What places do you have on your bucket list to see in your RV travels? One of the things we enjoy most is seeing Americana at its best. For us, that means traveling to see things like the world’s largest ball of twine, the smallest skyscraper, or the oldest time capsule. People are creative. But have you checked out fictional places yet (or real places in fictional movies) such as restaurants or haunts where characters hung out in movies or television, or were made famous in books? You should consider visiting famous movie and TV locations on your travels.
Visit these famous fictional movie and TV locations in real-life with your RV
New York, NY
From the movie “When Harry Met Sally,” visit Katz’s Delicatessen. The location is real and has been operating since 1888. The deli was popular before the movie. They serve their famous pastrami sandwiches to customers who regularly create a line out the door and down Houston Street. We can only hope for a Sally experience.
Universal Studios, FL
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter books, you know about the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can visit a recreation of the fictional school in a very real way. On location, at the bottom of the castle, you will find an entire village with shops and a tavern (with real butterbeer!), and you can explore the corridors and classrooms of the book-written school.
North Bend, WA
Do you remember the TV show “Twin Peaks”? Agent Cooper would always go in for a piece of cherry pie and “damn fine coffee” at Double R Diner. You can enter the real diner named Twede’s Café. And luckily for us, both the cherry pie and the “damn fine coffee” are on the menu. See if you can snag Agent Cooper’s seat in the café. You can also visit nearby Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge—the gift shops have lots of Twin Peaks-themed memorabilia.
Editor’s note: We love Twede’s Cafe!
Avonlea, Prince Edward Island
If you enjoyed reading the novel “Anne of Green Gables,” there is a real location that creates a live version of the charm from the fictional Avonlea. The Avonlea Village is a recreated version and is complete with replica houses, shops, and the original schoolhouse.
The latest appearance of this giant doughnut (above) was in “Iron Man 2,” but it has appeared on several movie and TV show locations. I personally have gone through their drive-thru, ordered and eaten their doughnuts, and they are pretty good! You might be able to drive your RV around and order—you make that call. But at least get a picture of the iconic doughnut on top of the building of Randy’s Donuts.
Did you like the skit show “Saturday Night Live”? John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray made the Billy Goat Tavern famous in their Olympia Café sketch. I’ve eaten there and it’s nothing to write home about (I think the patties are frozen), but it is worth poking your head in the door, glancing around and seeing if Don Novello (the writer) or Bill Murray are there, as they do still stop by. Don’t take your rig there though… it is in downtown Chicago.
Mount Hood, Oregon
“The Shining” is a disturbing psychological movie that takes place in the snowy mountains in a haunted hotel—the Overlook Hotel. The real filming took place at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. Funny, though. You can visit two real places that influenced the fictional location. Stephen King came up with the concept for “The Shining” while staying at another hotel, The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado (which is also reported to be haunted).
Menemsha Harbor, Massachusetts
On Martha’s Vineyard in Menemsha Harbor was the made-up town of Amity Island. In Steven Spielberg’s movie “Jaws” we encounter the threats of hungry water mammals. Here, you can visit the harbor and enjoy the area without all the screaming and running out of the water. Just enjoy the beauty without the beast.
You might want to add some of these movie and TV location adventures to your next RV trip. They may not be real or part of a fiction movie, but they can be nostalgic, bringing back memories of the times we sat reading that book or watching a movie with friends. Taking trips to experience these dream places is an interesting way to connect, and your RV is a great way to get you there!
- Don’t change the channel! Visit three famous TV sites and relive your favorites
- Born in the USA: Famous things and where they started
Another great place to visit is Goblin Valley State Park. It is worthy of a visit for anyone, but it is especially meaningful for fans of the movie Galaxy Quest. The scene where the crew land on a planet to acquire a beryllium sphere was filmed here.
We went to Bodega Bay, CA. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed there. You can visit some of the film sites but the best part was the beaches, hiking and the food.
You drive by the school on the way.
Visited the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, IA last year. The ball field is “rented out” so groups can play the field. It is booked solid in the summer. I just wanted to run the bases, but no way was I going to try to interrupt someone else’s playing time, which is quite expensive. So we looked around a bit, ate an expensive hot dog, and left.
We’ve done this several times visiting the Barnwood Builders shop and boneyard in White Sulphur Springs, WV and the Salvage Dogs’ shop in Roanoke, VA. We also have stopped at the American Pickers LeClair, IA shop. I actually worked with them when they picked the EAA museum though I wasn’t on camera. Most fun ever though was the Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, UT. Tours of movie/TV locations, re-enactors of Gabby Hayes and Hopalong Cassidy and actual stars from western movies and show. Check to find the dates of this fun festival.
For all you Lone Ranger fans.
In the opening credits the Lone Ranger and Silver raise on Silver’s hind legs in front of a large rock. That location in Chatsworth Ca on the Iverson Movie ranch in the 1940’s was in the middle of nowhere.
Today that location and rock area still exists in the middle of a subdivision!
It took me a few minutes to research, but sharks (Jaws) are not mammals. Loved your article, but that line caused me to scratch my head.