Whether you’re simply a casual moviegoer or an extreme film buff, it’ll be hard to deny the diversity of film locations featured in this year’s Academy Awards race. For travelers who make an annual pilgrimage to relive the images and experiences from movies that touched them this past year, here is your 2017 Oscar travel trail guide.
The 2017 Oscar Travel Trail Guide
Moonlight – Miami, FL
To me, Moonlight presented the most compelling story among this year’s nominees. It follows the evolution of a man growing up in projects around Miami, Florida where crime, violence and destruction were almost the norm. The movie itself didn’t feature any of what we think of when someone says Miami. Instead, it showcased the other side, often neglected areas of the city such as Liberty City, a neighborhood located northwest of downtown known for public housing.
Now, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll purposely make your way to Liberty Square (featured on the film) while visiting Miami and South Beach, but if you truly want to have an illuminating experience, keep an open mind in checking out places like Liberty City when you traverse the 2017 Oscar travel trail guide.
Manchester by the Sea – New England
The magical scenery of the small towns in New England is on full effect as you watch the film Manchester by the Sea. Filmed in its namesake town, the movie also featured several cities and towns on Massachusetts’ North Shore including Salem and Gloucester. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet time to pen that literary masterpiece you’ve been putting off for years, book a room in Gloucester and take your rental car to follow the 2017 Oscar travel trail Manchester by the Sea style.
Stop by historic Salem, the town famous for its witch trials before hitting Newburyport, where you’ll wonder along streets filled with the country’s well-kept Federalist style architecture. Finally, cap the day with a lobster dinner at Ray Moore’s Lobster Co. located seaside in the nearby town Rockport.
La La Land – Los Angeles, CA
Ah, Hollywood! The land where dreams come true is a favorite filming location among big studio producers so it wasn’t at all surprising to see that Los Angeles, California is a stop in the 2017 Oscar travel trail. The film that brought the dreamy Hollywood to life is La La Land, the quasi comedy and musical about two aspiring artists (an actress and a jazz musician) trying to achieve their dreams in the competitive world of film and music.
The film showcased both what was great and terrible about Los Angeles. The opening sequence featured the infamous Los Angeles traffic, a daily part of life for anyone visiting the city, but it also highlighted some of the City of Angel’s most romantic and underrated attractions including driving along Hollywood Hills and the Griffith Observatory.
Hell or High Water – West Texas and Eastern New Mexico
Not since the movie No Country for Old Men did the barren, dry and intimidating topography of the southwestern United States looked incredibly enticing, but alas, after watching Hell or High Water, you just might change your perspective. Set in what was meant to be a west Texas ranch, but shot exclusively in New Mexico, the movie did a very good job framing the vast land of dirt and dust into something of an enigma; a place worth exploring even though you aren’t sure what you’re looking for to begin with.
Take your rental house of wheels and travel the roads along Interstate 60. Rest on camping grounds where no light pollution will hinder your view of the stars above. If time permits, make detours into the towns of Roswell and Santa Fe in New Mexico or experience the college town of Lubbock, home to the Texas Tech Raiders.
Fences – Pittsburgh, PA
The irony is not lost to me that the movie Fences was filmed in Pittsburgh, otherwise known as the City of Steel. A powerful story between the relationship dynamics between an African American man, his wife and son features the distinct and colorful neighborhoods surrounding downtown Pittsburgh, some of which are finding themselves rejuvenated thanks to the influx of younger people coming to live in the city.
Should you find yourself traveling to Steel City to complete your 2017 Oscar travel trail guide trip, stop by the New Granada Theater, a historic theater in the Hill District where jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington once played. The building was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Then head eastwards to the neighborhoods of Garfield, Friendship and East Liberty where you’ll likely discover the up and coming neighborhood trends.