The comedy classic “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is set all across the United States, but a good portion of the filming was based in Southern California.
Early in the film, Clark, played by Chevy Chase, visits a car dealership with his son Rusty, to trade in their vehicle. After the dealership fails to stock the vehicle they requested, Clark asks for his old car to be returned, only to find it has been destroyed. These scenes were filmed in Glendale, Califonia.
LOCATION: 900 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204
The Griswold house, set in Chicago, Illinois, is actually located in near Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. You’ll likely drive right past if it you visit the Griffith Observatory.
LOCATION: 2310 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
The hotel where Clark goes skinny dipping with “The Girl in the Ferarri,” played by Christie Brinkley, is the Guesthouse Hotel in Norwalk, California. Despite some remodeling and changes in ownership, the pool area is still fairly recognizable to how it appeared in the film. The scene where Clark runs into The Girl in the Ferrari at thehotel lounge was also filmed here, but that section, while still a lounge, has unfortunately been remodeled beyond recognition.
LOCATION: 12500 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
The gas station where Clark has trouble finding the gas tank can be found in Flagstaff, Arizona.
LOCATION: 2515 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
When the Griswolds get lost in a bad neighborhood, the rough streets were actually filmed on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. This is the spot where Clark is getting directions, while the guys on the street steal his hubcaps.
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
When Aunt Edna dies, the family drops her off at Cousin Normie’s house, which can be found in Flagstaff.
LOCATION: 3025 W Wilson Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
The production was clever when it came to filming the “Walley World” entrance at the end of the film. While the amusement park used in the film was Six Flags Magic Mountain (26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia, CA 91355), the memorable entrance was a totally different location; the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. This overpass was used as the entrance, with a matte painting of the Walley World sign and the roller coasters in the background. The overpass is actually on the outskirts of the park, right beside the Westfield Santa Anita mall. In this case, the exact address is tricky, as the grounds are large and it only navigates you to the general vicinity. A tip on how to find the exact spot is to drive down W Huntington Dr. towards S. Baldwin Ave. As you near the mall’s parking lot, drive past the overpass entrance and proceed to the next entrance, into the mall parking lot. As soon as you turn off of Huntington Dr. to the mall, you’ll immediately see this view of the Santa Anita Park parking lot on your right, with the Walley World overpass in the distance.
LOCATION: 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007
Related articles: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)