This biggest night in showbiz has us thinking – although this year’s top movies aren’t all necessarily centered around travel, the locations in which many of them are set play important roles in shaping their stories. For some, the destination is almost a character in and of itself – The Wolf of Wall Street couldn’t have taken place anywhere other than New York City. And in Blue Jasmine, San Francisco’s vibe perfectly offset the upscale New York attitude of Cate Blanchett’s title character.
So let’s shine the spotlight on some of the best places to sleep, eat, and play in the destinations where many of these films take place. Sorry though, Gravity fans, TripAdvisor doesn’t currently feature any reviews of the kitchen aboard the International Space Station.
Atlantic City, New Jersey – American Hustle
Although the movie primarily takes place in New York City, the plot of this flick focuses on a corrupt endeavor to revive the gambling industry in Atlantic City, a seaside locale known for its lively boardwalk and nightlife.
- Where to stay: The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is centrally located and offers a wide variety of services and amenities including two luxurious spas. Those looking for a more budget-friendly accommodation can relax at the Quality Flamingo where rooms start around $90 per night.
- Where to eat: With a menu that changes daily, travelers can indulge in American favorites including local seafood, handmade pastas, and the “Flat Iron Burger” (the menu’s only permanent plate) at the Iron Room at Atlantic City Bottle Company.
- What to see: Travelers can enjoy a stroll along the AC Boardwalk or check out the Absecon Lighthouse, while those who win big at the casinos can spend some cash at The Pier Shops at Caesars.
Lincoln, Nebraska – Nebraska
On a quest to collect the money he believes he has won, Woody and his skeptical son head to this Midwest city that was named after the 16th President of the United States, in the 2013 hit film, “Nebraska.”
- Where to sleep: The Hotel Embassy Suites Lincoln provides easy access to many of the city’s popular attractions including the Lied Center for Performing Arts and the State Capitol.
- Where to eat: Travelers can enjoy French dishes at the Green Gateau or traditional cuisine at Dish, which boasts savory bites like rib bruschetta and sweet chili chicken wings.
- What to see: Nebraska State Capitol and the Lincoln Children’s Zoo are must-see attractions for travelers. Outdoor aficionados can enjoy the Sunken Gardens or the Pioneer Park and Nature Center.
Roscrea, Ireland – Philomena
- Where to sleep: The Racket Hall Country House Hotel features 40 luxurious guest rooms and boasts cozy fireplaces throughout the property.
- Where to eat: Run by a husband and wife, the Fiacri House Restaurant offers a seasonally driven menu featuring classic Irish cuisine.
- What to see: Travelers should not miss Leap Castle and Roscrea Castle both of which are an important part of the town’s history.
Dallas, Texas – Dallas Buyers Club
Set in the Lone Star State, cowboy Ron Woodroof takes the audience on a tour of Dallas, a city that offers dozens of museums, art galleries, southern style eateries, and more.
- Where to sleep: Bounds above the dingy fictional motel where Ron sets up shop, the Omni Dallas Hotel features more than 1,000 guest rooms, a relaxing spa, and a heated infinity pool.
- Where to eat: Serving only the choicest cuts of hand-selected beef, Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill, offers a menu of mouthwatering delights including filet mignon, prime ribeyes, and lamb chops fit for a cowboy.
- What to see: Often regarded for its art and culture, Dallas offers so many sights including the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas Museum of Art and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
New Orleans, Louisiana – 12 Years a Slave
Celebrated for its Cajun culture, Mardi Gras festival, and unrivaled jazz music, New Orleans served as the setting in “12 Years a Slave,” in which Solomon Northrup works constructing a waterway, fighting for his freedom and desire to return to his family in New York.
- Where to sleep: Hotel Mazarin, a luxury French Quarter boutique hotels, boasts a tranquil, European-style courtyard where guests are invited to unwind.
- Where to eat: Travelers craving Cajun and Creole cuisine must visit Muriel’s Jackson Square, while those looking for more traditional American bites can stop at Meals from the Heart.
- What to see: Those visiting NOLA shouldn’t miss the National Museum WWII or a walk along Royal Street.
New York City, New York – The Wolf of Wall Street
Based on the movie’s title, film goers may be surprised the most of this controversial film actually takes place along the Gold Coast of Long Island, where Leo’s character takes advantage of all that money can buy.
- Where to sleep: Located in the financial district, The Ritz Carlton New York Battery Park boasts luxurious guestrooms with panoramic views of the city that are sure to provide a memorable stay.
- Where to eat: Travelers can indulge like the Wolf at Rao’s Restaurant, which features Italian fare, or Per Se, offering premier mouthwatering cuisine prepared with the finest ingredients.
- What to see: Those visiting New York City should not miss the Manhattan Skyline tour, Central Park or the Statue of Liberty; and if there’s time, Broadway musicals are always a fantastic entertainment option!
San Francisco, California – Blue Jasmine
Title character Jasmine, played by actress Cate Blanchett, leaves behind her life in New York City to start anew in the City by the Bay. Travelers are invited to take in the sights of San Francisco which include the world famous Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and of course the “Painted Ladies” Victorian-style homes.
- Where to sleep: Located in the prestigious Pacific Heights neighborhood, travelers rave about Hotel Drisco. Guests can enjoy views of the Golden Gate or stroll along the shops and eateries on Sacramento and Filmore streets.
- Where to eat: Reserve a table at the highly-rated city staple Zuni Cafe, which we hear Cate herself dined at while filming Blue Jasmine.
- What to see: Further to the Golden Gate Bridge, travelers can explore the Lands End hiking trails, take in the fabled history of Alcatraz, or enjoy a ballgame at AT&T Park.
Have you been to any of these cities? Comment with your own recommendations of places to eat, stay, and play.