With Amazon’s new five-season Lord of the Rings series on the horizon, the world is primed and ready for another wave of Tolkien mania.
The first wave took place in the early aughts when Peter Jackson adapted J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy into three groundbreaking movies — filmed from start to finish in New Zealand. Since then, New Zealand has maintained its reputation as the real-life embodiment of Middle Earth. From the rolling pastures of Matamata to the otherworldly peaks of the Southern Alps, it isn’t difficult to see why the comparison lives on two decades later.
But stateside Frodo fans don’t need to travel to the southern hemisphere to experience Middle Earth magic. America is already crawling with fantastic landscapes that look like they might have sprung from Professor Tolkien’s page.
Here are five places that American Lord of the Rings fans should visit on their next cross-country quest. (Fellowship of sword-wielding companions optional, but highly recommended.)