Top Ten Lists

Movie filming sites

While most movies are shot on soundstages, others are shot on location for a more realistic vibe. Some memorable sites can be visited in person. Oftentimes, the location of a film become as much of a character as the character(s) themselves. On a rare occasion, an iconic movie filming location can become more popular than the film itself, driving thousands of tourists seeking to relive their favorite film moments. The following iconic filming locations can all be visited in person.
  • 1. Philadelphia Museum of Art - Rocky III
    Philadelphia Museum of Art - Rocky III
    2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, , 19130
    The wonderful Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the top art museums in the country, receives more traffic from Rocky fans across the country than art lovers. Who could forget the iconic scene when Sylvester Stallone runs up the stairs in Rocky III? This scene is so famous that tourists come to Philly just to have their chance to recreate one of the most iconic movie moments.

    In fact, it's so popular that the city hosts an annual Rocky Run which culminates at the museum. That famous city view which Rocky overlooks as he has his hands up in the air is even more mesmerizing in person.

    Also, you will be able to take your picture next to the famous Rocky statue. Philly native Stallone donated the 2000 pound statue after filming and is occasionally known to make surprise appearances. After enjoying your motivating Balboa moment (can you hear the music right now?), definitely take some time to explore this world-class museum. The massive collection includes over 240,000 objects displayed throughout 200 galleries.
  • 2. Hollywood sign
    Hollywood sign
    2800 E. Observatory Road, , 90027
    Sitting 1709 feet atop Mount Lee, the massive letters have come to symbolize success or failure in the movie industry. Nothing quite says "following your dreams" like seeing this sign as you arrive in L.A. The iconic symbol of the movie industry, the famous 90+ year old Hollywood sign has been featured (or destroyed) in countless movies. Some of the more popular films where you may have recognized the sign include Independence Day, Pretty Woman, and San Andreas.

    You really cannot visit "Tinsletown" without seeing what has become one of the most popular monuments in the US. Is there a more recognizable symbol of success and ambition? The best place to view the sign is via the hiking trail at the Griffith Observatory. Here you can get so up close and personal with the sign that you will appear to be standing right underneath the sign in your pictures.
  • 3. The Plaza Hotel - Home Alone 2
    The Plaza Hotel - Home Alone 2
    5th Avenue at Central Park S, , 10022
    It's "New York's most exciting hotel experience," according to Kevin McCallister in the beloved holiday classic Home Alone 2. Who could forget the scene when Kevin is making the reservation at the ritzy Manhattan hotel with his Talkboy (remember when this was the hottest Christmas gift back in the 90's?).

    Unfortunately, it's pretty pricey to book a stay here although they do offer a marvelous Christmas package if you have the spare funds for a splurge. Note that the lobby is only open to exploration for guests. However, you can see the same shot of the hotel that was featured in the movie by taking a stroll around Central Park. Note - there is a picture-perfect shot near the Wollman Rink.
  • 4. Wollman Ice Rink - Home Alone 2
    Wollman Ice Rink - Home Alone 2
    830 5th Avenue, , 10065
    Christmas in New York - there really is nothing more exciting! The Rockefeller tree, the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular, Broadway shows, parades...and the list goes on. A winter walk or carriage ride through a snowy Central Park is an experience not to be forgotten. Ice skating in Central Park is a definite must for anyone who loves Christmas - does any holiday film not include the typical ice skating scene? The famous Wollman rink was most notably featured in Home Alone 2, and also in the romantic comedy about destiny, Serendipity.

    Whether you are recreating a romantic scene ala John Cusack and Kate Beckinsdale in Serendipity or enjoying a winter fantasy right out one of your favorite holiday films, skating in Central Park is an experience unlike any other. And yes, the rink still feels and looks the same as it did in Home Alone 2, right down to the lovely park scenes and festive music!
  • 5. Empire State Building - Sleepless in Seattle
    Empire State Building - Sleepless in Seattle
    20 W. 34th Street, , 10001
    The best romcom of all time is the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan early 90's classic Sleepless in Seattle. Recreating the famous "meet me up at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day" scene is a movie moment like no other. A movie about fate, the 2 star cross lovers encounter numerous obstacles before finally meeting, much like the film "An Affair to Remember," which the movie is based upon and references at multiple points.

    The 86th floor observation deck offers 360 degree views of the city that cannot be beat. Visit both day and night with the AM/PM pass to enjoy panoramic city views in 2 drastically different settings. Many other movies and TV shows have filmed at this iconic Art Deco skyscraper. Scanning the photo gallery wall during your visit, you will remember how many favorites filmed here including Elf and Independence Day.
  • 6. New York Public Library - Ghostbusters
    New York Public Library - Ghostbusters
    476 5th Avenue, , 10018
    The 80's classic Ghostbusters opens with a beautiful shot of the NY Public Library and the famous lions which adorn the entrance. As one of the city's most gorgeous landmarks, a tour is a must. Exploring this work of art (and the many gorgeous murals that adorn the ceilings) is free to everyone. In a pricey city, this is a real treat, not to mention the perfect alternative if you wish to skip the pricier museums.

    During your self guided tour, you will get to admire the lovely Beaux-arts style architecture. Every inch of the property is truly stunning. Of particular interest is the beautiful Reading Room, most famous for being site of the first ghost encounter in Ghostbusters.

    And while you are in NYC, do stop by for a picture at the famous, fully functional Fire, Hook, and Ladder Company 8, which was used for exterior scenes of the firehouse. Few sites are as memorable to 80's movie buffs as this iconic firehouse.
  • 7. Boston Public Garden - Good Will Hunting
    Boston Public Garden - Good Will Hunting
    4 Charles Street, , 02116
    Robin Williams and Matt Damon's heart to heart in the park in Oscar winning Good Will Hunting was actually filmed at Boston Public Garden. Dating back to 1837, this beautiful park was America's first public botanical garden. Today, it remains one of the city's most popular tourist destinations, both for its' immense beauty and for its' famous movie history. On a side note, the raunchy comedy Ted also featured scenes at the park.

    Besides strolling around admiring the sights and sounds of nature, you can see the actual bench where Good Will Hunting was filmed. The beautiful fountains, lagoon, and plant life makes this one of the best places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a bit for a much needed nature break. Be sure to take a ride on the famous Swan boats - cherry blossom season is the most picturesque time of the year to plan your visit.
  • 8. Griffith Observatory
    Griffith Observatory
    2800 E. Observatory Road, , 90027
    The Griffith Observatory is an iconic Los Angeles astronomy museum which also happens to be the premier site to take a picture of the famous Hollywood sign. In the movie industry, the Griffith is one of the most used filming sites. A few of the more famous films where the Griffith played a pivotal role include The Terminator, La La Land, Jurassic Park, and Yes Man. The tunnel scene from Back to the Future Part II and the entrance to Toontown from Who Framed Roger Rabbit where filmed at the Griffith Park tunnel.

    As the Griffith is free to the public thanks to a donation from philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith, there is no reason not to visit. Asides from educational exhibits, it's a great place to stargaze, enjoy picture-perfect views of the city, and enjoy the use of free telescopes at night. Most importantly, it's the largest urban wilderness municipal park, and one of the top hiking destinations within the city limits. There are a number of trails on-site including a popular trek offering fantastic views of the Hollywood sign.
  • 9. Chippewa Square - Forrest Gump
    Chippewa Square - Forrest Gump
    Bull Street, , 31401
    "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna gonna get." Who doesn't remember this famous line from Tom Hank's most memorable film role? Forrest Gump made Chippewa Square in Savannah's gorgeous historic district one of the most popular tourist destinations. Almost every tourist asks at some point - "Where is the Forrest Gump bench?"

    Whether you take a guided tour or explore Savannah's beautiful public squares on your own, you are bound to come across Chippewa, most famous for the Tom Hanks bench filming scene. While the bench is now housed in a museum, the site of the iconic scene park scene is marked by a plaque.

    While you are here, there's so much to do and explore throughout the historic district. Take a trolley tour, explore the ghostly legends via a walking tour, take a cruise along the riverfront, stay at a historic inn, and book a tour of the historic Bonaventure Cemetery, most famous for its' appearance in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
  • 10. Rodeo Drive/Bevery Hills sign
    Rodeo Drive/Bevery Hills sign
    Rodeo Drive, , 90212
    The famous street where Julia Roberts was famously denied entry into a ritzy shop is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles. In 2017, Julia Roberts recreated the famous scene for a Calzedonia commercial. Other popular films which used Rodeo Drive as a prominent filming location include Clueless, Beverly Hills Cop, and 80's cult classic Troop Beverly Hills.

    Also in the vicinity is the iconic Beverly Hills city sign, most notably featured in the classic TV series of the same name. Anyone who tuned in each week to see if Dylan would end up with Kelly or Brenda will definitely want to swing by for a quick nostalgic photo at Little Santa Monica Blvd at Moreno Drive. Quite possibly America's most famous zip code, and long associated with glitz and glamour, many celebs own ritzy multi million dollar homes in the exclusive wealthy enclave.