This month’s Orbitz Insider Index looks beyond New York City and Los Angeles to find some of the top film-friendly cities in the United States, where travelers can visit the backdrops of some unforgettable blockbuster films .
Here are some of the best travel destinations for reliving your favorite films:
Its exciting display of money, casinos and glamorous Las Vegas hotels make Las Vegas the perfect setting for movies, from classics such as Diamonds are Forever to the Ocean’s series of movies (Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen). Las Vegas was also the backdrop for films such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Casino, and Leaving Las Vegas, in which landmark Las Vegas hotels such as the Mirage and the Bellagio are featured prominently. The upcoming release of 21 is set in and around Las Vegas casinos.
Boston’s charm, history and personality have long made it a popular spot for movie producers. Visitors to Boston can ride the same Red Line train that carried Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting and Martin Sheen in The Departed. No trip to Boston is complete without a visit to historic Fenway Park, which played a leading role in the movie, Fever Pitch. What’s more, as 21 is inspired by a team of M.I.T. students that took the casinos for millions, the film also highlights Boston sights.
The picturesque Chicago skyline and infectious excitement of Wrigley Field were immortalized in ’80s classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Risky Business, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Chicago has continued to set the stage for more recent movies such as The Break-up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn in 2006. Batman Begins was also filmed in Chicago with a chase scene shot along Lower Wacker Drive, and the upcoming Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, again turns Chicago into the foreboding and fictional Gotham City.
With its combination of downtown nightlife and natural scenery, Austin, Texas, is becoming a hotbed for Hollywood talent. Local director Robert Rodriguez filmed Sin City inside his Austin studio, and Austin hot spots are depicted in a variety of popular movies, including a cult favorite, Dazed and Confused. The politically charged Courage Under Fire includes shots from Austin’s state capitol building, while another popular filming locale, the University of Texas, has been home to several films, including The Life of David Gale, Road Trip and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
San Francisco was the setting for the first "talking picture," The Jazz Singer, in 1927. More recently, films shot in San Francisco include Basic Instinct, Dirty Harry and The Rock, which features Alcatraz Island. Fans of the Hitchcock thriller Vertigo can visit the exact spot where Kim Novak jumped into the water and was saved by Jimmy Stewart. A recent film shot largely in San Francisco is The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith, which includes scenes from Candlestick Park and the Glen Park subway station.
The nation’s capital is a natural fit for films and is the setting of an impressive array of movies, including The American President, In the Line of Fire and The Exorcist. While the White House and national monuments are crucial backdrops for many political movies, other films delve deeper into the city. The Exorcist highlights Georgetown University and the Holy Trinity Church, and In the Line of Fire includes memorable chase scenes across rooftops and through the streets of the District.
Orbitz is partnering with Columbia Pictures and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to promote the release of the new movie 21 with 21 Trips in 21 Days.
As part of the promotion, Orbitz will award 21 Las Vegas vacations in 21 days. Prize packages include: First-class airfare to Las Vegas, accommodations for two nights in a Las Vegas hotel suite, show tickets, limo from the airport, VIP nightclub passes and a $100 shopping gift certificate from Fashion Show Mall.The 21 Trips in 21 Days promotion ends April 7, 2008.
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