The year's best films took us around the world.
Credit: Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Through some of this year’s best films, audiences were able to vicariously travel all around the world.

In “La La Land,” we saw Los Angeles through the eyes of artists out to change the world. “Moonlight” gave a voice to an amazing community in Miami, and “Manchester by the Sea” highlighted the working fishing towns of Massachusetts.

So, in honor of the amazing roster of films that came out this year (and the Academy Awards on February 26), here is our guide to some of the most cinematic places on the planet, based on 11 of this year’s most talked-about films.

And the award goes to…

Hidden Figures

“Hidden Figures” portrayed the story of three integral black women who were (until now) brushed over by history. The movie is nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture. Pay homage to Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson (and this year’s movie) with a trip through Florida, Georgia, and Virginia.

La La Land

Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, this musical tour through Los Angeles has been nominated for over 140 awards, including 14 Academy Awards. The entire movie is a perfect itinerary for anybody hoping to make it big in Hollywood. The movie includes stops at iconic locations like Grand Central Market, Griffith Observatory, and the Chateau Marmont.


“Moonlight,” nominated for eight Academy Awards, visits a part of Miami seldom seen by tourists. The film follows Chiron, a boy born in one of the city’s roughest neighborhoods, as he grapples with his identity and sexuality. In order to do justice to the lives of the people in Miami’s Liberty City, film crew went directly there.

Manchester by the Sea

“Manchester by the Sea” was filmed in Cape Ann, a part of Massachusetts often referred to as Cape Cod’s lesser-known cousin. The movie—produced by Matt Damon and nominated for five Golden Globes—follows a Boston janitor when he must go back to his hometown because of his brother’s death. The film is a great portrait of the fishing towns along Cape Ann, and an excellent start of an itinerary for anybody looking to head off the beaten path.


The nation’s capital has played host to many of the most important events in American history. “Jackie” stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in the days immediately following JFK’s assassination. For anybody hoping to tour D.C. in the eyes of a Kennedy, the filming locations for this movie act as a perfect start.

Hacksaw Ridge

Although Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” is the story of an army medic during the Battle of Okinawa, the entire thing was filmed around Sydney, Australia. For those intrigued by war stories, it’s easy to visit some of the Australian film locations and see just how the suburbs of Sydney transformed into Japan for the movie.

Hell or High Water

This modern western—starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster—is nominated for four Academy Awards. Those looking to recreate the dusty drama can head to eastern New Mexico, where film crews transformed the land into a high-stakes set for Texas bank robbers.


Based on the true story of Saroo Brierly (who, after getting adopted, managed to track down his birth parents with childhood memories and Google Maps), “Lion” got many of its incredible shots in Tasmania. From the city of Hobart to the wild cliffs of Cape Huay, the movie put Australia’s southern island firmly on many bucket lists.


Paris may be one of the most romantic cities on the planet, but it’s also got a grittier and more mysterious side. In “Elle,” nominated for Best Foreign Film, Isabelle Hupert plays a Parisian woman who ducks all around the city in a game of cat-and-mouse, tracking down a man who attacked her. Discover how to recreate a Parisian thriller in these seven hidden locations around the City of Light.

Florence Foster Jenkins

In “Florence Foster Jenkins,” Meryl Streep played a character who showed the world you can get pretty far by faking it. And behind the scenes, filmmakers faked an entire city. Discover the spots in Liverpool, Glasgow, and London that fooled audiences from across the Atlantic into believing the whole movie was shot in a glittery 1940s New York City.


In this year’s round-up of Oscar-nominated movies, few stories were as tightly embedded in their setting as “Fences. ”The movie—which was based on a play of the same name by August Wilson—portrayed Pittsburgh’s predominantly-black Hill District in the 1950s. It’s nominated for four Oscars, including Best Motion Picture. Visit some of the Pittsburgh spots that were integral to filming in this “Fences”-inspired guide to the city.