The Hollywood of the South: Atlanta's 5 most famous movie locations

Once upon a time, in the not-too-distant past, whenever Hollywood required a location for its latest blockbuster, it kept things local and shot in California. But in recent years, things have changed. Now Hollywood considers faraway locations—especially Atlanta, Georgia.

Blessed with an ideal climate for year-round shooting, Atlanta has become the go-to location for big-budget movies and TV shows—and with increasing regularity. Recent figures suggest that since 2008, Atlanta has provided the backdrop for more than 140 major film and TV shows. To celebrate that fact, we’ve chosen five of the city’s most famous movie and TV locations for you to uncover for yourself. 

1. Swan House

Looking for a location to double as President Snow’s lavish mansion, the makers of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire settled on Atlanta’s Swan House, an elegant but imposing estate built in the late 1920s.

Located in Atlanta’s affluent uptown neighborhood of Buckhead, the house was built for the Inman family, whose wealth helped rebuild Atlanta after its destruction during the Civil War. So named because of the family's love of swans, it quickly became one of the city’s most impressive landmarks. It remains so to this day, and its magnificent rooms and gardens are open to the public throughout the year. 

See it: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). Find it: 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, GA 30305.

2. Woodruff Park

When Hollywood needed a Central Park-like location in which to film the climactic fight scene for Anchorman 2, it opted not for Central Park itself but a stretch of green space in the heart of Atlanta.

Head to Woodruff Park today (in the Fairlie-Poplar district of the city) and you’ll find the battleground on which Ron Burgundy and co. took on a who’s who of celebrity cameo characters—including Kanye West, Harrison Ford and Kirsten Dunst. Happily, peace has returned to Woodruff Park and it once again makes the perfect jump-off point to explore Downtown Atlanta and its surrounding neighborhoods.

See it: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). Find it: 91 Peachtree St NW, GA 30303. 

3. The Peachtree Centre

When the makers of sci-fi thriller Insurgent sought a post-apocalyptic metropolis, they opted not for Hollywood, nor for the Chicago setting of the book that inspired the movie. Instead, they opted for Atlanta.

Filmed at various locations throughout the city, perhaps the most notable landmark is located high in the skies, where the Erudite attack saw stuntmen zip-lining across Peachtree Street from the Peachtree Center. They didn’t pause to check out the 50-plus restaurants and retail stores in one of the city’s major entertainment attractions—but you really should.

See it: Insurgent (2015). Find it: 225 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 200 - South Tower, GA 30303.

4. Oakland Cemetery

When it came to filming the seventh installment of its Fast And Furious franchise, director Rob Cohen opted for Atlanta. Needing a final resting place for Han, a fallen member of Dom Toretto’s crew, Cohen dressed up Atlanta’s iconic Oakland Cemetery to look like L.A. Head there today and you while you won’t find Han’s grave, you will discover the graves of some of the city’s most celebrated citizens. Golfer Bobby Jones, the first African-American mayor of Atlanta Maynard Jackson, and Gone With The Wind author Margaret Mitchell were all buried here, among the ancient oaks and magnolias. 

See it: Furious 7 (2015). Find it: 248 Oakland Ave SE, GA 30312.

5. Freedom Parkway

Even if it means taking a detour, when you enter the city of Atlanta, make sure you do so via the eastern approach and the Freedom Parkway. Do so today, and you’ll find four busy lanes of traffic: two coming in, two going out. Back in 2010, however, when The Walking Dead made its debut, this was the deserted road on which Sheriff Rick Grimes approached on horseback.

Since then, the city has been used for so many Walking Dead locations that it’s possible to visit for a week and not see them all. The Freedom Parkway remains the most iconic of them all. And while a certain amount of CGI was employed, you’ll find your photo opp by heading for the city’s Jackson Street Bridge.

See it: The Walking Dead (2010). Find it: 170 Jackson St NE, GA 30312.

 

Downtown Atlanta is home to four Starwood Hotels, each within easy reach of the locations mentioned above. So no matter how you explore Atlanta, find your best rates with SPG Member Exclusive Rates

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