Embark on a Cinematic Journey: Exploring Movie-Inspired US Travel Destinations

Seattle Washington State

As the summer vacation season approaches, Go USA, the official tourism board, invites all movie enthusiasts to embark on an extraordinary journey through five remarkable film locations across the United States. From the mesmerizing landscapes of Arizona and the romantic charm of Seattle to the cultural treasures of Philadelphia and the picturesque allure of North Carolina’s Lake Lure, and the vibrant energy of New York, these destinations promise an enchanting experience reminiscent of the silver screen.

Arizona – Red Rock National Park
Film Connection: “Asteroid City”

Known for its vast deserts, Arizona takes center stage as the backdrop for Wes Anderson’s upcoming film, “Asteroid City,” set to be released this June. Travelers can explore the orange-hued desert of Red Rock State Park in Sedona, basking in the beauty of the blue skies and majestic landscapes. Just an hour’s drive away lies Flagstaff, designated as the world’s first “Dark Skies City,” offering breathtaking views of the cosmos. Astronomy enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered.

Seattle Washington State

Washington – Seattle
Film Connection: “Sleepless in Seattle”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Nora Ephron’s romantic comedy “Sleepless in Seattle” showcases various iconic spots in Seattle. Fans of the film can visit the Union Lake to enjoy a historic cruise and explore the waterfront homes where Sam (Tom Hanks) and Annie (Meg Ryan) first connected. Alki Beach allows visitors to recreate the memorable bicycle scene, while Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar offers a chance to admire behind-the-scenes photos from the film.


Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Film Connection: “Disney100 Exhibit”

In commemoration of Disney’s 100th anniversary, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia presents the “Disney100 Exhibit” until August 27th. The special exhibition features ten interactive installations showcasing iconic Disney characters, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to “Strange World.” The Walt Disney Archives exhibit offers a glimpse into the production process of Mickey Mouse’s early sketches, costumes from the Star Wars and Marvel series, and the iconic glass slipper from the live-action Cinderella film.

A couple performs “The Lift” from the famous scene in the movie Dirty Dancing in Firefly Cove on Lake Lure, where the scene was filmed.

North Carolina – Lake Lure
Film Connection: “Dirty Dancing”

For fans of classic movies, a visit to Lake Lure in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a must. This picturesque location served as a primary filming site for the beloved film “Dirty Dancing.” Visitors can recreate the iconic dance moves by Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and Baby (Jennifer Grey) by the lake. Every September, the Lake Lure Dance Festival takes place, offering an opportunity to join the festivities. After a relaxing stay at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa, exploring Wilmington, known as the “Hollywood of the East,” is highly recommended. Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, featured in “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” provide breathtaking coastal views, while Cape Fear Country Club offers a delightful experience reminiscent of popular TV series and films.

Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NYC

New York – Museum of the Moving Image
Film Connection: The Museum of the Moving Image
Located in Queens, New York, the Museum of the Moving Image offers a unique opportunity to learn about the technical aspects of film production, screening, and promotion. Visitors can create stop-motion animations using photo flipbooks, record their voices for movie dialogues, and enhance film scenes with various soundtracks. With over 1,400 artifacts, the museum traces the historical evolution of film cameras and sound equipment. Additionally, a guided bus tour in Manhattan provides a chance to visit famous filming locations, including Central Park and Times Square.

Embarking on a cinematic adventure across the United States unravels a tapestry of enchanting film locations that evoke a sense of nostalgia and captivate the imagination. From the stunning desert landscapes of Arizona to the romantic allure of Seattle, the cultural gems of Philadelphia, the picturesque beauty of Lake Lure, and the vibrant energy of New York, these destinations offer a unique blend of movie magic and real-life experiences. Whether you’re a movie lover or simply seeking to immerse yourself in captivating surroundings, these five film locations promise an unforgettable journey filled with wonder and cinematic delight. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and let the magic of the silver screen guide you on an unforgettable adventure through the United States. Lights, camera, travel.

By Jungchan Lee/Korea Travel News