7 Iconic Filming Locations You Can Rent for Your Next Vacation

Because we all need an escape from reality now and then.

Since lockdowns and social distancing have taken over the world since spring, we've had to become more creative about vacations.

For some people that means going on a camping trip or renting a cabin in the middle of nowhere to escape the city and pretend the world doesn't exist for a while. But for those of us who aren't up for roughing it, there are some options for a different kind of escape.

If you would rather relax in luxury, pretending to be a celebrity, or a character in your favorite movie or TV show, these vacation rentals may be right for you...


The Villa Sophia - Los Angeles

Entourage The Villa Sophia

This 1920s home, built in the style of an Italian Villa, has been featured in numerous TV shows, movies, music videos, and commercials. But perhaps it's most recognizable role was as the paradise where agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) and his wife Melissa escape in the finale of HBO's Entourage. And you can rent a slice of that same paradise for just $395 per night.

While the palatial main house is not currently for rent, the luxurious poolside guest house includes access to the pool and beautifully landscaped grounds and offers incredible hilltop views of LA. In 2013 LA Weekly called it "the best place to pretend to be a celebrity for a day," and it's hard to imagine spending time in such a beautiful setting without some stardust rubbing off on you.

The Spice Bus - Isle of Wight

Spice Bus

Do you remember 1997's Spice World, wherein Girl Power helps Posh Spice to jump the Spice Girls' massive double-decker tour bus over the gap in London's Tower Bridge? No? How dare you!

For those of us with enough respect to be old and remember who "Victoria Beckham" really is, the original Spice Bus is an iconic piece of cinema history. And now you and two friends can rent that piece of history for just $186 a night.

Situated on the beautiful Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England, the interior of the spice bus has been renovated into a comfortable living space with an appropriately colorful decor. And while International travel might be a scary prospect right now, at least Americans are allowed in England...

The Avengers Cabin - Fairburn, Georgia

Avengers Lakeside Cabin

In Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark gives up the superhero life to live in quiet seclusion with his wife and daughter at a lakeside cabin. Of course, that doesn't last, and after he (spoiler) heroically sacrifices himself in the elaborate effort to save the world, his fellow avengers gather at that cabin to pay their respects. And for $800 a night, you and 5 guests can pay your respects too.

Half an hour outside of Atlanta, this beautiful lakefront retreat is the perfect place to cry over the loss of your good friend Robert Downey Jr.

The "Fresh Prince" House - Los Angeles

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

Instagram

Okay, this one is a fresh addition to Airbnb's offerings. In fact—as Will Smith's listing puts it—it's "The Freshest Los Angeles Mansion Around." That's right, your host while spending the night at this iconic mansion is none other than the man himself—the eponymous Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—Will Smith.

Is it his house? Nope. Did he want to arrange for it to be rented out to some Fresh Prince fans? Yup. And when you're Will Smith, you can kind of just make things happen.

In addition to Will's "wing" of the mansion and pool access, the stay also includes a pair of Air Jordans, access to Will's wardrobe, and meals "served on silver platters." Sadly, the initial listing only had five one-night stays available at $30 each—in honor of the show's 30th anniversary—and they've all been sold. But superfans should keep an eye on the listing to see if more opportunities become available.

Breaking Bad House - Albuquerque 

Breaking Bad House

How many vacation rentals do you know of that come with their own hazmat suits? This home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was featured in season 5 of Breaking Bad might just be the only one. With a Breaking Bad color scheme, a city guide to the show's various filming locations around the city, and enough room for you and 15 of your partners in crime, the house is a steal at just $126 a night.

Best of all, you don't need to worry about bugs, as the space was recently fumigated by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

Reversible Destiny Loft - Tokyo

girls tokyo apartment

In Season 5 of Lena Dunham's Girls Shoshanna escapes New York to an unbelievably adorable Tokyo apartment. But it turns out that colorful, geometric dreamland is a real place that you and a friend can escape to for $229 a night... assuming Japan ever opens its borders to Americans again. In the Mitaka area of Tokyo, the small apartment is in a complex of similarly whimsical architecture.

Fields House - South Wales

fields house

Officially listed as a historic building in the UK, the luxurious Fields House in South Wales was built in the 1860s, and has room for up to 10 guests for $516 a night. But if you're a fan of BBC's Sherlock, you'll want to make sure you end up in the master bedroom. If you do, you might just recognize it as the beautifully appointed apartment where Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock had a battle of wits with Irene Adler in Scandal in Belgravia.

The house was also featured in the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special, which makes sense, as the elegant decor is enough to convince you that you've traveled to a different era.

So if just watching TV and movies isn't enough of an escape anymore, now you have the option of stepping through the screen and into your next vacation.

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There are several things about wine that can confuse the average person. If you haven't spent the last few years of your life learning everything there is to know about wine, you can be forgiven for picking up a box of the good stuff every now and then. However, if you want to know a little bit more about how to choose a good bottle, we can help you out. We've created a beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine so you can enjoy yourself a little more.

Know What Type of Wine To Choose

First things first, you're going to need to decide the type of wine that you're looking for in order to narrow your search. Are you looking for a red, white, sparkling, or rosé? The choices may seem overwhelming, but try to focus on what foods you'll be pairing the wine with. Reds go great with heavier meals like red meat, while whites tend to lend themselves towards lighter dishes like fish and cheeses. If you'll be drinking the wine on its own, consider what you've tried in the past and what type you tend to gravitate toward.

Know How Much You're Willing To Spend

It's no secret that a penchant for wine can become an expensive hobby. If you're just getting into the idea, don't waste your time or money with the extremely pricey bottles. A good place to start looking for decent bottles of wine is somewhere between the $10 and $30 price range. This will keep you from buying something too low quality without breaking your bank in the process.

Read the Labels Closely

A good bottle of wine will often give tasting notes right on the bottle. Because everyone's palette is different, you may not get the same notes when you try the wine, but it's a good place to start. Choose something with tasting notes that you already enjoy like berries or cocoa and try to see if you get any hints of that as you drink. The labels may also tell you about the wine's acidity, or how tart it is, and the wine's body, or the way it feels in your mouth.

A beginner's guide to picking a bottle of wine can only go so far without being overwhelming. The next part of your wine journey will need to be undertaken on your own. Try various types of wine and see what tastes best to you—that's what wine is really all about.

Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

Yet another clever twist on a weekday favorite! The paprika and garlic flavored cured sausage is a staple in our chopping baskets since it goes well with practically anything. Not only is Chorizo loved for its taste, but also for its ability to infuse sauces with its tantalizing flavor. This time around, HelloFresh has decided to spice up a classic bowl of bean chili with Spanish styling of a smokey mild chorizo. The end result? A mix of chorizo, red kidney beans, corn and avocado, and an irresistible flavor that everyone will love. This is just one of dozens of unique HelloFresh recipes you won't find anywhere else!

Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!