Monterey Movie Madness Tours

Monterey Movie Madness Tours

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Quick . . . think of a West Coast location where more than 200 movies have been shot. If you're thinking of California, you're right. But if you answered Monterey, about two hours south of San Francisco, then you probably have already taken Doug Lumsden's Monterey Movie Tour. If you're not clued into Monterey's movie history, climb aboard, and let Doug show you how much Hollywood loves Monterey.

Right away, I know this is not an ordinary canned tour. Doug tailors his tour to our group an older family from the East Coast, a bunch of locals, and a film student. From his library of dozens of film clips, he shows those we know, and some that each generation will recognize.

More Than 100 Years Of Celluloid

Directors and cinematographers have been drawn to this area since 1897, when a cameraman working for Thomas Edison shot the pounding Monterey surf and filmed carriages arriving at the swanky Hotel Del Monte (now the Naval Post-Graduate School). Filmmakers from Cecil B. DeMille to Alfred Hitchcock have flocked to the Monterey Peninsula ever since, seeking the perfect backdrops for their shots.

Monterey has doubled for many famous places over the years, including Marin County's Stinson Beach in "Basic Instinct"; Sausalito in "Star Trek IV"; Louisiana swampland in "The Muppet Movie"; and the 19th-century Baltic coast in budget-movie-king, Roger Corman's "The Terror".

"We're in Movieland," Doug chimes out. He was born in Monterey County, and his father was a friend of Clint Eastwood's dad; they were both in the lettuce industry. Doug's dad also was roommates with Jimmy Stewart in WWII, just after he won the Oscar for "Philadelphia Story". Doug's movie roots fuel his enthusiasm. Not only is he the president of the Monterey Film Commission, but also he's a great source of local history and lore better known as small-town gossip.

Where the Locals Go

Doug is the owner, tour guide, and driver. After 22 years in banking, and seeing customer service go down the tubes, he decided to follow his dad's inspiration and start celebrating his hometown. Doug had been providing generic scenic tours, as if any scenery in Monterey is generic! But in 2003, to honor the new DVD release of Clint Eastwood's "Play Misty For Me", Doug organized a special movie tour. Because "Misty" was filmed entirely in the Monterey area, choosing just a few locations for the opening was a challenge, but the event gave Doug the idea to create a movie tour. If you're like me, and like to go where the locals go, this tour is it.

What You'll See

First, you'll see a comfortable, 32-seat bus with overhead TV monitors and headsets for listening to Doug's commentary and the movie clips he shows. He is terrific at showing snippets just before you arrive at the location. When we first boarded the bus, we watched a scene from "A Summer Place", with Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. Our first stop was Colton Hall that doubled as Sandra's girls' school. Today, this historical museum was the home of the California Constitution.

Most of the movies made on the Monterey Peninsula were created in the 1920s about 30 films but continued to be recognized at the Oscars through the 1950s in "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935), "Captains Courageous" (1937), "National Velvet" (1944), "From Here to Eternity" (1953), and "East of Eden" (1955). Monterey has also been featured in some real flops, and Doug shows a bit of these just for fun.

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Cymber Quinn, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent Read Jetsetters Magazine at To book travel visit at and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at

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Cymber Quinn, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at Leave your email next to the logo for FREE e travel newsletter.

Cymber Quinn