Four TV-inspired Travel Destinations Worth Hopping a Flight for
The most binge-worthy TV shows feature some of the world’s most jaw-dropping backdrops.
Many are real-world destinations that have inspired a new level of obsession where fans are no longer content to simply watch at home. They now need to fully immerse themselves in their favorite fantasy world. Here are four of the best television-inspired travel destinations worth hopping a plane for.
The $40,000 daily admission fee to Westworld is a bit steep for most mortal men. But the real-world locations featured on the hit show can be easily visited with a quick flight to Utah. Zion National Park — arguably the most beautiful in the United States — features prominently throughout the show. For a full-scale immersive experience, find a proper outfitter to hike and canyoneer in The Narrows. Covering the entire trail requires a nearly 10-mile roundtrip trek that includes wading the North Fork Virgin River at the base of thousand-foot sandstone walls.
Good to know: The hike is only moderately strenuous, but flash floods present a real danger.
Game of Thrones (Ireland / Northern Ireland)
With impossibly green hills, hundreds of preserved, centuries-old castles, and a picture-perfect air of fantasy-meets-reality, the whole of Ireland is a fitting landscape for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Ballintoy Harbour, a cave system in Cushendun, and Giant’s Causeway (a World Heritage Site) are among the featured destinations. The country has become such a hotspot for so-called “Thronies” (yes, that’s a thing) that large-scale GoT Exhibitions are held in Belfast each year.
Good to know: The aptly named Game of Thrones Tours provides niche tours to some of the show’s most breathtaking — and hard to reach destinations — including the “real” Westeros, the Iron Islands, and Winterfell.
Breaking Bad (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Sure, Breaking Bad may have ended. But, the show left an indelible mark on Albuquerque that the city will likely never escape from. Taking a themed tour, shopping for Walter White-inspired “Let’s Cook!” chef’s aprons, and a stop at the candy store that provided the famous, ultra-pure “blue meth” — they’re all de rigueur experiences for fans of the show. Kitschy? Sure. But, until Vince Gilligan delivers a sixth season, these are the only things we have left to cling to.
Good to know: The woman who lives in the real life White residence still occasionally has pizzas tossed onto her roof by rabid (and clearly asocial) fans.
Lost (Oahu, Hawaii)
Like Breaking Bad, Lost may have ended years ago, but The Island lives on in many fan’s minds. Oahu’s famous Kualoa Ranch served as the backdrop for many of the series’ most memorable scenes, including a few of the Dharma Initiative stations, many of the stream and water-crossing scenes, and a golf course as well. The massive property can be toured via the Hollywood’s “Hawaii Backlot” Tour. Countless additional scenes were filmed throughout the island in other well-known locations such as Mānoa Falls Trail, Waialua Sugar Mill, and even Diamond Head.
Good to know: Once filming wrapped, many of the actors chose to continue living on the island.