Movie Quest 2008
Move over Oscar! We have our own thoughts about which movies won our hearts in 2008. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 10 most travel-inspiring movies—and how you, too, can have cinematic moments on your next trip.
Bear boot camp Animator Rodolphe Guenoden, who has practiced martial arts for 20 years, held workshops in the DreamWorks studios so his coworkers could experience what it was like to become a kung fu warrior. To see some masters at work, martial artists give two-hour kung fu demonstrations in Hong Kong's Kowloon Park every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (discoverhongkong.com, free).
7. FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
Dumped by his longtime girlfriend, Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) heads to Oahu to mend his broken heart—only to find his ex (Kristen Bell) shacked up with another guy at the hotel.
Paradise lost Peter's idyllic vacation at the Turtle Bay Resort, on Oahu's North Shore, is ruined when he bumps into his former flame and her new beau at the resort's romantic, open-air restaurant, Ola, and at Turtle Bay's oceanfront luau, held on Friday nights (808/293-6000, turtlebayresort.com, from $230).
Hawaii on high On a morning hike to a 30-foot-high precipice overlooking the island's northeastern coast, Peter is persuaded by an island girl, Rachel (Mila Kunis), to take more risks in his life, starting with jumping off the cliff into the ocean. The scene was filmed at Laie Point State Wayside, where locals take the big leap at their own risk (hawaiistateparks.org, free). "Shooting that was wild," says location manager Art Rivers. "It was the last week of the school year, when teenagers have a tradition of jumping off the cliff, so we had to keep dozens of them back while we did the scene!"
Wave runner The North Shore is known for its big surf in the winter months, but the rest of the year it's calm enough for hapless beginners like Peter. His attempts to catch a wave were shot at Haleiwa Alii Beach, but you can also learn to get the hang of things in the waters off Turtle Bay through the Hans Hedemann Surf School (808/924-7779, hhsurf.com, two-hour lesson from $75).
6. VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
When Woody Allen started writing the script for his latest comedy, one thing was nonnegotiable: It had to be set in sultry Barcelona. The resulting madcap movie chronicles the escapades of American tourists Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) with ladies' man Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem).
Spanish side trip When the girls first meet Juan Antonio, the sweet-talking artist convinces Cristina and a hesitant Vicky to accompany him on a weekend getaway to the Asturian town of Oviedo, in northern Spain. Juan Antonio flies his friend's tiny aircraft through a turbulent storm, but Iberia offers daily nonstop service from Barcelona (800/772-4642, iberia.com, from $153). While in Oviedo, the trio takes a tour of San Julián de los Prados, one of many well-preserved pre-Romanesque churches in the region (011-34/607-353-999, $1.75).
Outsider art Vicky and Juan Antonio share a steamy night together in Oviedo, but once they're back in Barcelona, he starts dating Cristina. A hurt Vicky runs into the lothario at Parc Güell, a park on the outskirts of town landscaped with Antoni Gaudí's whimsical sculptures, including a dragon fountain in front of which Vicky and Juan Antonio exchange words (011-34/93-413-2400, free).
Antique amusement When Vicky's fiancé shows up in Barcelona, Cristina arranges an outing for both couples to the 107-year-old Tibidabo Amusement Park, which has a roller coaster that resembles an old locomotive, a vintage Ferris wheel, and panoramic views of the city and the surrounding coastline (011-34/93-211-7942, tibidabo.es, $35).
5. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN
New Zealand, Poland, and Slovenia
The Pevensie clan—Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Peter (William Moseley), and Susan (Anna Popplewell)—returns to Narnia only to find its creatures have been forced into hiding by the Telmarines. So the children set out to help Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) reclaim his throne—a spectacular journey that was filmed in four countries.
Tunnel vision One minute the kids are in a London Tube station, and the next they're emerging from a rock arch onto a white-sand beach in Narnia. The arch is part of Cathedral Cove, a marine reserve on New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula. Local outfitter Mercury Bay Seafaris offers boat tours to the reserve, along with the other North Island film location (011-64/7-866-3910, glassbottomboatwhitianga.co.nz, from $44).