6 US travel destinations inspired by Oscar nominees

Each year, actors, directors and film geeks gather together to celebrate the year's best films. Though it's debatable and there are plenty of politics involved, the Academy Awards are a good indicator of the highest quality films made each year, and a good chance for audiences to watch different genres and stories than yet another Avengers or Transformers franchise movie.

Inspired by some of this year's nominees, here are some US destinations you can visit – some are popular spots, and others are off the beaten path.


madjiddesign via Pixabay

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California – Featured in La La Land

After sweeping the Golden Globes, there are rumors La La Land may do the same at the Academy Awards. Whether or not you love musicals, La La Land is a fun romp through the streets and scenes of Los Angeles, and can certainly inspire you to travel there. One must-see stop is the Griffith Observatory, featured several times in the movie.


tpsdave via Pixabay

Mount Washington, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania - Featured in Fences

Fences, like so many Academy Award nominees, is a dramatic human interest story that might be too heavy for most popcorn-loving movie-goers. Because of this, it offers a true glimpse into the human condition, set among the scenery of Pittsburgh. Pittsburg has been getting a lot of love lately – for good reason, as it's got a booming foodie scene and plenty of culture to enjoy. Take in the view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington to get a sense for how much the city has to offer.


Nan Palmero via Flickr

Prada Store Art Installation, Marfa, Texas – Inspired by Hell or High Water

Set in West Texas, Hell or High Water is a modern Western movie that hits close to home for anyone who's been hurt in the recent economy – but it also takes a long look at the stark, bleak beauty of this part of the U.S. Marfa, a small artist enclave a few hours from El Paso, has become a tourist destination despite its small size. If you're looking for a change of perspective, you can find it in this part of Texas; if you're looking for a Prada bag, you can't find that in Marfa – but you can find a convincing art installation that looks like a Prada store.


tpsdave via Pixabay

Nauticus Museum, Norfolk, Virginia – Inspired by Hidden Figures

When people talk about travel destinations on the East Coast, they often overlook Virginia. Thanks to Hidden Figures, Virginia is back on some travelers' radar. Norfolk sits at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and has plenty of sights worth seeing, including the Nauticus Museum and the Virginia Zoological Park.


Unsplash via Pixabay

Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida – Featured in Moonlight

Another dramatic human interest story, Moonlight follows the struggles of a young man coming of age in the South. Miami has long drawn travelers to explore the beautiful beaches and sample the renowned nightlife, though you hopefully won't experience the darker parts of Moonlight if you visit. Take in the full view of Miami from the Venetian Causeway or Biscayne Bay.


Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Islands, Washington – Inspired by Captain Fantastic

Set in the wilderness of Washington, Captain Fantastic looks deeper than the idyllic Pacific Northwest hippie lifestyle many people associate with the region. While the specific location the film is set in remains unknown, travelers can experience the beauty of the region by visiting the San Juan Islands north of Seattle. Watching orcas from spots like Lime Kiln State Park might just be enough to make you want to move here forever.

Valerie Stimac is a travel writer based in Seattle. You can find her writing on Travel + Leisure, AFAR, and Roads & Kingdoms, as well as her blog, Valerie & Valise.