Before you visit the United States, chances are you’ve seen some of the country’s iconic landscapes on film. Since the early days of the film industry, moviemakers who want to inspire and transport viewers to other worlds have looked to the stunning geography of the United States to help tell their stories.
When John Ford and John Wayne wanted to evoke awe and power, they set their movies in the vast grandeur of the West and Southwest. When George Lucas needed a raw, unforgiving location to be the desert home for Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope, he filmed in California’s Death Valley National Park. When Steven Spielberg wanted dinosaurs to roam amid rugged beauty in Jurassic Park, he brought his crew to the awesome green hills of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Clearly the landscapes of the United States can star in films as much as Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. To find out where some of your favorite movies were filmed and how to visit the locations, see the stories below.