5 Oscar-Winning Movie Locations You Can Visit

5 Oscar-Winning Movie Locations You Can Visit

Get in the mood for awards season with a trip to one of these iconic movie locations

With the Academy Awards airing this weekend (we’ve already planned our viewing party… have you?) we’re in a movie frame of mind. We went back into the vault and pulled up some of our favorite Oscar-winning flicks from years past. Then, we imagined ourselves in them. Now, we’re pulling out all the stops to send you across the world and into these five memorable scenes. Read on for five trips with serious selfie opportunities. Oh, and one fearless Oscar prediction.

Salzburg, Austria: The Sound of Music

Austria-storyAn oldie but a goodie, The Sound of Music is an iconic picture whose legacy lives on today. No matter where you are in the world, hum a tune from this musical in public, and you’ll see what we’re talking about. If you haven’t seen it, you need to! The Academy recognized the film’s cultural significance quickly, awarding it 5 prizes at the 1966 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, and Best Music. Its famous Do-Re-Mi scene was filmed at Mirabell Gardens and Mirabell Palace in Salzburg. Nearby Kitzbuhel has a handful of luxury accommodations to choose from, and it’s just a 90-minute drive to visit Mirabell, perfect for a day trip. Rent some bikes for the whole family, then embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride, and you’re sure to nail the scene on the first take.
Where to stay in Kitzbuhel

Kauai, Hawaii: Jurassic Park

Hawaii-storyWhile the first instalment of the powerful Jurassic Park franchise might technically be set in Costa Rica, director Steven Spielberg actually chose to film it in a location that he had experience with, the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Spielberg’s gem won three Oscars in 1994, including one for its visual effects. You might remember the breathtaking scene where the three scientists – played by Jeff Goldblum, Laura Linney and Sam Neill – arrive by helicopter accompanied by Park owner John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). One of the most impressive flyover scenes ever made, it was filmed along the Napali Coast. Not only can you recreate the scene and appreciate the view from the top for yourself with a private helicopter tour, you can rest your head just steps away at a beautiful villa, so that your dreams of being part of Jurassic world are closer than you think.
Where to stay in Kauai

Val d’Orcia, Tuscany: Gladiator 

Tuscany-storyGladiator cleaned up at the 2001 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Russell Crowe), Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound Mixing. The movie was primarily filmed in three main locations: England, Morocco, and Malta. But perhaps the most memorable scene in the movie – the dream sequence after Maximus (Crowe) is gravely wounded at the Coliseum – was shot among the classic rolling hills and wheat fields of Val d’Orcia, between San Quirico and Pienza in the south of Tuscany. Picture Crowe passing his hand through the cornfields, and then recreate it for yourself – only it won’t be a dream this time.
Where to stay in Val d’Orcia

South Island, New Zealand: The Lord of the Rings 

New-Zealand-storyThe Lord of the Rings trilogy’s principal photography was filmed in succession over a period of 274 days, exclusively in Peter Jackson’s home country of New Zealand. Luckily for mega-fans of the franchise, many of its locations are accessible. On the South Island in Arrowtown, nearby to Queenstown, you can trek to the fictional Ford of Bruinen, from Fellowship of the Rings where Arwin summoned the flood to wash away the Nazgul, on New Zealand’s Arrow River. You can also check out the site of the Gladden Fields battle scenes, where Isildur was ambushed in the first movie, over at Wilcox Green. Both sites are an easy, roughly 30-minute walk through Arrowtown from The Lodge at the Hills villa. The Fellowship of the Ring burst onto the scene at the 2002 Oscars by winning awards for Cinematography, Makeup, Original Score, and Visual Effects. The trilogy went on to collect a record total of 17 Oscars.
Where to stay on South Island

L.A., California: La La Land 

Los-Angeles-storyOkay, we lied. At time of publishing, this article only contains 4 Oscar-winning titles. Enter, our 2016 pick for Best Picture: La La Land. We predict this visually appealing musical will take home the big prize over other heavyweights like Arrival, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea. The 2016 film is set in L.A. and was shot at 60 different locations around the city. One of the most romantic scenes in the movie is shot at the iconic Griffith Observatory, and features co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing under the stars inside the planetarium. (If you haven’t seen this movie, go see it already!) Fun fact: the producers didn’t have access to the planetarium for shooting, so the film’s production designer had to build a reproduction based on photographic research at Hollywood Center studios. You, however, can visit the real thing, and stay in style with Luxury Retreats while you’re at it. Staying at a luxurious villa in La La Land? You’ll be in a romantic state of mind in no time.
Where to stay in Los Angeles