Movies That Inspired Travel in 2014

With awards season here, these are our winners for the most wanderlust-stirring films. From Wild to The Trip to Italy , these are the flicks that moved us all over the world.
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Photo By: Magnolia Pictures

Photo By: Fox Searchlight

Photo By: Fox Searchlight

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Photo By: Ian Brodie

‘The Two Faces of January,’ Athens, Greece

A film that might have gone slightly under the radar in 2014, The Two Faces of January featured a throwback to the golden age of travel in the 1960s and the timeless intrigue of ancient Greece. While an American trio dressed in tailored linen entangle themselves in crime among crumbling ruins, Greece’s classic beauty steals the scenes. With sun-drenched shots of the Acropolis, the Agora ruins and the idyllic island of Crete, this film has us dreaming of a Greek vacation, but one without all the drama.

‘Wild,’ Pacific Crest Trail

Wild is something of a phenomenon. First, Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her 1,100-mile solo trek gets the seal of approval from Oprah; then, it gets the Hollywood treatment in a film adaption starring Reese Witherspoon. Strayed’s rookie hike along the Pacific Crest Trail is also inspiring a record number of fans to lace up their hiking boots and follow in her footsteps. Embracing the growing interest, the Pacific Crest Trail is sharing the best-selling author’s exact route, or you can channel your inner Strayed and go your own way. 

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ Görlitz, Germany

Wes Anderson’s award-winning film The Grand Budapest Hotel transported us back to a time when travel was grand and dripping with glamour. While you can’t check into this fictional hotel, you can visit the picturesque prewar town in eastern Germany where the movie was filmed, Görlitz. It’s no stranger to the big screen, thanks to its Old World charm and preserved historic architecture; Inglourious Basterds, The Reader and The Book Thief were also filmed in Görlitz. Built in 1910, Görlitzer Warenhaus, a department store that had become rundown and abandoned, was restored to its former glory and made over into the grand hotel you see in the film.

‘Boyhood,’ Big Bend, TX

Not only did Boyhood, a film shot over 12 years with the same actors, have us rethinking our own life trajectory, but it also has us rethinking a visit to Texas. Forget line dancing and BBQ; the scenes of Texas in this film that caught our attention were the larger-than-life desertscapes of Big Bend National Park. The sublime sunset shots over the Lone Star State’s limestone cliffs reawakened our childhood wonder and love for the open wilderness. 

‘The Lego Movie,’ Legoland, Carlsbad, CA

If your kids dragged you to see The Lego Movie or you remember spending hours as a child creating Lego homes, you know the power that this iconic plastic building block has to inspire imaginations. Now, you can bring your childhood fantasy to life by spending a night in a hotel that features models made of more than 3 million Lego bricks. A kid hotel heaven, California’s Legoland Resort lets families stay and play a Lego’s throw away from the park and even take a behind-the-scenes tour of “sets” from the animated film with the Lego Movie Experience.

‘The Trip to Italy,’ Italy

A Trip to Italy? We’re in. A road trip through Italy feasting on the country’s carb-loaded dishes? We’re definitely in. Watching an odd couple banter and eat their way from northern Italy’s Piedmont region to the sun-soaked island of Capri has us ready to jump in a Fiat and follow their olive-oil-soaked trail. Or at least dig into some pasta al pesto.

‘The Hobbit,’ New Zealand

New Zealand tourism owes a big thank-you to Peter Jackson, the creator of the Hobbit film trilogy, for bringing the country’s otherworldly beauty to the big screen. Last year’s latest installment of the epic fantasy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, is continuing to lure even more fantasy and travel enthusiasts to Middle-earth, aka New Zealand, to see filming locations. The mecca of all Hobbit Tourism is Hobbiton, a private-farm-turned-movie-set where you can tour 44 hobbit holes to see how the furry-footed creatures live.

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