The Amazing world of Francis Ford Coppola

It’s rare that a real live person can be described as a destination.

And yet, this is how the Miami Herald describes film director Francis Ford Coppola.

Films can be journeys unto themselves, of course, but it is Coppola’s non-cinematic ventures which are the focus of the Herald’s “destination” piece.

Coppola, like Walt Disney before him, has used profits from Hollywood to create real-world escapes. Coppola’s investments have been far different than Disney’s, however, focusing on amusements that are more mature than cartoons and roller coasters.

Coppola’s Rubicon Estate in Napa, California rests on a few hundred acres of prime grapevines which have produced a number of award winning wines for the famed director. Tours of the estate start at $20 for a historical tour and $45 for a tour of the wine facilities (tastings included). Also located on the grounds is the Centennial Museum. The museum contains artifacts from the original owner of the estate, Gustave Niebaum, as well as movie memorabilia from Coppola’s films, including all five of his Oscars. It will soon be moving to another location, however.

A restaurant owned by Francis Ford Coppola really needs no introduction. It’s not too hard to guess that anything with his name on it is going to include fantastic wine and great Italian food. If you happen to be in the San Francisco area, be sure to stop by Rubicon, Café Zoetrope, or Café Ross Bianco (in Palo Alto).

Disney had Disneyland and Coppola has Blancaneaux Lodge in the jungles of Belize, Turtle Inn on the southern coast of Belize, and La Lancha in Guatemala near the Tikal region. Travelers can drool over all three locations at the following website.

I don’t know about you, but I sure think it must be great to be Francis Ford Coppola. Can’t I just be him for one day? Please?