My favorite works of fiction usually include unique, detailed settings that make me want to step through my screen and into the movie-made world. No matter how imaginative and unrealistic the city is, fans will feel at home in these locations if the world is built well enough. From Stars Hollow to Bikini Bottom, I wish these fictional cities existed in the real world.
1. The Emerald City From the Wizard of Oz (1939)
While I’d love to ride a tour bus along the entire Yellow Brick Road, if I had to choose one location from The Wizard of Oz to explore, it would be the famed Emerald City. As Dorothy and her ragtag team of pals journey to the cities, the ideas of the place become more and more idealistic. But the city is just as impressive as the characters make it out to be, with colorful horses and skyscrapers made of shimmering green gemstones.
2. The Capitol From the Hunger Games Trilogy
Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled that we don’t live in Panem, and I’ll never have a chance to see the Capitol from The Hunger Games in real life. But if you put aside the fact that the people in the capitol are responsible for the deaths of innocent children, it seems like a wonderful place to visit. Filled with nothing but wealthy citizens, the bustling city boasts unmatched technologies, delectable food, and people with an eccentric fashion sense.
3. Hogsmeade From the Harry Potter Series
I grew up reading the Harry Potter series, and I clung to the hope that I would get to go to Hogwarts too until my eleventh birthday came around, and no owl showed up at my doorstep with an invitation from the Headmaster. Even as an adult, I desperately wish I could dive into the wizarding world and visit the village of Hogsmeade to get a butterbeer at Madame Rosemerta’s or browse the candies in Honeyduke’s. Luckily, Harry Potter fans can visit Muggle-created versions of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios in Florida.
4. Schitt’s Creek From Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)
If you’ve watched Schitt’s Creek, it’s hard to avoid developing a fondness for the show’s fictional small Canadian town of Schitt’s Creek. Packed full of wacky characters like the overbearing mayor, the sarcastic motel clerk, and the enthusiastic waitress, the people of Schitt’s Creek make this fictional town come to life. I’d love to wander into the Café Tropical or the Rose Bud Motel any day.
5. Springfield From The Simpsons (1989-)
Created as a satirical nod to your typical small American city, the legendary town of Springfield from The Simpsons is chock full of wonderfully crafted local joints I wish I could visit. From Moe’s Tavern to the Kwik-E-Mart to even the poorly run Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, each location in Springfield brings character and charm to this fictional city.
6. Bikini Bottom From Spongebob Squarepants (1999-)
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Not me, but sometimes I wish I did! Bikini Bottom is the iconic underwater city where SpongeBob and his friends live. The creative architecture in the city ranges from a tiki head to a straightforward rock and can be advanced as a water-tight dome for land critters to live and breathe safely. But the biggest attraction drawing me to Bikini Bottom is the delectable Krabby Patties served at Mr. Krabs’ restaurant, the Krusty Krab.
7. Pawnee, Indiana From Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)
While Pawnee, Indiana, is famous in Parks and Recreation for being a mediocre small town in the Midwest, the town reveals its charm throughout the sitcom. Within the sleepy town are businesses like the grimy nightclub Snakehole Lounge, the diner famous for its tooth-decaying waffles called JJs Diner, and the park that hosts exciting events like the tribute to the late and beloved miniature horse, Lil’ Sebastian.
8. Orbit City From the Jetsons (1962-1963)
The Jetson family lives in a utopian, futuristic city called Orbit City that fans of the cartoon grew to love. The unique landscape of the metropolis features buildings propped up on thin metal rods so they can layer on top of one another in the sky. But the main reason I want to visit Orbit City is to finally ride in one of those flying cars people predict should have been invented by now.
9. Stars Hollow, Connecticut From Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Gilmore Girls takes place in the delightful small New England town of Stars Hollow, where Rory Gilmore grows up. As someone who grew up in New England, I wish my town was as charming and warm as Stars Hollow. Filled with loveable misfits and wacky characters, the storybook village draws viewers in with locations like Luke’s Diner, Kim’s Antiques, and the Dragonfly Inn.
10. Monstropolis From Monsters, Inc. (2001)
One of the reasons Monsters, Inc. grabs hold of kids’ imaginations is the creativity that went into the creation of the fictional city of Monstropolis. This bustling city may look like your average American city until you look closer and realize everything is built for its population: monsters. From the chef with eight arms to the parents applauded for birthing a child with many heads, fun new city details stand out every time you watch the film.
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