Tour Filming Locations of the Capital Region USA: 7-Day Itinerary

Go “on the set” during your visit to the Capital Region USA by visiting some of the filming locations and settings that helped bring these stories to life.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
The epic American historical drama, Lincoln, was filmed solely in Virginia.
Colonial Williamsburg, reenactors, soldier, history, drums, Virginia, USA
Colonial Williamsburg has played host to numerous historical dramas and miniseries including Turn and John Adams.
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was one of the characters in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Maryland was one of the filming locations for the film, The Wedding Crashers.
Mercy Street actors and local historic reenactors at Carlyle House in Alexandria, Virginia (Photo courtesy M. Enriques for Visit Alexandria)
The town of Berlin, Maryland was the filming location for the movies Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
Colonial Williamsburg, reenactors, soldier, history, drums, Virginia, USA

With the iconic monuments and memorials of Washington, DC, the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia, the Capital Region makes a stunning backdrop for filming blockbuster movies, historical dramatizations and binge-worthy television series.

DAY 1 & 2

Dulles to DC – Classic Films to Blockbusters

Fly into Washington Dulles International Airport and immediately kick off your film tour with a visit to the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, located just minutes from the airport. The museum and some of its exhibits are featured in the movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Visit the museum’s exhibit, Transformers: More than Meets the Eye!, to see artefacts such as the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, one of the characters from the movie.

Drive 45 minutes east to Washington, DC. Here, the National Mall has served as the backdrop for many movies and television shows. Whether it’s the classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, the Academy Award winning Forrest Gump or the action-packed Independence Day. Also along the National Mall, the Smithsonian museums and several of the museums’ artefacts were featured in the second installment of the Night at the Museum series, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian also offers Smithsonian Sleepovers where your family can experience your own night at the museum! Be sure to stop into the National Museum of American History to see such iconic film artefacts as Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz, the Muppet character Kermit the Frog and props from popular television series such as M*A*S*H.

While in DC, visit the Georgetown neighbourhood where many scenes from the 1973 American horror classic, The Exorcist, were filmed. The most popular site for fans of the movie to visit is the infamous “Exorcist Stairs” which is the last stop of the Ghosts of Georgetown walking tour. Georgetown also served as the setting for the 1980s film St. Elmo’s Fire. Stop for a drink at The Tombs Restaurant & Bar, the inspiration for St. Elmo’s Bar that was featured in the film.

DAY 3 & 4

Virginia’s Historical Dramas

From Washington, DC journey across the Potomac River to Alexandria, Virginia. Set during the Civil War, the television series Mercy Street follows two volunteer nurses from opposing sides who work at the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria. Visitors can explore more than two dozen new exhibits, events and tours that inspired Mercy Street.

From Alexandria, travel south to Virginia’s state capital, Richmond. The city has played host to many films, most notably, Lincoln. This epic American historical drama was filmed solely in Virginia, primarily in the cities of Richmond and Petersburg. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film recounts the last four months of the President’s life, focusing on his efforts to abolish slavery in the US. Explore filming locations and travel itineraries such as Walking in Lincoln’s Final Footsteps and Lincoln’s Last Journey.

A spy thriller set during the Revolutionary War, TURN tells the untold story of America’s first spy ring. The TURN Film Trail takes you to sites in and around Richmond and then southeast to Colonial Williamsburg. Sites include the Christopher Wren Building at the College of William and Mary which appears as the throne room of King George IV.

The seven-part HBO miniseries, John Adams, explores American history through the eyes of this founding father and much of the filming took place in Colonial Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area offers a setting faithful to the 18th century, immersing visitors in the lifestyle and history depicted in the series.

DAY 5 & 6

Maryland – Comedies, Cult Classics and Political Drama

From Colonial Williamsburg, enjoy a scenic drive up the Eastern Shore to Berlin, Maryland. This small town, named America’s Coolest Small Town by Budget Travel in 2014, served as the set for the films Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting. Cult classic Ping Pong Summer was filmed entirely in nearby Ocean City.

Continue north along Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the town of St. Michaels. This area was the primary film location for the 2005 comedy film, The Wedding Crashers. Stay at the Inn at Perry Cabin where the wedding reception scene was filmed. After leaving St. Michaels, journey to Maryland’s capital city, Annapolis. Here you can book a cruise on the Woodwind II, the boat that served as the sailing yacht for Christopher Walken’s character in the movie.

From Annapolis, head north to Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city. Tour the film locations of director and Baltimore native John Waters including the Senator Theatre which appears in Cecil B. Demented and was where many of Waters’ films premiered. Hairspray and Pecker were filmed along "The Avenue" in the Hamden neighbourhood. While in Hampden you can take a detour to Atomic Books; Waters receives fan mail through this independent shop—you might catch him picking it up! Fans of Waters' films can also visit the star Divine’s gravesite or visit her statue at the American Visionary Art Museum. 

Travel west from Baltimore to Seneca Creek State Park and north to the town of Burkittsville in Frederick County. The 1999 documentary-style horror film, Blair Witch Project and Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, was set and filmed in the woods of western Maryland. Most of the filming took place in Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County with a few scenes filmed in the town of Burkittsville.

Day 7

Return to Dulles Airport for Your Journey Home

Travel one hour from Burkittsville and the surrounding area back to Washington Dulles International Airport for your return flight home.  

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