Visit These Filming Locations on Your Next Hawaii Vacation

It’s no surprise that Hawaii is a popular place to shoot movies and TV shows. Its natural beauty and vivid colors really shine on big and small screens. Plus, when a film crew goes to the Hawaiian Islands, everyone gets to enjoy a tropical paradise.

Are you heading to the Aloha State soon? If so, you might want to add a couple of the locales below to your itinerary. They’re all gorgeous spots, and they may allow you to relive favorite film and television moments.

1. Manawaiopuna Falls

When you’re exploring Kauai, which is nicknamed the Garden Isle, you may feel as though you’re in the presence of dinosaurs. After all, both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were partly filmed on this island.

Specifically, the filmmakers used the astonishing Manawaiopuna Falls as a backdrop. It’s situated in Hanapepe Valley, which is in the southern part of the island near the town of Eleele. These days, many people refer to this waterfall as Jurassic Falls.

This majestic waterfall is located in a lush rainforest, and it’s 360 feet tall.

Jurassic Falls is located on private property. However, you can get amazing views of this waterfall if you take a helicopter tour like the one offered by Jack Harter.

In addition, Island Helicopters, another local company, has the sole rights to land its copters beside Manawaiopuna Falls. Imagine the Instagramming opportunities!

2. Kipu Ranch

On film, Kauai’s Kipu Ranch is where the intrepid Indiana Jones swung to safety at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. This ranch played a pivotal role in The Descendants, a 2011 drama starring George Clooney. And, in 1991’s Hook, it doubled as Neverland.

Kipu Ranch stretches across 3,000 acres in southeastern Kauai. It’s been a cattle ranch since 1872, and the only way you can visit it is in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

If you’re craving a Kipu Ranch excursion, Kipu Ranch Adventures is a terrific tour company. It debuted in 1999, and it prioritizes safety and environmental responsibility. Its most popular tour lasts about three hours.

Note that thrilling zipline trips are also available at this location.

3. Turtle Bay Resort

Oahu’s North Shore is a magnet for surfers; its waves are incredible. Its hotels are no less spectacular, and one of the most renowned is Turtle Bay Resort. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth a visit as you tour the island. In fact, it’s only a 45-minute drive from Honolulu International Airport.

Since it opened in 1972, movie and TV directors have loved Turtle Bay Resort for the same reasons tourists have loved it. Its property and the land surrounding it offer great variety: jungles, beaches, forests, and more. Not to mention, the onsite golf course is first-rate.

Among Turtle Bay Resort’s many production credits are the movies: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Blue Crush, Along Came Polly, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

4. Kualoa Ranch

Located on Oahu’s eastern coast, Kualoa Ranch is another cattle ranch that keeps attracting the entertainment industry. It’s not called the Backlot of Hawaii for nothing.

Kualoa Ranch is a wildlife refuge as well. It takes up 4,000 acres, and it boasts a beach with white sand, a zipline, and a jungle. It also has an eatery, a shop, and a visitors’ center.

The number of movies that have been made there is staggering. An extremely abbreviated list of those titles would include: A Very Brady Sequel, George of the Jungle, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, You, Me and Dupree, and Kong: Skull Island.

Two of the best ways to see Kualoa Ranch is by ATV and atop a horse. Conveniently, the ranch offers both ATV and horseback tours. They run every day of the year except Christmas and New Year’s Day.

5. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Two of the biggest stars of the last 100 years made films at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: Elvis and Godzilla. In fact, in a 2014 epic, Godzilla brought down the house there — literally. He destroyed one of this resort’s towers.

Decades earlier, in 1961, Elvis Presley made Blue Hawaii at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This charming musical was the King’s first film after serving in the military. It was the movie that gave the world one of the most enduring Elvis songs: “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” And Blue Hawaii was one of Elvis’ biggest hits at the box office.

These days, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is as romantic as ever. It offers guests a salt water lagoon, five pools, water slides, a luau, elegant shops and restaurants, a camp for children, a large fitness center, and a spa.

In short, any trip to Hawaii is sure to be enchanting. However, when you combine the state’s natural wonders with Hollywood magic, the resulting vacation will be absolutely unforgettable.

Theodore Trimmer /



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