Something that could be added to your bucket list of iconic sights in the USA is movie locations and reliving some of your favorite movie scenes. While certain places have seen many films (like San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas), we’ve also listed the locations for iconic scenes and films.
Take a look…
1. ROCKY (1976): The Steps In Front Of The Philadelphia Museum Of Art
When sport movie enthusiasts refer to ‘Rocky’, they’re referring to a series of films featuring Sylvester Stallone. Rocky Balboa is a small-time boxer that builds his career with sweat and tears. It is a story that has inspired millions. One of the most iconic scenes in the movie is the steps scene. Rocky runs up the 72 stone steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia. These steps immediately became famous. Today, it is affectionately called the ‘Rocky Steps’. When you climb the steps you also enjoy a great view from the top. Sylvester Stallone has donated a bronze statue of Rocky. This stands at the bottom of the stairs. It’s a great spot for Rocky enthusiasts to have a picture taken.
Fun Fact! Sylvester Stallone wrote the first draft for the first movie by hand in 48 hours.
2. PRETTY WOMAN (1990): Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills
Pretty Woman is one of the world’s best loved romantic comedies. It stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Gere plays a successful businessman who hires a prostitute, played by Roberts. She is to be his escort to several events during his stay at the Beverly Wilshire. What ensues is a series of bubble baths and shopping trips. And true love of course! Relive the fairy tale by visiting the Wilshire. In fact, you can even book a ‘Pretty Woman for a Day’ experience!
Fun Fact! The scene where Richard Gere plays the piano, he is really playing it himself. He also composed the music he’s playing!
3. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994): Ohio State Reformatory
The Shawshank Redemption is a drama based on a Stephen King novella. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is given two life sentence for ostensibly killing his wife and her lover, but never admits to the crimes. In prison, he forms an unlikely alliance with Red (Morgan Freeman) and inspires the prison community in more ways than one. The movie was filmed on location at Ohio State Reformatory. Despite its fame due to the film, it’s also a very imposing building. Architecture buffs will enjoy the mix of Victorian Gothic and Queen Anne styles.
Fun Fact! Director Frank Darabont bought the rights to Stephen King’s novella for $1!
4. GHOSTBUSTERS (1984): The Firehouse, New York City
The famous NYC headquarters of the Ghostbusters is located at 14 North Moore Street. This is on the the corner of Varick Street in TriBeCa. In real life, it’s the home of a working fire department. Visitors are welcome to look around from the outside, but there are no tours. And look out for the fire trucks!
5. FORREST GUMP (1994): Bus stop bench in Chippewa Square, Savannah, Georgia
Forrest Gump is a film with universal appeal. It follows its lead character through all the major events in American history. The soundtrack also adds some true American flavour. Throughout the film, Forrest sits on a bench telling his life story to a series of strangers. This was filmed on Chippewa Square in Savannah. The bench (a film prop), has since been moved to the local museum. But you can still have your picture taken in the scenic square.
6. RAIN MAN (1988): Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
This well-known movie follows two estranged brothers on a trip that will change their lives. When is rich father dies, Charlie (Tom Cruise) learns he has an autistic brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman). His father left most of his fortune to the facility caring for Raymond. Charlies takes him out of the home to see how he can get his hands on the money. They travel from Ohio to LA. On the way, Charlie realises Raymond has an excellent memory and mind for math. Off they go to Vegas to hit the casinos! Along the way the trip changes them both. Fans of the movie can visit Caesars Palace. This is where Charlie teaches Raymond how to dance.
Fun Fact! The ‘farting in the phone booth’ scene was improvised after Hoffman let one toot by accident.
7. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
We just couldn’t choose one movie for this iconic backdrop… The Golden Gate Bridge has appears in plenty of movies! This includes everything from the latest Planet of the Apes movies to The Maltese Falcon (filmed in 1941). The bridge looms overhead in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological thriller Vertigo or it is where the nail-biting scenes happen before Christopher Reeve carries out an airborne rescue in Superman: The Movie. The bridge has also been destroyed many times in armageddon-type movies like San Andreas and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Fun Fact! A lot of people opposed the construction on the Golden Gate Bridge. In fact, in 1930, it had 2, 300 lawsuits against it! This was mainly brought by the railroad. They owned majority shares in the ferry. So you can see why they were slightly unhappy.
8. SEX AND THE CITY, THE MOVIE (2008): The New York Public Library
Sex and the City fans will remember the NY Public Library as the sumptuous setting of that wedding that never happened. It also played host to many other movies. This includes everything from Spiderman to The Thomas Crown Affair. It’s also one of those locations that weren’t changed too much for the look of the movie. So, when you visit, it will look like you remember it.
9. THELMA & LOUISE (1991): Dead Horse Point State Park
Thelma & Louise is the ultimate road trip movie for feisty ladies. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon took us on a wild ride as they buck tradition and set out to escape their conventional lives.
Spoiler Alert! At the end they drive their car off the Grand Canyon. However, the scene was filmed at Fossil Point in Dead Horse Point State Park. This is in the Moab region of Utah. This scenic location has plenty to see. It overlooks the Colorado River and nearby Canyonlands National Park. No wonder it’s one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.
10. DIE HARD (1988): Nakatomi Plaza AKA Fox Plaza, Los Angeles
The first Die Hard movie is the quintessential holiday movie for people who don’t like holiday movies. Nakatomi Plaza, in which the movie is set, was filmed on location at Fox Plaza. This is the HQ for Twentieth Century Fox in LA. The building was actually still under construction at the time of filming. It has since been featured in many other films as well. This includes Speed and Fight Club.
Fun Fact! Frank Sinatra was offered the role of detective John McClane. He turned it down because he believed he was too old to do the role justice.
RELATED: If your feet are itching to explore the USA and visit some of these sites, you can join one of our tours and make a holiday of it!