Getting Personal #126: Movies That Are Inspiring My Travels

Travel - Adventure in You

Image Credit: Adventure in You

I love Paige Wunder’s blog, For The Love of Wanderlust. Check her out!

I was inspired to write this post by Paige’s recent post:


Chicago, Illinois – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

As a kid, I visited Chicago a couple of times, since my Aunt Nancy, Uncle Larry, and cousin Missy lived in nearby Gurnee, Illinois, for years.

However, I’ve never been back to visit as an adult. I’d love to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, Wrigley Field, and Willis Tower.

Other movies filmed / set in Chicago:

  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Risky Business (1983)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
  • Backdraft (1991)
  • The Fugitive (1993)
  • Never Been Kissed (1999)
  • On the Line (2001)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • The Incredibles 2 (2018)

Mountain Lake Hotel near Pembroke, Virginia – Dirty Dancing (1987)

I’ve had the opportunity to stay at the Mountain Lake Hotel twice. Longwood’s S.E.A.L. organization has held their annual Leadership Conference there several times, and I was able to go as both a participant and a workshop presenter. If you ever get the chance, it’s such a beautiful area!

I would also like to eventually visit Lake Lure, North Carolina, where the rest of filming took place.

Other movies filmed / set in western Virginia and/or western North Carolina:

  • Shenandoah (1965)
  • Firestarter (1984)
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • Richie Rich (1994)
  • Patch Adams (1998)
  • Big Stone Gap (2014)

New York City – Ghost (1990)

I’m a bit biased, since I was born in Manhattan. Plus, there are so many movies that have been set in or filmed in the Big Apple. Oodles of them!

It was so hard to pick one movie that makes me think of New York. But, Ghost is one of my favorites. I still remember the very first time I watched it – With my mom.

If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. It’s dramatic, it’s a love story, and it’s also very funny.

I can’t wait to show Al the Big Apple for the very first time this fall!

Other movies filmed / set in New York City:

  • Rear Window (1954)
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • The Great Gatsby (1974)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
  • Romancing the Stone (1984)
  • Big (1988)
  • Coming to America (1988)
  • When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  • Quiz Show (1994)
  • Men in Black (1997)
  • You’ve Got Mail (1998)
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Finding Forrester (2000)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  • National Treasure (2004)
  • Night at the Museum (2006)
  • Enchanted (2007)
  • WALL-E (2008)
  • Julie & Julia (2009)
  • Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
  • American Hustle (2013)
  • The Great Gatsby (2013)
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  • Whiplash (2014)
  • The Big Short (2015)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
  • Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Sully (2016)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Pelican Brief (1993)

This is one of my favorite John Grisham book-to-movie adaptations. Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are a great pair, and it’s a gripping thriller.

Roberts’ character is a law student at Tulane University, and seeing the variety of locations they used for filming is one of several reasons why I want to visit New Orleans.

Other movies filmed / set in New Orleans:

  • Gone With The Wind (1939)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
  • JFK (1991)
  • The Client (1994)
  • Interview with the Vampire (1994)
  • Ruby Bridges (1998)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Beaufort, South Carolina – Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve watched it at least 20 times.

I’ve only been to South Carolina once on a trip – To Charleston, for a family friend’s funeral, when I was 12. I’d love to go back as an adult.

Just the antebellum architecture and gorgeous old oak trees is enough to lure me there.

Other movies filmed / set in South Carolina:

  • The Big Chill (1983)
  • Glory (1989)
  • The Prince of Tides (1991)
  • G.I. Jane (1997)
  • Radio (2003)
  • The Notebook (2004)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

British Columbia, Canada – Juno (2007)

I had the opportunity to visit parts of British Columbia while on a trip to Seattle and the San Juan Islands with my parents in the summer of 1998. I saw parts of Victoria, and Buchart Gardens. However, I’d love to go back and explore more.

Other movies filmed / set in British Columbia:

  • Jumanji (1995)
  • Double Jeopardy (1999)
  • Lake Placid (1999)
  • Agent Cody Banks (2003)
  • I, Robot (2004)
  • Miracle (2004)
  • Saved! (2004)
  • Fantastic Four (2005)
  • Shooter (2007)
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
  • Tomorrowland (2015)
  • Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Greece – Mamma Mia! (2008)

Mamma Mia! has become one of my favorite musicals. I need to see it on Broadway! Until then, I can’t wait to see the sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, with my mom when it comes out in theaters in July.

Other movies filmed / set in Greece:

  • The Big Blue (1988)
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
  • Before Midnight (2013)
  • Jason Bourne (2016)

Boston, Massachusetts – Spotlight (2015)

It’s a tough subject – Child sex abuse within the Catholic Church – but Spotlight is one of those movies that I’ve seen multiple times. Maybe it’s the journalist in me?

I’ve always wanted to visit Boston. It’s one of those historic cities that I haven’t had a chance to see. In addition, I’d love to explore New England as a whole. But, Boston is a good place to start.

Other movies filmed / set in Boston:

  • The Firm (1993)
  • With Honors (1994)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • A Civil Action (1998)
  • The Boondock Saints (1999)
  • Legally Blonde (2001)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)
  • The Proposal (2009)
  • Ted (2012)
  • Ted 2 (2015)

This was a really fun post to write!

What about you? Do you have movies that have inspired you, or are inspiring you, to travel? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Getting Personal #126: Movies That Are Inspiring My Travels

  1. I have always wanted to see as many lighthouses as possible in various locations. The movie “Bucket List” inspired me.

  2. I love this!! I really want to go to Wrigley field!! I have an Aunt Nancy too, & my dad’s name is Larry!! Too funny!

  3. Great post Laura Beth! I am big on movie site locations too. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, not too far from Gurnee. So I love the John Hughes movie sites and have seen two so far. My wife and I drove over to the North Shore once a few years ago and found the house from “Risky Business” as well as Cameron’s house in “Ferris Bueller’s”. It was really fun. Of course, I want to go back and scout out more. It’s not that hard really. Problem is my family doesn’t think it’s as cool as I do. By the way, I’m a huge baseball fan and go to a couple new ballparks every Summer. This year we’re hitting Toronto and Boston. We have an MLB “Passport Book” that we get stamped at each stadium. Thanks for the post! Reid

    • That’s awesome! I definitely want to do that. I love John Hughes and his movies. I’m so excited for you this summer. Enjoy Toronto and Boston!

      • Thanks!!!! Some other movies filmed at least partially in Chicago that weren’t on your list are “Home Alone”, “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles”, and “Pretty in Pink”. I need to go find the “Home Alone” house for sure. Thanks for the comments. I’m super excited about our trip to Canada and Boston. Thanks!

      • Yep, I didn’t want to make the movies lists too long, ya know? I’ve seen all of them. I want to find the Home Alone house, and the one from A Christmas Story in Ohio. Enjoy your trips!

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