Nothing beats a cinematic adventure of epic proportions to connect you with a new place and motivate you to plan a vacation that will make your friends jealous.
From rom-com classics like “Mamma Mia!” to current romantic book adaptations like “The Summer I Became Beautiful,” movies and television shows have a way of instilling a desire for pleasure, excitement, and romance. And, of course, the enchanting ocean views, famous city landscapes, and stunning mountainous settings on our screen make us desire to feel free to explore other parts of the world.
Whatever it is, sometimes all it takes is a movie night or a weekend binge-watching Netflix to evoke that feeling. So here’s a list of movies and TV shows that will make you want to pack your bags and plan an exciting and memorable trip.
“Mamma Mia!” (2008)
Both Mamma Mia! and its sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) includes beautifully shot beach settings. You may know them as “the movies with all the ABBA songs,” even if you haven’t seen them.
In the first, three guys, confident they are the father of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), go to the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi for her wedding. In the sequel, set five years after the events of Mamma Mia!, Sophie finds out more about her mother’s past as she helps with the Hotel Bella Donna’s grand reopening.
The first movie filming location was the Greek island of Skopelos, and the sequel was on the Croatian island of Vis, both of which are worth seeing if you have the chance. Because of the well-kept secret of the Mamma Mia! path, Skopelos has lately seen a boom in tourism. Skopelos has become a famous traveling destination due to the Mamma Mia! trail.
“The White Lotus” (2021)
In the popular HBO dramedy The White Lotus, an all-star ensemble visits a resort to unleash their darkest, most entitled instincts. A vacationer’s week unfolds as they rest and refresh in paradise.
Season 1 introduces the audience to the Mossbacher family, the eternally befuddled heiress Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge), newlyweds Shane (Jake Lacy) and Rachel (Alexandria Daddario), and a myriad of hotel staff and other visitors managed by the charming manager, Armond (Murray Bartlett).
Many groups of tourists separately arrive in the Italian sunshine in season 2, but they all become connected. Tanya (Coolidge) returns with a disillusioned assistant, Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), and wealthy married couples Ethan (Will Sharpe) and Harper (Aubrey Plaza).
In addition, the Di Grasso family, Dominic (Michael Imperioli), Albie (Adam DiMarco), and Bert (F. Murray Abraham), three generations of masculine rot, go on holiday to reconnect with their ancestors.
The White Lotus has as one of its protagonists its beautiful location on the beach with luxurious amenities and stunning views of the sea. Each episode attracts viewers to travel and get to know these beautiful destinations.
When feeling the impulse to embark on a White Lotus journey, you can visit the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea in Hawaii or the San Domenico Palace, Taormina in Sicily, Italy, the show’s filming location for seasons 1 and 2.
“Sex and the City” (1998)
Sex and the City (now And Just Like That) always inspire the best getaway for girls in New York City, where you can grab your friends and have your favorite show drink, a Cosmo. Nowadays, with the And Just Like That show, HBO Max gave fans a new start.
Because this show is so popular, there is a famous Sex and the City bus tour that takes you through all of the locations of the show. Now, it has a lot of references to And Just Like That. This makes it easy to experience the life of Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and her friends. You can even rent Bradshaw’s apartment on Airbnb.
Warner Bros. and Airbnb worked hard to make Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone apartment look like it did before. Carrie’s laptop is on a desk in a corner, and her closet is full of frills, dresses, and Manolo Blahniks. When guests check in, they will get a virtual welcome from the show’s star, Sarah Jessica Parker, written in the style of the character she made famous. This TV show is available to watch on HBO Max.
“Fantasy Island” (2021)
In this updated version of the classic drama, Roselyn Sánchez plays the role of the resort owner on a magical island where guests’ wishes come true. In this new version, Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sánchez) is the latest in a family line of caretakers for a tropical island where visitors might have life-altering encounters with fantastical beings and events by means ranging from elaborate costuming to pure magic.
The Fantasy Island series from 2021 was shot on location in Puerto Rico. The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico is a real-life Fantasy Island resort. This beachfront resort is just a few steps away from the beach. The resort is the perfect setting for Elena to complete her guests’ fantasies – and to set the location for some classic “Fantasy Island” twists. Thus, if you wish to visit the Fantasy Island resort, prepare your bags since it isn’t all make-believe. It’s an actual resort where you’re welcome to stay. Watch Fantasy Island on Fox.
This is a Paramount drama series and one of the best television shows nowadays. Yellowstone tells the Dutton family story. Kevin Costner is John Dutton, the patriarch of a wealthy and complicated family of ranchers that own the biggest contiguous ranch in the USA.
Historically, the Duttons have worked in a corrupt world where oil and lumber companies pay off politicians and developers making billions of dollars by grabbing land. Still, despite all the problems the Dutton family faces and all the drama, viewers can’t get enough of Beth’s (Kelly Reilly), and Rip’s (Cole Hauser) ‘s love story, which has made them the hottest couple on TV right now.
The storyline captivates and entertains. Nonetheless, there’s still something more worth emphasizing: Montana’s wildness is stunning and makes people wish they were there. The Dutton family ranch is the real Chief Joseph Ranch, where Lee Dutton (Dave Annable) and Rip’s cottages are available for rent. Fans get a ranch and shooting location tour with this rental.
If you love this series and wish to live like the Duttons, you can book a vacation to Montana. While at the ranch, you may drive to additional Yellowstone filming sites. Watch seasons 1 through 4 on Peacock.
“The Summer I Turned Pretty” (2022)
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a Prime Video show based on Jenny Han’s novel of the same name that follows Belly Conklin (Lola Tung) and the complicated love triangle she finds herself in with Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno), two brothers she’s spent every summer with since she was a kid.
It also offers one of the ideal coastal settings for a summer romance, Cousins Beach, a fictional town that transports its viewers to those beautiful seafront settings and makes most want to start planning a trip to the beach.
Although Cousins Beach doesn’t exist, Han said in an interview with Prime Video that she was inspired by Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, and Nags Head in North Carolina to create this imaginary place. The series was actually filmed in various spots around Wilmington, NC.
While we won’t be able to make it to Cousins Beach in particular, you could visit the Cape Fear area and Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina to enjoy the beautiful real-life locations of this hit series.
This TV show follows the adventures of “Dre” Johnson (Anthony Anderson) trying to retain his cultural identity while raising his children in a primarily white, upper-middle-class community. In the first episode of season 3, the Johnson family decides to visit Disney World. Consequently, dad “Dre” opts for the complete VIP treatment, intending to provide his children with the Disney experience he wished for as a youngster. So they lodge at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and their VIP tour guide whisks them to the head of every line. T
his show episode, to this day, surely motivates families to plan a vacation to Disney World. You can watch the Black-ish Disney World episode on Hulu.
“Nights in Rodanthe” (2008)
This film, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, will inspire you to arrange a romantic holiday to the Outer Banks. Rodanthe is the northernmost settlement on Hatteras Island and the setting for the book and film.
You may visit the Nights in Rodanthe locations throughout the Outer Banks or follow the coastal film trail from the OBX to Wilmington. The Hatteras Island Fishing Pier and the Old Oregon Inlet Station are shooting places you can visit. These were the location for the party scene and when Gere and Lane were strolling down the beach. Some other sites to visit to mimic the romantic ambiance in the film are Jo-General Bob’s Shop and the Hatteras Ferry Terminal.
Travelers can book a stay in the historic beach house Inn at Rodanthe as part of the Nights at Rodanthe experience or rent one of the multiple accommodation options on Hatteras Island. This film is available on HBO Max, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.
Visit A Unique Location You’ve Seen On Your Screen
Movies have the unique power to take us across the globe without leaving our living rooms. They may give us hope, drive us on, and encourage us to see the world and feel compelled to go somewhere we first saw in our favorite movie.
These well-known movie and tv show locations are great options we can add to our bucket list to enjoy a real-life experience similar to what we have seen on the big screen.