Skip to main content

See also:

Waterfront living for movie buffs

Rosecliff was the setting of 1974's The Great Gatsby and offers a stunning waterfront view.
Rosecliff was the setting of 1974's The Great Gatsby and offers a stunning waterfront view.
muffinman71xx@Flickr

I have always been fascinated by the water-I find it hypnotizing, relaxing and sensual. Judging by the sheer number of movies shot on waterfront locations, I am not the only person who feels this way. If it weren't for the movie industry, I would never have been introduced to so many beautiful locations. Here are ten of my favorite waterfront abodes and the movies they were featured in.

Counselor's Lodge at Camp Crystal Lake, Friday the 13th Part 2.
The lodge where several of the camp counselors lived-and died-in Friday the 13th Part 2 was an actual lodge located in New Preston/Kent area in Connecticut. It was built in 1915 and used as a hunting lodge. It is now a private residential property.1 You can view screen shots of the property here. There are several things about this movie set that I find appealing. I am a horror movie aficionado, so having the opportunity to live where a classic was shot would be priceless. This lodge is also located in small town America, which certainly adds to its appeal. It is far enough from society to be quiet and secluded, yet close enough to not feel completely removed from the world. I have always wanted to surround myself with nature, and this lodge would certainly afford me that opportunity. Another selling point is sheer size-there is more than enough room for my family to spread out and enjoy themselves. These are all great selling points, but when it is all said and done, it all comes down to the porch. This location features a porch that stretches along the entire side of the lodge facing the water. I have never been a morning person, but if I had a porch like this, I would become one just so I could sit out with a cup of coffee and enjoy the sunrise.

Tony Montana's Home, Scarface.
The home of infamous drug lord Tony Montana is a real home located at 485 West Matheson Drive in Key Biscayne, Florida. You can take a virtual photo tour of this grandiose home here. While not a big fan of the movie Scarface, I certainly appreciate the eclectic architecture and lifestyles of the South Florida area. The home has 500 feet spanning Biscayne Bay and offers amazing photographic opportunities on the property and throughout the neighborhood. For a cool 38.5 million dollars, I could live there. This 10, 800 square foot homes is currently for sale. It features 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a swimming pool, helipad and gorgeous views of Miami.2

Rainbow Cabins at Niagra Falls, Niagra.
The Rainbow Cabins were the "late" honeymoon destination for couples Ray and Polly Cutler and George and Rose Loomis (played by Max Showalter, Jean Peters, Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe). The cabins were built specifically for shooting of the film in an area of Niagra Falls located near Queen Victoria Park in Ontario, Canada. Once filmed ceased, the motel was removed.3 I could live in such a location based on the beauty of the surroundings alone. The lookout offers breathtaking views of the falls and the area would be magnificent to witness the changing of the seasons.The tourist traffic would also be a great boon for my candy business. You can view pictures from the film here and here.

Martin Rigg's Home, Lethal Weapon Series.
Police officer Martin Riggs (played by Mel Gibson) has the ultimate beachfront property. His home is located literally on the beach. Since Riggs' "home" was a beachside trailer, it is probably safe to say this set was used for the movie only then removed, however, I have found no confirmation of this fact. Since the movie is set in Los Angeles, it is assumed that the home is located somewhere on the Pacific coast. I have one and only one reason for desiring this waterfront home-to be able to say I actually live on the beach.

Catherine Tramell's Cliffside Mansion, Basic Instinct.
The oceanfront home of ice queen Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is located south of San Francisco in Carmel Heights, California. You can view of the home as it looks now here. What's not to love about a cliffside mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean? If that weren't enough of a reason to want to live in this amazing home, you can count an in-ground pool, breath taking landscaping, sweeping views and a rock fireplace as more reasons why I would like to live there. This home is located at 157 Spindrift Road and is currently owned by Peggy Fossett, widow of the late adventurer Steve Fossett. 4

Babbit Estate, Rain Man.
This gorgeous 5 bedroom estate was built in 1916 and boasts 4 full and 2 half bathrooms, 9876 square feet of living space, a full finished basement a fireplace and sits upon 2.2 acres overlooking the Ohio River.5 Having grown up in the suburbs between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, this house was a natural choice for my list. I have always loved the Cincinnati area and this home would be a dream come true to live in. It is located on a quiet street with mature trees, natural landscaping and a 180 degree view of the Ohio River. The best thing about this home is its close proximity to downtown Cincinnati and many area attractions. View photos here and here. This estate faced foreclosure late 2009. This home was used as the childhood home of Raymond and Charlie Babbit, played by Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

Resort Cabin, The Great Outdoors.
John Candy sweeps his citified family away for a vacation in the wilds of his childhood in one of the most beautiful locations I can think of. The film was shot on location at The Pines Resort near Bass Lake, California.6 There are numerous reasons why I would want to live in this movie set. Being surrounded by nature on every side is the top of the list. There is something new to do everyday in a location such as this-fishing, hiking, swimming, boating, horseback riding-the list goes on and on. The potential for photography is also a huge selling point. The cabin itself is also beautiful. It offers a rustic appeal that is second to none. The rock fireplace, wood walls, wraparound deck all add to the value this lodge has in my eyes. You can see some shots of this lodge during this video clip.

George Monroe Dream House, Life As A House.
This home was never actually lived in by anyone during the film-it was George Monroe's (Kevin Kline) swan song as he died from cancer. The home was built for the movie, using "kits" that were made in a shop off site that were dismantled then put back together for filming. The house was to be demolished after filming was finished, but a group of parents intervened. The home was donated to the Kenter School in Brentwood to become the charter school's new library. The home was dismantled, reconstructed and enlarged. 7 The film was shot on location, near an abandoned amusement park in Palos Verdes, California.8 You can view a photo of the home on set here and as it sits now here. I lost my father to cancer 3 years before this movie came out, so the story was quite meaningful to me. Living in a home that has such a rich story behind it would be a constant reminder to live my life to the fullest. The stunning views of the ocean from this home also make it a worthy home to live in. Being able to get up every morning and run to the cliff to jump into the Pacific Ocean is certainly something worth bragging about. You can see a short aerial video of where the movie was shot here.

Stratford Home, 10 Things I Hate About You.
This home was home to Kat and Bianca Stratford and their protective father, Walter. The Stratford house is a real home located at the intersection of North Junett and 28th Streets in North Tacoma, Washington. This home was originally going to be used for shooting of the movie The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, but it was decided too many changes would need to be made.9 It had to wait 7 more years to become immortalized on film as the Stratford home. You can view photos of the home here and here. In my opinion, this home is drool worthy for any mother wanting a beautiful neighborhood and great schools for her children. There are 3 parks nearby, a beautiful view of Commencement Bay, a wraparound porch with matching balcony, a second story deck with hot tub and mature landscaping. The home also features numerous fireplaces, woodworking throughout the home and stained glass panels.

Jay Gatsby's Mansion, The Great Gatsby (1974).
Who wouldn't want to live in the mansion owned by Jay Gatsby? The Gatsby Mansion is actually Rosecliff, a gilded age mansion, in Newport, Rhode Island.10 The mansion boasts a 40X80 foot ballroom, arched windows, ornate fireplaces, billiard room, sunken service yard, garden with fountain and a lawn facing the ocean. The mansion is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County and is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.11 You can view photos of this magnificent property here. The home is open for tours and may be rented for weddings, meetings and other special events.