiting for her to contact her lover who embezzled over $2 Billion. After seeing all of the images of Angie and Johnny on the canals of Venice, who wouldn’t want to take a romantic getaway to Italy!

3. The American

I know I saw this movie, but I couldn’t tell you anything about it except that the scenery, and the movie’s star, George Clooney, were gorgeous. The movie was filmed almost entirely in the Italian countryside. Clooney and the film’s director, Anton Corbijn, purposely tried to make Abruzzo, a mountainous region that stretches from Rome to the Adriatic Sea, another character in the movie, hoping that it would create a tourism boost for the region.

2. 127 hours

Though the subject matter of 127 Hours, the true story of a hiker who cut off his own arm to save his life, is a bit disturbing, the location is breathtaking. The movie was filmed in Moab, Utah, not far from where hiker Aron Ralston was actually trapped. If you want to check out this beautiful desert for yourself, the Moab Adventure Center offers tours through the red rocks via Hummer, bike or hot air balloon.

1. Eat, Pray, Love

Our Most Travel-Inspiring Film of 2010 is, of course, Eat, Pray, Love. Critics panned the film for many reasons, but no one could find fault with the movie’s filming locations. The film is based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert who travels to Italy (where she eats), India (where she prays) and Bali (where she finds love). The movie was shot entirely on location, which means its star, Julia Roberts, was lucky enough to actually swim in Bali and eat Italy, if only we could all be A-List actors, what a life!

The movie’s locations have even inspired several tours, including the Treasures of Northern India — A Journey for Women from Abercrombie and Kent’s Cinemacations. The tour travels to Hindu temples and meets with local women at various workshops, just as Elizabeth Gilbert once did.

And, with four of our top ten  films shot in Italy, we would also have to say that Italy is the Filming Location of 2010.

What do you think of our list? What was the most travel-inspiring movie you saw this year? Tell us about it in a comment below!


  1. Great list! I love movies and I love to travel, so I am constantly inspired by locations in films. Now if only I had the money to do more traveling! haha In 2011, hope people who see some of the movies being made in Michigan (some of which I am in!!) will be inspired to come here too! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this.
    Peace and Love,


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