Some of the most famous cities of all time can only be reached by turning on your television or popping in a DVD. As much as we might wish we could spend our next vacation in Bikini Bottom or Asgard, these fantastical places are sadly only accessible by way of imagination.
Still, it’s fun to think about what life would be like if we could jump through our television sets, a la Pleasantville. Some of the backdrops to pop culture’s most famous stories are so detailed and well-directed, it’s actually quite easy to forgot they aren’t real. A lot of fictional cities are downright terrifying (Minas Tirith) or boast extremely high crime rates (Gotham City), but there are still a handful that practically beg you to come live in them.
Check out 12 of the more picturesque, less murdery settings from TV and movies. Which ones could you see yourself living happily in? Did I forget to mention any?
(Disclaimer: once you start to imagine what life would be like with Thor as a neighbor, you’ll be packing your hypothetical bags and losing grip on reality in no time.)
12 Fictional Cities We’d Love to Live in:
Reel Estate 1 of 13
Do you ever wish you could transport to the world of your favorite movie or TV show? Take a look at 12 fictional cities we wish we could live in, on Babble!
Stars Hollow | Gilmore Girls 2 of 13
I've grown rather accustomed to big city living up here in NYC, but I still yearn for the small town charm and personality of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. There's a gazebo in the center of the town, festivals for just about every holiday and non-holiday imaginable (End of Summer Madness Festival, anyone?), and the citizens have weekly town meetings. Plus, the worst thing that ever happens there is garden gnome theft. Sounds alright to me.
Photo credit: Gilmore Girls Wiki
Orbit City | The Jetsons 3 of 13
While most futuristic cities in pop culture are honestly rather terrifying, Orbit City from The Jetsons has all the space-age wonder without any of the alien wars or dystopian societies. Housekeepers on wheels and giant floating amusement parks? Sign me up.
Photo credit: The Jetsons Wiki
Emerald City | The Wizard of Oz 4 of 13
The sparkling Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz stands for creativity and hope, glowing like a beacon at the end of the yellow brick road. While the greenness turns out to just be an illusion from the residents' tinted sunglasses (at least in the book series), it would still be a fun and carefree place to call home. Bonus: There's a convenient field of poppies nearby in case you get a bout of insomnia.
Photo credit: Ebay
Whoville | How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 5 of 13
I'm sure the CONSTANT preparation for Christmas would get a little old after a while, but Whoville sure would be a fabulous place to have your winter home. You could enjoy all the caroling, colors, and delicious roast beast in all its Seussian glory, then leave without having to help do the dishes.
Photo credit: Flickr/Forty2Guns
Pawnee | Parks and Recreation 6 of 13
Pawnee: First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity. Sure, this Indiana town from Parks and Recreation has a long way to go in the fitness department, but who wouldn't jump at the chance to get some waffles at JJ's Diner and attend the epic Harvest Festival? And call me morbid, but I happen to enjoy the graphic murals in Pawnee City Hall.
Photo credit: Ebay
Bikini Bottom | SpongeBob SquarePants 7 of 13
If you're a fan of hamburgers and nuclear testing, then Bikini Bottom is just the place for you. This underwater metropolis totally ups the weirdness factor of city life with quirky neighbors, pineapple-shaped houses, and a notorious villain in the form of a plankton. Fun fact: The creators of SpongeBob SquarePants apparently modeled Bikini Bottom after Seattle!
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Hobbiton | The Lord of the Rings 8 of 13
Rivendell may be the idyllic shining star of Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings franchise, but I've always been a Hobbiton girl at heart. This Shire village sits cozily beside a stream, and its grassy knolls are enough to turn any halfling or human into a nature lover. Just imagine how wonderful life would be if your days were filled with nothing but food, ale, parties, and occasional bouts of farming. (Obviously we're talking about the periods in which Hobbiton wasn't destroyed by Saruman. Sad times, those.)
Photo credit: Lord of the Rings Wiki
Springfield | The Simpsons 9 of 13
Springfield could be in any American state, with a climate that changes daily and every single geographical feature known to man — that's why it's so awesome. You'd never have to leave the city limits, whether it's to spend a night at the opera or observe some genetically mutated fish down by the river. And with its endless supply of hilarious characters, you know your life would never be boring.
Photo credit: Ebay
Cloud City | The Empire Strikes Back 10 of 13
Cloud City hands down provides the BEST scenic views of any fictional realm. The celestial town does attract some pretty shady characters and Skywalker baby daddy drama, but you could always just lay low in one of the numerous casinos or luxury hotels. You know Lando would be happy to show you a good time.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Bedrock | The Flintstones 11 of 13
Bedrock has all the essential amenities of modern society — they just happen to incorporate dinosaurs. When you're not busy working at the quarry, spend your free time at the local drive-in or bowling alley, or tone your quads by powering one of those famous stone-wheeled cars. Just make sure you steer clear of Fred … he's kind of a jerk.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Asgard | Thor 12 of 13
I'm not going to lie — I'd move anywhere if it meant I could bump into Loki at the grocery store. But Asgard is a pretty sweet deal, with or without my little godly trickster. Golden statues, mead, buff warriors … start packing your bags, folks.
Photo credit: Marvel Entertainment
"New York City" 13 of 13
Now, obviously New York City is a real place. But "New York City," the rent-controlled mecca of TV and film, is quite removed from reality. To put things in perspective for you, I am currently sitting in a closet-sized bedroom while a drunk man sings "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" outside my window. Meanwhile, Annie Hall pays $400 a month for rent, and the Friends get to take 4-hour coffee breaks every day. I certainly love this city, but it is not exactly what Hollywood makes it out to be.
Photo credit: IMDB