It is awards season and, for some, that means all eyes are fixed on red carpet gowns while watching their favorite films receive acclaim. Meanwhile, others aren’t aware of the accolades and don’t care what color the carpet is. No matter your take, inspiration is everywhere, and the 2020 Oscar nominee list for Best Picture is filled with locations to round out your travel agenda. So whether you hang on every word of the acceptance speeches or merely let another Academy Awards ceremony roll by without a thought, here’s an Oscar-worthy list to consider for your travels.
Hollywood, California, USA
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is fictional, yet the screenplay contains hints of real events that took place in...well, Hollywood. For those who are into films, this northern section of Los Angeles is the place to visit. Movie-goers can tour the studios and back lots of Paramount Pictures, peruse the Hollywood Museum, find their favorite actors on the Walk of Fame, and photograph the Hollywood sign. Other adventures include experiencing the thrills at Universal Studios Hollywood and also checking out the area’s culinary scene, which consists of a variety of cuisines from street food to James Beard Award–winning restaurants.
Sam Mendes serves as the co-writer, director, and producer of the film 1917, a movie telling the story of two British soldiers, a story that was relayed to Mendes by his grandfather. The soldiers were asked to transport a message during WWI, which took them to northern France. Hauts-de-France is an area, rather than a city, but travelers can spend time on the beaches of Calais, explore the palace in Lille, visit the site of the Battle of Dunkirk, and experience the French countryside in Amiens.
Although Jojo Rabbit sounds like a kids' movie and features a child, there's a twist – the screenplay takes place in 1940s Nazi Germany. Those visiting the film’s setting of Berlin can understand more about WWII and its horrors on a Third Reich Walking Tour. But there is so much to soak in beyond war-related activities. The city contains many parks for outdoor enthusiasts, and there is no better country for experiencing a beer tour. History lovers will enjoy the archaeological finds at the Pergamonmuseum, and socialites can dream about life as an inhabitant of Schloss Charlottenburg.
Read more: 10 movies to inspire your next trip
Concord, Massachusetts, USA
Little Women is a motion picture that gives viewers all the feels, and small villages in New England tend to have the same effect. Concord, Massachusetts – the town where author Louisa May Alcott lived – certainly follows this rule. Visit the Orchard House, where Alcott lived, wrote, and set Little Women back in 1868. Interestingly, the area was once a haven for writers as the former homes of Thoreau and Emerson are also in Concord. Other itinerary ideas include outdoor activities, antique shopping, and exploring Revolutionary War sites, such as where “the shot heard round the world” was fired.
Although France and Michigan are also locations in Ford v Ferrari, the birthplace of the Ferrari in Maranello, Italy, is the highlight. Automobile aficionados will enjoy the Ferrari Museum, where guests can learn the history of the vehicles along with trying their hand at driving on an F1 racetrack in a simulator. Beyond cars, there is little to do in Maranello, so visitors often include a side trip to nearby Modena, about 30 minutes northeast, where travelers can tour one of the many cathedrals or learn how to make pasta from a local.
New York City, New York, USA
As the backdrop for the fictional city of Gotham in Joker, and the setting for the foundation of Marriage Story, it’s not a surprise that arts-supporting NYC is on the list. Many movies that take place in other locales are filmed in The Big Apple. Newcomers to New York City need to check out staples such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and The Met. Those who frequent the area should delve a bit deeper into the food scene, take in a Broadway or off-Broadway show, and hit up the lesser-known flea markets for vintage goods.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Based on a true story, The Irishman tells the tale of a former mob hitman in the city of Philadelphia. No worries, though, the City of Brotherly Love is a safe place to visit, and it is filled with things to do. The city’s roots go deep into the history of the US, and sights from this former capital city, such as The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, should top the list. Grabbing a Philly cheesesteak, roaming the galleries of South St, and visiting Al Capone’s cell at Eastern State Penitentiary – another mafia-related highlight – are worthwhile places to add to an itinerary.
Seoul, South Korea
Korean dark comedy Parasite is a cinematic journey through Seoul. The city is steeped in tradition but also offers an abundance of modernity. This juxtaposition attracts travelers who enjoy experiencing a variety of activities – and centuries – in one location. Of note are the palaces of Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, and the Myeongdong shopping district, which comes alive at night. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts should head outside the city to Bukhansan National Park to soak in the views. You probably won’t be wearing a gown or tux, but it’s the perfect place to look out over the land while practicing your own Oscar acceptance speech.