May 29th 2020

Walking in America, the beautiful!

Here are more of our “Dream Now, Visit Later” top picks of movies, TV shows and books – and this time we are in the USA.

So very many wonderful opportunities to see America in all its glory until we can visit again.

Wayfaring in Maine

New England - Maine Coast

Shutter Island

We know the Maine coast is gorgeous, but it does have a bit of a reputation as the backdrop of countless thrillers and horror films! Possibly thanks to Maine-born Stephen King, who sets many of his novels in the state’s quintessential small towns!

For instance, Martin Scorsese used Otter Cliff in our favorite Acadia National Park to film the cliff scenes in the tense drama Shutter Island, which was set off the coast of Massachusetts.

But fear not, the New England coastline also stars in plenty of much less dark entertainment!

Hope Springs

Hope Springs, the 2012 comedy drama starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell, is set in large part in a coastal resort town in Maine, quite possibly Bar Harbor, our base for our Maine Coast Walk.

The Whales of August

The Whales of August is a 1987 film based on a play by David Berry and stars, wait for it: Bette Davis and Lillian Gish as elderly sisters! The film was shot on location on Maine's Cliff Island. The house still stands and is a popular subject of artists on the island.

The Weight of Water

Oscar nominated The Weight of Water (2002) starring Sean Penn and based on the bestselling novel by Anita Shreve, is set at a Maine lighthouse on the Isle of Shoals, which is off the coast of Kittery.

The Cider House Rules

A novel by John Irving and a 1999 movie, The Cider House Rules follows Homer Wells, who lives in a World War II era Maine orphanage run by a doctor who trained him, and his journey after leaving the orphanage. Each night before they go to sleep, Dr. Larch says to the boys, "Goodnight you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England."

Murder, She Wrote

On the small screen, who can forget Jessica Fletcher, mopping up after yet another capital crime, in Maine’s Cabot Cove in the long-running series Murder, She Wrote?

For readers:

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout is a delightful novel that brings Maine’s “Down-Easters” to life. Set in Crosby, Maine, this follows the life of Olive, a retired schoolteacher who is married to the man who runs the local pharmacy There’s also a four-hour TV mini-series based in the book.

The Lobster Coast by Colin Woodard is a fascinating cultural history of coastal Maine as seen through the lobstering industry.

Acadia National Park by Tom, Jr. Blagden collects a magnificent selection of photographs and essays to convey the best of the Maine wilderness: granite mountains, rugged coast, dazzling night skies and diverse animal and plant life.

Maine Coast

Walk Level 3

11-16 October 2020

18-23 July and 10-15 October 2021

New England - The Berkshires

The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts aren’t known as the Arts Capital of New England for nothing!

The Human Stain

The screenplay for The Human Stain (2000) was based on the acclaimed novel by Philip Roth and was set at fictional “Athena College,” described as a liberal arts institution in the Berkshires. This movie starred Anthony Hopkins, along with Nicole Kidman.

Feeling hungry? Head down to Theresa’s Stockbridge Café, formerly known as Alice’s Restaurant, made famous by Arlo Guthrie’s lyrics “you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant”.

New Tanglewood Tales

Look out for New Tanglewood Tales on YouTube. These videos follow the Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians on stage and off during a season at their summer home. Attending a concert at Tanglewood is a highlight of our Arts Walk in The Berkshires.

Norman Rockwell virtual Museum

Likewise, our visit to the Norman Rockwell museum. The website for this museum in Stockbridge includes digitized paintings and an 18-minute guided virtual tour of Rockwell’s studio, as well as other videos highlighting individual exhibits.

Berkshires Arts Walk

Walk Level 3

4-10 October 2020

11-17 July and 3-9 October 2021

New Mexico - the Land of Enchantment

Maybe it’s the remote, seemingly inhospitable look of its desert landscapes, the unusual, almost tangerine light across its open skies, or its sheer isolation, but there’s something that keeps bringing filmmakers back to New Mexico. The Hollywood Western found its spiritual home here.

High Noon

In High Noon the pioneering old west community is torn asunder by cowardice and self-interest. Good-guy sheriff Will Kane (Gary Cooper) must defend himself against black-hearted villains who are coming to kill him. The film’s most enduring image – of a sheriff’s star thrown into the New Mexico dust – says everything.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

In Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid director Sam Peckinpah evokes New Mexico’s storied and wild history, recalling a time before the territory joined the union.

The Man who Fell to Earth

David Bowie strides into the south-western desert looking every inch the alien in The Man who Fell to Earth. New Mexico looked suitably other-worldly in this and the surreal setting of White Sands was a stand-in for Newton’s home planet!

A train detour to Santa Fe led artist Georgia O’Keeffe to New Mexico by chance and she said: “There is so much more space between the ground and sky out here it is tremendous. I want to stay.

Georgia O'Keeffe's New Mexico - Tate Gallery virtual Tour

The UK’s Tate Galleries offer a virtual 360 tour of Georgia O'Keeffe's New Mexico and the ranch she made her home. (Best watched on your cell or tablet!)

For readers:

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides. A story of epic proportions - the American Army of the West and its decades-long battle with the Navajos. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the controversial frontiersman whose life ended in Taos, New Mexico.

New Mexico, Images of a Land and Its People. Foreword by Bill Richardson. Featuring 150 handsome color photographs, this compendium presents New Mexico’s diverse peoples (Paleo, Plains and Pueblo Indians, Hispanos and Anglos) and, of course, the state’s magnificent scenery.

Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico By Barbara Buhler Lynes. A catalogue of O’Keeffe paintings pairing 20 original images with modern photographs of the landscapes depicted by the curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.

New Mexico

Walk Level 3

13-19 June and 5-11 September 2021

Utah – an iconic landscape

Movie fans wandering some of Utah's iconic landscapes for the first time may get the feeling that they've been here before. Over the decades, the silver screen and television have featured Utah in more than 900 films for the silver screen and television.

ultimate sundance streaming watchlist

The Sundance Film Festival resides here – and by the way, there’s a terrific watchlist of movies to stream from every year of Sundance, which takes us to fabulous locations all over the US.


From the futurist HBO drama Westworld, to the iconic Monument Valley backdrop for John Ford’s classic The Searchers, here’s where the west was won!

We visit southwestern Utah to see the soaring cliffs of Zion National Park on our Walk in Utah and this scenic corner with its vermilion landscape has proved irresistible to directors over the years.

The Outlaw Josie Wales

We also make a stop in Kanab, which is like stepping on to a film set – and where classics such as The Outlaw Josie Wales and Gunsmoke were made.

For readers:

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey is a collection of stories about author’s life as a park ranger and conservationist in Utah’s beautiful desert.

In Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest photographer Jon Ortner explores the diverse canyon country of the Colorado Plateau, including Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion and Arches. The 200 color photographs are accompanied by quotations by authors and explorers.

The Grand Canyon Reader edited by Lance Newman, is a well-chosen pick from the accounts of early explorers, popular fiction and contemporary literature.


Walk Level 3

20-26 September 2020

30 May-5 June and 19-25 September 2021

Colorado – mountains and canyons

No surprise that Colorado features “the Hollywood of the Rockies”. Since 1925, nearly 30 films have shot on location in and around Durango. The dramatic and varying landscapes are unique assets that appeal to the film industry and tourists.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), we find Indy in many locations in the state - The desert train scene is the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Antonito. The circus train is on the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

The Shining

And The Shining, stars a memorable Jack Nicholson as the struggling writer who takes a job as the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, somewhere in the Colorado Rockies. Horror ensues. The Overlook was based on the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, which you can still visit today.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The classic Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969], is loosely based on the true story of Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh.

The movie is filmed in various parts of Colorado, including Telluride, where these famous outlaws robbed their first bank. Plenty of beautiful Colorado scenery and a feel for the Wild West history that still permeates the state.

For readers:

James Michener’s Centennial: A Novel is a mighty account of early settlers on the South Platte. It describes the creation of the fictional town of Centennial and provides a sweeping multi-century history of the geology, anthropology, and water and ranching politics of the region.

The Magnificent Mountain Women, Adventures in the Colorado Rockies by Janet Robertson is a collection of biographical stories based on the adventures of Colorado’s pioneering explorers, sportswomen, lady botanists and modern climbers - quite a colorful group!

Rocky Mountain National Park, The First 100 Years by Mary Taylor Young tells the history of the park from its first Ute and Arapaho inhabitants to the building of the park itself. Illustrated with more than 250 landscape images and historical photographs.


Walk Level 4

4-10 July 2021

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