Everyone likes to get lost in Hollywood’s fictional world, and it is even more exciting when the setting looks oddly familiar. In the middle of a movie, you might nudge your friend and say, “weren’t we there the other day?” While most people assume that all movies are filmed on a Hollywood soundstage, you will be shocked to find out that the most iconic ones were based on your home state. From The Wizard of Oz to Clueless, keep reading to see if you can guess where these movies took place.
1. Forest Gump — Alabama
Run Forest, run, all the way back to Alabama! Although Forest Gump took place in many different locations, he always goes back to Greenbow, Alabama. This movie has been iconic since it premiered, and it gave us the famous line, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Many people probably knew that this took place in the south with his southern accent, but they actually filmed in the state. If you have ever been to Alabama or live there, you might recognize some of the places in the movie, and you can pretend in the film.
Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynold, and Betty White came together for this fantastic 2009 rom-com. The Proposal takes place in Alaska, and Bullock’s character was not used to this foreign setting. Like most people, she had never been to Alaska, but she soon finds the beauty in it.
Bullock needs to marry Reynolds so she won’t be deported to Canada. This movie has everything you could possibly ask for, including a weird tribal dance scene with Bullock and Betty White. Unfortunately, Alaskan locals will know this was actually shot mostly in Massachusetts.
Although Thelma and Louise is a road trip movie, one of the most iconic scenes was filmed in Arizona. Spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen it, the two drive their car off a cliff at the Grand Canyon, and that scene has lived rent-free in our minds for as long as we can remember.
Although they are supposed to be driving from Arkansas to the Grand Canyon, most of the movie was shot in California and Utah. Many people visit southern Utah to take the classic “Thelma and Louise Selfie,” and you can too at the Dead Horse Point State Park.
Not only was Sling Blade filmed in Arkansas, but the director Billy Bob Thorton is also an Arkansas native. This movie put Billy Bob Thorton on the map and earned him an Oscar for the screenplay. After being released from the psychiatric hospital, Thorton’s character returns to Arkansas to start a new life.
The movie is dark and twisted, and definitely not for the faint of heart. The movie deals with murder, intellectual disabilities, and lots of drama. In real life, Thorton has expressed that he is anti-violence, which was the complete opposite of the movie he wrote.
As if you didn’t know this movie was filmed in California! Clueless is easily the most iconic movie of the ’90s between the fashion, catchphrases, and the fact that it was ok for her to fall in love with her step-brother. Cher is the girl everyone wanted to be because she had beauty and brains.
With her sidekick Dionne and their makeover project Tai, these two ruled Beverly Hills High School. Paul Rudd was the cherry on top of this already amazing sundae, and we thank the people who gave us this incredible film.
If you love Quentin Tarantino, you will love The Hateful Eight. As his eighth screenplay, Tarantino tells the story of a bounty hunter and his fugitive that get caught in a snowstorm and have to take refugee at a lodge on their route. Inside they encounter a bizarre and bloody turn of events.
The movie was filmed at a 900-acre ranch in southwest Colorado, and although it was winter, the crew kept running into nice weather. To create the whiteout blizzard, the team had to use giant fans and lots of cornstarch even though the region usually gets a lot of snow.
Based on Ann. M. Martin’s novel series, The Baby-Sitters Club brought the best teen novels of the ’80s to life. Set in the fictional town of Stonybrook, Connecticut, the group tries to make their babysitting business into a summer day camp, but their mean neighbors try to shut it down.
The girls are just trying to earn some extra money, so why do their neighbors have to crush their side hustle? The movie talks about divorce, medical diagnosis, and teen crushes; it literally has something to inspire any teen, and you have to see it!
They’re selling music, but not selling out. While trying to fight the cooperate giant, this group of misfits bands together to help their boss sell records to keep his shop open. Based and filmed in Wilmington, Delaware, Renee Zellweger, Liv Tyler, and other famous names brought this movie to life.
This cult classic launched several of the actors into successful careers, and people remember to celebrate Rex Manning Day every April. If you haven’t seen this movie and live or visit Delaware, you need to watch it because you will probably recognize some memorable locations.
Remember when La La Land thought they won “Best Picture,” but it was a mistake, and Moonlight actually won? Yeah, that is hard to erase from our brains. However, the Miami-based movie is historic because it was the first LGBTQ+ movie to win “Best Picture” at the Oscars.
The movie is about a young African-American boy who finds guidance in a drug dealer. The movie symbolizes one’s innermost self because, under the moonlight, people discover who they truly are and their hidden desires. The film takes place on the gorgeous Florida coastline, with many scenes showing Chiron on the beach.
The Color Purple takes people through the hardships that African-American women dealt with during the early 20th century, including poverty, racism, domestic violence, and sexism. From Oprah to Whoopi Goldberg, this film is stacked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Like Moonlight, this film was historical, and it was the turning point for many of the stars’ careers. Although it was filmed in North Carolina, the story takes place in Georgia. They couldn’t film in Georgia because the location they chose was unsuitable for the film.
On the island of Oahu, three best friends dream of surfing on the North Shore, but distractions get in their way like boys. The movie is set and filmed in Hawaii, and throughout the film, you can see the dream-worthy shores of the Hawaiian islands, which make us want to book a vacation.
With Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sanoe Lake, the movie has mixed reviews, but it was everything for teens in the early 2000s. They couldn’t get enough of the drama, romance, and surfing. What really made this movie was the natural locations of Hawaii.
The socially awkward teenager that helps his friend win class president was the hit of 2004. With lines like, “Tina, you fat lard. Come get your dinner,” how could you not be obsessed with this Idaho-based film. Napoleon Dynamite was and still is iconic.
As a young teen, most of us had “Vote For Pedro” shirts that we proudly wore, and the obsession just made sense. How could anyone forget Napoleon’s talent show dance or his awkward romance with Deb. This is probably what the world thinks all people from Idaho are like.
Is it just us, or did everyone else also think that Mean Girls was set in California? It was supposed to take place in Chicago, which is so fetch, but it changes the movie’s whole vibe. Regina George would get chewed up and spit out by the teens in California.
A few famous movies have taken place in Illinois, but none of them have a broadway show and a holiday like Mean Girls. This was one of Lindsay Lohan’s last good movies, and we miss the days when she didn’t have a weird made-up accent.
If your dad has ever tried to get you to watch a sports movie, it was probably Rudy. The film is based on a true story of an Indiana teen who is told he is too small to play college football, but Rudy is determined to play for Notre Dame.
If you haven’t seen Rudy prepare to cry. It’s going to happen, but it will be worth it when you see this highly underrated movie. Today’s sports movies don’t hit the same as the ones of the early 2000s and the ’90s.
The movie that gave Leonardo DiCaprio his first of many Oscar nominations, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, was one of the best movies of the ’90s, also starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Lewis. With his housebound mother and intellectually disabled brother, Gilbert is caught between his true love and responsibilities.
Although the movie is set in Iowa, most of the movie was filmed in different parts of Texas. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape gained a lot of critical attention, and people were impressed with how the actors were able to tell this delicate story.
Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore! At the time, The Wizard of Oz was filmed on a sound stage because location filming wasn’t common. Although Dorothy travels to Oz, it is just a dream, so she is technically in Kansas the whole time.
Although this is our favorite movie of all time, there were some dark secrets on the set. From torturous costumes to forcing Judy Garland to take drugs to keep her weight down, that Kansas farm was not certified organic.
When people think of horse racing, they think of two things: Seabiscuit, the horse, and Kentucky. When you combine those two things, you get Seabiscuit starring Toby Maguire. The 2003 film was shot in Kentucky because they have many horse tracks that helped the film.
The film was loosely based on the life and racing career of the real horse named Seabiscuit, who rose to fame during the Great Depression. The horse lifted the spirits of a nation when they needed it the most.
Although this is one of the newest movies on the list, it rightfully earned its spot because Girls Trip gave the world Tiffany Haddish and “grapefruiting.” If you have to ask what this is, just look up the scene because you have to watch it.
The film is based on a group of college friends who grew apart but come back together for a girl’s trip to New Orleans. With crazy drunken antics, dance battles, drama, and lots of beautiful men, this movie makes all other girl’s trips look like a boring night at home.
If Stephen King’s books scare you, you might want to stay away from Maine, where most of them are set like It. The tale of Pennywise, the clown, and Bill Skarsgard’s adaptation will haunt your dreams for the foreseeable future.
Stephen King was raised in Maine, and he must have experienced some scary stuff to use it as the setting for his horrifying novels. It makes people want to avoid the place unless they are interested in running into child-eating clowns.
Although Runaway Bride is not Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s best collaboration, it is still one of her best movies. The story takes place in the fictional town of Hale, Maryland, but it was shot in Berlin, Maryland.
Although most people aren’t fleeing the altar every time they decide to get married, that is Julia Roberts’ MO, and Richard Gere is the one who can finally capture this runaway bride. She literally gives him her running shoes, so she can’t go anywhere…iconic.
If you don’t watch Hocus Pocus every Halloween, are you even into spooky season?! Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, the Sanderson sisters made Halloween ten times better, and people look forward to watching them terrorize Salem each year.
The film is set in Massachusetts, but most of it was filmed in Burbank, California. However, the day time scenes were filmed during a two week period in New England. Who else wants to travel to Salem just because of this movie.
The 2014 horror movie, It Follows was set and shot in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of the few recent horror movies that can really scare the pants off of you, but it is not corny. It Follows will have you looking over your shoulder for a few weeks.
The writer and director based the film on reassuring dreams he had as a child, and we now believe he needs psychological help. Some people believe the thing that is transferred between the characters represents HIV/AIDS or another STD.
As the well-known hockey-loving state, Minnesota was the perfect location for Disney’s Mighty Ducks. This movie shaped our childhood and made plenty of women fall in love with Gordon Bombay, aka Emilio Estevez.
After losing a huge game for his team, Gordon is ashamed. However, he finds a chance to redeem himself when a weak hockey team needs a coach. If you didn’t see this movie as a child, what sports movies were you watching?
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer might have acted circles around Emma Stone and the rest of the cast in The Help, but it was still an incredible movie. Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, the depiction of race with a white savior drew some criticism.
The movie perfectly showed how life was like for African-American people in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. Viola Davis was nominated for “Best Actress” for this film, but Meryl Streep unfairly robbed her.
If you haven’t heard of Mad Money, it is probably because it is the most underrated movie of all time. Starring Dianne Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes, the three struggling women plan to rob a bank in Kansas City, Missouri.
It had a low score on Rotten Tomatoes, but the people of Missouri might be offended that their home state is getting such low movie ratings. Don’t trust the ratings in this situation; trust us. These three stars could not have made a better movie if they tried.
Filmed and set in Montana, Certain Women is based on the short stories by Malie Meloy. It explores the lives of various women as their paths cross in unexpected ways. Most people assume it was filmed in Oregon because that is where the producer does most of her work.
However, Meloy’s hometown of Helena was the original location, and then they changed it to Livingston, Montana, for a much-needed break from her home life. Surprisingly, a movie with Kristen Stewart got high ratings.
If you put Elle Woods and Tracy Flick in a head to head battle, Tracy could give Elle a run for her money. Shot and based in Omaha, Nebraska, Election shows Tracy Flick running unopposed for student body president, but one of the teachers doesn’t like this.
Matthew Broderick plays a teacher who asks a football player to run against Flick, and chaos ensues. In the movie, most of the extras were actually high school students at the school they used for the set. Someone might spot their parents walking around in the background of this movie.
When we think of Independence Day, we think of aliens destroying the white house. However, most of the movie takes place in Nevada, aka Area 51. This movie did nothing to quiet down the rumors that aliens are being held captive by the government.
Independence Day made Will Smith one of the richest men in Hollywood, even though he was already having great success before. How could you not love a movie that gives us a preview of what an alien invasion would look like and how to survive it.
Have you ever thought about following your therapist to their home to meet their family? Probably not because that is crazy talk, but that is not the case for Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) when he goes to his therapist’s vacation home in New Hampshire.
Even if your therapist is Richard Dreyfuss, they shouldn’t be followed home. Before long, Bob drives his doctor to insanity while bonding with his family. It seems like a horror movie, but your sides will be hurting from laughter. Although this is set in New Hampshire, the movie was actually filmed in Virginia.
If you are a New Jersey native, you must be proud of this movie. Although it was mostly filmed in California, Jersey can take credit for it. Adam Sandler’s character meets Drew Barrymore’s character, and they realize they are engaged to the wrong people because they want to be with each other.
The was the first of many movies with Sandler and Barrymore and one of their best collaborations. New Jersey is usually associated with The Jersey Shore, so it’s nice to have better representation to refer to.
For the record, it is ok to sing and play basketball; Troy Bolton’s dad just sucked. High School Musical is still one of the best Disney Channel original movies, and no one can debate that. However, the movie might take place in New Mexico, but you won’t find the wild cats there.
The movie was filmed in Utah at a real high school. No one knew how popular it would become, but the soundtrack was the top selling album of 2006. It’s hard to get through a day without remembering how much time we spent learning the “We’re All In This Together” dance.
When people think of New York, one of the most iconic movies that comes to mind is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn had many memorable roles, but this one is our favorite. It also gave the idea to launch a cafe at the Tiffany flagship store in New York.
The movie was filmed in New York; however, the interior of the Tiffany store was filmed in a Hollywood studio because they probably didn’t want to mess up the store. Who wants to dress up as Holly Golightly and have breakfast at Tiffany’s?
While Stephen King has made Maine the place to fear, Nicholas Sparks made North Carolina the place of romance according to his novels. In Safe Haven, Katie Moves to the small North Carolina town and meets Alex, but her past comes back to haunt her.
The movie was filmed on the North Carolina coast, and it gives a real vision to Sparks’ novel of the same name. Did we mention that Josh Duhamel is a total babe in this movie? It would be impossible not to fall in love with him.
When it comes to film locations, not many movies are set in North Dakota, besides Leprechaun and a documentary about Jesus camp. As Jennifer Aniston’s film debut, it was questionable, but on-brand for ’90s horror movies.
The whole movie is based around Jennifer Aniston and her character’s dad renting a summer house, and the neighbor releases a murderous leprechaun. Who rents a vacation home in North Dakota? They deserved to be hunted by the leprechaun.
Although it is a teen movie, Heathers turns out to be much darker than we thought, and it’s better that they don’t make films like this today. It took place in Ohio, but most of it was filmed in California. Who knew that Ohio girls could be so cruel?
This movie was legendary for the fashion, the actresses, and the incredible plot. It was a masterpiece, and there is nothing that can compare to this fantastic movie. Please, try to find a more iconic teen movie from the ’80s.
As a series of violent tornadoes destroy Oklahoma, a storm chaser and his meteorologist wife put their divorce on hold to deal with the twister. This epic disaster film was filmed in Oklahoma where actual tornadoes have destroyed homes and farms before.
We have nothing against storm chasers, but we don’t understand the logic behind it. They are purposely putting themself in harm’s way, and asking for injuries or worse. RIP Bill Paxton, this was one of your greatest films.
The biographical adventure drama based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir tells the story of a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother’s death. Although the film took place in Minnesota, California, and Oregon, all the scenes were filmed in Oregon.
It earned Reese Witherspoon a “Best Actress” nomination, and her performance was incredible. As she hiked along the trail, you could see Oregon’s beautiful scenery, and it made the movie that much more interesting.
A welder by day and a dancer by night, Alex Owens lives in Pittsburg and she is desperate to get into ballet school. Another iconic movie of the’80s was filmed on location, and it gave us some of the best dance scenes of all time.
Forget about Step-Up and Footloose; Flashdanceis where it’s at. Although Jennifer Beals plays Alex, her elaborate dance scenes were done with a body double who could dance, but they were not credited.
Rhode Island natives shouldn’t be afraid because The Conjuring was actually filmed in North Carolina. If you can’t handle jump scares and supernatural horror, this is not a movie you want to watch because it is terrifying.
We can thank James Wan for the scares as he is the man behind these movies. It was surprising when the first movie was a huge success, and now it has its own universe like Marvel or Stephen King.
Channing Tatum made us all feel something in Magic Mike, and he came back for the road trip sequel, Magic Mike XXL. While it took place in many different states, the most important scenes took place in South Carolina at a male entertainer convention.
Between the half-naked men, the dancing, and the music, it is hard to dislike Magic Mike XXL. Anything with shirtless Channing Tatum will turn up the heat even on the coldest nights. Just don’t expect a pivotal storyline.
Throughout The Revenant, viewers watched as Leonardo DiCaprio really earned that Oscar after being nominated countless times; six to be exact. Taking place in South Dakota, the movie was actually filmed in Montana and Europe.
We think we can all sympathize as Leo battles the bear, and we scream, “not the face. Not Leo!” Would you abandon Leonardo DiCaprio if you saw a bear coming? That’s what his crew did in the movie, and he took revenge.
Although the film is named Nashville, it was not well received by the people of the city because it was so spot-on. People only get mad when they know something is painfully true. It was shot on location, which is pretty obvious given the title.
This is one of the few places people guess correctly because the name gives away all its secrets. This movie tells the tale of marriage problems with politicians and the rivalry between Nashville musicians.
Jennifer Lopez nailed her rendition of Selena Quintanilla, who was murdered in 1995 by Yolanda Saldivar. The movie tells the story of how she skyrocketed to fame, but died at the young age of 23 before people could see what she would really do with her career.
Although J.Lo can obviously sing, Selena’s voice was dubbed into the film to bring more of her life to the surface. Jennifer Lopez was lip-syncing the songs, but don’t let this mislead you because she has the pipes to sing all those amazing songs.
If you got your hand stuck in a rock, would you wait or immediately start chopping it off? Based on the true story of Aron Ralston, James Franco plays a hiker who gets trapped in a Utah canyon and struggles for 127 hours before being rescued.
They filmed on location, but James Franco did not actually cut his arm off. The real Ralston said it was so factually accurate that it was basically a documentary of his experience. That is terrifying, and we don’t know what we would do.
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas!” Although the movie was filmed in 1954, it is still one of the greatest Christmas movies in our humble opinion. The story mainly takes place in Vermont, but it was filmed in California. No wonder they couldn’t get it to snow!
From the music to the dancing to the costumes, this movie is pure gold. How can you not love “White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby’s soothing vocals and the comedy from Danny Kaye. It is iconic, and no one can say otherwise.
Hidden Figures with Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae is based on true events of women who worked as “computers” for NASA. This movie makes you want to get out of your seat and cheer for the amount of girl power it displays.
Although it takes place in Virginia, the movie was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Like The Help, people argued that it had a white savior narrative, but people need to just enjoy the cinematography, acting, and historical accuracy of this film.
Did anyone know that 10 Things I Hate About You was based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, The Padua? We certainly didn’t, but that makes a lot more sense. Since she can’t date until her older sister gets a boyfriend, Bianca’s boyfriend Cameron pays someone to date her.
The movie was filmed in Washington, where it takes place, and nothing is better than Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in a romantic paddleboat in the Puget Sound. That is what everyone wishes their first date would look like.
In one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s first roles, he plays Homer Hickman. In real life, the West Virginian had a knack for building rockets, which lead to a career at NASA. The film’s title is actually an anagram for the novel it was based on, “Rocket Boys.”
Although the film takes place in West Virginia, Tennessee was used as the location choice for filming because of the weather and terrain. The crew reconstructed the site to look like a 1957 mining town.
Whether you love it or hate it, Dogma used Alanis Morrissette as God, which was an inspired choice. After two angels fallen from paradise find themselves in Wisconsin, they head for New Jersey to find a loophole to get back to heaven. Seems realistic, right?
They destroy humanity as they go on their journey, but a group bands together to stop them. The scenes were shot in New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania despite taking place partially in Wisconsin.
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Wyoming, Brokeback Mountain tells the heartbreaking tale of Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, which was based on a short story by Annie Proulx. The movie used the natural beauty of the state to off-set the sadness it portrayed.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, the two develop a sexual and emotional relationship, although they are supposed to be married to their girlfriends. It was truly revolutionary for its time because it was an advancement to show the LQBTQ community in film.