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Orlando, which has earned the nickname “The City Beautiful,” could easily be renamed “The City Cinematic.” After all, hundreds of movies and TV shows have been shot in and around the Central Florida spot. While the area’s theme parks certainly provide a colorful backdrop, they are hardly the only aspects of the city’s landscape to make it to the screen. Here are a few of the more noteworthy productions to have been filmed in the area:

  • Sisters (2015) – Two sisters are summoned home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell the family house. Looking to recapture their glory days, they throw one final high school-style party for their classmates, which turns into a cathartic rager – something that a bunch of ground-down adults really need. Starring besties (and frequent co-stars) Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the film was largely filmed in New York – yet includes scenes shot on International Drive and at Orlando International Airport.
  • My Girl (1991) – A young girl, on the threshold of her teen years, finds her life turning upside-down – yet finds comfort in the companionship of an unlikely friend. Best known to movie buffs as “the one where Macaulay Culkin dies,” the film also starred Anna Chlumsky – who became an “overnight” star 20 years later thanks to her role in the TV series “Veep.” “My Girl” was set in Florida and filmed in various locations around the state, including Orlando, Bartow, Sanford, Plant City and Ocoee.
  • Monster (2003) – Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, said to be America’s first female serial killer, the film won an Oscar for star Charlize Theron. Although the movie is largely set in and filmed in Daytona Beach, where Wuornos was a prostitute, additional scenes were shot in Orlando and Kissimmee.
  • The Perfect Storm (2000) – Based on the book by Sebastian Junger, this true-life drama details the events of an October 1991 storm in the North Atlantic – a killer storm caused by a confluence of weather events – that claimed the swordfishing boat Andrea Gail, and the lives of all the men aboard. The film, which stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Diane Lane, includes scenes that were shot at Universal Studios in Orlando.
  • Jurassic Park III (2001) – A sequel that did not involve the original film’s writers or director (though Sam Neill and Laura Dern do reprise their roles), “Jurassic Park III” boasts more incredible dinosaur effects, but didn’t do half the box office. While much of this flick was shot at Universal Studios in California, some scenes were filmed at Universal Studios in Orlando.
  • Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – A remake of the Frank Sinatra heist picture, done with classic cool by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and a galaxy of A-list stars, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia. It’s a fun load of twists and turns as a gang of 11 thieves mastermind the biggest score in history – robbing three Las Vegas casinos (including the MGM Grand, pictured) at once! Though the picture is vintage Hollywood with a Vegas flavor, scenes of casino interiors and the vault were shot at Universal Studios and Infinite Horizon Studios in Orlando.
  • Minority Report (2002) – In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder. An under-appreciated gem from director Steven Spielberg (and the inspiration for the current TV series), “Minority Report” featured Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell and plenty of dazzling special effects. And just like “Ocean’s Eleven,” it was filmed partially at Universal Studios and Infinite Horizon Studios in Orlando.
  • The Waterboy (1998) – A popular Adam Sandler comedy, “The Waterboy” tells the story of Bobby Boucher, the waterboy for a college football team who discovers he has a unique tackling ability and becomes part of the team. In addition to Sandler, this Florida-set sports movie stars Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler. It was shot in various locations around the Sunshine State, including the “big game” (the Bourbon Bowl), which was filmed at Orlando’s Citrus Bowl.

To learn more about Orlando, visit our website at www.taketwonights.com. For help discovering the city that Hollywood loves to visit, drop us a line at info@taketwonights.com. To explore and get additional information about all of our film-worthy destinations, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Valdosta is known for a lot of things: For example, it’s the Azalea City, home of an annual azalea festival that draws visitors from around the world. It’s also Title Town USA, home to some of the winningest high school and college sports programs in the nation. But what people may not know about this city on the Georgia-Florida border is that it’s home to a surprisingly diverse array of cuisines – among them Spanish/Cuban, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Korean and more.

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The Musicmakers of Toronto

  April 5, 2016  |    David Abolafia

Toronto is the fourth most populous city in North America – and a prominent center for the arts. Its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, are key attractions to the over 25 million tourists that visit the city each year. One of the city’s most prominent contributions to arts and culture is its music scene, which has brought forth and fostered performers and bands across a variety of genres. Some of the most famous include:

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Myrtle Beach is a major tourist destination along the South Atlantic seaboard of the United States, widely known for its wide beaches, large selection of challenging golf links, excellent seafood restaurants and outlet-style shopping activities. It is set at the center of a 60-mile long chain of tranquil, sandy beaches known as the “Grand Strand,” and is only a couple hours’ drive from such historical day-trip destinations as Charleston, S.C. and Wilmington, N.C. Here are a few fun facts you may not know about this popular spot:

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Take a look at a map of the United States and you’ll find an abundance of cities and towns named for the people who helped shape the nation through its early history. One such place is Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, whose founding father built a legacy that is remembered fondly to this day.

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Las Vegas is a city that’s had an incredibly colorful history. It has been the setting for numerous movies and television shows, and is a go-to destination when people long for wild adventure. Still, there’s much more to Sin City than you may realize. Here’s an assortment of fun and interesting facts about Vegas:

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Stroudsburg: It’s a Natural

  March 22, 2016  |    David Abolafia

For visitors and residents alike, spending time in Stroudsburg can be a terrific way to get back to nature – but not always in the ways that you might think. Sure, you can spend time outdoors in the winter, skiing to your heart’s content. But what about the rest of the year? Here are a few “natural” suggestions to inspire you to explore this eastern Pennsylvania paradise.

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A trip to Gatlinburg is a journey into the American South – especially when you sample the local cuisine. The area’s restaurants specialize in the sort of substantial, stick-to-your-ribs fare for which Southern cooking is widely known – a lot of it grilled or smoked. Here’s a succulent sample of our favorite stops, in alphabetical order:

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The Red Rock Formations of Sedona

  March 14, 2016  |    David Abolafia

Red rock formations serve as the background for virtually every image of Sedona, Arizona, and with good reason. These incredible natural wonders – largely composed of sandstone – are breathtaking sights to behold.

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