ALL POSTS IN [Entertainment]

By Troy Petenbrink

It’s official: The Hunger Games topped the $400 million mark over the weekend, making it one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. But the story doesn’t end on the big screen. Now you can experience where the Hunger Games were actually shot.

Hunger Games

The phenomenal success of The Hunger Games has launched a cottage industry in North Carolina, as multiple tours are now offered to allow the movie’s fans the opportunity to visit the Hollywood-envisioned world of Katniss, Peeta and the other Tributes. READ MORE

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival …
Stars descended on the small French Riviera town this week for the beginning of the annual Cannes Film Festival. Among the guests was “The Dictator,” a character played by actor Sacha Baron Cohen in the upcoming movie of the same name. READ MORE

Aspiring travelers flocked to the Convention Center in Washington, DC, for the Travel & Adventure Show this weekend, and today is the last day to catch Travel Channel host Sam Brown chat about her travel mishaps. Former Taste of America host, Mark DeCarlo, will be signing his new book, “A Fork on the Road,” and hosting an Interactive Cooking Class on the Culinary Stage.

Adventure and Travel Expo

The annual event has dozens of booths to inspire travelers to visit specific destinations and to tap into their sense of adventure by offering people with an opportunity to experience diving in a Scuba Dive Pool, experience the rock climbing wall, strap up for a zip-lining adventure and feel the motors revving with a NASCAR video game. A few tour companies are on hand to help you plan your wildlife safari, whitewater rafting trip and more.

And there’s not a shortage of destinations to plan your next fun-filled getaway. The Show has reps from popular destinations, both near and far, including Fiji, Maryland, Tibet, Spain, US Virgin Islands, Australia, Orlando, Belize, South Africa, Hawaii, West Virginia, Singapore, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.

So plan your next water park trip now, and don’t miss the last day of the Travel & Adventure Show in DC or check it out in a city near you.

The Descendants

With the Oscars this Sunday, we’ve pulled together our own awards list: 2011′s Most Travel-Worthy Flicks. The Descendants is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t daydream about walking barefoot on a beach in Hawaii (and with George Clooney)?

But we were equally inspired to pack our bags for the City of Lights to find the “Lost Generation” in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Even the dark thriller Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had us eying Stockholm to see where the stories took place.

Postcard-perfect scenes in movies we saw years ago still influence our travel plans.  Even though it’s been years since we saw The Beach, we still have Maya Bay in Thailand on our bucket list. And its cinematic merits aside, Twilight couldn’t help but make us want to see the town of Forks, WA, for some of them most stunning scenery on the Olympic Peninsula.

Has a movie ever inspired one of your vacations?

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Patti LaBelle

Looking for a fun, theme cruises? Then pay tribute to the TV show The Soul Train and its creator Don Cornelius. Book your room on the Soul Train cruise, scheduled for February 17-24, 2013. Holland America’s Westerdam will host the festive cruise that will feature multiple shows and activities simultaneously.

According to Huffington Post, 12 acts have already signed up to keep the patrons shaking their groove thing. Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Kool & The Gang, The Spinners, War, Gerald Alston, George Duke, War and several other artists will help keep things lively with nightly shows held in the Vista Lounge.

The cruise line will stop in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Book now! Cabins run from $1,800 to $7,500 for early reservation, which end on April 31, 2012. Get more information about the hippest trip at sea.

Travel Channel has more cruise information to help you plan your next voyage.

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by Christina Ricchiuti,
PackedSuitcase.com

 

Harry Potter fans celebrate plans for new theme park in Hollywood

Get ready, West Coast Muggles … the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood in California!

Just when you might think that our favorite boy wizard’s been replaced by the latest literary craze (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games …) Universal goes all-in and continues to make Harry the cornerstone of its amusement park empire.

This looks to be a good move. The Orlando attraction, which opened to the masses in June 2010, led to a 68% increase in attendance during the first 3 months of 2011 and continues to be a top incentive to visit the older Universal Studios parks. Needless to say, the Orlando version has been a resounding success, and the Los Angeles attraction is sure to draw its fair share of fans as well. READ MORE

Marilyn Monroe

Tonight at 9/8c, Mysteries at the Museum, examines the death of Marilyn Monroe, the blonde bombshell who still manages to fascinate the world nearly 50 years after her death. Her story may have been one of high glamour, but it was also universally relatable. Marilyn was “seeking the oldest of rainbows — to be herself and unafraid,” as director John Huston once put it. That may explain why some 40 books have been written about her. And dozens of actresses have played her. The latest is Michelle Williams, whose turn as MM in My Week With Marilyn, is already generating Oscar buzz.

But for all the focus on Marilyn “the lost girl,” another part of her story remains equally fascinating: the circumstances surrounding her death. In tonight’s episode of Mysteries at the Museum, host Don Wildman explores some very unsettling questions. Like, what exactly was Marilyn Monroe’s housekeeper doing on the night Marilyn died? And whatever happened to Marilyn’s diary-gone-missing? (The one in which she probably had a thing or 2 to say about the Kennedy brothers.) Did Marilyn simply die from an overdose? Or did she know too much?

Check out our sneak peak for clues and tune in tonight for Mysteries at the Museum at 9/8c to find out more.

Oscars and Movies That Inspire Travel

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards are tonight!  The King’s Speech, Black Swan, The Fighter and The Social Network are just a few movies nominated in the Best Picture category.

Movies have a way of transporting us to a different time and place. Travel Channel came up with a list of movies that inspire us to pack our bags and visit those real, mystical or magical places captured on film.

Check out our Movies That Inspire Travel slideshow to view our picks. Tell us what movies we may have missed that have inspired you to travel.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models

You walked past the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on the newsstand, you saw the models basking in the sun, but when you picked it up, you were reading it for the beaches, right? Well, if you’re wondering where those gorgeous destinations are (and you’re mentally packing your bikini and sunscreen for your next vacay), you’re in luck.

We take you to all 9 locations featured in the mag, from Anguilla to Laguna Beach to Singapore. Click through our Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Destinations slideshow for views of the beautiful beaches and deluxe resorts where the models stayed to get inspired. Afterward, you can go from daydreaming to actually booking your trip. Enjoy!

So, which one do you want to visit? Leave your favorite locale in the comments.

Andrew Zimmern on TMZ

Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern recently received some on-camera love from TMZ in New York City. A TMZ crew was in Soho waiting for Sandra Bullock to make an appearance for the paparazzi. Well, they didn’t get Sandra, but they were able to chat with Andrew. It was definitely a funny TMZ segment.

Andrew was in New York City to shoot a segment for The Rachel Ray Show. He talked to Rachel about being a homeless drug addict living in the Big Apple. It’s a side of the Travel Channel host we don’t normally see. Watch the candid segment, and get the details on how you can join Andrew, Travel Channel and the 100,000 Homes Campaign help end homelessness.

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