I love famous places. That is because I love being able to visit a place that is idyllic in my mind. If it has happened, then it is a true story, which to me means it is famous and I must see it. But many people find places that have actually been on television much more exciting. In truth, this can also be fun. For me it is usually a double whammy.
When I go on vacation, I scour my guide books and the internet to see what famous tourist attractions I can see in that particular area. If it is an area or city that is well known in my mind, which I associate with a television show, I research it further to see if those places were shot on location so that I can visit in person. Since I began doing this I now add this step when planning all of my vacations. It adds a layer of fun and fame to your trip.
In order to find famous television locations you can go about this in any number of ways. Since I always use Frommer’s guides (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-game-plan-part-ii.html) there is usually a
chapter in the beginning of each guide about the background, history, and familiarity of that city, state, or country so that you can relate to it before you even beginning packing.
Another great tool for getting to know any location of course is by taking tours of the area. Depending on where you are you may want to take a tour by land, water, air, or even all three. For instance when I was in New Orleans I took a tour of a cemetery as they are infamous in that city. But when I was in San Francisco I took the ferry over to Alcatraz and then a bus tour through Napa Valley. When I was in Washington, D.C., I took my first ever double-decker bus ride and hopped on and off all day as I went sightseeing. In Paris I just had to take a river cruise on the Seine. If I ever make it to Hawaii I will be sure to take a helicopter ride over a volcano.
Lastly there is good old investigation on the internet. More likely than not simply googling the name of a particular show or city you are interesting in visiting will lead you to the place you want to see. Worst case scenario, if the location was on a sound stage and therefore not real, you may still have a chase of visiting it. Someday if you ever go on a tour in either Florida or California you can take their film production tours.
I have racked my brain and searched meticulously through my extensive travel photography collection and drawn out what I think are the most significantly exciting locations made famous by televisions shows we have all seen. I have divided them by destination and then television show as many shows may show several scenes from the surrounding city.
Saturday Night Live-
John Hancock Building
San Francisco, California
Party of Five-
Los Angeles, California
Fresh prince house-
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cafe du Monde
Queens, New York
New York, New York
Law and Order-
N.Y. Supreme Court
This is also a great reason I love living in New York City. So many shows are filmed here day in and day out. It is almost impossible not to have ever seen a trailer or food service station at some point when walking down the street.
Tax credits and other incentives are trying to lure popular shows to film in their town to promote tourism. It works for both sides so keep a look out.
The great thing about these kinds of attractions is that there are constantly new ones popping up. Some even close to you free to see.
As a last resort you can always try to be an audience member at your favorite show. Most tickets are easy to come by online and are free as well. For TV tapings see the links below.
What are the famous sites inspired by the television you watch that you want to see on your next vacation?
What are the ones right in your backyard? You may be surprised when you starting look into it.
As for me, I am most excited about going to Dallas, Texas and seeing Southfork Ranch where the infamous Dallas series has been filmed. I am such a huge fan of both the old and new shows I can’t wait to have my picture standing where the legendary Larry Hagman a.ka. J.R. Ewing once stood!!
Coming up next, famous movie locations so stay tuned!
To plan your visit to the sets of your favorite famous television locations:
For N.Y.C. locations only:
For N.Y.C. TV Tapings:
For L.A. TV Tapings: