Scouting movie locations from your Santa Barbara vacation

Santa Barbara vacationers are often curious about movie locations, and for good reason. There are plenty of iconic Santa Barbara locations that appear in movies and TV shows. Read on to find out why our fair city is the choice of choice for so many popular productions and how you can identify and visit famous filming locations in and around Santa Barbara.

A large number of visitors feel a strong sense of familiarity or belonging the first time they explore Santa Barbara. We will not discount the claims of psychic powers or past life that lived on the American Riviera to anyone, but it is likely that more than 200 different films and TV shows have been shot in whole or in part here in the last 100 years.

Do not leave your holiday vacation looking for locations known on the silver screen until you have read the full list of the Santa Barbara Film Commission. You've probably seen at least one or more of these popular productions:

2009. It's complicated

2006. Kirabi Pirates III

2006 There will be blood

2006 Psych

2006. Bachelor

2006 Best Chef 2, Bravo

2005 Monk

2005. Oprah Winfrey Show

2004. the flight of Phoenix

2004. Monster-in-Law

2004 Sideways

2003 Hidalgo

2003 Seabiscuit

Sorority 2003 Life

2001. X-files

2000 Bedazzled

1999. Double Danger

Star Trekking in 1998: Uprising

1996. Good night long kisses

1996 GI Jane

1996 Face / Off

1995 Nixon

1994. A Walk in the Clouds

1994 Congo

1994. Young Indy / Hollywood Follies

1993. Pelican Short

1990 Rocketeer

1984 Scarface

1980. The postman always rings twice

1978 The Frisco Kid

1967. Graduates

1964. Batman pilot

1923 The Ten Commandments

The 1914 Pauline couples

It's complicated

The latest high-profile movie to come out of our region was the romantic comedy by Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin last year.

The film's director, Nancy Meyers, has chosen Santa Barbara for some reason that any tourist or home movie lover will be able to relate to. In an interview with Santa Barbara Magazine, Meyers said that "Santa Barbara felt right for so many reasons – natural beauty wherever you look, the state of mind I feel when I'm there, the serenity … I feel as close to a good life as you can get."

It Compitions is a wonderful movie that seems to portray its fair city to its best.

This is where the operative word seems. Most were recorded on a sound stage in Brooklyn in the middle of winter. Only three short scenes were actually shot here.

  • There is a scene where Jane runs through her Montecito neighborhood and her friend architect Adam gets in her car. It was actually filmed in her small town, as you can tell from the unique wooden street signs. If you want to take a walk in Janecim's Montecito shoes, stop by The Biltmore's The Four Seasons Resort, which may have been the inspiration for a hotel where Jane and her ex-husband had an abortion meeting.
  • When Jane is waiting for her therapist at the fictional Santa Barbara Medical Center, she is actually lurking at the back entrance of El Paseo to Anacapa Street, an open-air outdoor counter.
  • Although we have a dizzying array of Farmers Markets, one of Jane's stores is actually set up for her outside the 1920s Santa Barbara County Courtyard on Anapamu Street.

Unfortunately, there is no such place as Jane and a cute business bakery. The rally was built inside the Picnic House in Brooklyn. But hungry visitors will be able to find close facsimiles at Jeannine or Xanad (temporarily closed until April 2011 due to the fire) in Montecito or Downtown Renaud.

Off to the side

The Sideways wine tasting buddy picture was a sensation when it was released in 2004. Taken primarily in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley, it launched a whole new recognition for wines (just not Merlot!) From the area, and the cottage industry has grown. around people who wanted to follow in the footsteps of the film's questionable protagonists.

Fans of this movie are often looking for a "Sideways Map" to guide you through the car through movies. Many destinations even have a sideways logo. If you want to travel by bike, a Sideways bike map will help you find the pages.

At various locations in Santa Barbara

There are many local locations that appear in movies that are not even set in the area. This is because of the abundance of beautiful features in the area that blend so seamlessly with other locales.

  • Stearns Wharf is a 19th century landmark located at the bottom of State Street. It is the oldest operational dock on the West Coast and the second longest dock on the Pacific Coast, just under 2,000 meters long. In the 1940s actor James Cagney and his brothers were part owners of Stearns Wharf. He appeared in A Date with Judy and My Favorite Martian and the 1966 version of Batman. "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
  • State Street contains many famous landmarks. He has appeared in Cutter & # 39; s films Way and Steal Big, Steal a Little, among countless others.
  • Old Town Clock in State and Haley Streets is featured in the Pelican Brief.
  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Anacapa Street was also on Steal Big, Steal Little.
  • Santa Barbara Mission was at Sunset Boulevard and Cruel Intent 3.

Different locations in the Greater Santa Barbara area

There is so much more to this area than the pretty red rooftops downtown. One of the reasons why the region is so popular with filmmakers is its almost infinite variety.

  • Cold Spring Bridge – Steal Big, Steal A Little.
  • Lake Cachuma – The postman always rings twice
  • Gainey Vineyard – plaice and mice and men.
  • To downtown Los Olivos – Return to Mayberry.
  • Paradise Road – Seabed and Star Trails uprising.
  • Gaviota Coast – Spartan.
  • Gaviota Trestle – Mice and Men.
  • Gaviota Tunnel – pre-Bologna graduate thesis.
  • Dune Guadalupe – The Ten Commandments, Hidalgo, GI Jane, Pirates of the Caribbean III.
  • Santa Maria Airport – the rocks and the best years of our lives.
  • La Purisima Mission – plaice.
  • Jalam Road – A Walk in the Clouds.
  • Ranchland Surroundings – Mice and Men.

False Santa Barbara

Sometimes a production could be staged in Santa Barbara, but for whatever reason, they can't be filmed there. In that case, they can use several shots that establish the footage, such as the pier and the tower seen in the Psych TV series.

In the movie I Love You, a man is supposed to have a wedding scene at the fictional El Encanto Spa & Resort in Montecito. It was actually filmed at a private residence on the Pacific coast of the Pacific in Malibu. Sorry, the holiday concierge couldn't book you in El Encanto, but they will be able to find you a nice alternative!

Sometimes scenes with certain geographical freedoms are filmed. In Graduate City, the scene of Benjamin driving south to Santa Barbara shows his car going north through the Gaviota Tunnel, in the wrong direction. Not even the church he went to during his wedding was anywhere near it. It is actually located in La Verne, east of Los Angeles.

Television loves Santa Barbara

Moviemakers aren't the only people crazy about this space. Its glamor also awakens on the small screen. Countless TV shows were staged, had special episodes featured in, or did we just mention our name. There was even a nighttime drama in the 80s called Santa Barbara.

More recently, our fair city has been featured or mentioned in episodes of Gossip Girl, Entourage, Victorious, Beverly Hills 90210, The L Word, Baywatch, Melrose Place, Privileged, LA Law, Zorro, and Oceans Away.

Kind of Santa Barbara, but not really

Then there are the productions, which are located in places that sound and look suspiciously like our beautiful city, but never openly established as such. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show is a classic example.

Buffy's hometown of Sunnydale is described as a coastal town, two hours north of Beverly Hills – check. Both cities are homes for a campus affiliate at the University of California. Sunnydale's architecture looks very familiar. Both cities are located in the Pacific Ocean, and were devastated by earthquakes between the two world wars. Sunnydale has also been described as the home of the Chumash tribe, who were natives of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and many of the show's recordings of the show were … you guessed it.

Most convincing of all is the fact that on several occasions during his seven-year run, the characters used maps of Sunnydale that are actually … Santa Barbara. Now we want to reassure anyone who is vacationing that there is no such thing as hell lurking under our utopian city. But you might want to bring a garlic necklace if you plan on wandering a lot after sunset.

100 years of history in Santa Barbara movies

2010 marks the 100th anniversary of a vibrant and successful film presence in Santa Barbara. Beginning in 1910, Essanay Film Company came regularly from Chicago in search of better weather and convenient locations to shoot their very popular Western genre films. They were followed in July 1912 by the permanent western branch of the Flying "A" studios, which also sought better weather and relief from the Edison Trust's sidewalk to the east. They chose our city because they could find both urban and rural locations so close to hand.

The flying "A" took a big hit due to the combined effects of World War I, the flu pandemic and the onset of the Great Depression. But we are already well established as the shooting location of choice. In 1923, Cecil B. DeMille recorded the Ten Commandments on the landscapes of Guadalupe (also used in the Pirates of the Caribbean III), and again brought us back to the movie avant-garde.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Next time comes from Santa Barbara

The entertainment industry is alive and well here. Last June, the cast and crew of a new movie called No Strings Attached opened a store at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore. Billed as a romantic comedy, the movie stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, and is slated to release on January 21, 2011.

There are many well-known shooting locations to visit. If you want to explore on your own, offers three different itineraries to guide you through the area, searching through locations from some of your favorite high-end movies. And when you're done for the day, you'll have a Santa Barbara vacation rental to get back home, living a life that movie stars envy.