Travel Into Your Favorite Emmy-Nominated Show

VIDEO: Actress chats about her hit ABC show that follows a crisis manager in Washington, D.C.

For much of the 1990s, most television shows were shot on stages in Los Angeles in front of a studio audience, and only films really got inventive with their backdrops and locations. But many of this year's Emmy-nominated shows headed outside the typical soundstage and got creative with their sets.

Lonely Planet's U.S. travel editor, Robert Reid, found it's surprisingly easy to recreate the worlds of "Boardwalk Empire" and "Downton Abbey." And not only is it fun to channel your inner Don Draper from "Mad Men" on the streets of New York City, but traveling to the places your favorite characters frequent will change the way you watch your favorite show.

"It's like giving yourself a little quest and you're already invested in the characters, so when you watch the show again you're like, 'I was there,'" Reid told

Much like you can travel to historical sites such as the Ford Theater, where Lincoln was shot, you can travel to TV's sites, too. Just talking to locals in the areas where these Emmy nominated shows are shot and walking the streets of the neighborhoods they're based on will make you feel like you're in their world.

Although traveling like one of these shows may not be enough for a full trip, it is a great addition that could fill a day or two.

Click through for tips on what to see and do to recreate your favorite shows -- from "Girls" to "Hatfields and McCoys."


If you're looking to fall into the world of HBO's new dramedy, "Girls," head to Brooklyn, N.Y., specifically the Greenpoint neighborhood, a spot that many tourists miss on their journeys to New York City.

"The vibe of 'Girls' is easy to do; it's all set in hipster Brooklyn," Reid said. "They're in the heart of the most emerging, cool, young 20-somethings."

The best way to channel your inner Marnie, Jessa, Shoshanna or Hannah is to just walk Franklin Avenue in the heart of Greenpoint, Reid said. Fill a jug with boutique microbrews at Brouwerij Lane, hear readings at the indie bookstore Word and walk along the waterfront.

Just south, in the Williamsburg neighborhood, head to the East River Ferry stop and look for the wall where Adam says he's sorry after throwing a tantrum at a car. Also, check out Peter Pan Donuts and Pastry on nearby Manhattan Avenue.

"The characters would know about Peter Pan Donuts," Reid said. "It's hilarious. It has kind of a U-shaped counter that looks like you're stepping back in time."

As long as you channel your inner-hipster, you're guaranteed to get the feel of "Girls."

"Just get to Greenpoint," Reid said. "Just go there and then follow the cool kids around. Just be around the scene of hipsters."

'Mad Men'

There is nothing sexier than Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, running around 1960s New York City in AMC's drama, "Mad Men." Today, Manhattan is filled with fancy clubs and restaurants just like the ones shown on the hit drama.

The one spot that can't be missed is Grand Central Oyster Bar on the lower level of Grand Central Terminal. This is the spot where Don tricks Roger into a clam-eating/vodka-drinking contest, and Reid insists you'll feel like you fell into the set of "Mad Men."

"It has a glittering ceiling and it's very classy," Reid said. "This is a place Don Draper would take a client."

Another spot to hit is PJ Clarke's. While the red-brick bar is not a Don Draper spot, it is where Peggy goes to celebrate her first ad copy.

If you're looking to have a night out like Don and Midge have at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, check out the Bitter End, also in the Village.

If you're trying to steal the style of the "Mad Men" gentlemen, look no further than Duncan Quinn, Reid suggested. The London suit maker, located just north of Little Italy, is known for that dapper 1960s look, but it'll cost you a pretty penny. You can expect to shell out a couple thousand dollars for the sleek Don Draper look.

'Downton Abbey'

Although London may be a distant location to get to, getting into the world of PBS' "Downton Abbey" is surprisingly easy once you're there.

The show is shot at several locations through England, so one of the easiest ways to see the sites is to jump on one of the thematic "Downton Abbey" tours that are popping up. But Reid warned to beware because some of the tours can be pricey for the typical peasant.

"It's kind of easy because you're literally going essentially to the set of that show," Reid said. "You're basically going around England and doing a luxury tour of that era."

Highclere Castle in Hampshire is one site not to miss. The castle has been around since before the 1700s and is used for many of "Downton Abbey's" exterior and interior shots. For just 16 pounds, you can get admission to the castle and tour it on your own.

PHOTO: Jay's birthday is upon us again and, as before, he makes it well-known that he wishes to keep it as low key as possible.
Peter Hopper Stone/ABC
'Modern Family'

To connect to the Dunphy/Pritchett family of ABC's "Modern Family," take a drive around Los Angeles and check out the neighborhoods similar to theirs. While the majority of the show takes place inside each of the families' homes, there are some public places where they stir up trouble.

At the end of season three, the entire "Modern Family" gang took over Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Don't miss the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" show, which Jay, played by Ed O'Neill, forced the gang to see.

If you're not looking to shell out the money for Disneyland, head to The Grove, Los Angeles' most popular shopping center, which the series has filmed at more than once. Take a look inside the Apple store that Claire, played by Julie Bowen, and Mitchell, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, got kicked out of for fighting.

If you do make a stop at The Grove, keep your eyes open because some members of the cast, as well as other celebs, are spotted there almost daily.

Also, visit the Santa Monica Pier in nearby Santa Monica, Calif., where Gloria, played by Sofia Vergara, tricked Jay and Manny into riding a rollercoaster.

'Hatfields and McCoys'

Jumping into the world of the History Channel's drama "Hatfields and McCoys" may not seem like the safest trip because the show is filled with shootouts. But in today's world, the gunfights are gone and the rich culture of Kentucky and West Virginia can't be missed.

"Hatfields and McCoys" is based on the legendary, 1800s feud between West Virginia's Hatfields and Kentucky's McCoys, so many of the spots in the show really do exist. Reid suggested the best way to see the sites would be to cut through on a cross-country road trip.

The best place to visit is Pikeville, Ken., where several of the McCoys are buried in Dils Cemetery. When you're ready for a bite to eat, don't miss Chirico's, a restaurant that inhabits the house Randolph McCoy built after the Hatfields burned his home.

Next, head over to West Virginia and visit the Hatfields Cemetery in Sarah Ann, W.Va. Devil Anse, played by Kevin Costner on the show, is buried there.

Also, make a stop at the 500-mile stretch of ATV and dirt bike trails in southern West Virginia called the Hatfield-McCoy trails.

The best way to get into "Hatfields and McCoys" is to just take it all in, Reid said.

"It can't be dictated," he said. "It's going to the cemeteries, going to those trails, going to see some of the homes they lived in that are still there. It's about talking to the people and feeling it come to life."

'Boardwalk Empire'

You may think it's impossible to get into the world of HBO's 1920s drama "Boardwalk Empire," but it's actually easy to replicate Prohibition-era Atlantic City, N.J. Many speakeasies from the 1920s that are similar to the ones Nucky Thompson and his gang frequent on the show are still around today.

"At first glance, it's like, 'That doesn't exist at all,' but if you look a little closer, you'll see a lot of survivors," Reid said.

The Knife and Fork Inn is an Atlantic City legend, Reid said. Today, the historic building serves as a restaurant, but in the 1920s it was a local speakeasy.

One spot that can't be missed when stepping into the "Boardwalk Empire" world is the Inn at the Irish Pub. The Inn has survived since the early 1900s and, today, the basement is a spot for locals and cops to enjoy cheap beer and lunch. Reid recommends stopping by for a pint or maybe even staying the night.

"It's a little clunky," Reid said. "It's perfectly clean, but it's this funny little old hotel that has survived 100 years. A lot of people won't choose to stay there but the basement is a massive scene of locals and cops. There's a lot of activity. This is literally from that time period."

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