National Lampoon's Vacation

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It’s not just enough to watch a movie anymore. We have to interact with them, to watch the special bonus features, to discuss and dissect them until they become something even greater. But what better way to truly interact with the movies we love than to see where they were born?

Fortunately, there’s probably one near you.

This is for the film geek on the move, someone who’d like a few extra stops on their summer road trip. It’s not enough by a long shot, but here’s one for every state – filming locations that you can visit.

Alabama – Big Fish

The film was shot in several areas around Montgomery, including Wetumpka, Lowndesboro, and Millbrook. While the town of Spectre was a set, the fictional town Ashton was actually Prattville and Wetumpka combined, the latter is where you can also find Ed Bloom’s house.

Alaska – Insomnia

This is pretty borderline. Actually it’s literally borderline, because this film was shot right on the border between Hyder, AK and that other country… you know the one. The lake itself was in the valley of Bear Glacier – which is in Stewart B.C. – however much of the film was also shot in the neighboring town of Hyder.

Arizona – Psycho

While the Bates Motel is resting comfortably over at Universal Studios in Hollywood, it certainly wasn’t the only hotel in that film. Remember?

The film starts with Marion post-getting it on at the Jefferson Hotel in Phoenix, a building that still exists today. Unfortunately for anyone looking to have a love affair and steal a bunch of cash, it isn’t a hotel anymore.

Arkansas – Gone With The Wind

Nope, not Georgia. In fact – you can count the number of places in Georgia this film was shot in on one hand if you multiply the answer you get by zero. Freaking movie magic, right?

That being said – if you have a chance you can see what is said to be the only standing location left from this film: Pugh’s Old Mill in North Little Rock. It’s the mill featured in the beginning credits of the film and it’s on the corner of Fairway Ave and Lakeshore Dr.

California – Die Hard, T2, & Back To The Future

Obviously a lot of films to pick from – so I’m just going to take you on the tour that I took myself on when I was in LA.

First, take a trip to Century City where you’ll find the Fox Plaza AKA the Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard. Next stop was the intersection of Hayvenhurst and Plummer – where the truck in T2 jumped off the bridge. Next there’s the Gamble House at 4 Westmoreland Place in Pasadena – there you’ll find Doc Brown’s place of residence.

Finally if it’s shopping you like you’ll want to head to the Puente Hills Mall in City Of Industry. If I were you I’d park in the south lot and keep an eye out for any Libyan Nationalists.

Colorado – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Feel like taking the same plunge as Paul Newman and Robert Redford? Turns out that despite certain claims – the fall won’t probably kill ya; the jump was only made to appear much more perilous than it really is at Bakers Bridge in Durango.

Connecticut – Mystic Pizza

There is a Mystic, Connecticut as well as a Mystic Pizza in which the film was named after. However the film was actually shot all over the place and while the real pizza place makes a cameo in the film, the fictional restaurant was shot in Stonington at 70 Water St.

Delaware – Dead Poet’s Society

If you’re looking to do a little rebelling look no further than St. Andrew’s School in Middletown – a school that no doubt never gets tired of their students stands on desks while snickering. When you’re done there shoot on over to the Everett Theater at 47 West Main St. in the same town and perhaps see a show. Finally – do not, I repeat, DO NOT go check out Beaver Valley Cave and start any kind of ‘society’ because it’s actually private property. Seriously don’t do it.

Florida – Edward Scissorhands

Yeah – that neighborhood actually is a place. If I had to bet if what I was seeing was a set I would have actually lost. It’s a place called Lutz – and if you check out Tinsmith Circle you can actually find Edwards suburban home (just don’t get arrested because, you know – people live there). You can also check out Lakeland’s Southgate Shopping Center at 2512 S. Florida Ave if you feel like getting a haircut or seduced.

Georgia – Forrest Gump

No, before you ask the bench was moved into some stupid Museum. However you can still take the trip to Savannah and sit on whatever bench people think is the bench in Chippewa Square, the location where this famous scene was shot. Just be sure to bring either a box of chocolate or a dim-witted friend.

Hawaii – Jurassic Park

Pretty much any movie where people are sword fighting or killing dinosaurs or getting lost or sword lighting dinosaurs while lost is going to be shot in Hawaii. No time to go over them all – so my advice is to visit Hanapepe Town in Kauai (whatever that means) and take a helicopter descent next to Manawaiopuna Falls while humming yourself some sweet John Williams.

Idaho – Dante’s Peak

No idea why they went to the town of Wallace and digitally added a volcano to make Dante’s Peak, but that’s what they did. It’s pretty cool when you think about it – no doubt every angst-ridden teenager in the area likes to pop this one in and watch their stupid town get blown to pieces when they’re feeling exceptionally insubordinate.

Illinois – The Dark Knight

I lived in Chicago for a while – and it’s a great city. The best part is that countless films have taken place there. One particular location that seems to come up is Wacker Drive – a street that has been featured in such films as The Blues Brothers and that other movie about big cars that change. The most iconic scene however is the big chase scene in The Dark Knight where Batman squares off against The Joker’s semi. Nothing cooler than driving around Gotham at night.

Indiana – A League Of Their Own

If you find yourself in Huntingburg Indiana you’ll want to head on over to 203 S. Cherry Street and play a game of catch at League Stadium, home of the Dubois County Bombers as well as the Rockford Peaches, the team featured in A League Of Their Own.

There’s really no better place to play a game of baseball, right?

Oh wait…

Iowa – Field Of Dreams

Right. This place. Of course it’s still there. Just go check it out in Dyersville – it’s open daily.

Here’s something funny – for a while the field-turned-tourist attraction was actually owned by two different farmers. You see, Al owned left and center field and Don owned the house, bleachers, and infield. The best part is that not only did two different people own it, but they were also competing for the attraction. There were two gift shops, two access roads, and they closed at two different times. Sounds like a whole different type of film.

Kansas – Mars Attacks

I’m not going to lie, not much has been shot in Kansas – also there’s like four Tim Burton films on this list, and I have no idea why. The man appears to like filming things in small towns in states where films aren’t normally shot.

Anyway – Burns, Kansas is the town. Remember that scene at the beginning where all the cows go boom? That’s Burns – it was also the site of the Donut Shop that gets exploded.

Kentucky – Stripes

When people think of Fort Knox they think of all that sweet, sweet gold. When people think of Fort Knox in terms on cinema they no doubt think of the movie Goldfinger and that plan to explode all that sweet, sweet gold. It’s weird to think that this base was also the base in the Bill Murray film Stripes.

It wasn’t just the base stuff either, as many of the scenes were shot around the area – including the scene where Bill stops his cab on the bridge, which was on that George Roger’s Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville. Also, the sequence in Czechoslovakia was at the old Jim Beam distillery in Clermont.

Louisiana – A Streetcar Named Desire

No kidding, the streetcar still actually exists. Number 922 of the Perley A. Thomas cars in New Orleans, the specific streetcar used for the film, was restored with 34 others and is still operational today. People actually hazily commute to work on this thing, only to get wicked tight and slosh home on it as well. Is that not weird? Imagine your daily routine involving a piece of movie memorabilia this old. It would be like taking Rosebud home every day from work.

Maine – Pet Sematary

Wow. What are the odds that a Stephen King movie was shot in Maine, right?

The town, which I believe is supposed to be around Ludlow, was actually depicted by Bangor, as well as the town of Hancock. The Creed home can be found in Hancock at 303 Point Road where there is apparently a very ironic ‘Children at Play’ sign right across the street. The non-burial ground cemetery can be found in Bangor.

As for the other one… the one that starts with an ‘S’ – I have no idea, and if I did you could bet I’d be out there burying a turtle just to see what an evil turtle would be like.

Maryland – Blair Witch Project

Turns out that the good people of Burkittsville don’t really take kindly to a bunch of dicks dressed in black walking around their forest look for coffin rocks and drawing little stick figures everywhere – especially when the movie that inspired this was actually shot in neighboring areas and not the town itself. The Black Hills Forest is actually Seneca Creek State Park 25 miles away, the house at the end is the Griggs House in Patapsco State Park, and then all the little places such as the Motel and store were also shot in other towns.

Poor Burkittsville – at least Salam actually did something terrible to deserve all the goths running around on Halloween.

Read on!


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