Top filming locations to visit in the USA

A camera and boom mic filming on location

Step into the magic of the silver screen when you visit these awesome movie filming locations in America. Seeing places that you recognize from your favorite movies is a popular and fast-growing area of travel, and there are many locations across the country, from Florida to California, Texas to Colorado. 

Movies filmed in Florida

The Sunshine State has long been a popular destination for movie filming. With endless beaches, quaint seaside towns, and impressive city architecture, Florida is home to a huge variety of locations suitable for all genres of movies.

Miami mansion as featured in Scarface

The Truman Show filming locations

In this satirical classic, Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a man who unknowingly lives his life as a reality star. Truman is an insurance salesman who lives in a picture-perfect beach town, enjoying a seemingly perfect existence. The thing that Truman doesn’t know, is that millions of people around the world watch his every move. He is the unwitting star of a filmed reality show, broadcast around 24 hours a day with his knowledge. Made in 1998, Peter Wier’s prescient movie was a critical hit on release and has gained a cult following in the years since, celebrated for its scarily accurate prediction of the rise of reality television. 

The real-life beach community of Seaside in northwest Florida stands in for Truman’s hometown, Seahaven, in the movie. The pastel-colored, intricately manicured homes have an eerily pristine aesthetic, representing Truman’s controlled reality in a perfect world created just for him. The town has always been a popular coastal spot and, thanks to the movie, is now one of the most recognized beach towns in America.

You’ll find Seaside on the Gulf Coast about 30 miles east of Panama City towards Fort Walton Beach. The town is very similar to how it appears in the movie, although a little CGI was used to extend some of the buildings. Truman’s house is clearly labeled ‘The Truman House’ and is at 31 Natchez Street, adjacent to Natchez Park.

The climactic final scenes of the movie were not shot in Florida, but in a water studio in Universal Studios, Hollywood.

Scarface filming locations

Set in 1980s Miami, Scarface is the story of a determined Cuban immigrant, Tony Montana (Al Pacino), who takes over a drug cartel but succumbs to greed and addiction to his own drug supply. It is one of the most famous movies filmed in Miami, and you can see plenty of unforgettable locations for yourself when you visit the city. 

The infamous chainsaw scene where Angel meets his grisly end was shot at Johnny Rockets on Ocean Drive. You can pop in for tasty burgers and diner food as well as boozy milkshakes. The Fontainebleau Hotel also stars in the film as the location where Tony and Manny talk about how to ‘pick up chicks’ at the pool.

Tony began a life of crime after visiting one of Miami’s biggest drug lords, Frank Lopez, at his opulent mansion. You can get great views of the massive $38 million mansions in Key Biscayne if you rent a boat and cruise past. Other scenes featuring Frank’s residences were filmed at the expensive Atlantic Condos along Brickell Avenue.

You also get a great view of Miami’s most exclusive neighborhood, Star Island, when you see Tony talking to Omar on a payphone on MacArthur Causeway. The man-made island is a popular spot for sightseeing tours where you’ll see the island and hear fun facts about the celebrity homes.

Ace Ventura; Pet Detective locations in Miami

This iconic Jim Carrey comedy was filmed and set in Miami, Florida. Carrey plays a madcap animal detective tasked with tracking down an abducted dolphin who is the mascot for the Miami Dolphins football team, a task that takes him on a chaotic investigation through the cutthroat world of competitive sport.

You can visit several places seen in the movie, including Ace’s surfside condo where he lives with an impressive menagerie of animals, in the Campton Apartments on Washington Avenue. 

The football stadium from which Snowflake the dolphin disappears is the real home of the Miami Dolphins, the Pro Player Stadium (now the Hard Rock Stadium) on NW 199th St.

You can also visit the palatial seafront villa of fish collector Ronald Camp, the setting for the memorable party scene where Ace finds more than he bargained for when he encounters a great white shark living in the basement of the villa. Villa Vizcaya is an impressive building on South Miami Avenue in Coconut Grove. It was built in 1916 for the renowned magazine founder James Deering.

Movies filmed in Georgia

It might come as a bit of a surprise, but Georgia has been the filming location for many big-budget movies over the past few years.

Downtown Atlanta, as featured in Captain America, Civil War

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire filming locations

The second installment in The Hunger Games series raises the stakes as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) become the target of a vengeful Capitol after winning The Hunger Games. The first movie was filmed mostly in North Carolina, but the sequel moved to locations around the beautiful state of Georgia for the majority of filming.

Upon returning victorious from the games, Katniss and Peeta attend a lavish party held at the estate of President Snow. The location for Snow’s mansion is the opulent Swan House, in Buckhead, north of Atlanta. You can visit this beautiful home, as it is part of the Atlanta History Center. 

The competitor’s victory tour took place (with a little help from some CGI magic) at Georgia’s Peachtree Dekalb Airport.

Georgia filming locations of Captain America: Civil War

As with many of the Marvel movies, a large portion of Captain America: Civil War was shot in and around Atlanta, Georgia. This 2016 blockbuster features an all-star cast, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chadwick Boseman, and Scarlett Johansson, suiting up for the 13th entry into the decade-spanning Avengers series. 

A lot of the Georgia filming locations for Captain America: Civil War are everyday buildings in Atlanta, given a CGI facelift for the purpose of the movie. The ‘Institute For Infectious Diseases’ in ‘Lagos, Nigeria’, is in fact the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center at 395 Piedmont Avenue NE. The building is also home to the auditorium where Tony Stark gave his motivational speech to graduating MIT students. The Avengers Headquarters is also located in Atlanta. It might not house superheroes, Stark Jets, and gadgets, but it is still a cool place to visit, especially for petrolheads. The building is actually the Aerotropolis Atlanta Porsche Experience Center, which is basically a theme park for car fans. You can also see the building as the Avengers HQ in subsequent Marvel movies, including Spiderman: Homecoming and Avengers: Endgame.

Movies filmed in Arizona

Arizona‘s magnificent scenery is breathtaking, so it’s no wonder that so many iconic westerns and movies of all genres have been shot in the state over the years.

Monument Valley, as seen in Forrest Gump

Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi film locations

George Lucas’ space opera does not need any introduction. It’s hard to think of another movie series that has had such a monumental impact on pop culture as Stars Wars. Return Of The Jedi is the third installment of the original trilogy. The movie concludes the adventure of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo and their intergalactic fight against the Dark Side.

After running into filming troubles in Tunisia, the original location for Tatooine, George Lucas moved production to Yuma, near the Arizona border for Return Of The Jedi. The state’s desolate landscape made the perfect location for the desert planet. Jabba The Hutt’s enormous sail barge was also built in the Arizona desert, just to the south of Yuma. Nothing remains of the production in the region today, but it is easy to imagine that this spectacular landscape is actually a planet far, far away.

Shooting locations from Forrest Gump in Arizona

A massive critical and commercial success in 1994, Forrest Gump follows a kind-hearted man as he recounts his life story, with tales of how he unwittingly found himself in the midst of historical events. The movie won Tom Hanks his second Best Actor Oscar, cementing him as one of Hollywood’s leading stars. 

Much of the filming of Forrest Gump took place in South Carolina, including his infamous bench. But a pivotal moment in the movie was filmed in Arizona. After running for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, Forrest finally decides to go home. The iconic scene took place in the instantly recognizable Monument Valley. The incredible landscape is one of Arizona’s most impressive attractions and a must-visit for anyone in the state.

Movies filmed in Colorado

Mountainous Colorado is a top destination for movies requiring a bit of wilderness shooting, and the charming ski resort towns have featured in many popular movies over the years.

The Stanley Hotel, as seen in Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber filming locations

A comedy classic from 1994, Dumb and Dumber features Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two buffoonish friends on a calamitous cross-country adventure. Much of the movie was filmed and set in Colorado, so jump in your ‘84 Sheepdog and hit the road for a look at some of the best Dumb and Dumber filming locations in the state.

One of the star locations is, of course, Aspen, one of Colorado’s most famous ski resorts. However, in the movie, Aspen is not really Aspen at all. Instead, filming for the shots of Harry and Lloyd walking through Aspen took place in nearby Breckenridge, on Main Street. This pretty ski town is at a higher altitude than Aspen, so had the covering of snow needed for filming. The scenes at ‘Aspen’ ski resort, where Harry freezes his tongue to a pole, took place at the beautiful Copper Mountain resort.

Another key location in Dumb and Dumber is the majestic Danbury Hotel, where Harry and Lloyd rent a room after getting their hands on a briefcase full of money. This stunning setting is in reality the Stanley Hotel, which is something of a Colorado superstar. It was also the inspiration behind The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The hotel features frequently in interior and exterior shots in Dumb and Dumber, including one memorable scene shot in the hotel’s Stanley Bar. You can visit the Stanley Hotel, which is in Estes Park, Colorado, on an organized tour. The tours run during the day, where you can see filming locations and explore the history of the building. During the evening, you can take a spooky paranormal tour to explore the ghostly legends lingering in the hotel’s opulent halls.

Movies filmed in Ohio

The Buckeye State is a land of contrasts. This makes Ohio the perfect place for shooting movies, and some cinematic gems have been shot on location there.

The Shawshank Redemption

One of the most enduringly popular movies from the 90s, Frank Darabont’s prison drama features unforgettable performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The Shawshank Redemption follows Andy Dufrense (played by Robbins), a banker sentenced to a double-life sentence, despite his claims of innocence, for the murder of his wife and her lover. The movie charts his life in prison and eventual escape.

Although set in Maine, the vast majority of shooting took place in Ohio. The gothic Mansfield Reformatory starred as the Shawshank prison. The imposing structure is instantly recognizable, and the Administration Building is open to tourists.

Mansfield itself is home to several places that you can see in the movie, and the Mansfield Tourism board has created a Shawshank Trail for fans who want to see all of them. 

Movies filmed in Texas

Deep in the south of the USA, Texas is a land of desolate wilderness, stunning natural beauty, and fascinating cities. This wild and wonderful setting is a favorite with directors making spaghetti westerns and historic films.

Desert landscape near Marfa, Texas

No Country For Old Men

The endless desert of western Texas plays a starring role in the Coen Brothers’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel. This neo-Western thriller starred Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin, and is a gritty tale of crime, revenge, and drug deals gone wrong.

The opening scenes of Josh Brolin’s character stumbling across the aftermath of an ill-fated deal and a suitcase full of money took place in the Texas desert near the town of Marfa. Before Hollywood came to town, Marfa was famous for its unexplained Marfa Mystery Lights phenomenon. The town is the starting point for trips into Big Bend National Park, so the nearby scenery is spectacular. It’s little wonder that the Coen Brothers aren’t the only directors to have filmed in Marfa’s awesome landscape. At the same time, Paul Thomas Anderson was filming his epic There Will Be Blood just down the road. 

True Grit

The Coen Brothers returned to Texas three years later to film True Grit, another western movie, this time based on Charles Portis’ 1968 novel of the same name. True Grit follows the story of Mattie Ross (Hailey Steinfeld) who enlists the help of U.S Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to track down her father’s murderer.

The movie uses several Texas locations, and very little CGI, so many of the sets look much as they did on the screen. The main street of the frontier town featured in True Grit is Granger, a small agricultural town not far from Austin. 

The courthouse where Mattie finds Cogburn is actually the beautiful Old Blanco County Courthouse on Route 281 in the Texas Hill Country. This historic building is almost 150 years old and has been a bank, a school, and a hospital, amongst other things throughout its life. It is now a designated Texas Historic Landmark.

Movies filmed in Utah

Dramatic scenery is the calling card of Utah and the russet landscapes of the state’s desert have played a starring role in many famous movies.

Double Arch in Arches National Park, as seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade filming locations

The third installment in the Indy saga is a globe-trotting adventure, featuring incredible on-location set pieces from all over the world. The film once again stars Harrison Ford as the world’s worst archaeologist, who destroys far more priceless history than he actually saves. But at least he looks very, very cool whilst doing it.

One of the movie’s most memorable moments is the opening prologue, featuring River Phoenix as a young Indy. The spectacular landscape of Arches National Park in Utah plays a starring role in the opening sequence. The fantastic rock formations seen on screen are within a few miles of the park’s visitor center. Arches is one of the most spectacular national parks in the US, and well worth a visit, not just for Indy fans, but for anyone who wants to see the awe-inspiring landscape up close.

One of the most iconic formations in Arches National Park features heavily in The Last Crusade. Double Arch is two enormous natural rock bridges. This is where Indy’s scout troop dismounts, and where he enters the cave and finds the Cross of Coronado. You can see the cave entrance itself along with Double Arch.

Famous locations from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

This iconic Western is one of the most beloved movies of the 60s, starring two of cinema’s hottest stars of the time and setting the standard for the Western genre. Featuring Paul Newman as Butch and Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid, the movie follows the two outlaws as they run from authorities through the arid south of the USA.

Much of the filming took place in Utah’s astonishingly beautiful Zion National Park. The dusty russet landscapes and imposing rock formations provide the perfect setting for this classic Wild West adventure.

The small town where Butch and the Kid stay with schoolteacher Etta Place is an enigmatic Utah ghost town called Grafton, located on the Virgin River. Although the crew built Etta’s home for the movie, the old church stood in for the schoolhouse, and can still be seen today.

Grafton church

Movies filmed in California

The movie capital of the world has unsurprisingly been the home of many film shoots over the years, from on-location sessions in California to movies filmed in the world-famous studios of Hollywood.


Steven Spielberg’s 1975 ocean-based thriller is utterly iconic. It spawned multiple sequels (which it’s better not to think about), gave an entire generation a life-long fear of the ocean, and still holds up today as a shining example of film-making simply done right. Although Martha’s Vineyard on the Atlantic coast was Amity Island, California was the filming location for many underwater shots. 

Perhaps the movie’s most famous shot is the first time we go below the waves and see the world from the point of view of everyone’s favorite great white shark. The iconic shot of doomed Chrissy’s legs as the ‘shark-cam’ pushes through the seaweed took place in the Pacific off of the Californian coast. This is because the Atlantic water is far too murky to get clear footage. In fact, anytime we see the world from old Jaws’ perspective, California was the filming location. 

The movie’s biggest jump scare was also filmed in California, but in the safety of a watery backlot in Universal Studios to minimize the risk of genuine shark encounters. The nighttime scenes when Brody and Hooper decide that after dark is the perfect time to go after a man-eating great white were all filmed in California. This includes the spook-tastic scene when the unfortunate Ben Gardner’s head falls out of the sunken boat. If you want to get your Jaws-filming-location fix while in California, you can visit Universal and come face-to-face with the toothy star himself on the Universal Studios Hollywood Backlot Tour.

Back To The Future

Much of this beloved 1985 fantasy comedy was filmed in and around Los Angeles. In the movie, we follow Marty McFly and Doc Brown as they travel back to the 1950s where Marty must engineer his parents’ romance to ensure that the future remains intact. ‘Hill Valley’ was actually the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, but a lot of other locations can be found around L.A. county.

Doc Brown’s house, for example, can be found in Pasadena. It is the beautiful Gamble House, built in 1908. The home is open for tours. The garage which houses the Delorean in the movie is actually the neighboring Gamble House Bookshop. Elsewhere in Pasadena, the 1950’s neighborhood where Marty’s parents live on Bushnell Avenue.

Back in Hollywood, the First United Methodist Church Of Hollywood was the location for the ‘Enchantment Under The Sea’ dance where Marty’s parents meet. You may recognize the impressive exterior of the building from The Godfather.

Book film-star worthy vacation rentals with Top Villas

If you’re ready to call ‘lights, camera, action’ on your US vacation, check out our impressive selection of beautiful villas and vacation rentals. From seafront condos in Miami to glamorous pads in Beverly Hills and mountain cabins in Colorado, we have a wonderful selection to choose from.