Movies That Inspired Travel in 2011

From The Descendants to Midnight in Paris, these 11 movies made us want to pack our bags in search of our own picture-perfect paradise.

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In The Beach backpackers search for a hidden beach in Thailand, inaccessible to tourists. Since the movie was filmed in 1999, Maya Bay has become one of the main tourist attractions in Thailand. The film inspires visitors to make the trek to this secluded area for a glimpse of paradise. 960 1280

  

The Eternal City's famous sights are the backdrop for the love story in the Roman Holiday. While the leads, played by Hollywood icons, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, fall for each other, we fall for all things Italy. 960 1280

  

Mamma Mia created a tourism boom to the Greek Islands for destination weddings. Mesmerized by the film's spectacular scenery, fans booked trips to this Mediterranean paradise to have a Big Fat Greek Wedding of their own. 960 1280

  

When Endless Summer came out in 1966, not only did it increase the popularity of surfing in general, but it also created a 'surf and travel' culture that inspired surfers, experts and novices alike, to travel the world in search of the perfect wave. 960 1280

  

In Sideways, 2 middle-aged men, Miles and Jack, try to recapture their carefree days with a mancation centered around wine and women. The movie created a huge boost to tourism not only to the Napa wine region, but also to Santa Barbara's wine country, where most of the movie took place. 960 1280

Mark Rasmussen  

Think you can only visit J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth in your imagination? Escape into the epic fantasy of Lord of the Rings by visiting one of the locations in the film, Milton Sound (pictured here) in the South Island, New Zealand. 960 1280

  

The draw of Out of Africa isn't just icons Robert Redford and Meryl Streep playing passionate lovers, but stunning scenes of Kenya's raw and untamed landscapes. After the movie was released, Kenya became a popular tourist destination for safaris. 960 1280

Ludmila Yilmaz  

In Lost in Translation, 2 American strangers abroad form an unlikely bond in their isolation. Tokyo's high-energy culture wakes up their passion for life and for us, our passion for travel. 960 1280

  

Under the Tuscan Sun , based on Frances Mayes' memoir, shows a recently divorced American woman venturing off to Italy to buy and restore a villa in Tuscany. The film inspired many travelers to seek out the film's locations in the stunning countryside. There has even been an increase in expats following in Mayes' footsteps and buying homes in the same area. 960 1280

Dan Bannister  

The Twilight phenomenon breathed new life into the town of Forks, WA, with "twihards" flocking in droves to the locations from the book/film. Vampire- and werewolf-scouting aside, La Push (pictured here) is 12 miles from Forks and home to some of the most stunning scenery on the Olympic Peninsula. 960 1280

Sonja Yearsley  

The film Amelie shows a whimsical side of Paris with the story of a secret matchmaker who kindles many love affairs in the city, and then finally gets one of her own. With beautiful shots of the city, the film rekindles our love affair with Paris. 960 1280

Erick Nguyen  

In Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2 friends spend a summer in Spain and unbeknownst, have an affair with the same painter. It wasn't just the stunning cast and sexy plot, but the iconic shots of summer in Barcelona that left us seduced by Spain. 960 1280

Zinchik  

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia
Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Australia’s balmy nights just got cooler atop this rooftop oasis in Perth. You’ll have the Perth city skyline in the background while watching popular releases and cult classics. The scene at Rooftop Movies has a retro-Miami Beach feel complete with palm trees, astro turf, a series of vintage caravans from which food and drinks are served, beach chairs to lounge in and hundreds of pink flamingoes. 960 1280

Jarrad Seng  

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Chicago?s Millennium Park is already an impressive sight, even without its new state-of-the-art 40-by-23-foot LED movie screen. The park?s latest high-tech attraction draws both Chicagoans and tourists alike to spread a blanket out on the Great Lawn for its Summer Film Series. 960 1280

  

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Past meets future at Mirage City Cinema, with ancient Sharjah architecture in the backdrop of a modern open-air movie projection. Floor carpets, which were traditionally used in Arab cultures for relaxing, are scattered throughout the courtyard, adding to the laid-back atmosphere of the outdoor cinema space. 960 1280

Buro Ole Scheeren   

Cine Thisio -- Athens

Cine Thisio -- Athens

It has to be a surreal experience to have ancient Greek ruins in the background as you watch a summer blockbuster. Built in 1935, Cine Thisio is the oldest outdoor movie theater in Athens, with impressive views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon just beyond. 960 1280

Basil Koutroumani  

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

After a meal in Baltimore's Little Italy, stay for "Cinema al Fresco," one of Little Italy's most popular events, now in its 16th year. Movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant, and you’ll see all the Italian-themed classics from Moonstruck to Cinema Paradiso. 960 1280

VisitBaltimore.com  

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Watch movies by moonlight with the Space Needle and the starry skies as the backdrop to Seattle’s summer Movies at the Mural. Picnic on the Mural Amphitheatre lawn, in front of a giant, state-of-the-art, 45-foot screen. 960 1280

shelmac, Flickr  

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

It’s no surprise that beach-loving Australians watch movies on the beach, too. Watch a film at Open Air Cinema amid views of Australia's most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Before the show begins, grab some gourmet food and drinks from a festival bar and listen to local musicians, then settle in for a full night of beachside entertainment. 960 1280

Phil Whitehouse, Flickr  

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

As in ancient times, the open-air theaters of Greece are still a part of the country’s cultural life -- and a popular way to spend a summer night. Enjoy a big fat Greek movie (at least one with Greek subtitles, anyway) at the outdoor Kamari Cinema on the Greek island of Santorini. 960 1280

Courtesy of Kamari Cinema  

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder's Outdoor Cinema is a popular summer night tradition for many outdoors lovers. While waiting for the sun to set and the movie to begin, enjoy local musicians and a trivia contest. 960 1280

Michael Totays  

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

Located at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, St. George OpenAir Cinema offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour. The movie screen literally rises out of Sydney Harbour. No need to pack a blanket and a picnic basket; this cinema has stadium seating and its own bars and restaurants. 960 1280

Sarah Rhodes  

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

How can a summer night in Paris get any more romantic? Perhaps by watching a French film on a blanket at the Parc de la Villette with a Parisian picnic of cheese, baguette and wine. 960 1280

A. Legrai  

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Every summer Barcelona’s locals gather at the moat area at Montjuic Castle to watch classic and current movies. It wouldn’t be a Spanish night without a little music, so enjoy live music like bossa nova and flamenco before the movie starts. 960 1280

SalaMontjuïc  

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Watching a film at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is sure to be unforgettable -- this is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. Thanks to Mother Nature, the design of the amphitheatre consists of two 300-foot monoliths -- a dramatic backdrop for movie night. 960 1280

Paul Maynard  

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film buffs gather in beautiful Bay Area parks like Dolores Park for Film Night in the Park. This year's 23st season offers crowd favorites from Up to Silver Linings Playbook. 960 1280

  

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

The tourists might take over the National Mall in the summer, but Washingtonians take it back for the summer movie series Screen on the Green. Each event in the series attracts approximately 15,000 Washingtonians (tourist are allowed, too). Arrive early with blankets to picnic on the Mall and enjoy one of DC’s most popular summer nights out. 960 1280

Erin M, Flickr  

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

London?s Somerset House, a spectacular neoclassical building in the heart of London near the River Thames, offers a dramatic backdrop to watch a movie under the summer night stars. Tourists and locals alike rank Film4 Summer Screen as one of the city's best things to do in the summer. 960 1280

James Bryant  

The French Riviera
The French Riviera

The French Riviera

The French Riviera is the setting for the annual Cannes Film Festival that brings Hollywood heavies to the picturesque waterfront town each year in May. 960 1280
Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

A broad view of Cannes prior to the annual film festival in France. 960 1280

Francois Durand / Getty Images  

66th Annual Cannes Film Fest

66th Annual Cannes Film Fest

A poster of legendary actors (and real-life duo) Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward is unveiled in advance of the 66th Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. 960 1280

Ming Yeung/Getty Images  

Cannes' Picture-Perfect Beaches

Cannes' Picture-Perfect Beaches

Located in France's Côte D'Azur (French Riviera), the annual Cannes International Film Festival draws Hollywood's elite and in the summer months the same beautiful crowd comes to enjoy the town's picture-perfect beaches and chic resorts. 960 1280

Reuters  

Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival

When not taking in the stars and films, visitors to the Venice Film Festival can navigate the canals courtesy of a gondola ride and take a stroll over the Rialto Bridge. 960 1280

Eric Delmar  

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is a 10-day event held every January in Park City, UT, showcasing independent movies from all over the world. Named for Robert Redford's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the festival has seen Redford play an integral part in building the festival's status over the years. 960 1280

Sundance Film Festival  

Park City's Main Street

Park City's Main Street

Snowy Main Street is a hub of activity during the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. 960 1280

Reuters  

Berlin International Film Festival

Berlin International Film Festival

The crowd buzzes at the Berlinale-Palast for the opening night of the Berlin International Film Festival. 960 1280

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin   

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Workers erect the largest outdoor airscreen, which is 39 feet high and 79 feet wide in Asia at the Tamar site during the Hong Kong International Film Festival. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca, one of downtown Manhattan's hippest neighborhoods, hosts the annual Tribeca Film Festival each year in the spring. 960 1280

Jason Rodman, flickr  

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series

Film lovers line up to hear actor-director Clint Eastwood and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky at the Tribeca Talks: Directors Series at the April 2013 festival in NYC. 960 1280

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images  

Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival

Actors, filmmakers and other industry insiders head to Toronto each fall for the Toronto International Film Festival. 960 1280

Getty  

Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall

Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall

Workers prepare the red carpet area at Roy Thomson Hall for the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. 960 1280

Reuters  

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