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Travel Tip: Movie Tours

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Believe it or not, the release of the Lord of the Rings inspired tens of thousands of people to visit New Zealand, and to this day, the country is spending millions on movie-tourism promotions. Well, guess, what? I say if it gets you out there, there’s no problem with being inspired by a film. The trick is to personalize the experience so you’re not just following the crowd.

You’ll probably recognize the town of Matamata on New Zealand’s North Island, as the real-life Hobbit town. There are public tours, including those famous hobbit holes. But this area also has a number of working farms, and you can set up a farm-stay on top of the organized tour, to really immerse yourself in the local culture

A little closer to home, a company called On Location Tours showcases famous movie and TV sites throughout New York. But it’s not just Manhattan. They also go into Brooklyn to find those recognizable filming location, and even into New Jersey on a Sopranos-themed tour.

And if it’s really the movies that inspire you, San Francisco Movie Tours has an interesting way of doing it. Not only do they show you sites from classic films, but they actually play the movie clips of each location so you can relive the moments in real-time.

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