When we watch movies and TV shows, we often get lost in the story and forget that the locations we see on screen are real places. From bustling cities to remote landscapes, the United States is home to countless famous filming locations that have become iconic in pop culture. Whether you're a film enthusiast or simply looking to explore some movie magic, these 29 famous filming locations are worth adding to your travel bucket list. Let's dive in and discover the real-world backdrops of our favorite films!
Famous Movie Locations in the United States
Beverly Wilshire Hotel – Pretty Woman | Beverly Hills, CA
One of the most iconic filming locations in Hollywood is the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. This luxurious hotel served as the backdrop for the classic romantic comedy, Pretty Woman (1990). In the film, Julia Roberts plays Vivian Ward, a Hollywood sex worker who is hired as an escort by businessman Edward Lewis, portrayed by Richard Gere. The chemistry between the two characters unfolds against the backdrop of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Visiting the Beverly Wilshire Hotel allows fans to step into the world of Pretty Woman. The hotel offers a "Pretty Woman for a Day" experience, which includes a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive, just like Vivian did in the movie. So, channel your inner Vivian Ward and indulge in a taste of luxury at this famous hotel.
Mrs. Doubtfire’s House – Mrs. Doubtfire | San Francisco, CA
If you're a fan of Robin Williams' comedic genius, you'll surely recognize the iconic house from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). Located at 2640 Steiner Street in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood, this beautiful Victorian house played a central role in the film. After Williams' tragic passing in 2014, fans have made a habit of leaving flowers and mementos on the sidewalk as a tribute to the beloved actor.
Although the house went on the market in 2016, it remains a popular tourist attraction. Standing out among the other showy homes in the area, the Mrs. Doubtfire house holds a special place in the hearts of fans who grew up watching the heartwarming story of a father's love for his children.
The Griffith Observatory – The Terminator | Los Angeles, CA
The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, is not only a popular tourist destination for its stunning views of the city, but it's also a famous filming location. Fans of The Terminator (1984) will recognize the observatory as the spot where Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, the cyborg assassin, first arrives in 1984.
In the film, Schwarzenegger emerges from the Griffith Observatory, located in Griffith Park, as he prepares to hunt down Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton. The observatory offers visitors the chance to walk in the footsteps of one of cinema's most iconic characters and enjoy breathtaking views of the Los Angeles skyline.
Baseball Diamond – Field of Dreams | Dyersville, IA
"If you build it, they will come." This famous line from Field of Dreams (1989) perfectly captures the essence of the film and the real-life location that has become a pilgrimage site for baseball fans. The baseball diamond featured in the movie was actually built specifically for the film just outside of Dyersville, Iowa.
Located on farmland owned by two separate families, the Field of Dreams baseball diamond has become a beloved tourist attraction. In the 1990s, the Upper Deck Company hosted charity games featuring celebrities and Hall of Famers on the field. In 2020, the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees even played a regular-season game on the iconic diamond for the "MLB at Field of Dreams" event. For baseball enthusiasts and movie lovers alike, a visit to this hallowed ground is a must.
Steps & Rocky Statue – Rocky | Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia is home to two iconic filming locations that have become must-see attractions for fans of the Rocky series. Perhaps the most famous is the Rocky Steps, the 72 steps leading up to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. These steps are featured in numerous Rocky films, with Sylvester Stallone's character, Rocky Balboa, triumphantly running up them during his training montages.
At the bottom of the Rocky Steps stands the Rocky Statue, a bronze sculpture of Rocky Balboa himself. The statue was originally created for the film Rocky III (1982) and was later donated to the city of Philadelphia. Today, visitors can recreate the iconic run up the steps and take a photo with the Rocky Statue, becoming a part of the Rocky legacy.
Circus Liquor – Clueless | North Hollywood, CA
For fans of the '90s cult classic Clueless (1995), a trip to Circus Liquor in North Hollywood, California, is a must. Located at 5600 Vineland Avenue, Circus Liquor is an iconic landmark featured in the film. Although not much else to do in the area, the flashing neon sign makes for a great photo opportunity and a chance to step into the world of Cher Horowitz and her fashionable adventures.
As Cher would say, Circus Liquor is a full-on Monet – "From far away, it's okay, but up close, it's a big old mess." Nonetheless, it's a fun stop for Clueless fans looking to relive the magic of the '90s teen comedy.
RR Diner & The Great Northern – Twin Peaks | North Bend/Snoqualmie, WA
Fans of David Lynch's Twin Peaks will recognize two iconic filming locations in the small towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie, Washington. The Double R Diner, known for its damn good coffee and cherry pie, is featured prominently in the TV series. In reality, the diner is Twede's Cafe located in North Bend. Visitors can enjoy a slice of cherry pie and soak in the atmosphere of this beloved TV show.
In the neighboring town of Snoqualmie, the Great Northern hotel stands above a picturesque waterfall. Known as the Salish Lodge & Spa, the real-life hotel offers a Twin Peaks-themed stay package, complete with a map of other locations fans can visit. So, immerse yourself in the mysterious world of Twin Peaks and explore these enchanting filming locations.
Nakatomi Plaza – Die Hard | Los Angeles, CA
Die Hard (1988) is a classic action film, and one of its most iconic filming locations is the Fox Plaza skyscraper in Century City, Los Angeles. Although most of the film was shot inside the building, the exterior shots featured the fictional Nakatomi Plaza. The distinctive architecture of the building makes it instantly recognizable to fans of the Die Hard franchise.
While there are no official Die Hard tours of the building, visitors can still appreciate its significance in the world of film. Fox Plaza has also been featured in other movies and TV shows, such as Fight Club (1999) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, adding to its pop culture appeal.
Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment – Sex and the City | New York, NY
Sex and the City fans know that Carrie Bradshaw's apartment is as much a character in the show as Carrie herself. Contrary to what viewers are told, the apartment is not located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In reality, it stands in the West Village at 66 Perry Street.
The apartment's owners have taken measures to deter curious fans, roping off the stoop to prevent people from sitting on it. They have even asked Google to blur the building on "street view" to maintain their privacy. Nevertheless, fans can still admire the exterior and imagine themselves living a glamorous New York City life, just like Carrie Bradshaw.
Apartment Complex – Mulholland Dr | Los Angeles, CA
David Lynch's Mulholland Dr (2001) takes viewers on a surreal journey through the dark underbelly of Los Angeles. One of the film's most memorable locations is the fictitious Sierra Bonita apartment complex. In reality, the complex is located at 2900 Griffith Park Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Although the complex is not as eerie in real life as it appears in the film, it does have an interesting backstory. Several prominent Disney animators lived in the complex while working on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and reportedly based the dwarves' cottage on its fairy-tale-like architecture. Fans of Mulholland Dr can also visit other David Lynch-inspired locations in Hollywood, such as Pink's Hotdogs and the titular street itself.
Cabazon Dinosaurs – Pee-wee’s Big Adventure | Cabazon, CA
The Cabazon Dinosaurs in Cabazon, California, are a nostalgic reminder of the novelty architecture that was popular in Southern California during the mid-20th century. These giant dinosaur statues played a prominent role in Tim Burton's Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) and have since become a roadside attraction visible from Interstate 10.
Originally created by sculptor Claude Bell to attract visitors to his nearby restaurant, the dinosaurs have become a popular tourist stop in their own right. Today, the site also houses a "creationist museum," adding an interesting twist to its history. So, take a detour and marvel at these prehistoric giants on your next road trip.
Grand Central Market – Blade Runner | Los Angeles, CA
Blade Runner (1982) is a sci-fi classic known for its dystopian vision of Los Angeles. Although most of the film's scenes were shot on the Warner Bros. Studio backlot, a few memorable sequences were filmed on-location, including one at Grand Central Market.
Located in downtown Los Angeles, Grand Central Market offers visitors a taste of the city's vibrant culinary scene. In Blade Runner, the market is depicted as a bustling, futuristic marketplace, showcasing the film's unique vision of a dystopian future. So, immerse yourself in the world of Blade Runner and explore the diverse flavors of Grand Central Market.
Monk’s Diner – Seinfeld | New York, NY
Seinfeld, one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, featured many iconic filming locations in New York City. One of the most recognizable is Monk's Diner, the coffee shop where Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer frequently gathered to discuss their misadventures.
In reality, Monk's Diner was inspired by Tom's Restaurant, located at the corner of West 112th Street and Broadway. While the interior scenes were filmed on a soundstage, fans can still visit Tom's Restaurant and enjoy a cup of coffee, imagining themselves as part of the Seinfeld gang.
Crain Communications Building – Adventures in Babysitting | Chicago, IL
The Crain Communications Building is a diamond-shaped skyscraper that stands as a recognizable fixture in Chicago's skyline. This iconic building plays a notable role in the 1987 cult classic Adventures in Babysitting.
In the film, the building is featured in a climactic chase scene on Michigan Avenue, offering a backdrop of the city's bustling streets. While the building has made appearances in other films, such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), its distinctive shape and prominent location make it a standout landmark in Chicago.
Point Dume – Iron Man and Planet of the Apes | Malibu, CA
Malibu's Point Dume is a picturesque location that has served as a filming location for several notable movies. In the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes (1968), the cliff face at Point Dume is famously obscured by a matte painting of a destroyed Statue of Liberty, creating an iconic visual moment.
More recently, Point Dume was featured as the fictional location of Tony Stark's seaside mansion in the Iron Man and Avengers films. The breathtaking coastal views and rugged beauty of Point Dume make it a must-visit destination for film enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The Getty Museum – Star Trek: Into Darkness | Los Angeles, CA
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles is a renowned cultural institution known for its impressive art collection. However, it has also played a role in the Star Trek film series. In Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), the museum serves as the fictional StarFleet Academy.
While the exterior shots of StarFleet Academy were filmed at The Getty Museum, other Star Trek filming locations in the Hollywood area include Bronson Canyon and Griffith Observatory. So, embrace your inner Trekkie and embark on a journey through the Star Trek universe, visiting these iconic filming locations.
Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse – Ghostbusters | New York, NY
The Hook & Ladder Company 8 is a real fire station located at 14 North Moore Street in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood. This firehouse gained fame after being featured in the supernatural comedy Ghostbusters (1984).
In the film, the firehouse serves as the headquarters for the Ghostbusters crew. The exterior shots of the firehouse have become iconic, and fans can visit the location to see where the Ghostbusters fought off paranormal activity. The firehouse embraces its Ghostbusters legacy, with the iconic logo displayed on the exterior.
Randy’s Donuts – Mars Attacks | Los Angeles, CA
Randy's Donuts is an iconic Los Angeles landmark known for its giant donut-shaped sign. This drive-in donut shop has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, including Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! (1996).
In the film, Randy's Donuts is transported to the Midwest as part of an alien attack satire. Despite its fictional relocation, the real Randy's Donuts remains a popular tourist stop for its unique architecture and delicious donuts. So, grab a donut and immerse yourself in the world of Mars Attacks!
The Swan House – The Hunger Games | Atlanta, GA
Fans of The Hunger Games series will recognize The Swan House, an elegant mansion located in Atlanta, Georgia. The Swan House served as the residence of President Snow, the antagonist of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).
Although The Swan House is usually home to the Atlanta Historical Society, the crew of The Hunger Games found ways to protect the historic home while filming. Sets were built on the surrounding grounds to depict the dystopian world of Panem. Visit The Swan House to experience the grandeur of President Snow's residence and immerse yourself in the world of The Hunger Games.
Katz’s Deli – When Harry Met Sally | New York, NY
Katz's Delicatessen in New York City has a special place in film history thanks to the iconic scene from When Harry Met Sally (1989). In the film, Meg Ryan's character, Sally, demonstrates the art of faking pleasure in a memorable scene set in Katz's Deli.
Today, Katz's proudly displays a sign above the booth where the scene was filmed. Fans can sit in the same spot and recreate the classic "I'll have what she's having" moment. Don't forget to order one of Katz's famous pastrami sandwiches while you're there!
Timberline Lodge – The Shining | Mount Hood, OR
The Timberline Lodge, located on Mount Hood in Oregon, is a stunning hotel that played a significant role in Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of The Shining (1980). The lodge's exterior was used to depict the eerie Overlook Hotel in the movie.
The Timberline Lodge has become a popular destination for fans of The Shining, offering a chance to experience the haunting atmosphere of the film. While exploring the lodge, visitors can appreciate its beautiful craftsmanship and enjoy the stunning mountain views that made it the perfect setting for this horror classic.
Public Garden Bench – Good Will Hunting | Boston, MA
Good Will Hunting (1997) is a heartwarming film set in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the film's most memorable scenes takes place on a bench in Boston's Public Garden. In that scene, Robin Williams and Matt Damon's characters share an emotional moment that resonated with audiences worldwide.
Located in Boston's historic Public Garden, this iconic bench offers a peaceful spot to reflect and connect with the film's powerful themes. Visitors can take a seat and imagine themselves immersed in the world of Good Will Hunting, appreciating the beauty of the park and the enduring impact of the film.
Mandrake Falls’ Main Street – Mr. Deeds | New Milford, CT
The small town of New Milford, Connecticut, served as the filming location for Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire, in the 2002 film Mr. Deeds. Comparable to Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A., New Milford's Bank Street and nearby town green exude small-town charm.
While the filming signs have long been removed, visitors can still stroll down the quaint streets, enjoying the picturesque setting that captured the essence of Mandrake Falls. So, take a leisurely walk and immerse yourself in the world of Mr. Deeds in the charming town of New Milford.
Exploring famous filming locations can be an exciting way to connect with our favorite movies and TV shows. From luxurious hotels to small-town diners, each location has its own unique charm and the ability to transport us into the world of our beloved characters. So, grab your camera and embark on a cinematic journey through these iconic filming locations in the United States. With Proxi's interactive mapping tool, you can plot your own cinematic journey across America. Unleash your inner filmmaker, create your personalized map, and embark on an unforgettable adventure. So, grab your popcorn, start planning, and let the magic of movies guide your next road trip.