Spotting celebrities is easy, if you know where to look and sometimes even if you don’t. When you think about major cities like New York or Los Angeles they’re synonymous with spotting stars because they are film and television production meccas and so many of them will take up residence there. However, celebrities can be sighted just about anywhere, on vacation or just visiting them You just never know where or when a star will appear.
Seeking to meet up with luminaries? Some information about film locations can be found online. So find out about productions taking place in your area and then grab your camera and make a point of going to them. You’re bound to make celebrity contact at these. It really all comes down to a matter of timing and being in the right place.
Just like the rest of us celebrities are drawn to certain cities of the world and what they have to offer. While some stars really require all the glitzy glamour of a Hollywood setting, others would rather be away from the pizzazz and paparazzi and choose to live or vacation instead in quieter locations. What follows is a listing of ten of the top cities in the world where you might just be seeing stars and some information on those we know live there.
10 Paris, France
Also known as, “The City of Lights”, Paris is one of the leading business and cultural centers of the world.” It is city known for its luxury stores, with Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent among many other top French fashion brands. The French tradition of good food still prevails in many restaurants, including gastronomic restaurants and excellent family style places. The city serves as home to both many European and North American celebrities of the world. Paris is a modern and dynamic city with significant universities, administrative, scientific and political activities. The city’s history, fabulous architecture, wonderful restaurants and many amenities make it the choice of many celebrities, many of whom own homes here such as Paris resident Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame. Historically Oscar Wilde and singer Jim Morrison were residents as well. Though she does not live there Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge fan of Paris and visits often, ever since she was taken there as a child by her late father. Major film production companies based here are Pathé and Gaumont. In 2012, 142 movies were shot in this city and I am sure that this is attractive to actors who maintain a residence in Paris.
9 New Orleans, Louisiana
Also dubbed, “Hollywood South” and of course, “The Big Easy” this city is another very popular choice for celebrities to call home partly due to the tax breaks afforded to members of the entertainment industry. Many of the major film and television production companies maintain facilities here. The Port of New Orleans is the 5th largest port in the US. The birthplace of Jazz, it is a charming town, well known for its distinct French Creole architecture, multilingual heritage, cuisine, music and annual celebrations, most notably, Mardi Gras. The very first Mardi Gras parade took place here in 1838. Luminaries such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have homes there, as do Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr. Add to these actors Tim Robbins and Matthew McConaughey. No surprise to see celebrities living here, as in 2012 over 200 films were made in New Orleans which in addition to the city’s charm and aforementioned tax break make it a very attractive venue for celebrities.
8 London, England
London has 22 national museums and 100 theaters, 50 of which are located in its famous West End area. The London Underground (known as The Tube), was built in 1863, and was the first metro of the world. Of course there is also a British Monarchy ruling and Royal-watching adds to the list of luminaries you can see. Celebrities who are locals include Elton John, Colin Firth, Mick Jagger. Many major film and television production companies are based here, such as ITC Entertainment, British Lion Films, Elstree and Pinewood Studios making for plentiful location and in-studio filming and this certainly attracts actors to live in or maintain residences in London such as Gwen Stefani, Ewan McGregor and Jude Law. Visiting stars like Johnny Depp and Kate Hudson love London and also like the proximity of nearby more tranquil Dublin, Ireland. Film production in London for 2012 was about 400 movies.
7 Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monaco is the second smallest country in the world. It is bordered by France on the North, South and West with the Mediterranean Sea to its East. A constitutional monarchy/principality ruled by a descendant of Grimaldi family, which is the oldest ruling house in Europe. In 1956 it is where actress Grace Kelly married Prince Ranier and became Princess Grace. It’s famous for its casino in Monte Carlo and the Monaco Grand Prix race. This tax haven along the French Rivera is a favorite celebrity destination and who can blame them? Where else can one gamble away their money, sip martinis and live tax-free? A lot of location production occurs in this principality. Monte Carlo has been featured in numerous films, most recently in the 2011 movie of the same name and most memorably in 1954’s To Catch A Thief with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Her children still live there. Her son Prince Albert II has reigned here since 2005. Actor James Caan regularly dines in Monte Carlo and is seen there on his yacht. He also has a home very close to Monte Carlo.
6 Chicago, Illinois
“The Windy City” as it is also known has been home to many firsts, among these the world’s first skyscraper in 1885 and the first televised U.S. presidential debates between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, not to mention Twinkies were born here. The city has 200 theaters and over 5000 restaurants. The Chicago area was a central hub for film production that was established before Hollywood became the capital of film production. In the early 1900s Essanay Studios, produced the greatest number of films here starring the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson. Also filmed here were Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Chicago Fire and of course The Oprah Winfrey Show. It stands to reason one is just about guaranteed to site celebrities here especially those who call it home such as actors Joan Cusack, R. Kelly and Steve Harvey.
5 Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is Canada’s third-largest city. It also ranks third in the world as best to live in for quality of life. It is also known as “Hollywood North” since Vancouver is second only to Los Angeles in television production (the X-Files was filmed here) and third in North America for feature film shooting. Local film and television production companies who call it home include ACE Entertainment, Sepia Films, Omnifilm and Vidcom. Generally celebrities want to be right in the downtown area or on the North Shore, As a result, Vancouver has become either a temporary or permanent home to many celebrities including actors Renee Zellweger, Hugh Jackman, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Halle Berry, Robert Pattinson. Famous people who were born here include Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, Michael Buble and many others. All these factors make Vancouver a great location for stargazing.
4 Miami, Florida
Also known as “America’s Riviera” Miami was once a popular place for pirates like Blackbeard to visit and bury their treasure (caches of gold, silver and the like have been uncovered on and off land here.) It is one of the hottest sub-tropical vacation destinations in the world. If parasailing, windsurfing or wave-running are on your list, this is the place for them all. South Beach is rated the number one beach in America in 2008 by the Travel Channel. The city is a popular location for filming movies and television and local production companies include Dark Cloud Studios, Blue Nile Productions and White Lotus Productions. Thus, Miami is a great place to spot stars including celebrities Gloria Estefan, Lenny Kravitz, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias all of whom call it home. Visiting luminaries who have residences here include Sean Combs, Mickey Rourke, as well as baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sousa Whether you stroll by the News Café on Ocean Drive or just about any location along Lincoln Avenue, you’re likely to site some celebrities.
3 Las Vegas, Nevada
Also often referred to as “Sin City” this is a town built in the middle of the desert in Nevada specifically with adult fun and games in mind. It is renowned the world over as a gambling and party Mecca that made, “What happens in Vegas Stays In Vegas” its official advertising slogan. There is also the nearby and mysterious “Area 51”, a classified military facility in central Nevada which until this year the U.S. government had refused to acknowledge even existed. Whether you’re there for the gambling or one of the many lavish and fantastic shows you will almost certainly be seeing stars in this town—perhaps the alien kind or maybe entertainers like Nicolas Cage, Debbie Reynolds, Gladys Knight live there.
2 New York City, New York
It is no surprise that the “Big Apple” makes this list. Also referred to as “the city that never sleeps”, New York is one of the most talked about towns in the world. Richly cultural and a major commerce hub it is at once ethnically diverse and all-American. A melting-pot of 20 million people, there is some of everything for everyone here. Just scratching its surface, you’ll see skyscrapers, the United Nations Headquarters and the Statue of Liberty. It is home to some of the best restaurants and live entertainment in the world on Broadway and off. NYC is film and television production hub hand in addition to major studio presences such companies as Silvercup Studios, Tribecca Film Center and Hearst Entertainment call it home. Thus so many celebrities live here too, including Woody Allen, Yoko Ono, Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Madonna. In fact there is even a “NYC Celebrity Map” with the star’s picture on a ballpark idea of where they live. From the downtown Wall Street area and back up to Central Park, celebrities can be seen just about anywhere in New York City.
1 Los Angeles, California
This city is home to all the major television and film production studios and is where a major portion of film and television has been produced. So of course many industry luminaries live and work in L.A. including Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller, Kevin Bacon and wife actress Kyra Segdwick and Jennifer Aniston to name just a few. The climate in L.A. has often been described as “perfect” and with good reason. Most summer days are warm and sunny, offering locals and vacationers a chance to spend a day at the beach.
Los Angeles is the only city in North America to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice. It also has more than 300 museums and tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame’s “collection of stars” (numbering 2,482 and growing by one or two a month.) Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world – they don’t call it “Tinsel Town” for nothing and it’s a sure place to spot celebrities.