This year’s films had a lot to live up to when it came to location considering 2010’s most travel-inspiring movie was Eat, Pray, Love. But, we think the following five films did a pretty good job, and definitely gave us a few new places we want to visit in 2012!
Here’s our list of The Top 5 Most Travel-Inspiring Movies of 2011:
5. Super 8
Weirton, West Virginia, which was the filming location for Super 8, had to make our list as it has become a major travel destination since the movie’s release. The small town was made famous when it was transformed into the fictional town of Lillian, Ohio, in the sci-fi thriller and was a perfect fit for the movie since “it really hasn’t changed much since the ’70s,” as Jim Mahathey, assistant location manager pointed out.
Weirton’s Main Street was one of the movie’s main filming locations as it was completely transformed by the movie’s crew into a typical 1970’s town. There has been so much buzz about the movie and it’s location that West Virginia created a Behind-The-Scenes page on their website with information about the movie and where you can find various filming locations featured in Super 8. You can check it out here.
4. What’s Your Number?
Unlike movies like The Descendents or The Hangover 2, What’s Your Number?’s filming location, Boston, doesn’t play an obvious role in the movie so it might not seem like an obvious choice for our Top 5. There are actually so few references to Boston in What’s Your Number? that one of the friends we went to see it with asked, “Is that Boston?”- just as the movie was ending. But, of all the movies that have been shot in Boston recently, What’s Your Number? seemed to capture a different side of the city – the romantic side. It made want to visit the city again, with a date! It also captured some Boston locations we don’t see too much on the big screen like Post Office Square or The Fill-A-Buster. Did we mention the story is pretty good too?
3. The Descendents
The Descendants, based on a book of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings, stars George Clooney as a father forced to reconnect with his daughter after his wife is hospitalized. But, this heavy movie was filmed in one of the most beautiful places on earth, reminding all of us that no matter where we live or what we do, we all have struggles in our life.
The Descendents was filmed in a residential neighborhood in Nuuanu, Oahu (just outside of Honolulu), in Hanalei, Kauai, and on a private ranch on Kauai’s South Side (which was used as the family’s land, an important aspect of the movie), among other locations throughout Oahu and Kauai.
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 might not feature too many outstanding real life filming locations, but it is the final film in a series that is responsible for creating an entire travel industry including tours, an amusement park, and even a new museum. So, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the one movie series that has probably inspired more die-hard fans to travel than any other!
1. Midnight In Paris
Despite all of the wonderful movies with beautiful scenery that hit theaters this year, the number one Most Travel-Inspiring Movie of 2011 has to be Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris. Like most of Allen’s movies, this one made us want to jump on a plane and explore the City of Lights immediately after watching it!
The movie’s filming locations include Monet’s Garden at Giverny, the Hotel Bristol (where Gil and Inez stay while in Paris), and Maxim’s Restaurant (Gil and Adriana visit Maxim’s and travel back to the the Belle Époque). And, if you want to follow in Woody’s footsteps, check out the downloadable walking tour of the parks, restaurants, and museums featured in Midnight in Paris at Paris.fr.
And, finally, here are a few of our runner-ups: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Halona Cove in Oahu, Hawaii), Dolphin Tale (Clearwater Marine Aquarium), The Hangover 2 (Bangkok), Tree of Life (Texas/Utah), and The Help (Greenwood/Jackson, Mississippi).
Let us know what movie inspired you to travel in 2011 in a comment below!