And The Award Goes To…

It is Oscar season once again. And this year there are 9 diverse movies in the running for Best Picture. As millions tune in on February 24 to find out the winner, we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the North American locations in which these movies are supposed to be set. After all, if movies can influence purchasing behaviors like what to wear, what to own, what to eat, then why can’t they also inspire where we want to vacation?

Lincoln, Washington DC

Washington DC is definitely one of my favorite places to visit. I adore the various neighborhoods which – similar to San Francisco – each have their own unique identity. Not to mention the sense of history you get at every turn. But, most of all, I like the diversity that Washington DC has to offer. Where else can you check out a 19-foot marble statue of the 16th president, grab a chili dog (or some other tasty morsel along the U Street Corridor), and then salsa dance yourself into the wee hours? I also think that it is fabulous that you can see and do so much in the Capitol for free.

Django Unchained, Mississippi

New Orleans has jazz, Nashville has country, and Clarksdale, Mississippi is said to be the birthplace of the blues. As such the city offers up a number of attractions in support of its musical history, like those along the Blues Trail, as well as the Delta Blues Museum. You can also take a snapshot of the Highway 61 and Highway 49 crossroads sign, where legend has it blues guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. But if singing the blues isn’t your thing, then why not check out some of Mississippi’s other historical destinations like Vicksburg (which will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s Siege of Vicksburg in May), or the many antebellum homes in the state. Alternatively you could take a leisurely cruise along the Mississippi River, thanks to the American Queen which reintroduced Steamboating to America last year.

Silver Linings Playbook, Philadelphia

Once the nation’s capital and, at one time, the largest city in America, Philadelphia literally oozes history. Most people associate it with icons like William Penn or the Liberty Bell. But did you know that it is also home to the country’s oldest zoo, and the world’s first prison designed to inspire penitence – not to mention the only aquarium in the U.S. with a Great Hammerhead exhibit and the only theme park based entirely on the children’s TV show Sesame Street? There are also countless museums, catering to virtually every interest – young or old.

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Louisiana

While the Beasts of the Southern Wild is set on a fictional island called the “Isle de Charles Doucet,” it was apparently inspired by several isolated and independent fishing communities in Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish. With that in mind, if you are looking for a different kind of vacation, why not head to Cajun country and explore this part of Louisiana by boat. A good starting off point is Houma, where you will not only find a great seafood dinner but also the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge which is home to the American alligator and bald eagle.

Life of Pi, Mexico

Like the Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi is a work of fiction that draws inspiration from real places. In the movie (and book) there are several references to places and historical events in India. In addition, the lifeboat in which the central character, Pi, is adrift eventually washes up on the coast of Mexico. With that in mind, now seemed like a good time to provide a refresher of all the fun family-friendly activities that can be enjoyed when visiting Puerto Vallarta – which is located on the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico.

Which Oscar nominee destination do you most want to visit?

Featured Image: Closeup of Oscar Statue at Kodak Theatre (Rodolfo Arpia /

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