"Who says watching a ton of TV and movies makes you a couch potato? Sure, it can – but your viewing habits can also be a source of inspiration for exploring the world. With a little research and a dash of creativity, you can turn your obsessions into reality – and not reality TV.
You don’t even have to pick a road trip movie or that road trip episode from your favorite show. If you want to trace the route of National Lampoon’s Vacation, knock yourself out. But thanks to Hollywood’s use of American landscapes to represent everywhere on Earth and the rest of the universe, you can turn almost any show or movie into a US road trip.
Here are a few examples to set you off in the right direction.
A food-filled Top Chef road trip
Making viewers hungry and jealous since 2006, Top Chef can be the inspiration for an itinerary where you get to be the judge. Previous contestants on the show are currently running or cooking at well over 150 restaurants across the US, and the judges add several dozen more, meaning you can easily string together a cross-country calorie spree.
In the west, chow down at Top Chef All-Stars winner and frequent judge Richard Blais’ Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, sample both Voltaggio brothers at the same time at LA’s STRFSH, and visit Brooke Williamson’s Hudson House in Redondo Beach. Head north to eat chicken and waffles at Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen (Tanya Holland, Season 15), before heading to Portland’s Smokehouse Tavern (B.J. Smith, Season 14) and Seattle’s Mamnoon (Carrie Mashaney, Season 11, and Jason Stratton, Season 13)."