Dreaming of Hawaii? Watch these 6 movies filmed on Oahu

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Dreaming of Hawaii? Watch these 6 movies filmed on Oahu

It’s no surprise to me that so many famous movies have been filmed in Hawaii. The gorgeous scenery and crystal-clear water can transport you fictional worlds like Jurassic Park or the Hunger Games.

Are you dreaming of a vacation in paradise? Or are you planning one? Either way, transport yourself to Oahu with some of my favorite movies filmed here.

Today, I’m going to tell you about a few of my favorite movies filmed on Oahu. Most of these movies take place in Hawaii, too. And then, I’m going to tell you exactly where to go to re-live some of their most memorable scenes.

  1. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

    I had never seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall until after I moved to Hawaii. After I spent a weekend at Turtle Bay, I decided to watch it because I had heard that many scenes were filmed right in the hotel. It was so cool to see two places I had already been – Turtle Bay Resort and Laie Point – on screen!

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a fun romantic comedy starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis. Jason Segel, who also wrote the film, plays Peter, a man who is devastated after his girlfriend of five years, Sarah, breaks his heart.

    Peter comes to Turtle Bay Resort to get away from his problems and forget Sarah Marshall. As he is checking in, he sees Sarah and her new boyfriend. Hilarity ensues as Peter falls for a woman who works at the hotel, but can’t seem to forget Sarah Marshall.

    Hopefully, you won’t see your ex in Hawaii, but you will love watching the way Hawaii comes alive in this movie. Watch it before you come to Turtle Bay!

    And make sure to check out Laie Point, too, as one of the best scenes in the movie is filmed here. However, in the movie, the characters acted like they were so tired from hiking out to Laie Point. In reality, you can just drive right up to Laie Point. There is a famous moment where they jump off the cliff – which I don’t recommend!

  2. 50 First Dates

    This film used so many locations throughout Oahu that it’s a must-watch for anyone planning to come here. Honestly, I am usually not one for romantic comedies, but there is something about a romantic comedy set in Hawaii and the chemistry between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

    Adam Sandler plays Henry, a veterinarian who works at Sea Life Park on Oahu and loves to spend his time on his boat. Those scenes were filmed in Heeia Kea Harbor in Kaneohe, by the way!

    Henry meets Drew Barrymore’s character, Lucy, at a cafe. This cafe still stands at Kualoa Ranch. Although you can’t see it on your own, you can see it on their tours.

    When Lucy doesn’t recognize Henry the next day, he discovers that she has a particular form of amnesia where she re-lives the same day over and over.

    Every morning, Henry comes up with new ways to meet Lucy, hoping that one day she will recognize him. These ingenious methods end up providing some interesting filming locations throughout the island, some of which can be seen on Kualoa Ranch’s “Hawaii Backlot Tour”).

    Of course, the two meet and fall in love, despite the fact that Lucy cannot remember him each time she wakes up. This is a cute movie that takes place in many different recognizable locations on Oahu. Aside from Kualoa Ranch, it also takes place at Sea Life Park, the pineapple fields of the Dole Food Company, and the Makapu’u Lighthouse.

  3. Jurassic Park

    I’m not afraid to admit that I am a huge fan of all of the Jurassic Park films! Filmed at a variety of locations, including the famous Kualoa Ranch, Jurassic Park is, of course, the famous story about dinosaurs who have been brought out of extinction through cloning. Although humans try to contain them and put them on display in an amusement park, the dinosaurs escape.

    Did you know that Jurassic Park was based on a novel by Michael Crichton?

    Of course, many other Jurassic Park films have been shot on Oahu as well, including Jurassic World, which came out in 2015, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, set to come out in 2018. You can bet I will be first in line when it comes out!

    If you are a fan of the films, you can take a tour of go to Kualoa Ranch. The ranch offers many different tours, depending on what you want to do and see. The “Hawaii Backlot Tour” will take you to see the famous Jurassic Park fallen tree, where you can get out and take a picture, along with many other famous movie sets that have stayed right where they were created. DUring the Jurassic Valley Zipline Tour, you can zipline through the area where Jurassic Park was filmed!

  4. Blue Crush

    Like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 50 First Dates, Blue Crush is not only filmed in Hawaii, but the plot also takes place here, too. Unlike those movies, this book gives you a really good insight into the culture of surfing in Hawaii. It’s about three friends whose passion is surfing.

    Blue Crush stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Sanoe Lake, and Mika Boorem. It is based on a nonfiction article in Outside magazine – “Life’s Swell.”

    Since the entire plot of the movie takes place on Oahu, there are many places that will be recognizable that you can go to. Many beaches on the north shore and places in Waikiki were used to film. Also, the JW Marriot Ihilani Resort & Spa in Ko”Olina is also prominently featured, as three of the characters work there as maids. The characters also go to Ted’s Bakery, one of the best and more famous bakeries on the island.

    Of course, the Pipeline steals the show. Although I don’t advise you go to swimming there since it can be dangerous if you are not a professional, it’s worth checking out the beach!

  5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

    Jennifer Lawrence stars as the fierce heroine Katniss Everdeen in this immensely popular film franchise. Four films make up the entire story, with Catching Fire being the second.

    If you’re not a fan of the popular series, here’s a quick recap. Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian world in which one member from each district must sacrifice two of its youngsters to the Hunger Games. Each year, these children are forced to battle to the death. Katniss survives the first film, only to be thrown back into the Hunger Games the next year.

    Because much of the second film takes place in the jungle-like area of the games, many different spots throughout Oahu were used for filming.

    This film takes place in a fictional world and not Hawaii. However, much of the filming took place in Oahu’s lush jungles. The game begins in the Cornucopia, filmed at Kawela Bay on Oahu, which is located near Turtle Bay Resort. Some of the jungle scenes were shot in Waimea Valley, also on the North Shore. Although the filming locations are off-limits to the public, Waimea Valley is a great place for a family-friendly hike.

    Many of the other jungle scenes were filmed in Manoa Valley. You can take the trail in Manoa Valley to the 150-foot Manoa Falls. This gorgeous waterfall is well worth the hike, even if you aren’t a fan of the movie.

  6. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

    I was hanging out at Turtle Bay while this movie was being filmed! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any of the stars – Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendric, and Aubrey Plaza. But I did get to see the crew setting up for a scene.  I thought that was pretty cool!

    This movie is based on the viral true story of two brothers who placed ads online for wedding dates. In the movie, Zac Efron and Adam Devine play brothers who did the same thing. The women who respond – Anna Kendric and Aubrey Plaza – aren’t exactly the type of women you want to bring to a family wedding. The wedding takes place at Turtle Bay Resort, where much of the pst of the film does. Some scenes were also shot at Kualoa Ranch.

    If you are planning to come to Turtle Bay, you have to watch Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates first!

Have you seen any of these movies? Which is your favorite? I can’t decide!


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