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10 Best Travel Destinations from Your Favorite TV Shows

Sometimes, reality is even more spectacular than fiction. These amazing destinations that have been used in television make ideal places to put on your travel itinerary, especially if you’re a fan. From Game of Thrones backdrops in Northern Ireland to The Walking Dead settings in Georgia and the tropical landscapes shown on The Bachelor in the Bahamas, TV fans are spoiled for choice with film locations around the world.

Northern Ireland: "Game of Thrones" Co. Antrim Northern Ireland Giant's Causeway
Credit: Co. Antrim Northern Ireland Giant's Causeway by bigstock.com

Northern Ireland: "Game of Thrones"

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ve got to visit Northern Ireland, and even if you aren’t, you’ll surely appreciate the magnificent scenic backdrop of mountains, moorlands, and forests. While the HBO series shoots its interior scenes in the Paint Hall complex in Belfast, exterior scenes are done throughout the country, many along the Causeway Coast and nearby inland areas like the Dark Hedges near the town of Ballymoney. The magical tree tunnel is something that both non-fans and GOT fans alike should walk through at least once. It was used as a setting in season two, episode one.

Larrybane headland, which sits along the wild coastline near Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, was the dramatic spot chosen for Renly Baratheon’s camp in season two. There are even a number of tour operators these days that offer special “Game of Thrones” tours that will bring you to popular shooting spots.

England: "Downtown Abbey" Highclere Castle, Newbury, U.K.
Credit: Highclere Castle, Newbury, U.K. by bigstock.com

England: "Downtown Abbey"

The hit British period drama “Downtown Abbey” revolves around the Downtown Abbey estate, its residents and staff. The home of the Crawley family is played by Highclere Castle in Newbury, located just under 70 miles from London. Visitors can tour the inside of the castle, as well as take a stroll around the lovely gardens. The Oxfordshire village of Bampton, situated about an hour north of Newbury, is where many of the show’s other scenes are shot. St. Mary the Virgin, a Romanesque-style 12th-century church was the church where Lady Edith took Matthew sightseeing in season 1. The scenes filmed in Bampton are confined to Church View lane, lined with a row of old buildings, houses, and stone walls. Right beside the church is Churchgate House, which serves as the exterior for the Crawley house where Isobel and Matthew lived in the first two seasons.

Senoia, Georgia: "The Walking Dead" Senoia, Georgia
Credit: Senoia, Georgia by © Joe Sohm | Dreamstime.com

Senoia, Georgia: "The Walking Dead"

Georgia is full of exciting destinations for The Walking Dead fans. Senoia, Georgia serves as the Main Street in the fictional town of Woodbury, a post-apocalyptic neighborhood controlled by a mysterious figure known as The Governor, which is featured in season three of the hit series. This is primarily a destination that hard-core “TWD” fans will appreciate, with the chance to stroll down the familiar street they’ve seen in the popular show. But those who are just looking to decompress from the hectic, modern pace of life, will appreciate the simplicity of this quaint little town, and the chance to check out the vintage autos at the Buggy Shop Museum.

The Bahamas: "The Bachelor" Sunset on island of Andros in the Bahamas
Credit: Sunset on island of Andros in the Bahamas by © Sven Hansche | Dreamstime.com

The Bahamas: "The Bachelor"

You have likely seen the sparkling blue waters of The Bahamas in numerous TV shows and movies, but it was the setting of a tropical escape in “The Bachelor.” You can recreate their date experience by booking a visit at Resort’s World Bimini, the resort the contestants visited on the show. Utilize the hotel’s Bimini date guide, inspired by the show, to recreate your own romantic experience just like the one on the show. Embark on exciting excursions, hang out with friendly locals, or take a dip in the lagoon-style lazy river.

Oahu, Hawaii: "Lost" Oahu, Hawaii
Credit: Oahu, Hawaii by bigstock.com

Oahu, Hawaii: "Lost"

“Lost,” is considered by many to be one of the best television shows of all time, and it was filmed entirely on location in Hawaii. If you just visit one of the filming spots, go to the Survivors’ Beach Camp, which is at Police Beach just north of Haleiwa off Papailoa Road. Recent fan reports say parts of the set, like the open kitchen and re-purposed parts of the plane, are still there. Even if you don’t make it in time to see them while they still remain, you’ll be able to recognize the iconic landscape that makes it easy to play out a few “Lost” fantasies of your own. A number of tour operators also offer specialized “Lost” itineraries that will bring you to some of the most popular sites.

Portland, Oregon: "Portlandia" Portland Oregon skyline
Credit: Portland Oregon skyline by © Gino Rigucci via Dreamstime

Portland, Oregon: "Portlandia"

Although Portland is a beautiful city surrounded by even more stunningly lush scenery, the popular TV show “Portlandia,” is focused on its hipster reputation and the charming oddities that make it tick. To experience Portland’s eccentricities for yourself, check out the many farmer’s markets, Powell’s City of Books, the world’s largest indie bookstore, at least one of the many breweries, and be sure to stand in line for the chance to sample the unique and sometimes bizarre treats at Voodoo Doughnut. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the nature that’s found around the city too, like the Japanese garden and the hiking trails that wind through beautiful Forest Park.

Lough Tay, Wicklow, Ireland: "Vikings" Lough Tay, Wicklow National Park, Ireland
Credit: Lough Tay, Wicklow National Park, Ireland by Wikimedia Commons

Lough Tay, Wicklow, Ireland: "Vikings"

The History Channel’s hit series “Vikings” was inspired by tales of the Norsemen of early medieval Scandinavia, but when it came to actually film the series, the Emerald Isle was the perfect stand-in. Many of the outdoor shots have been filmed (and are still being filmed) at Lough Tay, also known as Guinness Lake, as it sits upon the Guinness Estate in County Wicklow. The Luggala Mountains surround this pristine body of water, reflect the sky and look surprisingly Scandinavian, providing the perfect backdrop for scenes set aboard the Vikings’ longships. It’s located less than an hour’s drive from Dublin and offers numerous hiking opportunities too. Just keep in mind that if the Hollywood film crew is shooting, the main trail may be blocked off. Still, just seeing the view is well worth making the trip – and who knows, you may even glimpse a star or two.

Lallybroch, Scotland: "Outlander" Midhope Castle
Credit: Midhope Castle by Wikimedia Commons

Lallybroch, Scotland: "Outlander"

The tranquil Scottish countryside features prominently in the sci-fi romance “Outlander.” The story is about a woman who accidentally time-travels from the 1940’s back to the 18th century, and the local scenery often steals the show. Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan, calls Lallybroch home in the hit Starz drama, but it’s actually Midhope Castle, located in Abercorn. The tower house is unoccupied, and visitors can feel free to walk around the acres of lush, green Scottish farmland to take photos of it. The standing stones, where Claire’s journey through time originates, are relatively common and can be seen in many places around Scotland, including the cemetery of Clava Cairns near Inverness, where Claire’s accidental trip begins.

Roslyn, Washington: "Northern Exposure" Roslyn, Washington
Credit: Roslyn, Washington by frankieleon via Flickr

Roslyn, Washington: "Northern Exposure"

Roslyn, a little mountain town nestled in the heart of Washington’s Central Cascades, served as the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska in the quirky 1990’s cult hit series, “Northern Exposure.” Many fans continue to visit today, to see places like Roslyn’s Cafe mural, Ruth-Anne’s general store, the KBHR radio station where Chris spun his tunes and told his tales, and the views from Main Street, which appear in the show’s opening credits. Talk to the store and cafe owners, and they’re likely to have a story to tell about the actors as well as the show that put their town in the spotlight. The Roslyn Museum is filled with historic objects and displays, and the town also has an art gallery, gift shop and an old-fashioned quilt shop. Nearby are all sorts of recreational opportunities, including fishing, hiking and camping.

New Zealand: "Almighty Johnsons" Mount Maunganui Beach, North Island, New Zealand
Credit: Mount Maunganui Beach, North Island, New Zealand by bigstock.com

New Zealand: "Almighty Johnsons"

“The Almighty Johnsons” is strictly a New Zealand show, based in New Zealand, with all New Zealand actors, but it’s recently caught on in the United States too, thanks to Netflix. Between the scenery, the story, and the characters, this is one you’ll definitely one to binge-watch. Of course, who really needs an excuse to go to New Zealand, right? The show is based in Auckland, so while you’re there, be sure to head to Sky Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, and an iconic landmark in the skyline. It offers amazing views up to about 5o miles away, fine dining in a revolving restaurant, and even a SkyJump. This especially thrilling adrenaline rush is the country’s highest jumping point – you’ll plummet nearly 630 feet off the tower at over 52 miles per hour. Many scenes were also shot at Mount Maunganui Beach in Tauranga, as well as Rotorua, set on its namesake lake and renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture.

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