Nilou Motamed of Travel + Leisure magazine suggests some colorful travel destinations where you can combine relaxation with your love of cinema by experiencing the locations of popular films.
Movies do more than entertain; they can inspire you to travel. Travel + Leisure shows fans how to experience locations from recent movies such as "Midnight in Paris" that really captured a sense of place — and reveals hotels where celebrities stayed while filming.
'The Descendants,' Kauai, Hawaii
George Clooney scored an Oscar nomination for his role in "The Descendants," filmed on the southeast coast of Kauai. Hanelei Bay beach features prominently in the movie, and is a fantastic place to go kayaking and take in the picture-perfect scenery. Afterwards, you can kick back with cocktails at Tahiti Nui, another movie location. The cast stayed at the ultra-luxe St. Regis Princeville Resort, blessed with a 5,000-square-foot infinity pool and a sheltered beach good for snorkeling. Those without movie-star budgets will appreciate Waimea Plantation Cottages, a great affordable option on the south side of the island. Waimea rates from $239 per night.
'Hunger Games,' Asheville, N.C.
This highly anticipated movie was shot in the Blue Ridge Mountains around Transylvania County, near Asheville. Such stars as Jennifer Lawrence stayed in condos at Hotel Indigo in downtown Asheville. A new package from Hotel Indigo includes activities that some cast members enjoyed between movie shoots, such as zip lining and whitewater rafting. You can also go hiking in Dupont State Forest, where arena scenes were filmed. Hotel rates from $126 per night.
'The Help,' Greenwood, Miss.
The 50-room Alluvian Hotel has created “The Help Package,” which covers a one-night stay, a DVD copy of the movie, a commemorative poster, a self-guided tour of local spots where the movie was filmed, and a special Southern snack at turndown. Guided tours are also available with 48-hours notice. The local Viking Cooking School has even launched a cooking class devoted to Southern specialties from the movie. Rates from $195 per night; package rates from $235 per night.
'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 1),' Paraty, Brazil
A half-day’s drive from Rio de Janeiro, Paraty set the dramatic scene for this Twilight installment. The town’s other selling points include remarkably well-preserved Portuguese colonial architecture, a vibrant cultural scene and quick access to rainforest and gorgeous beaches. While on location, stars crashed at Pousada do Ouro Paraty, the honeymoon house shown in the movie. Hotel rates from less than $200 per night.
'Midnight in Paris,' Paris
Woody Allen’s love letter to Paris may be the most travel-inspiring movie from 2011. Scenes captured iconic city sights, such as Notre Dame, the Pont Neuf bridge and the Place de L’Abbe Basset — within easy walking distance from Hotel Saint-Louise en L’Isle, one of the best affordable small hotels in Paris. It’s located in the fourth arrondissement on cobblestoned streets lined with cafés. Be sure to stroll over to Hotel le Bristol, which was featured in the movie. Hotel rates from $225 per night.
More From Travel + Leisure
- Secret celebrity hideaways
- World’s least romantic places
- America’s best wine bars
- World’s coolest staircases