7 Iconic Movie Locations To Cram Into A Quick Trip To ‘Murica & I’m The Princess Of Genovia Now

PEDESTRIAN.TV has teamed up with Contiki to inspire your next trip.

There are plenty of reasons to go to the United States — the national parks, the people, the wild food, the diverse scenery — but if you’re a pop culture fiend like me, it’s about feeling like you’re on a bloody movie set 24/7.

Contiki let me hop onto a group tour from Los Angeles to San Francisco to soak in some of the West Coast’s beauty at high speed. And while the natural wonders and iconic destinations were great, from Vegas to Route 66, we travelled to some heavy hitters in the movie biz.

Here are the movies I felt like I was living in while there…

Hannah Montana: The Movie

We visited Santa Monica Pier on our first day of the tour and I immediately found my fellow Contiki girlies who were living for this movie moment. While the majority of Hannah Montana: The Movie was set on some ranch in the South, the 2009 classic opened with Lily’s sweet 16th birthday party on Santa Monica Pier. Naturally, our girl Hannah was performing on the pier with the amusement park behind her.

Sadly, no Miley Cyrus performances were happening, but I did get this dreamy view of the beach (and my new friend Will) from the ferris wheel!

The Hangover 

We watched The Hangover on the coach on the way to Las Vegas to get hyped. While we had a much tamer trip compared to the blokes on that Bachelor party, half the fun of being in Vegas was strutting around Caesar’s Palace like Alan with his purse to try and find the places Bradley Cooper graced with his hunky little blue-eyed presence.

the hangover GIF

Forrest Gump

Look, Forrest runs almost everywhere in the States so this one may be cheating. He starts running from his home in Alabama and keeps running all the way to the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Pier before turning around and running to the opposite coast. But as I strolled under the sign instead, I couldn’t help but give the accent a crack. Me and Jehnnay goes togethur like peas and carrots. Good, eh?

The Princess Diaries 

San Francisco was great. It had cool vibes, killer food and plenty to do. But you better believe I spent most of my free time blasting “Miracles Happen (When You Believe)” and trying to live my best Princess-of-Genovia life. I walked a zillion steps to find Musée Mécanique, a cute antique arcade.

This creepy lady is burned into my brain from the movie and now real-life…

Remember Julie Andrews arm wrestling old mate? She won (of course) and my weak ass last lost, but hey, I still feel like a Queen after touching the same hand she did.

Mrs Doubtfire 

Another San Fran special! The Mrs Doubtfire house is a legit location you can search up on Uber and get dropped right to (trust me, you need to because the hills are steeper than Sydney rentals). Following Robin Williams‘ tragic death in  2014, fans used this house as a place to lay flowers and commemorate him.

Parts of the interior of this house were even used in the film. Sadly, they did not let me and my broom enter to recreate this moment…


That’s right, the 2006 animated masterpiece Cars made the list. Sue me.

So, obviously I couldn’t visit an animation, but our tour made a special stop in this tiny town on Route 66 because it was one of the inspirations for Radiator Springs in the movie. Naturally, we were stoked and got to see Mater IRL!

idk about you but it looks like Lightning McQueen is tryna Ka Chow me with those eyes

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Forgot the wife and the cowboy hat…

The Grand Canyon is a stunning place. It truly takes your breath away (the altitude!) especially when you see the spot where Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen Griswold (Beverly D’Angelo) stood outside the El Tovar Hotel and shoved the kids to the side. You can stay at that same hotel! All I kept thinking while there was how Clark got it bang-on — it really is “the biggest damn hole in the world”.

If you’re keen to hit these same movie hotspots, this Contiki trip heads to all of the above locations (and more) in just eleven days. There’s even real sightseeing, too!