15 Iconic Movie and TV Beaches You Need to Visit
Hollywood has made stars out of countless beaches across the country. California's stunning and photogenic sandy shores have appeared in countless TV shows, as well as classic films like "Forrest Gump" and "The Karate Kid." But they're not alone. Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" was filmed on the East Coast. With the beach-going season officially underway, here's a look at some of America's many beaches immortalized by Tinseltown. Like other filming locations, they can be worth a road trip.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Grease" and "The Karate Kid,"
In 1978, Danny Zuko, played by John Travolta, and Sandy Olsson, played by Olivia Newton-John, became summer lovers in the movie "Grease," and Leo Carrillo State Park was the backdrop for their romance. Another generation of moviegoers was exposed to Leo Carrillo State Park as the location for the meeting of Daniel LaRusso and Ali Mills in "The Karate Kid," two characters played by Ralph Macchio and Elisabeth Shue. LaRusso famously later returns to this beach to learn to balance, as he undergoes karate training. The park is named after the actor who played Pancho in the 1950s TV series "The Cisco Kid."
Don't Miss: The beach is famous for its tide pools and caves.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "The Goonies," "1941," and "Point Break"
In Richard Donner's adventure comedy "The Goonies," Cannon Beach is the location of the film's opening sequence, which involves a car and truck rally on the sand in front of the beach's famous 235-foot-tall Haystack Rock. One of the West Coast's most beautiful beaches, this stretch of shoreline was a popular tourist destination long before it began making movie appearances.
Don't Miss: The beach is a protected marine garden, ideal for exploring tide pools during low tide. Puffins can even be seen on Haystack Rock from early spring to mid-summer.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in the movie "Baywatch"
Stars Zac Efron and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson descended on southern Palm Beach County to film scenes for the 2017 movie "Baywatch." The beach at South Inlet Park was featured in the movie's opening and used for stunt scenes and various dialogue scenes.
Don't Miss: The inlet is known for its interesting rock barriers, which attract a wide array of aquatic life that's easily viewed by snorkeling.
Claim to Fame: Appeared frequently in the TV series "Baywatch"
One of the top attractions in Southern California, Venice Beach is a place like no other. In addition to miles of pristine sand on the beach itself, the 1½-mile-long boardwalk along Venice Beach is a dizzying and sometimes overwhelming mass of performers, street vendors, fortune tellers, and the sea of humanity that comes to see it all. It's no wonder this beach was often used as a setting for the television show "Baywatch."
Don't Miss: Venice Beach is home to one of the best children's beach playgrounds around and a picturesque bike path that meanders along the beach.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "The Notebook"
Producers of the 2004 movie "The Notebook" were attracted to El Matador State Beach by its picturesque rocky landscape. The beach is the location of the movie's famous "If you're a bird, I'm a bird" scene between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The beach also appears briefly in two additional movies: "A Lot Like Love" and "True Romance."
Don't Miss: Spend some time exploring the beach's unique caves.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Twilight"
A movie that became a runaway box office phenomenon, "Twilight" did extensive filming in Oregon. Indian Beach is the on-screen stand-in for Washington state's First Beach. Bella Swan's friends are seen surfing at this beach and later, it is at the beach that Bella (Kristen Stewart) first learns the truth about Edward Cullen, her vampire beau (Robert Pattinson).
Don't Miss: The hiking trails along the shore here offer cliffside views of the beach's many secluded coves and an abandoned lighthouse.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "From Here to Eternity"
With probably the most legendary beach scene of all time, "From Here to Eternity" features a passionate kiss between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the shores of Halona Cove, while the waves wash over them.
Don't Miss: Bring your fishing pole and head to the rocky point on the west end of the cove, named Bamboo Ridge, which has been a popular fishing spot since the 1920s.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "CSI: Miami"
Manhattan Beach is an incredibly popular beach on the southern end of Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles County. Known for its competitive beach volleyball scene, scenic 928-foot-long pier, and 40 acres of recreational beach area, it's a place that showcases all that sun-soaked Southern California has to offer. And it also served as a stand-in for Miami Beach in the popular but now-canceled series "CSI: Miami."
Don't Miss: The octagonal Mediterranean-style building at the pier's end is the location of the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab & Aquarium. The pier also features the "Volleyball Walk of Fame," a series of plaques honoring the past winners of the Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Point Break"
One of the many beaches that popped up in "Point Break" (the ultimate beach flick if ever there was one), El Segundo Beach is the setting for the sequence in which Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey collect hair samples from local surfers as part of their efforts to catch a gang of bank robbers that call themselves the Ex-Presidents.
Don't Miss: There's a 4.7-mile bike path that runs along this beach and through neighboring communities to the north and south, providing cyclists with picturesque views of the ocean.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Blue Hawaii"
While this reference may be somewhat lost on younger moviegoers, Elvis Presley practically put Hawaii and its beaches on the map for a generation of travelers. In particular, he made Hanauma Bay Beach Park a wildly popular destination after it appeared in his 1961 film "Blue Hawaii" and his 1966 film "Paradise, Hawaiian Style."
Don't Miss: The bay is a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park, so be sure to go snorkeling here.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "The Last Song"
A 2010 movie starring Miley Cyrus, "The Last Song" was shot all over picturesque Tybee Island, with many scenes featuring the island's pier and beach. A tiny barrier island just outside of Savannah, Tybee is famous for its wide 3-mile-long sandy beach.
Don't Miss: Take a walk along the iconic pier at Tybee Island Beach, a popular place for fishing and people watching.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Valley Girl"
Beaches seem to be the perfect backdrop for fateful meetings. In the 1983 romantic comedy "Valley Girl," Will Rogers State Beach is the location where Julie Richman (played by Deborah Foreman) first sees Randy (played by Nicolas Cage). This beach has another claim to fame as well. During the 1920s, it was owned by actor Will Rogers, thus its name. Years later, the beach was purchased by the state and opened to the public.
Don't Miss: A 22-mile-long bike trail begins at this beach, which also features volleyball courts and gymnastic facilities.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Cider House Rules"
The 1999 Academy Award-winning film "Cider House Rules," starring Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron, included a particularly steamy scene shot at Acadia National Park's Sand Beach. In the famous scene, the two stars are walking along the beach collecting rocks and throwing them into the ocean, and their walk turns into a passionate love scene.
Don't Miss: Ocean Path, which follows the coast for about 1.5 miles, provides outstanding views of the coast and leads to the 110-foot-high Otter Cliff, which is described as one of the most spectacular sights along the North Atlantic seaboard.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Forrest Gump"
Who can forget Tom Hanks' famous line "I ran clear to the ocean," from the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie "Forrest Gump"? In the movie, Gump takes a break from his long run at the Santa Monica Pier, where he gazes out across the ocean and then decides to turn around and keep running. Run, Forrest, run!
Don't Miss: There is so much to see and do at this beach -- ride the Ferris wheel, rent a bike, or people watch at the original Muscle Beach on the south side of the pier.
Claim to Fame: Appeared in "Jaws"
You could hardly go wrong by visiting any beach on the stunning and posh island of Martha's Vineyard, but Joseph Sylvia State Beach was made famous by the 1975 blockbuster "Jaws," a movie that actually made many people avoid beaches. This beach was featured in the scene where young Alex Kintner was eaten while floating on an air mattress. The 2-mile-long beach offers a beautiful view of Cape Cod across the Nantucket Sound. It's also a favorite with families thanks to its peaceful waters.
Don't Miss: The so-called "Jaws Bridge" toward the south end of the beach is a popular place to jump into the water, even though it's officially prohibited.