Famous places not really in places?
May 11, 2024 1:30 PM   Subscribe

What are some examples of famous locations that are not technically in the places/cities we associate them with? Examples below the fold.

To give a couple examples, South Beach, the famous beach in Florida, is technically in Miami Beach, Florida, but is frequently associated with Miami (and is admittedly right next to Miami). Another example is Tokyo Disney, the Japanese theme park, which is technically in Urayasu, across the bay from Tokyo (though, I realize the name doesn't help).

What are other examples of this? Anywhere in the world is fine. This is just a curiosity question, it's not needed for anything. Any area of life--theme parks, filming locations, monuments/landmarks, and so on--is perfectly good.

I think the main exception would be airports and sports facilities, since those are often intentionally outside the city limits but serve the metropolitan area. Universities are fair game, though they can feel similar to sports facilities. Notably, Harvard University and MIT are associated with Boston but are actually in Cambridge, MA, so that's more examples.

(If you're curious what prompted this, it was South Beach. I'll be in Miami in a couple weeks and was reading up on the area. Also, I live in Arizona, home of "Is it in Phoenix or actually in one of the dozen cities right next to it?" When I lived in Los Angeles, it was similar there too.)
posted by Meldanthral to Travel & Transportation (50 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Broadway on the Beach is almost two miles away from the Atlantic Ocean in Myrtle Beach SC, it’s a Boardwalk experience with some sort of fish-filled creek running through it.
posted by childofTethys at 1:43 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

Disneyland Paris is in a town nearby called Marne-la-Vallée.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:59 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]

The Bunker Hill monument in Boston is not on Bunker Hill.
posted by Melismata at 2:00 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]

Many of the major film/tv studio sites in the LA area are not actually in 'Hollywood.'
posted by kickingtheground at 2:04 PM on May 11 [4 favorites]

Also, much of the iconic Strip isn't technically in the city of Las Vegas.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:06 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

The New York Jets and Giants play home football games in the Meadowlands, in New Jersey.

Woodstock, the music festival, was held in Bethel, NY, about an hour and a half from Woodstock, NY.
posted by paradeofblimps at 2:09 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]

The Statue of Liberty is associated with New York City, but it's in New Jersey
posted by jgirl at 2:11 PM on May 11 [10 favorites]

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is not in the city (or county) of San Francisco.

It's between San Bruno and Milbrae in San Mateo County.
posted by zippy at 2:14 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

Yellowstone NP isn't in Montana (except for a sliver on the northern edge.)
posted by dono at 2:16 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

Washington, DC hasn’t existed since the 1800s when the city of Washington merged with the city of Georgetown to form the District of Colombia.
posted by bowbeacon at 2:21 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]

Weird legality related to the island the Statue of Liberty is on… the island as it existed in a state of nature is part of New York, but the island was then expanded via landfill and the new area is part of New Jersey, so there’s a New York enclave entirely surrounded by New Jersey. I believe Ellis Island has a similar thing going on.
posted by Whale Oil at 2:58 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]

The Borough of Manhattan is NOT an island. It includes an area of North Broadway north of (the other side of) the river. Manhattann Island is an Island but makes up not 100% of the Borough of Manhattan. (Won many a bar bet with this little known fact about Marble Hill. If you know the area of the Broadway bridge that connects The Bronx with the island of Manhattan, there is a Target store and several other stores/mall that is the part of the mainland that is included in the Borough of Manhattan.

From Wikipedia

Emphasis mine:
Most of the borough is situated on Manhattan Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River. Several small islands are also part of the borough of Manhattan, including Randall's Island, Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island to the south in New York Harbor; Liberty Island, on which the Statue of Liberty stands, is a Manhattan exclave, as is the original portion of Ellis Island.[19] Manhattan Island is loosely divided into Lower, Midtown, and Uptown regions. Uptown Manhattan is divided by Central Park into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, and above the park is Harlem. Marble Hill was part of the northern tip of Manhattan Island, but the Harlem River Ship Canal, dug in 1895, separated it from the remainder of Manhattan.[20] Before World War I, the old channel was filled in and Marble Hill became part of the mainland.[21] After a May 1984 court ruled that Marble Hill was part of Bronx County (not New York County),[22] the matter was definitively settled later that year when the New York Legislature overwhelmingly passed legislation declaring the neighborhood part of both New York County and the Borough of Manhattan.[23][24]
New York City's remaining four boroughs are collectively referred to as the outer boroughs.[25

posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:59 PM on May 11 [6 favorites]

Boston College is only partly in Boston.
posted by Seeking Direction at 3:02 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

The well-known Kansas City is not in Kansas.
posted by Whale Oil at 3:04 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]

There's what I call The Three Vancouvers Problem:

Vancouver (the city) is not on Vancouver Island... it's on the mainland adjacent. But Victoria (the capital of British Columbia) is on Vancouver Island. (If your cruise ship stopped in Victoria, have you been to Vancouver?) And then there's this original bit of the Portland metro area across the river in Washington State that's called Vancouver also, but they really oughta change its name to the legacy Fort Vancouver in order to reduce some of this inevitable confusion.
posted by Rash at 3:25 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]

The Canadian River in Oklahoma does not go to Canada.
posted by Seeking Direction at 3:26 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

Maybe not super famous, but Seoul Grand Park and the Seoulland amusement park are both in Gwacheon, not Seoul. And I'm too lazy to look this up, but I believe Seoul National University's main campus was originally outside the city limits and was only annexed later.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:27 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

Well, airports are probably famous for this. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is in neither Seattle nor Tacoma, but in SeaTac, a bedroom community south of Seattle named after the airport. So, if you go by one popular shorthand name for the airport, SeaTac is in SeaTac.
posted by lhauser at 3:27 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

In the UK, Buckingham Palace is in London, not Buckingham, while Leeds Castle is almost 250 miles away from Leeds by road. Warwick University is located not in Warwick but on the outskirts of the nearby city of Coventry. (Coventry University is not in Warwick, though - it's in Coventry.)
posted by lapsangsouchong at 3:47 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

RIT, the Rochester Institute of Technology, is technically in Henrietta, NY.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:51 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

Greater Cincinnati international airport is almost an hour from Cincinnati in Covington Kentucky (a whole different state from Ohio), hence its letter code CVG
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:00 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

Not super famous but once was a Jeopardy question: The University of New Haven is unambiguously in West Haven.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:03 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]

Panama hats have never been made in Panama; they come from Ecuador.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:04 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]

Not all of the events of the Salem witch trials happened in modern day Salem; the historic district of "Salem Village" is now primarily located in the town of Danvers, and several other neighboring communities saw accusations.
posted by toastedcheese at 5:21 PM on May 11 [6 favorites]

The Battle of Hastings (1066) happened in Battle, not Hastings.

(I think this counts)
posted by JJZByBffqU at 5:52 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]

The Prime Meridian, indicated by a thick brass marker in the grounds of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich is not actually at zero degrees, zero minutes, and zero seconds but at approximately 5.3 seconds of arc to the west, equivalent to 102 meters. In earlier eras, the line was sometimes moved as necessitated by construction of buildings.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:12 PM on May 11 [7 favorites]

What a great question! Adding to the airports, MSP International is in neither Mpls nor St. Paul (it's in Bloomington MN).
posted by cinnamonduff at 7:41 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

The Pentagon isn’t in Washington, DC.
posted by capricorn at 7:51 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]

The San Francisco 49ers play 38 miles away from San Francisco, in Santa Clara
posted by billjings at 8:04 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

The Glastonbury Festival is (and has always been) held in Pilton, Somerset, which is about seven miles away from Glastonbury and much closer to Shepton Mallet.
posted by genghis at 8:58 PM on May 11 [3 favorites]

The Battle of Saratoga, a turning point in the American Revolution, was not fought at Saratoga but about 10 miles to the southeast, about halfway between the towns of Stillwater and Schuylerville (named for and home of Philip Schuyler, nowadays most famous for being Angelica, Eliza and Peggy's dad).

The famous Battle of Saratoga "boot monument" commemorating the valor of Benedict Arnold (yep, same guy) is in the Saratoga National Historic Park, which, you guessed it, is not in Saratoga, either, but in Stillwater.
posted by martin q blank at 9:07 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

The SF 49ers are now in Santa Clara, and have been since they moved to the Levi's stadium. It's about 40 miles from SF, further by far than Oakland is.

London has five airports named for it, and three of them are unambiguously not in London; London city is in Greater London, but not in the city of London as its name might suggest. Heathrow wins the fight since it's actually in a Greater London borough. (This isn't novel - so many airports are named by the place you're probably trying to get to - but London in particular seems to suck at this.)
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 1:28 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]

The Monte Carlo Masters (tennis) are in fact held across the border in France
posted by socky_puppy at 2:39 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]

There's actually six London airports if you count the biggest fraud of them all IMO: London Southend (alongside Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, City). I had the great misfortune of flying home there once.
posted by socky_puppy at 2:42 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]

Wake Forest University is in located in Winston-Salem, NC, over 100 miles away from the town of Wake Forest, NC.
posted by fluffymag at 3:11 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]

The Houses of Parliament are not in London. They are in the City of Westminster, which lies a couple of miles west of the City of London. The two cities were quite distinct, and separated by farmland, until around the 16th century. These days the whole conurbation is known as Greater London, but it's still officially two different cities.
posted by automatronic at 4:34 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]

The Las Vegas Strip is not in Las Vegas but in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester.
posted by shocks connery at 4:37 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]

There's what I call The Three Vancouvers Problem:

And to add a fourth "Vancouver" mention; for the first four or five seasons of The X-Files, they filmed almost exclusively in Vancouver, but the episodes were set in a variety of different places in the United States.

Vancouver has actually stood in for a lot of United States filming locations - Jackie Chan's Rumble In The Bronx was also filmed in Vancouver, for one. (I haven't seen it, but there's supposed to be a scene where there's a huge mountain in the background of the shot - and trust me, there ain't nowhere in the Bronx where you can see mountains.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:19 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]

There's a pattern of something being founded in a certain location, then named for that location, and then moving. One local imperfect example is The Cambridge School of Weston, a high school that was founded in Cambridge and then later moved to a more pastoral location in the western suburbs. (This example isn't spot on because they had the good sense to add "of Weston" to the name when they moved.)
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:47 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]

The Sundance Film Festival gets through on a technicality. Only a handful of screenings are held at the Sundance Lodge (near Provo, Utah), most of the screenings and premieres and parties are either in Park City or Salt Lake City.

It was originally founded in Utah as the “US Film and Video Festival” with Robert Redford as an early supporter. The group managing the festival soon organized themselves into the Sundance Institute, named after one of Redford’s famous roles, and opened the Sundance Lodge, which is a combination ski resort and lodge with screening rooms.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:24 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]

Lake Michigan, often referred to as the “American Lake” because it is entirely within the United States, isn’t actually a lake. It’s just a part of Lake Michigan-Huron. There is no “American Lake” and all the Great Lakes are part Canadian.
posted by Headfullofair at 9:44 AM on May 12

There's a pattern of something being founded in a certain location, then named for that location, and then moving.

Lagunitas Brewing Company falls under this -- they've been in the town of Petaluma, which is like 20 miles from where they were founded and named in the town of Lagunitas, since I think some time in the 90s. This may seem more theoretical now that they're a national Heineken subsidiary with a Chicago location, but since the Petaluma location has a tap room, a question like "do you want to go to Lagunitas?" in Sonoma or Marin counties often would be understood to refer to the company and not the town, so in a way the namesake's actually been superceded.
posted by dick dale the vampire at 10:52 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]

Speaking of beer, Sierra Nevada is also brewed in North Carolina.
posted by Snowishberlin at 11:14 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]

The exterior of 221b Baker Street on BBC Sherlock is filmed on North Gower St (still in London) because the real Baker Street is full of canon universe Sherlock Holmes stuff. And then the show runners of Sherlock and other shows fill a bunch of city backdrop stuff in Cardiff because it’s easier/less busy.
posted by slightlybewildered at 3:13 PM on May 12

Sports has huge numbers of cases like this:

The Dallas Cowboys don't play in Dallas.
Buffalo Bills play in Orchard Park, NY. Buffalo is #79 of the largest cities in the US, so they had room.
Disneyland isn't in LA, it's in Anaheim.
posted by The_Vegetables at 3:28 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]

The 1st Woodstock festival was 60 miles away in Bethel NY
posted by brujita at 6:20 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]

There is a Mississippi River in Ontario. It isn't named after the more famous river of that name, although the names derive from a similar etymology.
posted by fimbulvetr at 7:23 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Sports has huge numbers of cases like this:

The Washington Racial Epithets Football Team Commanders have played in Landover, MD, about 3 miles outside the DC borderline, since 1997.
posted by hanov3r at 9:28 AM on May 13

Old Trafford, the stadium of Manchester United is not in Manchester itself but the neighbouring borough of Trafford. It is within Greater Manchester however.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:57 AM on May 13

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