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15 Shows That Give You Major Wanderlust

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During my trip to Mexico last year, a waiter at a Spanish restaurant started questioning me about my hometown of Chicago. From there, he began asking if I’d ever been to New York or Las Vegas and wanted to know what these cities were like because he’d “only seen them on TV.”
 
His statement struck me because, in an age where wanderlust is so real, it didn’t occur to me that some people never had the opportunity to venture outside of their hometowns. Some people weren’t as fortunate as I was to whip out a passport and go anywhere; some only saw the rest of the world through television shows.
 
In fact, I’ve traveled to many cities — DC, New Orleans, LA, to name a few — simply because I’d fallen in love with how they were portrayed on my favorite show. I loved feeling like I was on set with my favorite characters or experiencing a taste of their lifestyle. 
 
In the wake of coronavirus when traveling has become limited and almost impossible with many border closures, this list of show locations that have inspired me to travel hits a bit differently. It’s almost like a “bucket list” of places I’d love to check out once the pandemic is finally over and we can return to our normal lives.
 
Some locations and popular and immediately recognizable, so much so that they even have dedicated tours of their picturesque filming locations. Others fly a little more under the radar, but are so beautiful, you don’t even need the magic of films and television to fall in love!
 
Did you ever travel anywhere after finding inspiration from a TV show? Let us know in the comments!  

 

1. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

If you want to live like a Westerosi — without the gory battles, of course — listen up. Game of Thrones uses some of the most beautiful places in the world as their backdrop. The medieval look is very much alive in Europe.

Sure, many scenes are shot inside, but those exterior shots are 100% real and can be found in places like Northern Ireland (Pyke), Iceland, Croatia and Malta (King’s Landing, Dorne, or Slaver’s Bay). Since so many fans travel to these locations for this very reason, you can easily find a map and plan out a whole “GOT-inspired” trip and possibly even recreate your favorite scenes.

 

2. Sex and the City

Sex and the City
New York City is synonymous with Sex and the City, but so many other shows use the city’s bustling and lavish personality. Gossip Girl, Will & Grace, The Bold Type, and Broad City have all given us an idea of what the Big Apple, and surrounding neighborhoods like the Bronx and Brooklyn, are all about. Fans are so inspired, they often make pit stops in front of Carrie Bradshaw’s house and take fashionable photos on the Met Gala steps just like Blair Waldorf.
 
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3. Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies
You’ve probably never even heard of Monterey, but after watching Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley sip on coffee at Old Fisherman’s Wharf (in reality, it is an Italian and Seafood restaurant called Paluca Trattoria) and run at Lovers Point Beach, it’s most likely on your list of “places to visit.” In fact, you were probably already convinced by the scenery from the Bixby Creek Bridge in the opening credits.

4. Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
The period drama revolves around staff at Downtown Abbey in 20th century England. Though you can’t travel back in time, you can visit the UK to check out the family’s Georgian Country House and the lush grounds and gardens. Grab some crumpets and tea while you are there, and maybe even bring a fancy umbrella to shield you from the scorching sun!
 
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5. Portlandia

Portlandia
If you are after a quirky and cool city, look no further than Portlandia. The series highlights and then underlines the eccentricity of the city by focusing on the charming intricacies like bookstores, concert venues, and chic eateries. I bet you can get some delicious hipster coffee and take some wicked Instagram photos during your trip, so add don’t exclude this one from your bucket list.

6. Outlander

Outlander
Though you can’t travel to 18th century Scotland, you can still travel present-day Scotland, which is just as picturesque thanks to all of the historical buildings. Add 14-century Doune Castle (Castle Leoch), 15th-century Blackness Castle (Fort William), and Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison) to your itinerary, and you’ll feel like you’re a main character in the supernatural historical romance.
 
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7. The Originals

The Originals

The Original vampires call New Orleans home and utilize every corner of the ancient city. The backdrop plays an important role in supernatural terms, but it’s also visually stunning. I traveled to NOLA because I fell in love with it as it was portrayed on the series, and as I was walking through the French Quarter, I felt the spirit of the ancestors taking hold and vampires breathing down my neck. True story.

Sadly, it wasn’t a pristinely dressed Mikealson. To really get the full experience, stay at The Hotel Royal (Marcel’s place of residence), stop by St. Louis Cathedral (known as St. Anne’s on the series), visit Lafayette Cemetary, and hit up a voodoo shop with hopes of casually running into Freya.

 

8. Hawaii Five-0

Hawaii Five-0
If you have to fight crime, why not do it on the sunny beaches of Hawaii? Let’s just hope your vacation is more relaxing than what you often see on the show. If you’re a super fan, there’s actually a guided tour that leads you to iconic attractions from the series like the Hawaii Five-O headquarters and Punchbowl. They even recreate some memorable scenes!
 

9. The Affair

The Affair

Montauk is labeled as the Hamptons without the crowd which makes it the perfect place for an affair. The scenery in this show is so vivid, you can almost taste the water and you’ve probably found yourself looking at hotels on multiple occasions.

It’s a good thing it’s also a fantastic beach getaway with plenty of water activities, boutique shops and restaurants. Affair fans can specifically check out Turtle Cove, The Montauk Playhouse Community Center and the Viking Dock.

10. The Chicago Trilogy

The Chicago Triology
Dick Wolf brought a whole series of Chicago shows to NBC, and if that isn’t enough to make you want to travel to the Windy City, I don’t know what is. You have to look past all the crime highlighted in the episodes to find the real beauty in the bustling city lined with skyscrapers! If you ever roll through, you can check out Cinespace which is the lot where all the shows, including Empire, are filmed. Also add Grant Park, Navy Pier, Molly’s Bar (Lottie’s Pub in real life), and PD’s District 21 (UIC Police Headquarters).
 
 

11. Scandal

Scandal
If you are a fan of Scandal, you’ve probably wanted to power strut all over DC in a peacoat and Louboutins like power player Olivia Pope. Yes, I know most of it is filmed in LA, but I’ll shamelessly admit that the ABC show inspired me to take a weekend getaway to DC. And in the midst of emulating Liv’s power prance all over town, I actually fell in love with the city and all of its political history.

12. Timeless

Timeless
Sadly, you cannot actually travel back in time, but this series really makes you want to build your own time machine and see history unravel before your eyes. Just remember, you can always travel to all of the destinations the Lifeboat takes them to, just in the present day. Don’t forget to check out some of the historical monuments and sights that have been preserved throughout time!
 

See the full list at TV Fanatic! 


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

What to Watch

Madelaine Petsch’s ‘Hotel for the Holidays’ Is a Gem Among Cliché Films

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Madelaine Petsch's Christmas Movie 'Hotel for the Holidays' Is an Absolute Gem Among Cliche Films

There are a lot of Christmas movies out there, which is why it’s important to make the right choice this holiday season. After all, no one has the time to waste over two+ hours on a bad movie. 

At the top of your list should be Hotel for the Holidays, a rom-com that offers a refreshing take on a festive genre that oftentimes lacks creativity simply because the forces behind the scenes know it will make money regardless as everyone longs for a slice of familiarity and comfort around the holidays.

There’s plenty of Christmas magic (it must’ve slipped through the cracks) in Hotel for the Holidays, and it sneaks up on you—and Madelaine Petsch’s character, Georgia—in the best possible way. It’s Amazon Freevee’s first original holiday flick, and hopefully, not the last. 

The plot is rather simple on the surface, but it isn’t predictable as with other holiday rom-coms.

Here’s the gist: Georgia is a young and ambitious hotel manager at the historic Hotel Fontaine (it gives The Plaza Hotel vibes from Home Alone 2), which attracts an eclectic bunch of guests, including some heartbroken singles, an infamous popstar, a European ex-prince looking for a taste of the real world, and more. They all arrive in New York City for the holidays looking for an escape from the norm, and Georgia is determined to give it to them. However, she also has her own plans and goals that get her into a bit of a love triangle with the hotel’s chef, Luke (Mesa Massoud from the live-action Aladdin), and the ex-prince, Raymond (Max Lloyd Jones from Book of Boba Fett). It also stars Kayleigh Shikanai (American Gods) as Pandora, Jami Belushi (According to Jim) as Kiki, Neil Crone (It) as Milton, and Jayne Eastwood (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as Florence.

Madelaine Petsch's Christmas Movie 'Hotel for the Holidays' Is an Absolute Gem Among Cliche Films

Credit: Amazon Freevee

Pretty early into the film, it’s obvious how Georgia’s romantic life will resolve itself, which allows the film to dig into other captivating subplots that are positively unexpected. Unlike other holiday films, Georgia values herself beyond a romantic partner, which, right off the bat, is a breath of fresh air. 

The supporting cast plays an integral part in the film, right down to the chef’s best friend/fellow chef and the janitorial staff. They may not be the sole focus of the series, but the team behind the rom-com found a way to involve them in a way that’s natural and easy to keep up with. Pretty soon, you find yourself rooting for the happiness of everyone at Hotel Fontaine—the staff and the guests.

The acting is also great. It’s just the right amount of feel-good so it never feels forced, nor do the character’s choices seem questionable. It’s all believable within the world they’ve created, aside from the scene where they are dining on a rooftop in the dead of a New York City winter without jackets or even sweaters. How are they not cold? As for the few over-the-top performances and characters, well, they also work—the prince’s bodyguard (AJ Zoldy) is a delight.

If I’m being perfectly honest, the magical thing about the film is that it’s a love letter to the community of people you surround yourself with: your found family.

The film doesn’t just settle for telling a story about two people who finally admit that they love each other because that’s tired and expected. Instead, it recognizes that romance comes in all shapes and sizes—in romantic partners, in co-workers, in friends, and even in new acquaintances that pass through your life for a brief moment (or stay awhile). 

Madelaine Petsch's Christmas Movie 'Hotel for the Holidays' Is an Absolute Gem Among Cliche Films

Credit: Amazon Freevee

The storylines come together seamlessly, and the themes of belonging and acceptance—in addition to staying true to yourself, finding the inspiration to pursue your goals and ambitions, and acknowledging that it’s ok to move and find happiness on your own terms, even if it doesn’t always please everyone—help the film stand out among the other cliche seasonal offerings.

Most importantly, Petsch shines… and it’s so deserved. The film allows her to show off her range of acting chops that, sadly, get stifled on Riverdale. The CW series may have been her mainstream big break, but it stopped working in her favor a long time ago, so it’s exciting to see her take on new projects and characters. 

Of all the Christmas films that I’ve seen in 2022 thus far, Hotel for the Holidays is one of the best. 

Check it out for yourself when it premieres on Dec. 2 on Amazon’s Freevee. 

Read On:

Your Guide to All the Must-Watch Christmas Movies of 2022

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Where Was ‘Falling for Christmas’ Filmed?


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How to Watch All the New Year’s Eve 2023 Specials

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How to Watch All the New Year's Eve 2023 Specials

It’s almost time to ring in 2023, and if your idea of a perfect New Year’s Eve includes sitting at home and watching all the action from the comfort of your couch, we got you! 

There are a handful of specials to count down till midnight and welcome the new year!

Check them out below:

 

Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest

Join Ryan Seacrest for a classic. His co-hosts have already been announced—Billy Porter in New Orleans, Ciara at Disneyland, D-Nice in Los Angeles, Jessie James Decker will crown the Powerball First Millionaire of 2023, and Liza Koshy will also be on hand in Times Square. Tune in on ABC starting at 8/7 PM.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (@rockineve)

 

New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash 

Live music, fireworks, Nashville Music Note Drop, and more live from Nashville! Brooks & Dunn, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Zac Brown Band will be among the country music stars helping to ring in the new year, while Jimmie Allen and Elle King host alongside Rachel Smith.

It will air Saturday, December 31 from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT and 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. ET/PT on CBS and available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.

How to Watch All the New Year's Eve 2023 Specials

 

 A Toast to 2022!

The NBC special takes a look back at the moments that we’ll never forget from 2022 in this two-hour special.

 

Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party

Miley Cyrus is getting an assist from country music icon and her godmother Dolly Parton this NYE! She replaces Pete Davidson, who co-hosted last year. The extravaganza will feature a star-studded lineup of performances and special guests, which will be announced very soon.

It will air live on NBC from Miami on Saturday, Dec. 31 from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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9 TV Shows to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner

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9 TV Shows to Watch After Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time for reconnecting with friends and family and indulging in some delicious meals. 

But after all the turkey, sides, and pie is cleared off the plate, the only acceptable activity is binge-watching some feel-good TV shows. 

Here are some post-Thanksgiving dinner show suggestions:

 

Virgin River

You’ll be just as surprised as Mel to fall in love with the picturesque town of Virgin River. Come for the views, stay for Jack. 

 

Hart of Dixie

Dr. Zoe Hart arrives in Alabama looking for a fresh start and learns that the Southern way of living might actually be what’s best for her. 

 

Gilmore Girls

An unbreakable mother and daughter bond, a charming town that would make any Lifetime movie jealous… plus, an unspoken love for coffee? Say no more.

 

Selena + Chef

You might know her as a Disney Channel actress and pop star, but now, she’s adding chef to her resume. And since Thanksgiving is all about food, this is one show you don’t want to pass up. 

 

The Cleaning Lady

You might think it’s odd that a mafia crime drama made the list, but at its core, the series is about family and how far two dedicated and loving moms would go for their family. It’s a thrill from beginning to end! 

 

Walker

The modern-day update to the Chuck Norris classic hones in on family above everything, with a side of roundhouse kicks. 

 

A Million Little Things

A group from Boston bond under the unlikeliest of circumstances and get a much-needed wake-up call following the death of a close friend. 

 

La Brea

Though it falls into the “sci-fi mystery” category, La Brea hinges on a family determined to find their way back to each other despite all the obstacles standing in their way and all the sacrifices needed to be made.

 

Dream Home Makeover

If there’s ever a time to get inspired for a home makeover, it’s after the holidays (and during Black Friday when everything is on sale!) And the McGee family is the cherry on top! 

 

This Is Us

This is… a no-brainer. No show captures the essence of what it means to be a complicated, loving, flawed, and fulfilled family more than this NBC drama.

 

Angel the Series: Why The Series is The King of Found Family Shows

27 TV Characters Who Would Cook a Mean Thanksgiving Dinner


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