Have you ever had that moment during a vacation when you said to yourself "I could have sworn I've seen that vista before." Or "Isn't that the marketplace from that movie starring…?" Movies have become part of our national sense of identity, and whether you're a fan of action flicks, heart-wrenching dramas, silly comedies, or jump-out-of-your-seat horror films, there is something special about traveling to where your favorite movies were filmed. Here are the top 5 travel destinations from our favorite movies:
Harry Potter's great dining hall was actually Christ Church College in Oxford
HARRY POTTER - CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE, OXFORD
The Harry Potter franchise may have grossed over $7.5 billion from 2001 to 2011, but that doesn't mean the film creators were willing to construct a "real" Hogwarts. Instead, they used locations throughout the UK, with Christ Church College standing in for the great dining hall in the Harry Potter series.
This watermill in Matamata was transported to Middle Earth during the filming of The Lord of the Rings
THE LORD OF THE RINGS - MATAMATA
"Middle Earth" is actually New Zealand - more specifically, the stunningly pastoral village of Matamata in the North of the Island. The Shire is still there, and the verdant countryside, meandering streams, and flocks of sheep will make you feel like a Hobbit in no time.
UNESCO world heritage site Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco was used for Gladiator
GLADIATOR - AIT BEN HADDOU
This Oscar-winning film showed that Australian Russell Crowe could play a Roman soldier enslaved in Morocco after a career fighting in "Germania." The red-earth town of Ait Ben Haddou is where Maximus, played by Crowe, was sold into slavery.
Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland, the location for James Bond's childhood home in Skyfall
SKYFALL - GLENCOE, SCOTLAND
Bond fans, rejoice! You can visit the stunningly picturesque filming location for Bond's childhood abode - Skyfall, the next time you visit the mystical corner of Scotland called Glencoe. Don't expect to see his actual home, though; it was built elsewhere for the movie.
Savoca, the old small village in Sicily where F.F. Coppola filmed the wedding of Michael Corleone with Apollonia in his masterpiece, The Godfather
THE GODFATHER - SAVOCA
1973's Best Picture Winner, The Godfather, was filmed in several locations around the world, but the scenes from "Corleone, Sicily" were actually filmed in Savoca and Forza d'Agro, near the larger city of Taormina in Sicily.
If you're a movie fanatic - and you love to travel, you simply have to dive in and find a new travel destination that combines your love of adventure and your passion for the silver screen.