Movies That Inspired Travel in 2013

With award season here, we picked the year’s most wanderlust-stirring movies. From The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to Before Midnight, these films moved us all over the world.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This latest installment of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy created a huge surge of tourism in New Zealand, where about 150 locations were used for Lord of the Rings’ scenes. The mecca of all Hobbit tourism is Hobbiton, private-farmland-turned-movie-set. You can tour the 44 hobbit holes set in the picturesque rolling hills of Matamata’s countryside to see how the furry-footed creatures live. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

While this film version shows very little of Russia or its famous landmarks (much of the action takes place on a theatre stage), it still inspires opulent travel of the old world sort. The scenes of Anna Karenina traveling in a lavish train car through the snow-covered open landscapes of Russia leave us dreaming of a similar trip: a luxury train ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, touring historic St. Petersburg and dynamic Moscow. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Praised as the next Avatar due its stunning cinematography and special effects, this film adaptation of Yann Martel’s fantasy-adventure novel has sparked renewed interest in Taiwan. With mesmerizing scenes filmed at Kenting White Banyan Garden, Kenting National Park and Taipei Zoo, Taiwan is likely to be on many lists for top destinations in 2013. 960 1280

Harry Huang, flickr  

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Ever booked a trip just for a meal? You might after seeing this film. This documentary follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master, considered to be the world’s best sushi chef. But good luck trying to get a reservation at his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, in Tokyo; reservations must be made at least a month in advance and meals start at $300 a person. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hunger Games

Hunger Games

Super fans are insatiable when it comes to experiencing anything to do with Suzanne Collins’ novel about 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, even flocking to the backwoods of North Carolina to see the film locations. Hunger Games Fans Tours is even offering immersive adventure weekend trips where participants learn basic survival skills like archery, shelter-building and special-effects camouflage. 960 1280

VisitNC.com  

On the Road

On the Road

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this long-awaited film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, which inspired a generation to get “on the road to nowhere.” Retrace Jack Kerouac's steps, visiting Beat landmarks across America, from New York's West Village to San Francisco's Jack Kerouac Alley. Keep the spontaneity theme going -- but skip the hitchhiking. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Skyfall

Skyfall

We’ve been envious of James Bond’s spy life ever since his exotic travels to Thailand in The Man with the Golden Gun and Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me. The 23rd Bond flick, Skyfall, is no less wanderlust-stirring, with dangerously alluring scenes shot in London, Scotland and Shanghai. 960 1280

Giancarlo Liguori  

Lincoln

Lincoln

History buffs and the Academy Awards alike can’t get enough of this film about our 16th president. Capturing the renewed interest in Lincoln destinations, tours are popping up this year in key cities such as Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA, retracing Lincoln’s steps and revealing history-rich locations. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon fishing in Yemen? Not so fast, warns Yemen’s tourism board after it saw a surge of interest in the activity following the release of this British romantic dramedy. While it's not exactly advisable for the average tourist to visit this Middle East country in the midst of recent civil unrest, if salmon fishing is what you’re after, try the much safer Seattle or Alaska. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

To Rome With Love

To Rome With Love

In recent years, Woody Allen’s films have inspired some serious wanderlust. In 2012 Allen followed up Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris with his latest tale of love abroad, To Rome With Love. The film showcases several stories of seduction in one of the most irresistible cities in the world -- Roma! 960 1280

Thinkstock  

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A group of British seniors check in to the newly restored Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, India, with visions of an exotic retirement, but arrive only to find the hotel on its heels. Proving that travel adventures aren't only for the young, this film shows India's dynamic and transformative appeal for all. Judi Dench's character echoes this sentiment: "India hits you like a wave. If you resist, you will be knocked down. But if you dive into it, you will be alright." 960 1280

Getty Images  

Twilight: Breaking Dawn II

Twilight: Breaking Dawn II

Cinematic merits aside, Twilight left us smitten -- and not with hunky werewolves or bloodsucking vampires but with its stunning filming locations in what is the last installment of Stephenie Meyer’s popular vampire saga. From the unspoiled La Push Beach, WA, to Alaska’s rugged Denali National Park, you don’t have to be a Twihard to feel the pull of these natural wonders. 960 1280

La Push Beach, Dave Morrow, flickr  

Oracabessa
Oracabessa

Oracabessa

Sean Connery was the first actor cast as James Bond, aka Secret Agent 007. Dr. No, the first Bond film to draw fans to movie theaters (in 1962), was filmed in London and Kingston, Jamaica. Most of the filming was completed here in Oracabessa (pictured), a small town in Jamaica. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

From Russian With Love (1963) was filmed primarily in Istanbul, Turkey, including the Hagia Sophia (pictured), where Tatiana Romanova has a pre-arranged rendezvous with Agent 007 to give him the floor plan of the Soviet consulate. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Fort Knox

Fort Knox

In the movie Goldfinger (1964), the dashing British spy halts Goldfinger’s plan to detonate a nuclear bomb inside Fort Knox. US Army post is located south of Louisville, KY. 960 1280

Liz West, Flickr  

Paradise Island

Paradise Island

Be inspired and retrace Bond’s steps on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, where most of the 1965 movieThunderball was filmed. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

You Only Live Twice (1967) was shot primarily at the Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan. On film, this was the location for an undercover ninja training camp headed by Japanese secret service leader Tiger Tanaka. 960 1280

  

Hotel Estoril Palacio

Hotel Estoril Palacio

Before the opening credits rolled in the 1969 Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Palacio Estoril was where the luxurious hotel scenes were filmed. The historic hotel was the second home of the Spanish, French, Bulgarian and Romanian royal families, and it still remains a favorite with their descendants. This was actor George Lazenby’s first and only time cast in the role of Agent 007. 960 1280

Hotel Estoril Palacio  

Elrod Residence, Palm Springs

Elrod Residence, Palm Springs

In the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever, the Elrod House, designed by architect John Lautner, was transformed into the Whyte House, home of reclusive billionaire and casino owner Willard Whyte. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica doubles as San Monique in Live and Let Die (1973). Secret Agent 007 flies to the fictitious island where he goes beyond his duty to “persuade” Rosie Carver, a CIA double agent, to help him bring down a corrupt Caribbean dictator named Dr. Kananga. 960 1280

Callie Reed, Flickr  

Ko Tapu Islet

Ko Tapu Islet

Visit Francisco Scaramanga’s hideout on Ko Khao Phing Kan in the Phuket’s Phang Nga Province. After the 1974 release of The Man with the Golden Gun, locals and travel guidebooks began to refer to the nearby Ko Tapu islet as James Bond Island. Just beware of Scaramanga’s solar ray secret weapon. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

Actor Roger Moore plays the British agent in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). James Bond travels to Sardinia where he learns about Karl Stromberg -- a shipping tycoon, scientist and anarchist -- and his new supertanker, the Liparus. 960 1280

fry, Flickr  

Pao de Acucar

Pao de Acucar

In Rio de Janeiro, James Bond fights with steel-toothed Jaws during a cable-car ride to Pao de Acucar, aka Sugarloaf Mountain in Moonraker (1979). 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Monastery of the Holy Trinity

Monastery of the Holy Trinity

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Meteora -- above Kalambaka, Greece -- served as a location shoot in the 1981 Bond flick For Your Eyes Only. A Greek bishop was paid to allow filming in the monasteries. Rumor has it that actor Roger Moore had a great fear of heights, and to do the climbing, he resorted to moderate drinking to calm his nerves. We’re just wondering if it was shaken, not stirred. 960 1280

Dido3, Wikimedia Commons  

Lake Palace

Lake Palace

About half of the movie Octopussy was set in Udaipur, India -- primarily in this floating palace. 960 1280

flickr, Wikimedia Commons  

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

After a mad dash through the streets of San Francisco in a fire truck, a battle between 007 and Max Zorin comes to a head on the Golden Gate Bridge in A View to a Kill (1985). 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Rock of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar

Actor Timothy Dalton’s first movie as 007 was The Living Daylights in 1987. In the opening scenes before the credits, 007’s car flies off a cliff on the Rock of Gibraltar. In true Bond fashion, he’s prepared with a parachute and he manages to land safely in a boat full of beautiful women below. 960 1280

Artur Bogacki  

Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

In Licence to Kill (1989), the British secret agent travels to Key West, FL, to see his best friend, Felix Lieter, get married. A happy occasion turns ugly when drug lord Franz Sanchez orders his henchmen to kill the newlyweds. Soon after, M meets Bond at the Hemingway House to send him to Istanbul for his next assignment. 960 1280

  

Arecibo Observatory

Arecibo Observatory

In 1989, actor Pierce Brosnan made his debut as the new James Bond in GoldenEye. The climactic fight scenes on the satellite were filmed here, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. 960 1280

Jose Venegas, Flickr  

Stoke Park

Stoke Park

In Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), the steamy love scene between James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher) was filmed here in Stoke Park, a historic estate -- now a hotel, spa and country club -- in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England. 960 1280

Stoke Park  

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

The pre-title sequence in The World Is Not Enough (1999) begins in Bilbao, Spain, at the legendary Guggenheim Museum. 960 1280

Samuel Negredo, Flickr  

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Various exterior scenes where Bond visits the Ice Palace in Die Another Day were shot here, in and around this iceberg-filled lake in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como, Italy

In 2006, actor Daniel Craig became the new Bond in Casino Royale. Director Martin Campbell and the production crew traveled to Prague, the Bahamas, Uganda and Italy to shoot scenes for the movie. Near the end of the movie, the secret agent wakes up in a hospital in Lake Como, Italy (pictured), after he was tortured by terrorist financier Le Chiffre. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert

In Quantum Solace (2008), Chile’s Atacama Desert (pictured) was filmed to create the scene in the Bolivian desert where villain Dominic Greene reveals his plan to control Bolivia’s water supply. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Sultanahmet Square

Sultanahmet Square

Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square (pictured), Spice Bazaar, Yeni Camii and Grand Bazaar were closed to film the most recent James Bond flick, Skyfall. 960 1280

Mario Sanchez Prada, Flickr  

Wellington Airport in New Zealand
The Middle of Middle-earth

The Middle of Middle-earth

A giant sculpture of Gollum, created by local special-effects studio WETA, welcomes the throngs of Hobbit fans at the Wellington Airport in New Zealand. The airport terminal has also been renamed, greeting arrivals with a sign saying, "The Middle of Middle-earth." The whole airport is dedicated to Hobbit-fever -- even luggage is collected from "Baggins Services." 960 1280

Wellington Airport and Weta Workshop   

Port Waikato, North Island

Port Waikato, North Island

About an hour and a half south of Auckland lies Port Waikato, the location for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Weathertop fortress ruins. The beachside settlement is also a favorite for surfers and those seeking a private retreat. 960 1280

Remedy Loame, flickr  

Tongariro Park

Tongariro Park

Tongariro National Park was selected by filmmaker Peter Jackson to stand in as J.R.R Tolkien’s ominous Mordor. This 300-square-mile park on New Zealand’s North Island is full of natural wonders, including active volcanoes and emerald lakes. The park’s popular Alpine Crossing was ranked one of the world’s top 10 day hikes by National Geographic. 960 1280

Jeff Pang, flickr  

Weta Cave

Weta Cave

Visit the Weta Cave Museum in Wellington to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe come to life. Hobbit fans can meet some of the characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, learn about the movie’s special effects and get a sneak peek at behind-the-scenes videos. This Middle-earth mecca is open 7 days a week, with free admission. 960 1280

  

Middle-earth Mecca

Middle-earth Mecca

A 2-hour drive from Auckland will lead you to the famous rolling hills of Matamata’s countryside. Here you’ll find Hobbiton, the mecca of all Hobbit tourism. Fans can visit Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, where a Middle-earth expert will guide you through the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy film set. 960 1280

Ian Brodie  

Mt. Aspiring National Park

Mt. Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park, located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand's South Island, was a location for the fortress Isengard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The park is a popular sport for tramping (the New Zealand term for hiking and trekking). 960 1280

Andrew Conway  

Hobbit-Themed Plane

Hobbit-Themed Plane

Air New Zealand adds to Hobbit-fever with its Hobbit-themed Boeing planes. The “official airline of Middle- earth” also created a special flight safety video that features creatures from the mythic universe. 960 1280

Air New Zealand  

Chateau Tongariro

Chateau Tongariro

With an eerie resemblance to The Shining’s Stanley Hotel, the 83-year-old Chateau Tongariro was basecamp for filmmaker Peter Jackson and his crew, who screened footage in the hotel’s basement movie theater. 960 1280

Emilee Rader, flickr  

Hobbiton

Hobbiton

Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata gives fans an inside look at the film set for the Hobbit movies. Located on private farmland, the site is also a working Angus beef and sheep farm situated in New Zealand’s richest farming area. 960 1280

Rob Chandler, flickr  

Hobbit Hole

Hobbit Hole

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours to see where the furry-footed creatures live. There are 44 Hobbit holes on the site, which were recreated in 2011 for more Hobbit filming. The tiny Hobbit holes were remade with permanent materials, so the set can continue on as a permanent tourism attraction. 960 1280

Joshua Eckert, flickr  

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

One of the most-visited spots in New Zealand is Milford Sound, now even more popular due to its cameos in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This natural wonder on the South Island is part of protected Fiordland National Park and a World Heritage site. 960 1280

Tourism Holdings; thlnz.co.nz  

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Westland Tai Poutini National Park, located on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, appears in the trilogy’s third and final installment, The Return of the King. The 290,000-acre park showcases a stunningly diverse landscape of glaciers, snow-capped mountains, forests and beaches. 960 1280

Dept of Conservation, flickr  

Lord of the Rings Horse Treks

Lord of the Rings Horse Treks

Glenorchy on New Zealand’s South Island is an area known for its horse riding and spectacular scenery. Trek on horseback 10 miles north of Glenorchy to an area known as Paradise. This rural treasure was the filming location for scenes in The Lords of The Ringstrilogy. 960 1280

Miles Holden  

Photos

Oracabessa

Oracabessa

Sean Connery was the first actor cast as James Bond, aka Secret Agent 007. Dr. No, the first Bond film to draw fans to movie theaters (in 1962), was filmed in London and Kingston, Jamaica. Most of the filming was completed here in Oracabessa (pictured), a small town in Jamaica. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

From Russian With Love (1963) was filmed primarily in Istanbul, Turkey, including the Hagia Sophia (pictured), where Tatiana Romanova has a pre-arranged rendezvous with Agent 007 to give him the floor plan of the Soviet consulate. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Fort Knox

Fort Knox

In the movie Goldfinger (1964), the dashing British spy halts Goldfinger’s plan to detonate a nuclear bomb inside Fort Knox. US Army post is located south of Louisville, KY. 960 1280

Liz West, Flickr  

Paradise Island

Paradise Island

Be inspired and retrace Bond’s steps on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, where most of the 1965 movieThunderball was filmed. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

You Only Live Twice (1967) was shot primarily at the Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan. On film, this was the location for an undercover ninja training camp headed by Japanese secret service leader Tiger Tanaka. 960 1280

  

Hotel Estoril Palacio

Hotel Estoril Palacio

Before the opening credits rolled in the 1969 Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Palacio Estoril was where the luxurious hotel scenes were filmed. The historic hotel was the second home of the Spanish, French, Bulgarian and Romanian royal families, and it still remains a favorite with their descendants. This was actor George Lazenby’s first and only time cast in the role of Agent 007. 960 1280

Hotel Estoril Palacio  

Elrod Residence, Palm Springs

Elrod Residence, Palm Springs

In the 1971 movie Diamonds Are Forever, the Elrod House, designed by architect John Lautner, was transformed into the Whyte House, home of reclusive billionaire and casino owner Willard Whyte. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Jamaica

Jamaica

Jamaica doubles as San Monique in Live and Let Die (1973). Secret Agent 007 flies to the fictitious island where he goes beyond his duty to “persuade” Rosie Carver, a CIA double agent, to help him bring down a corrupt Caribbean dictator named Dr. Kananga. 960 1280

Callie Reed, Flickr  

Ko Tapu Islet

Ko Tapu Islet

Visit Francisco Scaramanga’s hideout on Ko Khao Phing Kan in the Phuket’s Phang Nga Province. After the 1974 release of The Man with the Golden Gun, locals and travel guidebooks began to refer to the nearby Ko Tapu islet as James Bond Island. Just beware of Scaramanga’s solar ray secret weapon. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

Actor Roger Moore plays the British agent in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). James Bond travels to Sardinia where he learns about Karl Stromberg -- a shipping tycoon, scientist and anarchist -- and his new supertanker, the Liparus. 960 1280

fry, Flickr  

Pao de Acucar

Pao de Acucar

In Rio de Janeiro, James Bond fights with steel-toothed Jaws during a cable-car ride to Pao de Acucar, aka Sugarloaf Mountain in Moonraker (1979). 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Monastery of the Holy Trinity

Monastery of the Holy Trinity

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Meteora -- above Kalambaka, Greece -- served as a location shoot in the 1981 Bond flick For Your Eyes Only. A Greek bishop was paid to allow filming in the monasteries. Rumor has it that actor Roger Moore had a great fear of heights, and to do the climbing, he resorted to moderate drinking to calm his nerves. We’re just wondering if it was shaken, not stirred. 960 1280

Dido3, Wikimedia Commons  

Lake Palace

Lake Palace

About half of the movie Octopussy was set in Udaipur, India -- primarily in this floating palace. 960 1280

flickr, Wikimedia Commons  

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

After a mad dash through the streets of San Francisco in a fire truck, a battle between 007 and Max Zorin comes to a head on the Golden Gate Bridge in A View to a Kill (1985). 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Rock of Gibraltar

Rock of Gibraltar

Actor Timothy Dalton’s first movie as 007 was The Living Daylights in 1987. In the opening scenes before the credits, 007’s car flies off a cliff on the Rock of Gibraltar. In true Bond fashion, he’s prepared with a parachute and he manages to land safely in a boat full of beautiful women below. 960 1280

Artur Bogacki  

Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

In Licence to Kill (1989), the British secret agent travels to Key West, FL, to see his best friend, Felix Lieter, get married. A happy occasion turns ugly when drug lord Franz Sanchez orders his henchmen to kill the newlyweds. Soon after, M meets Bond at the Hemingway House to send him to Istanbul for his next assignment. 960 1280

  

Arecibo Observatory

Arecibo Observatory

In 1989, actor Pierce Brosnan made his debut as the new James Bond in GoldenEye. The climactic fight scenes on the satellite were filmed here, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. 960 1280

Jose Venegas, Flickr  

Stoke Park

Stoke Park

In Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), the steamy love scene between James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher) was filmed here in Stoke Park, a historic estate -- now a hotel, spa and country club -- in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England. 960 1280

Stoke Park  

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum

The pre-title sequence in The World Is Not Enough (1999) begins in Bilbao, Spain, at the legendary Guggenheim Museum. 960 1280

Samuel Negredo, Flickr  

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Various exterior scenes where Bond visits the Ice Palace in Die Another Day were shot here, in and around this iceberg-filled lake in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como, Italy

In 2006, actor Daniel Craig became the new Bond in Casino Royale. Director Martin Campbell and the production crew traveled to Prague, the Bahamas, Uganda and Italy to shoot scenes for the movie. Near the end of the movie, the secret agent wakes up in a hospital in Lake Como, Italy (pictured), after he was tortured by terrorist financier Le Chiffre. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert

In Quantum Solace (2008), Chile’s Atacama Desert (pictured) was filmed to create the scene in the Bolivian desert where villain Dominic Greene reveals his plan to control Bolivia’s water supply. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Sultanahmet Square

Sultanahmet Square

Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square (pictured), Spice Bazaar, Yeni Camii and Grand Bazaar were closed to film the most recent James Bond flick, Skyfall. 960 1280

Mario Sanchez Prada, Flickr  

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

This latest installment of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy created a huge surge of tourism in New Zealand, where about 150 locations were used for Lord of the Rings’ scenes. The mecca of all Hobbit tourism is Hobbiton, private-farmland-turned-movie-set. You can tour the 44 hobbit holes set in the picturesque rolling hills of Matamata’s countryside to see how the furry-footed creatures live. 960 1280

Jeff Hitchcock, flickr  

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

While this film version shows very little of Russia or its famous landmarks (much of the action takes place on a theatre stage), it still inspires opulent travel of the old world sort. The scenes of Anna Karenina traveling in a lavish train car through the snow-covered open landscapes of Russia leave us dreaming of a similar trip: a luxury train ride on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, touring historic St. Petersburg and dynamic Moscow. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Praised as the next Avatar due its stunning cinematography and special effects, this film adaptation of Yann Martel’s fantasy-adventure novel has sparked renewed interest in Taiwan. With mesmerizing scenes filmed at Kenting White Banyan Garden, Kenting National Park and Taipei Zoo, Taiwan is likely to be on many lists for top destinations in 2013. 960 1280

Harry Huang, flickr  

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Ever booked a trip just for a meal? You might after seeing this film. This documentary follows Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old sushi master, considered to be the world’s best sushi chef. But good luck trying to get a reservation at his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, in Tokyo; reservations must be made at least a month in advance and meals start at $300 a person. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hunger Games

Hunger Games

Super fans are insatiable when it comes to experiencing anything to do with Suzanne Collins’ novel about 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, even flocking to the backwoods of North Carolina to see the film locations. Hunger Games Fans Tours is even offering immersive adventure weekend trips where participants learn basic survival skills like archery, shelter-building and special-effects camouflage. 960 1280

VisitNC.com  

On the Road

On the Road

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this long-awaited film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, which inspired a generation to get “on the road to nowhere.” Retrace Jack Kerouac's steps, visiting Beat landmarks across America, from New York's West Village to San Francisco's Jack Kerouac Alley. Keep the spontaneity theme going -- but skip the hitchhiking. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Skyfall

Skyfall

We’ve been envious of James Bond’s spy life ever since his exotic travels to Thailand in The Man with the Golden Gun and Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me. The 23rd Bond flick, Skyfall, is no less wanderlust-stirring, with dangerously alluring scenes shot in London, Scotland and Shanghai. 960 1280

Giancarlo Liguori  

Lincoln

Lincoln

History buffs and the Academy Awards alike can’t get enough of this film about our 16th president. Capturing the renewed interest in Lincoln destinations, tours are popping up this year in key cities such as Washington, DC, and Richmond, VA, retracing Lincoln’s steps and revealing history-rich locations. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon fishing in Yemen? Not so fast, warns Yemen’s tourism board after it saw a surge of interest in the activity following the release of this British romantic dramedy. While it's not exactly advisable for the average tourist to visit this Middle East country in the midst of recent civil unrest, if salmon fishing is what you’re after, try the much safer Seattle or Alaska. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

To Rome With Love

To Rome With Love

In recent years, Woody Allen’s films have inspired some serious wanderlust. In 2012 Allen followed up Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris with his latest tale of love abroad, To Rome With Love. The film showcases several stories of seduction in one of the most irresistible cities in the world -- Roma! 960 1280

Thinkstock  

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A group of British seniors check in to the newly restored Marigold Hotel in Jaipur, India, with visions of an exotic retirement, but arrive only to find the hotel on its heels. Proving that travel adventures aren't only for the young, this film shows India's dynamic and transformative appeal for all. Judi Dench's character echoes this sentiment: "India hits you like a wave. If you resist, you will be knocked down. But if you dive into it, you will be alright." 960 1280

Getty Images  

Twilight: Breaking Dawn II

Twilight: Breaking Dawn II

Cinematic merits aside, Twilight left us smitten -- and not with hunky werewolves or bloodsucking vampires but with its stunning filming locations in what is the last installment of Stephenie Meyer’s popular vampire saga. From the unspoiled La Push Beach, WA, to Alaska’s rugged Denali National Park, you don’t have to be a Twihard to feel the pull of these natural wonders. 960 1280

La Push Beach, Dave Morrow, flickr  

The Middle of Middle-earth

The Middle of Middle-earth

A giant sculpture of Gollum, created by local special-effects studio WETA, welcomes the throngs of Hobbit fans at the Wellington Airport in New Zealand. The airport terminal has also been renamed, greeting arrivals with a sign saying, "The Middle of Middle-earth." The whole airport is dedicated to Hobbit-fever -- even luggage is collected from "Baggins Services." 960 1280

Wellington Airport and Weta Workshop   

Port Waikato, North Island

Port Waikato, North Island

About an hour and a half south of Auckland lies Port Waikato, the location for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Weathertop fortress ruins. The beachside settlement is also a favorite for surfers and those seeking a private retreat. 960 1280

Remedy Loame, flickr  

Tongariro Park

Tongariro Park

Tongariro National Park was selected by filmmaker Peter Jackson to stand in as J.R.R Tolkien’s ominous Mordor. This 300-square-mile park on New Zealand’s North Island is full of natural wonders, including active volcanoes and emerald lakes. The park’s popular Alpine Crossing was ranked one of the world’s top 10 day hikes by National Geographic. 960 1280

Jeff Pang, flickr  

Weta Cave

Weta Cave

Visit the Weta Cave Museum in Wellington to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe come to life. Hobbit fans can meet some of the characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, learn about the movie’s special effects and get a sneak peek at behind-the-scenes videos. This Middle-earth mecca is open 7 days a week, with free admission. 960 1280

  

Middle-earth Mecca

Middle-earth Mecca

A 2-hour drive from Auckland will lead you to the famous rolling hills of Matamata’s countryside. Here you’ll find Hobbiton, the mecca of all Hobbit tourism. Fans can visit Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, where a Middle-earth expert will guide you through the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy film set. 960 1280

Ian Brodie  

Mt. Aspiring National Park

Mt. Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park, located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand's South Island, was a location for the fortress Isengard in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The park is a popular sport for tramping (the New Zealand term for hiking and trekking). 960 1280

Andrew Conway  

Hobbit-Themed Plane

Hobbit-Themed Plane

Air New Zealand adds to Hobbit-fever with its Hobbit-themed Boeing planes. The “official airline of Middle- earth” also created a special flight safety video that features creatures from the mythic universe. 960 1280

Air New Zealand  

Chateau Tongariro

Chateau Tongariro

With an eerie resemblance to The Shining’s Stanley Hotel, the 83-year-old Chateau Tongariro was basecamp for filmmaker Peter Jackson and his crew, who screened footage in the hotel’s basement movie theater. 960 1280

Emilee Rader, flickr  

Hobbiton

Hobbiton

Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata gives fans an inside look at the film set for the Hobbit movies. Located on private farmland, the site is also a working Angus beef and sheep farm situated in New Zealand’s richest farming area. 960 1280

Rob Chandler, flickr  

Hobbit Hole

Hobbit Hole

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours to see where the furry-footed creatures live. There are 44 Hobbit holes on the site, which were recreated in 2011 for more Hobbit filming. The tiny Hobbit holes were remade with permanent materials, so the set can continue on as a permanent tourism attraction. 960 1280

Joshua Eckert, flickr  

Milford Sound

Milford Sound

One of the most-visited spots in New Zealand is Milford Sound, now even more popular due to its cameos in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This natural wonder on the South Island is part of protected Fiordland National Park and a World Heritage site. 960 1280

Tourism Holdings; thlnz.co.nz  

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Westland Tai Poutini National Park, located on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, appears in the trilogy’s third and final installment, The Return of the King. The 290,000-acre park showcases a stunningly diverse landscape of glaciers, snow-capped mountains, forests and beaches. 960 1280

Dept of Conservation, flickr  

Lord of the Rings Horse Treks

Lord of the Rings Horse Treks

Glenorchy on New Zealand’s South Island is an area known for its horse riding and spectacular scenery. Trek on horseback 10 miles north of Glenorchy to an area known as Paradise. This rural treasure was the filming location for scenes in The Lords of The Ringstrilogy. 960 1280

Miles Holden  

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