Oscar Fever: destinations on film

I will happily admit to a minor obsession with visiting film locations – particularly the exotic beach ones. This year location was a central character in many of the Oscar-winning films so here is a round-up of the hottest destinations for your itinerary.

New Orleans: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This vibrant artistic city is getting back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina. Even when I visited in mid-2006 the party had started again. You’ve just missed Mardi Gras but it will be back again on the 16th February 2010. Head to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter for jazz, bars and restaurants and if you’re travelling with the family get to Audubon Zoo, it’s one of the best in the US and even has white tigers.

Mumbai: Slumdog Millionaire

Start among the crowds at Gateway of India, appreciate your washing machine with a visit to Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat (the huge open air laundry) and then wander the streets taking in the sights and smells. When that gets too much head for the National Park which boasts ancient Buddhist caves. Of course before you leave you’ll need to take in a Bollywood film too.

San Francisco: Milk

I’ve seen San Francisco in winter and summer and enjoyed it every time. It has a fantastic art scene, great architecture and delicious seafood chowder. Head to Fisherman’s Wharf – everyone does, cycle across The Golden Gate Bridge, sip tea in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, join the throng in Chinatown and finish with a day at the infamous prison of Alcatraz.

Barcelona, Vicky Christina Barcelona

Aim to stay as close to Las Ramblas as possible which is part of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic quarter). This beautiful district is not only the largest medieval area in Europe, it’s also the centre for restaurants, bars and entertainment. If you can drag yourself away from the tapas head to The Picasso Museum, The Magic Fountain of Montjuic and stroll along the seafront promenade.

Gotham City, The Dark Knight

Gotham City doesn’t usually make the cut for top travel destinations due to its high crime rate. The safest way to see this thrilling city is to pick up a Batman comic.