The Shire from Lord of the Rings
The Shire used to be the best-kept secret of Middle Earth, but tourists have been flocking there lately because of their famous “second breakfasts.” Even still, there are lots of must-sees for first-time visitors. Join the Hobbits in a dance of the jig, but try to avoid stepping on their big hairy feet. Resist the urge to try on any rings, no matter how tempting that may be, since it could transform you from the inside out. It’s not worth leaving the Shire for any quests to Mordor; it’s wrought with deadly predators from the underground and takes a tremendous amount of time to get there.
The Weasley Family Home from Harry Potter
Instead of the spooky Black House with the fly-by-night guests and their cantankerous house elf, stay at the Weasley Family Home, a charming seven-floor respite in the gorgeous countryside of Ottery St. Catchpole. Explore the quaint and thrifty rebuilt home that was once burned to the ground by the Death Eaters when they tried to murder Harry Potter. Be sure to check out the peaceful hidden orchard that doubles as a Quidditch pitch. Keep an eye out for those frisky garden gnomes and watch your fingers: their teeth are razor sharp.
Endor from Star Wars
If you’re only able to spend a few days here, Endor is your best option. It allows for a quick day trip to the Sanctuary and a visit with the rambunctious Ewoks in a rainforest paradise, lush with greenery and awash with waterfalls. Relax in the clearing and mingle with the locals as they perform some catchy music. You may even get a glimpse of those who have passed on as you experience their world’s profoundly religious culture. Remain as friendly as possible; even though they’re undeniably cute, Ewoks set violently elaborate traps and sometimes attempt to barbecue unwanted newcomers.
The Yellow Brick Road from Wizard of Oz
For this gloriously colorful adventure, walking the yellow brick road to Emerald City is a must. Avoid the poppy fields—although completely legal here, there’s no need to risk falling asleep on your journey. You’ll waste valuable time and could miss out on a cute Munchkin experience or get snatched up by some frightening flying monkeys, which could ruin the entire trip. Carry a full pail of water in case you encounter an evil witch. If things go awry, legend has it you can use it to melt her.
Westeros from Game of Thrones
There seems to be a never-ending list of places to experience when visiting Westeros, so you can’t go wrong as long as you aim for a summer visit. Winters here are absolutely brutal. Throughout your trip, you’ll encounter many well-preserved and battle-scarred houses and hopefully some mystical beings. You’ll definitely want to follow the local rules closely as some of the fines and punishments are more severe than you can imagine. The views will provide everything you’d expect in a harsh medieval landscape: picturesque backdrops, fiery dragons, and horrific ritualistic executions. Wear comfortable shoes.
The Chocolate Factory from Willy Wonka
Although it’s cheap, avoid staying at the cramped and dingy Bucket Family House since you’ll be stuck sharing beds with a few elderly guests. Even though tickets are notoriously hard to come by, a visit to the factory is highly recommended. The extremely limited entrance policy also ensures crowds and lines are kept at a minimum. Don’t miss the Wonkatania Boat Ride. This terrifying experience is worth the price of admission alone. Keep an open mind on the factory tour, and you’ll happen upon chocolate rivers, impossibly small elevators, and little street performers that will sing preachy yet campy songs. Not at all kid-friendly.