Getting sick and staying home from school was one of the best days off as a middle schooler. Unlike the other kids who would play video games or sneak out and gallivant with friends, I would sit at home and watch countless reruns of The Golden Girls. I can still hear my mother's laughter, “You’re too young to be watching old people on television!” But 12-year-old Karai did not care. I loved hearing Rose’s St. Olaf stories and laughing at Dorothy bickering with her mother Sophia. It wasn’t until high school that I realized the show was shot 43 minutes south of me: Miami! There are a variety classic television shows and movies filmed right here in the sunshine state that many people don’t know about. Here are some movies you probably know all about, but that you might not know were shot here!
1. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Some have known Jim Carrey since his stand-up comedy shows, but many first laughed at his energetic slapstick comedy when he played the pet detective. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the second installment of the Ventura series, was filmed in 1994 and set in Miami, Florida. It features the Miami Dolphins stadium and Villa Vizcaya, a 1916 mansion-turned-museum in South Miami.
Everyone knows this 1990 love-story featuring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. A very unique young man becomes immersed in a somewhat mundane neighborhood, winning the hearts of some and the disapproval of others. The colorful suburbs are actually real locations in Lutz, Lakeland, and the Tampa Bay area of Florida. This was not too shocking to me because although it was intentionally nondescript, one can see a very real resemblance to many Florida neighborhoods.
One of Adam Sandler's most historic performances, The Waterboy is another Florida produced comedy. Although the film was set in Louisiana, they shot many scenes in EverBank Field in Jacksonville, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Spec Martin Stadium and the Stetson University campus in DeLand, and Florida Southern College in Lakeland.
Most 90’s babies had an infatuation with Macaulay Culkin back in the day. Home Alone had us all feeling like child masterminds. My Girl is a 1991 comedy (and tear jerking drama) about a young girl facing the challenges of life. The film was set in Pennsylvania but filmed in Sanford, Bartow, Ocoee, Mirror Lake, and Plant City, Florida.
This heart wrenching comedy tells a story about the love between pet and owner with a strong emphasis on what we categorize as family. If you're looking to chuckle and shed uncontrollably snotty tears for two hours and a minute, here's your movie. Marley and Me shot scenes in South Florida including West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami.
2 Fast 2 Furious was the second installment of the Paul Walker action-packed franchise. Who knew you could make eight amazing movies with fast cars and a revenge fueled plot line? The movie was filmed in multiple Florida locations including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Hollywood, and even Sylvester Stalone's private mansion in Miami.
In this 1983 epic battle of man versus nature, Jaws was, and continues to be, one of the most iconic underwater thrillers. This jump scare movie was actually filmed at Seaworld in Orlando and Navarre, Florida, a community near Pensacola.
The many Ocean’s films are ranked as some of the top heist films in cinematic history. This movie features a few of Hollywood's most talented male actors such as Clooney, Pitt, and Damon. Released in 2001, Ocean’s 11 filmed the casino interior and vault at Universal in Orlando as well as in St. Petersburg.
Another Clooney family favorite, Tomorrowland was a great take on the imaginative world located between time and space. A few scenes were shot in New Smyrna Beach and the Carousel of Progress attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida.
This 1998 Bruce Willis classic told an action and adventure packed story about the challenges a team of astronauts must face in order to save Earth. Scenes were filmed in Cape Canaveral, Titusville, Merritt Island and, of course, The Kennedy Space Center.