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10 Spots Shown in Movies and Series That Are Worth Visiting in Real Life

Not all movies and TV shows are filmed on a Hollywood set. Many scenes that have become iconic were filmed in real locations; for example, in schools or on stairs that no one had ever paid attention to before. However, these ordinary places end up becoming famous and are visited by thousands of people. This phenomenon is called film tourism — a place becomes a tourist attraction after appearing in a movie or TV show.

1. The stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Few people have not seen the iconic scene where Rocky Balboa trains before his big competition. In this image, we can see him climbing the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Although this was already a tourist attraction before Rocky was released in 1976, the movie attracted a crowd of visitors who wanted to follow in the boxer’s footsteps.

Today, it is one of the most popular sites in Philadelphia, and many people go there daily to exercise.

2. Maya Bay, Thailand

Maya Bay was a secluded paradise beach, visited occasionally by locals. However, after The Beach was released in theaters, it ceased to be a quiet place. The number of tourists increased from 1,000 to 7,000 or 8,000 per day. Many wanted to visit the place where the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed.

The number of visitors continued to multiply. And the number of boats entering the bay increased so much that access had to be closed for about 3 years so that the flora and fauna that had been damaged could recover.

3. Forks, Washington

Forks was a small Washington town of fewer than 4,000 people and with only one grocery store. However, after becoming the filming location for the world of Twilight, tourism exploded. After the movie was released, Forks received about 10,000 visitors. By 2009, the number had risen to 70,000.

Fans passing through the venue can choose from many activities, like visiting the filming locations, the Cullen mansion, and also seeing the outfits and cars used by the main characters.

4. The house of Breaking Bad in Albuquerque

Before 2008, Albuquerque was a simple town like any other. But after the release of Breaking Bad, it became the famous home of Walter White. Many fans visited the place en masse, and some even threw pizza on the roof to recreate one of the famous scenes from the series. This happened so often that the owner had to close her property with gates.

5. Petra, Jordan

This hidden treasure remained forgotten and away from tourists for a long time. However, when Harrison Ford appeared on the screen exploring Petra for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, many wanted to visit the mythical place. Now, this secret city is filled with tourists every year, with up to 5,000 visits per day. In 2007, it became one of the 7 wonders of the world.

6. Chippewa Square, Savannah

Thanks to Forrest Gump, Chippewa Square became extremely famous, as the scenes where Forrest waits for the bus to go see Jenny were filmed there. One of the benches used for the film was donated to the Savannah Museum of History. And while there are no benches or bus stops on that site, many fans stop by to get their photo taken.

7. Salt Lake High School East, Utah

It used to be a typical high school, but Salt Lake High School East is now known as the iconic filming location of High School Musical. Fans began to frequent the school after the release of the first film in the trilogy, and the tour bus started making stops there. The Utah tourism office even organized a tour itinerary due to the popularity of the site.

8. The Full House mansion in San Francisco

Full House tells the story of a widowed father who, with the help of his best friend, raises his three daughters. The house that gave home to this family is now a common destination for fans. Apparently, on a normal day around 50 people show up to take pictures of the house, and more than 100 might drop by on a nice weekend. Even in the late hours of the night, there are people visiting it.

9. New Zealand

More than 20 years have passed since the first Lord of the Rings movie was released. In addition to introducing us to a universe full of magic and hobbits, the film also portrayed the beautiful landscapes that New Zealand has to offer.

Even today, this country still remains synonymous with Middle Earth. Although New Zealand had its own tourism, 50% of it increased thanks to this franchise. Many people choose this destination to be able to visit the filming locations and recreate some of its most famous scenes.

10. The Shakespeare Avenue Stairs in New York

These stairs began to be visited en masse by tourists in 2019. They are located in The Bronx and were featured in the iconic scene of the Joker where Joaquin Phoenix dances dressed as a clown. As a result, these stairs, which used to be avoided by people due to the insecurity of the area, are now a tourist attraction.

The fame that the film generated was so great that fans in costumes recreating the dance or people taking pictures could be seen on the stairs at all hours. The place was crowded to the point of blocking the passage of residents.

What would you do if your house became a tourist site? Which film location would you choose to visit and why?

Please note: This article was updated in December 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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