Five Movies That Will Make You Want to Get Outdoors

Actor Kyle Howard

Blockbuster movie season is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to highlight nature on the big screen. We asked actor Kyle Howard, star of the hit shows My Boys and Royal Pains, to share is top five movies filmed in nature.

Kyle loves to spend time outdoors and is passionate about protecting beautiful places for generations to enjoy — in person and on screen. Some of his picks may surprise you, and even more surprising are the places they were filmed.

Read his favorites, tell us yours and take our Nature in Film quiz!

North Shore
Film location: North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
This is a classic 80’s movie that I’ve watched 25 times. It’s full of cheese and definitely a guilty pleasure, but Rick Cane and Turtle were my heroes when I first saw this movie. And what a great escape to sit and “live” in Hawaii for two hours.


Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Film location: Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii
Another great Hawaii movie I can’t get enough of. Everyone in this movie is hilarious and it’s definitely one of the funniest films of the last 10 years. The story and the scenery are great, and every time I watch it, I can’t help but think how much fun it must have been to be “stuck” on location at Turtle Bay for three months.


Endless Summer 1 & 2

Film location: The coasts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii
These films are pure virtual vacations to me. To put one of these movies on and take a quick trip around the planet chasing sunshine and perfect waves is one of my favorite ways to spend two hours.


Film Location: Monuriki Island, Fiji
This movie (along with the Shawshank Redemption) is one that if I catch it on cable, regardless of how busy I am or how much of the movie is left, I simply must watch again. It’s so visually stunning and the story is very easy to get wrapped up in — it gets me every time.


The Sandlot

Film location: Salt Lake City, Utah
There’s nothing tropical or extravagant about it. It’s just kids enjoying being outside in a park. In fact, this movie takes place almost entirely in a dusty old baseball field, but it’s still been a classic since the first time I saw it. It’s one of the few movies I know that kids today still love, and adults who were young when it came out will never forget. Sandlot FOR–EV–ER!!!


Thanks, Kyle, for sharing your favorite movies filmed in nature! We’re sensing an ocean theme here.

Now it’s your turn! Test your movie knowledge by taking our Nature in Film quiz. See if you can guess where these iconic movies were filmed.

Then tell us your favorite movie filmed in nature in the comments section below. We’re compiling a list and we’d love to hear from you.

If you believe in the work we’re doing, please lend a hand.


  1. I’d have to say my favorite all time nature movie would have to be ‘My Side of the Mountain’ (1968/69). I saw it as a child and it made me want to run away to the forests myself. I enjoyed the books more so, and I think it would be great if they would remake this movie.

  2. Interesting…the surfing influence in these choices. We start life surrounded by water, so technically, is that the first experience with nature that one has?

  3. Nice picks by Mr. Howard. Here are some of my favorite shot (mostly) in (mostly USA) nature films, not in any particular order:

    1. A River Runs Through It
    3. The Last of the Mohicans (even if it wasn’t filmed in New York!)
    4. Deliverance (although I suppose this one might want to make people get OUT of the outdoors!)
    4. The River Wild
    5. Son of the Morning Star (TV)

    Yikes! That’s at least 3 “river movies” out of 5! I think maybe somewhat coincidence, fascination with water by the filmmakers — I thought of several other films that SHOULD be made in nature from terrific books and stories, without the same preponderance of water-based storylines.

  4. Want nature? On netflix in either DVD or streamable: “180 degrees south.” Our favorite nature/adventure film to date.

  5. A movie that always inspires me is “White Fang” with Ethan Hawke. I just want to leave everything and live in the Yukon!!

  6. How about Thelma and Louise? Spectacular desert scenes.

  7. My favorite outdoor movie is an oldie but a goodie. Hatari, with John Wayne and a bunch of other huge-name actors, is filmed in Africa and is about a group of people that catch animals for zoos. It’s absolutely a beautiful movie to watch.

  8. Any book by Farley Mowat; even “Born Naked” would make great movies–if done right. I read a book over 20 yrs ago that has always remained a special fav “Skywater” by Melinda Worth Popham. An incredible book w/ story told thru different eyes. I could always “see” the book presented in an animated version movie w/ a lesson for us all but geared for kids. I also “hear” some of Michael Martin Murphey’s songs in the soundtrack.Someone rich & famous should make it!
    Ommmm, Sarah

  9. “180 degrees South”is beautiful and inspirational set in Patagonia, Easter Island, etc.
    HOME (which is free on You Tube) by Yann A. Bertrand, aerial videographer, is life changing. Watch it twice, have your children and their friends watch it,
    Their teachers in schools show it – you will see why.
    Samsara, released in 2012, also gorgeous cinematography from around the world.
    Koyannisquatsi with music by Philip Glass is important to see.
    There are many more: Crude Awakening, etc.

  10. and the classic that made me dream about Hawaii (not Elvis) since I was 13 yrs old, Blue Hawaii..this movie more than any other at the time lit my dreams of paradise…


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