Planning an upcoming RV road trip and looking for some unique places to see?
Although you can organize your trip around a wide variety of themes and activities, it can be really fun to experience your favorite fictional spots in real life. And although many shooting sites are temporarily-constructed sets, others are still ready and waiting to be experienced in real life!
Whether you’re a die-hard Breaking Bad fanatic or just looking to experience some early-90s movie nostalgia, here are some of our favorite spots to stick into your GPS if you’re a TV or film buff.
Top Tourist Destinations for TV and Film Buffs
If you’re playing road trip planner for an upcoming getaway, make every TV fanatic in your party smile by adding the following locations to your driving route.
1. The Stanley Hotel (i.e., The Overlook) – Estes Park, Colorado
If you consider yourself a serious horror fan, you absolutely can’t miss a trip to this spot. Serving as the inspiration for Stephen King’s famed novel, The Shining, Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel is the original overlook, and they’ve even got the hedge maze out front to prove it.
You can stay in the hotel yourself, of course — if you’re brave enough. But even if you don’t, you can learn about the creepy ins and outs of the location, which offers a variety of tours to help you get up close and personal with its halls.
An important note: although it served as the inspiration for King’s work, the Stanley is not where Kubrick’s film of the same name was shot. Most of the sets for that work were specifically constructed for the purpose, and the exterior of the Overlook is actually the Timberline Lodge a bit further north in the Hood River area of northern Oregon.
2. The Home Alone House – Winnetka, Illinois
Who among us didn’t grow up on the fun-loving, hijinks-filled, feel-good film that is Home Alone?
Well, if you want to do a drive-by of the house where Macaulay Culkin earned his fame, head to the small town of Winnetka, Illinois: specifically, 671 Lincoln Boulevard.
The 4,200-square-foot mansion that sits on that site was built all the way back in 1926, though the interior’s been renovated multiple times — including since the film was shot, so we recommend not wandering up to the windows. Besides, it’s privately owned these days, and its new inhabitants put down a cool $1.6 million for the privilege.
Here are a few in-real-life spots to visit if you’re craving a trip into the fictional.
3. The Cheers Bar – Boston, Massachusetts
Despite its sign, this joint actually only dates back to 1969, when it was established by the producers of the show of the same name. Back then, it as known as the Bull & Fitch Pub — but after sitting down for a quick pint, the creators of Cheers were impressed with its cozy, neighborly feel. You know, it was the kind of place where everybody knows your name. So they made it the premise of a brand-new NBC show… and pretty quickly thereafter, the spot adopted the same name.
When you visit Cheers today, you can enjoy a delicious beer or one of the many hearty meals on its menu, including the massive Norm Burger — if you can finish it, you’ll earn a hallowed spot in the hall of fame. Cheers also offers a lively rotating schedule of performances and entertainment, so swing by to enjoy some local Bostonian music!
4. Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment – New York City, New York
Headed to New York? “Sex and the City” fans will appreciate a glimpse at Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, which is located at 64-66 Perry Street. Today, the brownstones are privately owned and lived in, so don’t try and wander up the stairs… but you could totally snap a sidewalk selfie.
Psst: think there’s nowhere to camp in New York? Think again! We recommend the nearby Liberty Harbor RV Park, which is located just across the river in Jersey City and starts at $110 per night — not bad for the Big Apple!
Best Road Trips
Looking for a road trip destination that’s awesome on a variety of levels — including the excitement of having seen it on the silver screen?
You can’t go wrong with these spots!
5. Charleston, South Carolina
Fans of The Notebook will instantly recognize the romantic sweep of Spanish moss that hangs from the oak trees of Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens — which was the site of Allie’s summer home in the film. Romance addicts can also revisit the spot of the couple’s first date, which took place at the American Theater on King Street.
But even if you roll your eyes at all things Nicholas Sparks, Charleston is a worthy destination. It’s home to some of the most fascinating history in the country, including Fort Sumter… not to mention the vast array of restaurants that make it one of the foodiest cities in America. And that harborfront view! You really can’t go wrong.
6. Woodstock, Illinois
No, it’s not deja vu — or at least, not in the way you might expect. If you pay a visit to Woodstock, Illinois and spend some time in the town square, you may find yourself wondering where you’ve seen it before… and before… and before.
That’s because it’s the site of the 1993 classic film, Groundhog Day — the Bill Murray classic wherein weatherman Phil Collins finds himself stuck on an infinite loop in early February. Luckily, you can leave whenever you like, but we highly recommend wandering around and taking a look at the various spots you’ll recognize from the shoot. (Just keep in mind that some sites have changed hands in the intermittent decades; the Tip Top Cafe is now a taco joint, for instance, but the Alpine/Woodstock Theater is still the same!)
7. Albuquerque, New Mexico
It’s not an exaggeration to say Breaking Bad changed the shape of television, and it remains just as relevant to pop culture a decade later. And if you head to Albuquerque, you’ll be able to visit a whole range of the shooting spots in person — from the meet-and-greet Dog House to Walter’s car wash, home, and even the Crossroads Motel where Wendy hangs out.
While you can find the exact addresses of all these sites online, we highly recommend taking advantage of one of the many Breaking-Bad specific tours that’s available in town, particularly since the private owners of the various homes used for filming aren’t really into the crowd of people constantly parked and gawing in front of their property. There’s even a Breaking Bad RV tour… after all, it’s on-theme for the show and a great way to see the city!
Places to See Near Me
Still looking for more things to see or wondering, “where’s the best sightseeing near me?”
The film industry takes advantage of a variety of different natural sets and cities for filming purposes, so chances are, if you do a little digging, you can find something interesting no matter where your destination may be.
For instance, Forrest Gump was shot in Savannah which is a worthy destination in its own right, and Atlanta’s been the set for a wide variety of films, including the recent (and acclaimed) Baby Driver.
And, of course, there are all the other ways to plan a road trip to take into consideration: whether you’re a history buff or a wildlife lover, here are some of our favorite road trip themes to work with.
- The 8 Best Zoos to Visit in the U.S.
- 5 Wild Destinations for Animal Lovers of All Stripes
- The Top 5 RV-Friendly Road Trips for History Buffs
- The Most Haunted Places in America: Road Trip Here if you Dare
- 8 Amazing, RV-Able Adventures for the Outdoor Enthusiast
- 6 Iconic American Road Trips
- The 9 Best Swimming Holes to Visit Across the Country
No matter where the road is calling, an RVshare rental is a comfortable, convenient, and affordable way to get there! Whether you want to experience the posh Class A diesel pusher life or are more interested in a modest pop-up camper, you can find what you’re looking for on the peer-to-peer market.
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