In every pocket of our state, you’ll stumble across locations that feel like you’ve been there before. Chances are, it’s not déjà vu – it’s the magic of cinema, which has already transported you here through one of the many films or TV shows produced in the area. With unique and breathtaking landscapes in every region, it’s no wonder Texas has become a premier destination for projects of all stripes.
For a do-it-yourself tour of diverse Texas films and television shows, start in Austin, where you can visit Dart Bowl, the Continental Club and Pedernales Falls of the 12-year production Boyhood, starring Ethan Hawke. Then grab a burger at Top Notch, where Matthew McConaughey first coined his signature phrase, “Alright, Alright, Alright,” in his breakout film, Dazed and Confused. Nearby in Waco, treat yourself to a trip to Magnolia Market of Fixer Upper fame. Definitely grab a cupcake in their bakery. A few hours southwest in San Antonio, you may recognize the River Walk from Sandra Bullock’s Miss Congeniality. And believe it or not, you can see where parts of Pearl Harbor were filmed at the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. To soak up some Paul Thomas Anderson magic, make the trip out to Marfa, where he filmed There Will Be Blood. No word on whether any milkshakes were drunk on location or whether you can drink someone else’s milkshake.
To take a more tried-and-true route, give yourself some time to explore the Texas Film Trails. With a century of rich film history and so many iconic shows and features produced here, the Texas Film Commission decided to recognize the communities that have supported local filmmaking. Their series of self-guided trails through local filmmaking history is a fantastic way to enjoy your favorite films. Its inaugural trail celebrates iconic filmmaker Richard Linklater and highlights 15 destinations across Texas, from the majestic views of the Big Bend region to darling tiny towns in the East Texas Piney Woods.
Texas means “friends,” and if there’s one thing we’re friendly toward, it’s immortalizing our beautiful landscapes on film and television. Come experience the iconic locations and gorgeous landscapes you’ve seen on screen firsthand with a tour of local filming destinations.