1. The Rum Diary: Puerto Rico
In this 2011 quirky dramedy, based on a novel of the same name, Johnny Depp’s character takes us on a rum-fueled jaunt through breathtaking Puerto Rico. From the denizens dancing in the streets to the cerulean ocean views, it’s clear Puerto Rico is rich with culture and beauty. Island activities include kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing, and, of course, drinking some of the finest rum around.
2. Harry Potter: London
Talk about a “magical” vacation. Wizards and Muggles alike can hop across the pond for a look into the world of Harry Potter, a franchise that produced eight films over the course of 10 years. While visiting Hogwarts isn’t an option, there are still several London tours dedicated to fans. Check out Platform Nine and Three Quarters at King’s Cross railway station. Next, stop at Number 12 Grimmauld Place (the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix), the Reptile House at the London Zoo, and Leadenhall Market to get a glimpse of the Leaky Cauldron (a wizard pub).
3. Lord of the Rings: New Zealand
Peter Jackson’s vision and use of pristine New Zealand for his epic trilogy—which had a budget of $281 million—is enough inspiration to start packing for a trip to Middle-Earth. The iconic hills of Hobbiton can be found in Matamata, a rural Waikato town. The New Zealand government decided to leave the Hobbit holes built seamlessly into the hills to dazzle tourists. In fact, visitors can take a look inside and view the countryside from a Hobbit’s perspective. Another necessary stop is Mount Ngauruhoe, which was transformed into the fiery Mount Doom where Sauron forged The Ring. Now, hundreds of people tread the same path as Frodo and Sam by walking the Tongariro Crossing, often described as one of the best day-walks in the world.
4. Lost in Translation: Tokyo
Sofia Coppola’s moody, brilliant 2003 film struck a chord with anyone who’s been in a foreign land and…well…lost in translation. Her tale is also an intriguing window into Tokyo, a fast-paced big city with bright lights and mystery. With a marvelous mix of modern living and old-fashioned manners, the city pulses with its endless shopping and dining at magnificent restaurants. Indulge in some exquisite Japanese cuisine then channel your inner Bill Murray with some karaoke at the end of the night.
5. Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Barcelona
This Woody Allen gem has it all: lust, love, and the beautiful backdrop of Barcelona, Spain. With old-world elegance, incredible architecture, and natural beauty, the magic of Barcelona calls. Palau Musica Catalana (Music Palace), a beautiful concert hall, has stood regally for more than 100 years to support Catalan music and culture. Daily guided tours and incredible concerts are a must. Be sure to stroll La Rambla, one of the most famous boulevards in the world. The mile-long road bustles with artists, human statues, fortune-tellers, dancers, and musicians.