The Jaws movies are some of the most scary films in horror cinema and kept an entire generation of folks out of the water. The fictional setting of the movies centered around a small Northeastern town on Amity Island, but since Amity Island doesn’t actually exist, the films have been shot in a variety of locales.
So, where were Jaws 1, 2, and 3 filmed? Jaws 1 was filmed primarily in Martha’s Vineyard, while
Jaws 2 was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard as well as Okaloosa Island and Navarre Beach. Jaws: The Revenge was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard as well as the Bahamas and the Universal Studio backlot at Falls Lake.
For a Jaws-themed vacation, visiting Martha’s Vineyard is definitely the place to start, but are more exotic locations to visit from the films too. Read on to find out more about these Jaws film locations and what you can do while sightseeing there.
The Filming of Jaws: Amity Island is Martha’s Vineyard
The most prominent filming location for the Jaws films is Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. This Massachusetts island has been a summer colony for tourists and many U.S. presidents for decades and features Carpenter Gothic wooden cottages, lighthouses, and picturesque harbor towns.
With its quaint, disarming beauty, Martha’s Vineyard was the perfect location to set the fictional town of Amity Island. This is where the majority of Jaws was shot. It served as the perfect high-stakes backdrop for Brody’s battle against the man-eating shark that haunted the town.
Since Martha’s Vineyard is an island, a ferry crossing or short prop plane trip is required to visit the island.
Aside from getting to see the iconic locations of the Jaws film, there is a ton of other activities to indulge in if you visit Martha’s Vineyard. Visitors can check out Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, visit the Aquinnah clay cliffs, take a day tour of the island, visit with 72 friendly alpacas at the Island Alpaca Company, or even participate in a sunset cruise.
Martha’s Vineyard features several luxurious, historic hotels for visitor accommodations, including the Kelley House Hotel and the Harbor View Hotel. Those who are getting a little hungry can enjoy cottage style American cuisine at Atria, or grab some seafood at a local favorite, the Red Cat Kitchen.
Underwater Shark Footage in Jaws
The underwater shark footage in the original Jaws could not be filmed in Martha’s Vineyard, since it was not a good location for underwater filming due to the fact that great white sharks are not commonly found in that area (a fact the locals are undoubtedly thrilled about).
Instead, the film crew of Jaws took to South Australia’s Dangerous Reef in the Spencer Gulf, where they could take advantage of crystal-clear waters and a large amount of big, scary-looking great white sharks.
Dangerous Reef is aptly named due to the large population of great white sharks that reside there, and throughout the twentieth century has been a popular spot for big game fishing and shark cage diving.
Jaws 2 Film Locations
Jaws 2 was also filmed partially in Martha’s Vineyard, which acted as the setting for Amity Island once again, and this time film series took on a new film location, Chappaquiddick Island.
Chappaquiddick Island is some of the most virgin land left on the East Coast, and visitors to this filming location for Jaws can find large stretches of beach that are generally not populated.
With a variety of landscapes from marshes and coastline to woodland and meadows, Chappaquiddick Island is a popular location for day hiking and cycling. Visitors can reach Chappaquiddick Island from the ferry at Edgartown.
Navarre and Okaloosa Island
In this film, the oceanic filming moved to Okaloosa Island and Navarre Beach in Florida. This part of Florida, commonly known as the Emerald Coast, features some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Navarre beach itself features twelve miles of pristine white coastline.
Navarre is one of the regions of Florida known as “old Florida,” which makes it a great location for ghost hunts and paranormal tours. It has some of the best sea kayaking and offshore fishing in the state. The nearby city of Pensacola is host to a number of gorgeous hotels and seaside condos, as well as some of the best seafood and culinary experiences around, including the famous Irish restaurant McGuire’s.
Navarre Beach also features the longest pier in Florida, and from this pier, you can see dolphins, pelicans, sea turtles, jellyfish, and other wildlife.
While in the area, you can also visit nearby Okaloosa Island and Destin, Florida, famously known as “the luckiest little fishing village in the world.” Visitors can prowl the Destin Boardwalk to grab some seafood at Floyd’s Shrimp House, or for those with more landlubber tastes, a giant burger at AJ’s Beach Club and Burger Bar.
Gulf Islands National Seashore and Baja, Mexico
Two other locations for beach and ocean scenes for Jaws 2 are the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Baja, Mexico. The seashore was used primarily for its beaches, while the filming at Baja focused on underwater shots.
A few shots in Jaws 2 (namely the garibaldi damselfish shots and the shots of the kelp beds) were shot in Baja, California, a Mexican island off the state shorelines of California known for its beautiful beaches and diverse local wildlife.
Nearby attractions to Baja include Tijuana, which is notorious for its nightlife and shopping. Baja also has good surfing locations for surfers of all experience levels, and even prehistoric cave art which has made this island peninsula a World Heritage site.
Jaws: The Revenge Film Locations
The film Jaws: The Revenge took the film crew back to Amity Island and Martha’s Vineyard for the opening scene of the film, and this time filming centered around the Martha’s Vineyard island village of Edgartown. This town is the principal location for filming in all three movies, and its Main Street acted as the main street of Amity Island.
Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard
For those who would like to visit the location of Brody’s sheriff’s station, they can go to the intersection of South Water Street and Davis Lane. Visitors can check out the iconic Edgartown Lighthouse or take an aerial tour of the area on a Red Baron bi-plane at Katama Airfield.
Edgartown was one a major whaling port, but the primary attraction to this area now is tourism. However, the historic buildings that grace the island have been painstakingly preserved, and now visiting Edgartown is like taking a step back in time.
One hot filming location to visit while in Edgartown is the American Legion Memorial Bridge, also known as “Jaws Bridge” or “Big Bridge” by locals. This is the bridge that the shark in Jaws swims under in order to get into the designated safe swimming area in the film, where it goes on to wreak significant havoc on the local populace.
Visitors can also check out Joseph Sylva State Beach, where the unfortunate and grisly death of Alex Kintner in the original Jaws film was shot, as well as East Chop, a scenic drive along the beach seen in all three movies.
Other Filming Locations for Jaws: The Revenge
Not all of Jaws: The Revenge was filmed in Martha’s Vineyard. Parts of the movie were also shot in the Bahamas, where Ellen Brody is convinced by her son Michael to join him in his marine biological research in the film.
Filming was also conducted at the Universal Studios backlot at Falls Lake, where the film crew replicated Nassau’s Clifton Bay and its skyline.