National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

For the 1989 sequel “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” most of the story is set in Chicago, Illinois, but production took place primarily in Burbank, California, with a few exteriors filmed in Chicago and Colorado.  The Griswold house is not a real house, rather a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house has since changed a bit, but still bears some resemblance.  The same house can be seen in “American Beauty,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Just next to the Griswold house is the neighbors’ house of Todd and Margo, played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  It too is a set, but of all the houses on the ranch, it has the most functional interior, having been used in many productions.  The house is mostly shown from side angles or close-ups, likely due to having been used in another popular film series at that time, “Lethal Weapon,” where it served as Danny Glover’s house.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “American Beauty“, The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Clark flirts with an attractive woman working at a department store, before his son busts him.  This was filmed at Bullocks Wilshire, a famous art deco building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.  Once a luxury department store, the building now operates as a law school.  The building is only seen from interior views in the film.  While the inside is typically closed to the public, there are occasional public tour opportunities.  The building has also been seen in the films “The Aviator” and “Dunston Checks In,” the TV series “Moonlighting” and Areosmith’s music video for “Love in an Elevator,” as well many other productions.

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LOCATION: 3050 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Later in the film, Clark fantasizes about the same department store woman, undressing at a pool in his back yard.  The pool is also located at the Warner Bros Ranch.  While it is located fairly close to the Griswold house, it’s actually on the opposite side of the street (known as Blondie St), not in back of the house as depicted in the film.  If not for the trees in the background of the photo below, you could see the Griswold house in the distance.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Near the end of the film, Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, abducts Clark’s boss from his home after he stiffs his staff of their Christmas bonuses.  This was filmed at the Mattison Boyd Jones house in Glendale, California.  The house can be a bit tricky to see from the road, as the front of the property has a long fence with high shrubs and the driveway is gated.  However, from the right angle you can still catch a view.  Currently a private residence, the house has been seen in many television shows, primarily from the 70s and 80s, including “Flamingo Road,” “Columbo,” “Knight Rider” and “Emerald Point N.A.S.”

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LOCATION: 727 W Kenneth Rd, Glendale, CA 91202

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

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.

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).

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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 the hotel lounge was also filmed here, but that section, while still a lounge, has unfortunately been remodeled beyond recognition.

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LOCATION: 12500 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650

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.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

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.

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LOCATION: 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)