If you’ve been keeping an eye on pop culture lately, you may have noticed that some things feel a little familiar. The big hairstyles, the shoulder-pads, the reboots of your favorite childhood films… it feels like we’ve traveled back to the 1980s. While some people may not dig this neon blast from the past, true nostalgia geeks are loving it. Whether you’re binge-watching Stranger Things in preparation for Season 2 or digging your parachute pants out of the closet, there’s something for everyone to love about the 80s. And if you’re looking to turn your love of nostalgia into a full-blown adventure, you’re in luck: we’ve got the must-see travel spots that will make you feel like the 80s never left.
Dirty Dancing Festival – North Carolina
Nobody puts Baby in a corner, even 30 years down the line. If you’re still in love with Patrick Swayze from his iconic role in Dirty Dancing (and who could blame you), then you need to book a ticket for North Carolina. Every year at Lake Lure on Swayze’s birthday, there’s an enormous festival celebrating the classic and much-loved film. From special guests to watermelon-carrying competitions (and of course a whole lot of dancing), it’s a fun way to pay tribute to one of the most unforgettable movies the 80s ever rolled out.
The Whitney Museum – New York
Who says video games can’t be art? Certainly not the folks at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, who are all about celebrating the geniuses behind some of your favorite 1980s video games. If you’re sick of virtual reality, hit up the Video Arcade exhibit and get a taste of some technological nostalgia. The exhibit, which runs through May 2018, features 23 of the most beloved games from the 80s. From Ms. Pac Man to Tron, you’ll be able to find all your favorite childhood games righ here. Best of all, this is an interactive exhibit — you can load up on tokens and get to work beating your high score on Frogger. This is a great way to introduce kids to 1980s culture too (and show them just how far video games have come in just a few short decades).
Not sure you can make it in time to catch the video game fun? The Museum of Moving Images also has several permanent exhibits that celebrate the wild and surreal style of 1980s television and cinema, from the glory days of Jim Henson’s beloved Muppets to screenings of classic 80s films. It’s a wonderful excuse to immerse yourself in the culture of days gone by, and catch up on a few forgotten favorites.
The Goonies House – Oregon
It may be the filming location of one of the most beloved movies of the 1980s, but you can’t immediately tell. The home from The Goonies doesn’t have a museum, or a gift shop, or even a plaque to commemorate it; it’s simply another house in a sleepy cul de sac. The owners aren’t too keen on tourists, but that doesn’t stop hardcore fans from making the pilgrimage in order to snap a few photos — and for fans of Stranger Things, this humble house is a must-see stop.
RockFest 80’s – Florida
Music was a huge part of the popularity and impact of Stranger Things, and it’s easy to see why. The music of the 80s was an unforgettable mix of hair bands, electro dance music, and pop classics. You can experience at least some of those musical moments if you plan a trip down to Florida. RockFest 80’s is a two-day trip back to your favorite time for music. With performances from artists like Joan Jett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Cheap Trick, it’s a great way to relive the rock moments that helped define a decade.
Do you want to take a trip back in time? Why not plan your visit to some of these awesome places right now?