Plenty of vacation ideas across the map have caught 15 seconds of fame in movies, but these OPAL destinations figured front and center in classic films.
Photo © Alcon Entertainment
Great Expectations [Sarasota, FL]
By the late 1990s, John Ringling’s Ca’ d’Zan was in such disrepair from lack of funding that it made the perfect location for the remake of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, as Miss Havisham’s (her character was renamed Dora Dinsmoor for the 1998 film) decrepit mansion. Ca d’Zan, translated as “House of John,” captures the luxury and wealth of the 1920s with its Venetian Gothic architecture inspired by Italian palazzos. Touring it today, you’ll see lavish paintings, an extensive china collection, crystal chandeliers, and an Aeolian organ with 2,289 pipes.
Where to Stay The Resort at Longboat Key Club
Dolphin Tale [Clearwater Beach, FL]
Walk the scenes of Dolphin Tale and meet its star Winter where the 2011 film was shot, inside the vast Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This tale of a disabled dolphin fighting for survival after losing her tail in a crab trap has served as a symbol of courage and perseverance for many. At the museum, you’ll not only learn firsthand the inspirational tale of Winter but see behind-the-scenes exhibits with props from the movie and rebuilt scenes you can walk around and explore.
Where to Stay Sandpearl Resort
Caddy Shack [Boca Raton, FL]
The area around Boca Raton and Delray Beach was a natural fit for a golf-focused film with its luscious green landscapes and average temperature perched in the mid-70s. Take a swing at the area’s golf scene with a stop at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club, where the famous dinner and dancing scene – when Rodney Dangerfield’s character insulted more than his fair share of club members – was filmed. Less than 30 miles south, the Rolling Hills Golf Club (now the Grande Oaks Golf Club) served as the location for most of the exterior scenes with its rolling hills and Spanish moss–draped oaks.