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U.K. March 30, 2020
With so many streaming options at our fingertips, it’s easy to experience the beauty of Florida without even leaving the sofa. The Sunshine State has been the setting of some incredible film and television productions, prized for its year-round sunshine and sub-tropical beauty. Here are just a few suggestions of what to watch to transport you to Florida through the small screen.
Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)- Silver Springs State Park, Ocala
Near the city of Ocala is the pristine Silver Springs State Park. With its crystal-clear water and tropical plant life, it’s no wonder that this Florida location has been the settling for many films over the years including The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Thunderball and the original Tarzan the Ape Man from 1932. Starring the statuesque Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, this beautiful state park doubles as a tropical jungle paradise with crocodiles, hippos and chimpanzees.
African Queen (1951)- Key Largo
Starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, this classic WWII love story takes us onboard the famous steamboat African Queen as our heroes navigate their way down the perilous Ulgana River. After filming wrapped, the vessel made its way to Key Largo where it was lovingly restored and now takes fans out on the water on a variety of African Queen Cruises. Find more information about these cruises, and a bit more about African Queen’s fascinating history here.
Licence to Kill (1989) – Florida Keys
Sea, sand and secret agents- Bond has had a long and passionate relationship with Florida. Its beautiful scenery created the ultimate romantic backdrop for films such as Moonraker, Goldfinger and Licence to Kill. In his 1989 outing, Timothy Dalton’s stoic Bond visits the historic Ernest Hemmingway Home and Museum and lands in front of the ornate St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church after a daring parachute jump. Key Largo even doubles up as a fictional Bahama’s in the film, when Bond visits the make-believe Barrelhead Bar for a martini. Shaken, not stirred, of course!
Scarface (1982) – Miami
This classic gangster flick shows off the tropical glitz of Miami in the 1980’s- expect palm trees, bikini’s and slick talking mobsters throughout. Recognizable locations include the famous and luxurious Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach and Ocean Drive, where the infamous chainsaw scene takes place.
My Girl (1991) – Bartow
The outdoor scenes of 1991’s My Girl were filmed in the city of Bartow which sits mid-way between Orlando and Tampa. Bartow is known as the “city of oaks and azaleas” and was picked as the perfect, sleepy backdrop to this coming of age tale. Starring a young Macaulay Culkin and the debut of In The Loop Star Anna Chlumsky, this is a tragic tale of love, loss and growing up in suburbia.
CSI Miami (2002-2012)- Miami, Everglades National Park and more
Running for ten seasons, CSI Miami is one of the most recognisable and beloved crime dramas of the last 20 years. The show may be set mainly in the dazzling streets of Miami, but also takes time to explore signature Florida locations, such as the sprawling Everglades National Park and more.
Baywatch (2017)- Miami and Deerfield Beach
Based on the hit television series, Baywatch’s 2017 edition pits Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson against Zach Efron in a beach buddy comedy full of thrills, spills and professional lifeguarding. Many of the film’s beach sequences were filled in the gorgeous Deerfield Beach just north of Miami, which is named for the numerous deer that roam the area.
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 124.7 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $85.9 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2017. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to VISITFLORIDA.org or follow us on our industry social media channels: Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism.