I’m pretty sure it’s every Harry Potter fan’s dream to have a Harry Potter vacation! But, I don’t know about you, but it’s not always feasible to pop across the pond just to indulge our Harry Potter geekiness! So, the question is: Can I visit Harry Potter in the USA? Well, I’ve got some great Harry Potter vacation ideas you may not have ever heard of for you to stick on your next family road trip! So, come with me and let’s plan your Harry Potter vacation in the USA!
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Harry Potter Destinations
Of course, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, the Wizarding World of Universal Studios should be on your Harry Potter destinations Bucket List and probably the first stop on your Harry Potter road trip! You might wonder if the Harry Potter World is worth it? Well, if you’re a Potter fan, then I say it is definitely worth it!
You can visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios in both Orlando, Florida and Hollywood, California. I’ve only been to the Orlando one, and I have to say, it is such an awesome experience! You will definitely feel like you’re visiting the places in the books!
Highlights of the Wizarding World
- The train and conductor! Grab a pic with him before you get too far in.
- Butterbeer!! You should try it in all six forms – frozen, hot, ice cream, cold, fudge and potted. You can read all about where to find them here.
- Escape from Gringotts ride! Just walking through Gringotts is amazing, but the ride is also awesome!
- Hogwarts Express! You ride from one park to the other. Keep an eye on the windows to see what’s going on!
- Hogwarts Castle! You’ll want to go on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. But, if you don’t want to go on it, you can still tour the castle!
- Lights on Hogwarts – you’ll want to stick around and see the light show on Hogwarts at night!
- Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is new and opens June 13, 2019! I can’t wait to try this one out!!
There’s so much to see and do just in the Wizarding World (not to mention the rest of Universal)! So, when someone asks the questions is it worth it ~ I have to say yes! It’s worth checking it out and experiencing this Harry Potter destination for yourself!
Harry Potter Vacations USA
Beyond the Wizarding World, there are several other Harry Potter USA destinations you should check out and try to fit them into your Harry Potter road trip (I mean, family road trip, lol)!
West Coast Harry Potter Destinations
Wizarding World – Hollywood, CA
Airbnb Luxury HP Themed Apt – San Francisco, CA
If you’re headed to San Francisco, you’ll want to book a few nights in this Harry Potter-themed apartment. It is two bedrooms and one bathroom. Bunks in one of the bedrooms, so great for a family! And, it’s not outrageously priced!
Southwest & Northwest Harry Potter Destinations
If your travels are taking you to the Southwest part of the US, here are a few Harry Potter vacation ideas to fit into your trip:
Not only do they have coffee, but they have lots of fun gear you can come away with too!
This place is amazing! With Harry Potter-ish themed coffee and treats, you are bound to feel the magic in this shop!
Escape Room Tempe – Horcrux Hysteria room
In Tempe, Arizona, you’ll find the Horcrux Hysteria escape room!! How fun is that!!
Blackburn Academy of the Magical Arts – Springville, UT
If you want to go to school… you’ll want to check out the Blackburn Academy in Utah!
Quidditch World Cup – April Round Rock, TX
As Harry Potter USA activities goes, Quidditch is awesome! The Quidditch World Cup moves around the US every year. This year it is in Texas. But, for next year, you’ll want to check their website to see where they are going to be.
If you’ve never been to a Quidditch match, you definitely should work a Quidditch match into your Harry Potter USA vacation! It’s a lot of fun!! Here’s my article about what to expect at a Quidditch Match.
The Crooked Cup – Ft. Collins, Colorado
While this isn’t necessarily a Harry Potter-themed coffee shop, they do have butterbeer! So, if you’re in the area, it’d be worth popping in for!
Take a ride on the Hogwarts Express during their Harry Potter themed day! If your family is into trains and Harry Potter, this would be a fun day!
Harry Potter Brunch – Denver
The Wizard’s Brunch offers a family-friendly option or an adult option. Either way, you’ll feel like you’re in the Great Hall with the Hogwarts gang! You can also find the Wizard’s Brunch in other cities around the world. Check out their website!
The Painted Pot – they have Harry Potter themed pottery painting nights and summer camps! Helena, MT
Midwest Harry Potter Vacation Ideas
Colleges in the Midwest with a Harry Potter feel
- Rhodes College – Paul Barrett Library, TN
- Washington University in St Louis – Brown Hall, MO
- University of Notre Dame – Basilica of the Sacred Heart, IN
- University of Chicago – Rosenwald Hall, Chicago, IL
East Coast Harry Potter themed Places
If you’re vacation plans look like you’ll be on the East Coast, then here are some great Harry Potter vacation ideas for the Eastern USA.
Wizarding World (Universal Studios) – Orlando, FL
Smithsonian, National Museum of American History – Washington DC
The Smithsonian has had a long history with Harry Potter. They have had costume displays, summer camps, and film festivals. So, if you are headed to the DC area, I highly recommend checking out what the Smithsonian has going on with regards to Harry Potter. You may stumble upon something really cool!
There are several magical festivals on the East Coast.
So, if your timing is right, pack your robes and plan on attending one of these!
- Witches & Wizards Festival – Chesnut Hill (Philly), PA (Oct 2019)
- HP Festival – Chestertown, MD (Oct 2019)
- Mischief & Magic – Staunton, VA (Sept 2019)
- Wizard Fest Party Cruise – Oct 2019
- Misti Con 2019 – Tarrytown, NY (Cosplay)
- Conjuration Convention – Atlanta Nov 2019
Colleges that will make you feel like you’re at Hogwarts
- Harvard – Annenberg Hall, Boston, MA
- Arcadia University – Grey Towers Castle, Arcadia, PA
- Yale University – Sterling Memorial Library, CT
- Vassar College – Thompson Memorial Library, NY
- Duke University – Duke University Chapel, NC
Harry Potter Themed Places to stay
Airbnb Harry Potter Fan’s Dream – Chicamunga, GA
This apartment is amazing looking! But, there is only one bedroom (with 2 twin beds), so plan accordingly.
Harry Potter Vacation Ideas
Hopefully, you have gotten some great ideas for a Harry Potter-themed vacation this summer! Whether you and your family go on a Harry Potter road trip and hit several of these Harry Potter-themed places or you just want to hit one area, you are sure to have a blast!
If you’re planning on heading out West, there are so many Harry Potter destinations to visit! Whether just a cup of coffee in Texas, a fabulous apartment in San Francisco or the Wizarding World in Hollywood, CA! Personally, I’d love to stop off in Utah and visit the Blackburn Academy!
Or, if you’re planning on being on the East Coast, you could hit several Harry Potter destinations from Florida all the way up the coast! Of course, Orlando and the Wizarding World is probably the most popular of the Harry Potter destinations along the East Coast. But, there are a few other options if Orlando isn’t on your itinerary! Washington DC is a wonderful Harry Potter themed place to visit!
Whatever your plans, make it a magical family vacation and don’t let the muggles get you down!
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