Easy Rider (1969)

The 1969 counterculture road trip film, “Easy Rider,” directed by Dennis Hopper, was filmed across the American Southwest and South, including many sites tucked away along back roads.  If  inclined, one could take a unique road trip cross-country revisiting the filming locations.  Production took place across California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Louisiana.

At the beginning of the film, after completing a drug deal that scores them cash for a cross-country trip, Wyatt and Billy, played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper respectively, begin their trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  During the opening credits montage, they are seen driving past many locations on their bikes.  They drive along the California-Arizona Bridge at the border of the two states, passing over the Colorado River.  The Old Trails Bridge (15130 W Historic Rte 66, Topock, AZ 86436) can be seen behind them.

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LOCATION: California-Arizona Bridge, AZ-95, Needles, AZ 92363

During the same montage, they pass this hotel as they drive down Route 66 through Flagstaff, Arizona.  This building is located within walking distance of the “shit happens” jogging scene in “Forrest Gump.”

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LOCATION: 2 W Historic Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

At the end of the day, Wyatt and Billy stop off at this motel, where the owner shuns them and changes the vacancy light to “no vacancy.”  Known as the Richfield building, it is located next to the Pine Breeze Inn RV Park.  The building itself has no known address.  The exact GPS coordinates are 35°13’27.1″N 111°48’02.3″W.  The owners are clearly aware of their connection to the film.  On the front door window, there is a small poster for the film.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 35°13’27.1″N 111°48’02.3″W (nearest address is 10520 W Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86015)

Here is the side of the building, where Wyatt and Billy have their encounter with the rude motel clerk.

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After picking up a hitchhiker, Wyatt and Billy stop at the Sacred Mountain service station in Flagstaff.  Billy pulls Wyatt aside and questions the safety of allowing the hitchhiker to fill his gas tank, as that is where their money stash is hidden.  The station has long since closed, but the building still remains.  If you’re driving on US-89, there is a small intersection at 150 Rd, which is where the building is located.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 35°27’17.9″N 111°33’45.3″W (near intersection of US-89 / 150 Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004)

Billy, Wyatt and the hitchhiker end up camping overnight at Lomaki Pueblo in Cameron, Arizona.  There are several ruins along the trail at Lomaki Pueblo.  To find the exact spot used in the film, simply follow the trail to the furthest ruins and the location is just behind the wall.  In the photo below, the walking trail is just to the right of the frame.  It’s not a difficult task to reach the site, but there are many rocks protruding from the ground, so watch your steps as you traverse the uneven terrain.

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LOCATION: Lomaki Pueblo, Cameron, AZ 86020 (GPS coordinates: 35°34’46.3″N 111°28’04.8″W)

Even if you’re not a fan of the film, the Lomaki Pueblo is a unique place to visit and one we recommend if you’re in the area.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Few filmmakers have ever captured adolescence as well as John Hughes did with a string of hit films in the 1980s.  Most of his films were set in the fictitous town of Shermer, Illinois and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is no exception.

While much of the film did indeed film in the Greater Chicago area, Ferris’ house is actually located far from the neighborhoods of Chicago, in Long Beach, California. The same house appears in the films “Red Dragon” and “Not Another Teen Movie.”

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LOCATION: 4160 Country Club Dr, Long Beach, CA 90807

Ferris’ high school scenes were filmed at Glenbrook North High School, in Northbrook Illinois.  Hughes had previously used the hallways of the school in another of his 80s hits, “The Breakfast Club.”  Later in the film, Ferris poses as his girlfriend Sloane’s father, coming up with a scheme to get her out of school.  This scene was actually filmed at the Center for Performing Arts, a separate building on the grounds of the high school.  The stairs still look exactly the same as they did in the film.

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LOCATION: 2300 Shermer Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062

A reverse view at the parking lot from the stairs, where Ferris posed as Sloane’s father.

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The police station where Jeanie, played by Jennifer Grey, meets a mysterious man, played by Charlie Sheen, can be found in Downtown Los Angeles. It is only seen from interior views in the film. The building has been featured in countless films and television series, including “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Divergent,” “The Muppets,” “Wrath Of Man,” “License To Drive,” “Unlawful Entry,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Child’s Play 2” and dozens more.

LOCATION: 635 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Ferris’ best friend Cameron lives at this house in Highland Park, Illinois.  It has unfortunately since been remodeled, but we were able to capture it long before remodeling took place.

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LOCATION: 370 Beech St, Highland Park, IL 60035

Late in the film, disaster strikes when Ferris and Cameron accidentally reverse Cameron’s father’s car through the glass wall of this building, down a steep canyon.  The building really does exist behind the above house and there really is a steep canyon beneath it, exactly as depicted in the film. This building has not been remodeled.

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Some outfits worn by Ferris and Cameron in the film can be seen on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830