Affordable Oscar-Themed Getaways In the U.S.
If, like me, you’ve been rushing around before Sunday’s star-studded event to see this year’s batch of Academy Award-nominated films, then perhaps you’re craving a vacation. These five trips—all affordable and in the U.S.—are inspired by films nominated for Best Picture this year.
The T+L Trip: Suburban Massachusetts and Boston
The real life ABSCAM sting operation took place in New York and New Jersey, but much of David O. Russell’s crime drama was actually filmed in suburban Massachusetts. That dry cleaning branch? It’s Reliable Cleaners, between Natick and Framingham; Irving Rosenfeld’s modest house that he shares with wife Rosalyn is in tiny Medford. Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza makes a cameo (it’s where Irving and Lady Edith Greensly celebrate their newly launched London Associates partnership), and to mark the Academy Awards, the hotel is offering the Oscar Party Package. Rates from $759 include a stay in a one bedroom suite, popcorn snack, in-room champagne, and Red Carpet Bingo—or just pop into the hotel for a drink and a self-guided tour.
DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB
The T+L Trip: Tucson, Arizona
Matthew McConaughy’s character, Ron Woodroof, is an authentic, plaid-shirt wearing rodeo cowboy. Few of the Southwest’s cattle ranches still exist (and even fewer host their own weekly rodeos), but the classic western tradition thrives at White Stallion Ranch, on 3,000 acres outside of Tucson. Every Saturday for over 60 years, the owners host their own rodeo, with calf roping and other competitive sports. All-inclusive rates at the dude ranch start at $153, and include three meals a day, twice-daily horseback rides, and more.
The T+L Trip: Downtown Los Angeles
L.A. of the future comes to life in Spike Jones’ Her, and there are ways to experience this futuristic city in today’s Downtown. Theodore meets his former wife for lunch at the DoubleTree (the restaurant Azalea is under renovation and will reopen as Justice in March), and to see the modern face of Downtown L.A. now, there’s no better place than the Ace Hotel, the newest outpost from the pioneering hotel brand. To catch other locations that make movie cameos, take L.A.’s Metro Rail Red line from the Hollywood/Western Station (Theodore runs past the colorful mosaic in the film) and end at the Red Line Civic Center Metro Stop for the Walk Disney Concert Hall, seen in the movie and celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014. To navigate the metro to other L.A. attractions, use the super-easy socaltransport.org website—car-loving Angelenos will likely not have a clue.
The T+L Trip: Nebraska’s Highway 2
Nebraska, the poignant road trip film, follows a father and son as they drive from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska. Much of the movie takes place in fictional Hawthorne, which is actually the town of Plainview. We’d skip the Grant’s 850-mile journey in favor of different scenic drive: head southeast from Billings, and catch Nebraska’s Highway 2, which meanders through the Great Plains and rolling pasturelands that were exquisitely captured in black-and-white by Alexander Payne. If, like David Grant, you’d like a detour to Mount Rushmore, you’ll have to journey into North Dakota. This winter, you’ll see the landmark dusted with snow.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
The T+L Trip: Wall Street, New York City
The Wolf of Wall Street wasn’t filmed at New York City’s new Andaz Wall Street, but that hasn’t stopped the property from celebrating the movie’s success with a trio of new cocktails (through March 4th): the whisky-based Stock Broker pays homage to Leonardo Dicaprio’s Jordan Belfort, while the gin-based White Collar honors his slick, suit-wearing partners in crime. For an up-close look at Wall Street now, sign up for the Wall Street Insider Tour, a 75-minute stomp through the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve, and other locations. A trip on Belfort’s fictional yacht is, unfortunately, not included.
Sarah Spagnolo is Special Correspondent and New Media Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahspagnolo.