We may be travel obsessed, but we’re pop culture junkies, too, so we get extra excited when the two collide. Here, 7 of the top TV locations you can visit in real life.
Westworld: Castle Valley and Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Not sure about you, but Westworld was a topic of much (much) conversation in our office. How crazy is artificial intelligence? How long until this happens in real life? We could go on for days – especially if we were to road trip out west, past the dramatic plateaus, cloud-covered canyons and rolling meadows of Castle Valley and Dead Horse Point State Park. The two innately cinematic Utah locations served as much of the amusement park’s setting.
The Crown: Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, England
Since 1066, when Westminster Abbey became the official coronation church, it’s hosted 16 royal weddings, including that of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's. When Netflix’s 10-part drama series, The Crown, was tasked with finding a film-friendly stand-in for the famous abbey – with a cool $100 million production budget, in tow – the Ely Cathedral was their go-to. The circa-672 Anglican church had already played a starring role in Macbeth, The King's Speech, and The Other Boleyn Girl.
Girls: Cafe Grumpy, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
The Girls gang may have just landed back on HBO for their final season, but if you’ve been a faithful viewer since the sometimes contentious show aired in 2012, then surely you’ll recognize Cafe Grumpy. Turns out, the Greenpoint coffee joint (of the same name) – where Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) served as a short-lived barista under friend and real life Oscar the Grouch, Ray Ploshansky (Alex Karpovsky) – has been serving actual Brooklyn hipsters since 2005.
Game of Thrones: The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney, Ireland
If you’ve spent a good chunk of the last 6 years repeatedly binging Game of Thrones (and mourning your fave characters, as we have), then this should be a familiar sight. Ballymoney’s beech tree-lined avenue is the real life Kingsroad, after all. But before the tunnel of intertwined, knotted branches was forged by Arya Stark and nearly everyone else in the Seven Kingdoms, it functioned simply as a statement entrance to the Stuart family’s private manor, Gracehill House.
Downton Abbey: Highclere Castle, Hampshire, England
What’s a good period drama without some eye candy in the form of a grand country house? The vast, Georgian-style Highclere Castle poses as Downton Abbey, the home of the aristocratic Crawley family (Dame Maggie Smith's extended brood) and their live-in help. Though the show’s estate plants roots in Yorkshire, you’ll find the real abbey in Hampshire. Since the 17th century, it’s been the seat of the Earls of Carnarvon, and today the 8th Lord and Lady Carnarvon have opened up the castle to visitors some 60 to 70 days a year. Curious what it's like to live in Highclere Castle since the dawn of Downton Abbey? You can read all about it in Lady Carnarvon's book, At Home at Highclere Entertaining at the Real Downton Abbey.
Arrested Development: Fisherman’s Village, Marina Del Rey, California
If you're a fan of Arrested Development (if you aren't, you should be), then you know that George Michael (Michael Cera) and Maeby (Alia Shawkat) spent their summers chocolate-dipping fruits at Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana Stand. While the show calls the business's waterfront locale Oceanside Wharf, you’ll find the same scene in Fisherman’s Village at Marina Del Rey, California—just look for the white-and-blue lighthouse.
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Gilmore Girls: Greystone Mansion & Park, Beverly Hills, California
Feelings about the GG reboot aside, I think we can all agree on one thing: we’ve all wished we could teleport to painfully-cute Stars Hollow. Though you won’t find the town anywhere in Connecticut (more like the Warner Bros’ backlot in Burbank), you can find a little piece of the Sherman-Palladino universe in California. Tucked behind a wrought-iron gate in Beverly Hills, the exterior of Greystone Mansion (known for its cameos in Indecent Proposal, The Big Lebowski, Spiderman, and a ton of other films) served as Chilton Prep, Rory's private high school.