Discovering Hollywood's Backlot
Lights! Camera! Action!
The South is quickly gaining relevance as Hollywood's Backlot. Home to numerous movies and television shows, the region continues to shine brightly on the screen. Whether you are a movie aficionado or just enjoy learning trivia tidbits, a guided movie tour can bring the South's Hollywood experience to life.
Southfork Ranch tour ("Dallas"): If you’re traveling through the Southfork area , you’ll find a guided tour of the ranch made famous in one of the longest-running series on television, “Dallas.” Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, tours of the Ewing Mansion and the memorabilia-packed “Dallas Legends” exhibit are open daily and year-round. Visitors can take the tour of the ranch (which includes actual props used on the show), shop in the themed retail stores, or, if you’re feeling hungry, eat at Miss Ellie’s Deli. The operating hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, with a tour departing approximately every 30-45 minutes. Admission prices before tax are $10.75 for adults, $9 for seniors, $7 for children 5-12, and free for children under 4.
New Orleans Movie Tour: Experience New Orleans’ first and only movie tour! You’ll depart aboard a 10- passenger van that will take you past filming locations while you enjoy complimentary popcorn, bottled water, and entertaining video clips playing on your monitor. Hollywood experts will provide you with entertaining insights into the film industry as you travel past over 30 different locations. With a line-up including Green Lantern, Red, The Expendables, A Streetcar Named Desire, Interview with a Vampire, Ray, JFK, Pelican Brief, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, King Creole, Easy Rider, and more, who could pass up this opportunity? Tickets are $39 and must be scheduled in advance, either online or by phone through the ticketing company, which can be reached at 800/979-3370.
"Steel Magnolia" Tour: Visit Natchitoches, La., to find out why the Natchitoches Historic District has been named one of the five most romantic streets in the United States. While you’re there you can enjoy your stay in a downtown inn or even in a century-old Bed and Breakfast home. Schedule a trip to explore Natchitoches with Barbara Bailey, which will include a Steel Magnolias tour and a visit to a French Creole Plantation. Barbara can be contacted either by email at email@example.com or by phone at 318/352-5469 or 318/663-5468.
Atlanta Movie Tour: Atlanta is currently hosting The Big Southern Hollywood Tour, featuring The Big Zombie Tour. Climb aboard the luxury coach to take in four hours of sight-seeing and entertainment. Productions that have made Atlanta their home include Teen Wolf, Driving Miss Daisy, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Scream 2, The Blind Side, Zombieland, Hall Pass, Manhunter, Change-up, Due Date, The Three Stooges and more. Tours can be scheduled on the website, with ticket prices starting at $45.
Savannah Movie Tour: Savannah’s 90-minute narrated tour has become a must-see for film fanatics, and considering the city’s reputation as Hostess City for Hollywood’s biggest productions, it’s no surprise. The movies shot in Savannah include Cape Fear, The Longest Yard, the TV miniseries “Roots”, Glory, Forrest Gump, Something to Talk About, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Conspirator and The Last Song. The tour offers viewers the chance to watch film clips and see the actual locations where these hits were filmed. Tickets before taxes are $25 for adults, $15 for children 5-12, and free for pets and children under the age of 4. Make a reservation on the company’s website for your tour.
Beaufort, SC: Take “The Beaufort Walk” with Carly Ware to learn about the colorful and star-studded history of South Carolina’s second oldest town, Beaufort. This walking tour lasts approximately two hours, and will take you through Hollywood film sites as you learn more about the Gullah heritage of the Sea Islands, celebrity stories, and silver screen secrets. Author Pat Conroy’s first novel The Great Santini was the first movie filmed in Beaufort and set the stage for many more to come. Others filmed here include The Prince of Tides-- another Conroy adaptation, The Big Chill, White Squall, Forrest Gump, Forces of Nature, and Something to Talk About. Afterwards, you can even snag an autographed copy of a Pat Conroy novel at the local McIntosh Book Shop. Once you get a glimpse of Beaufort’s antebellum architecture and natural beauty, it will become clear why Hollywood couldn’t stay away. Tours depart from the Downtown Marina located at 1006 Bay Street, reservations are required. Adult tickets are $15 and children’s prices vary, depending on age and the availability of group rates. Contact Carly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 843/ 476-5100.
Old Wilmington (NC) Hollywood Location Walk: Wilmington, N.C., or Wilmywood, as it’s affectionately called, has its fair share of Hollywood A-listers and famous movie and TV filming locations—too many to list! Join the 90 minute walking tour with the self-proclaimed “most entertaining and self-important director” of Hollywood East as you make your way through film locations and actual sets. Check the website for a full list of movies and television shows included along the way, and schedule your own tour. Hurry, spaces fill up fast! Prices are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students, or military, and children 6 and under are free.
Virginia Film Tour: The Virginia Film Tour is available as either a three-hour tour, a one-day tour, or as part of a Movie and Historic Vacations Virginia Touring Package. Whichever tour you choose, there’s certainly a lot to see. Highlights include the Civil War Prison Camp featured in Cold Mountain, the Virginia State Capitol which has masqueraded as the White House in movies and on TV, the parking lot that was transformed into a hospital for an action scene in The Jackal, the downtown area featured in the opening shoot-out scene in Hannibal, and the historical hotel that has counted eleven presidents and famous Hollywood stars among its guests. For information on group pricing or to schedule your tour, call (804) 744-1718 or email at email@example.com.
Photo by Lewis R. Sams house in Beaufort, built in 1852 and the film location for The Prince of Tides, courtesy of Beaufort (S.C.) Walking Tours.
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