You know that freaky feeling that you've seen a place before, but you're not sure why, when or how? This time, you'll know EXACTLY where and why a place looks familiar! Here's a great list of American destinations featured in favorite TV shows and movies.
Breaking Bad's "Los Pollos Hermanos" — Photo courtesy of ABQ Trolley Co.
1. Breaking Bad
If the façade looks familiar, it’s because this fast food restaurant, known locally as Twisters, is more widely known as Los Pollos Hermanos, which has been used throughout the excellent AMC series, Breaking Bad, as the cover for our favorite criminal's (Gustavo Fring) illegal drug operation. Located at 4257 Isleta Blvd., S.W. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2. When Harry Met Sally
In New York, nearly every street you cross has been used in some sort of film or TV show, so how about an oldie but goodie? If you’re in Manhattan and you have a craving for pastrami or corned beef, why not kill two birds with one stone, and visit Katz’s Deli, home of Meg Ryan’s infamous orgasm in Harry Met Sally. This kosher-style restaurant has been around since 1888. Why not create your own unforgettable moment?
3. True Grit
The Coen brothers couldn’t resist this wonderful little Texas town as the Ft. Smith, Arkansas backdrop for their remake of True Grit, the famous John Wayne flick about a little girl’s desire to seek revenge for her father’s murder. Granger, which is located just an hour N.E. of Austin, Texas, was the perfect location for this American Western, as it hasn’t seen much in the way of metropolitan growth in the last century, with its population just under 2,000.
Although Lost is over no one will ever replace Kate and Jack (or Kate and Sawyer) in our hearts. If you’re visiting the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu, be sure to check out Kualoa Ranch, a 4,000-acre property used frequently throughout the series.
Portlandia Visits Voodoo Donuts — Photo courtesy of New Venture Championship Blog
Voodoo Donuts has become something of a phenomenon in Portland and surrounding areas and is definitely at the top of my list next time I’m in the Northwest. This delectable donut shop known for its awesomely weird varieties, such as the bacon maple bar, has been featured in Man Vs. Food and, more recently, an episode of the delightfully witty TV comedy, Portlandia, which has a good laugh at Portland culture.
Walking Dead in Senoia, Georgia — Photo courtesy of Senoia Coffee and Café
6. Walking Dead
Another small town that is getting a lot of attention these days is Senoia, Georgia (about 40 minutes south of Atlanta), which serves as a prominent background for this season’s (2012) gory-fied zombie drama, Walking Dead. Senoia is the backdrop for the seemingly safe community of Woodbury, home of the Governor. If you can make it there quickly, you’ll get to see some zombies in action, as they’re still shooting until mid-November.
Fairytales are in and, evidently, so is Portland, Oregon. It must be the rain. Portland’s become such a hot bed of activity for TV and film lately that we think it deserves another shout out. Grimm, just starting its second season, takes advantage of all the gorgeous green the city has to offer. Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation, is a popular shooting location for Grimm, but beware of fairies and werewolves!
8. Moonrise Kingdom
If you haven’t done so yet, please do yourself a favor and see this movie. Moonrise Kingdom is pure Wes Anderson, and by that, I mean purely charming, unique and stylistic. Much of the film was shot around Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, including Conanicut Island (Jamestown). For one, the Conanicut Island Lighthouse, a decommissioned Rhode Island lighthouse, was used for the exterior of Suzy’s whimsical house.
9. Shawshank Redemption
This one goes out to you extreme film-lovers. We all remember that pivotal moment when Red uncovers the letter Andy buried him under the oak tree, along that beautiful rock fence, that moment which not only cemented Red’s freedom, but his friendship. If that tree survived the thunderstorm that ravaged it last year, you will find it at 40°39′14″N 82°23′31″W40.65400°N82.39195°W, near Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas, Ohio.
Miss Congeniality at The Alamo — Photo courtesy of San Antonio Film Commission
10. Miss Congeniality
How often in life can you visit a site that is both historical and theatrical? Well, I have just the place. If you’re in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas, be sure to visit the Alamo Plaza, which is where a pivotal battle took place in 1836 during the Texas Revolution and a ridiculously silly but fun movie (scene) starring the perennially adorable Sandra Bullock was filmed in 1999.