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Part one: Visit these real-life places from your favorite holiday movies

As we enter the holiday season, I thought it might be fun to visit some locations where you can actually experience authentic cinematic landmarks related to the holidays.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few of my favorites. Are there any Hollywood holiday landmarks that you like to visit while out on the road?

The house from “A Christmas Story”

Look what Santa brought me!

3159 W 11th St.
Cleveland, OH

I’ll start with my favorite, the house in Cleveland that served as the centerpiece in the 1983 classic, “A Christmas Story.” Of course, now it runs on TV for 24 full hours on Christmas Day, but back then it was simply a quirky, wistful, and nostalgic comedy that almost immediately became a beloved classic.

What I love most about this landmark is that today you can actually enter the house because it’s a museum dedicated to the film. Primarily used for exterior shots in the movie, the house’s interior has been remodeled to match the film. When you take the great little tour that they give, you will learn about all kinds of inside trivia and also see some actual props and memorabilia from the movie. Jean Shepherd’s loving tribute to his youth and all of the ironic tensions that went along with it, in my opinion, holds up as well as any other Christmas classic. Of course, there’s a gift shop which features lots of little wonderful items related to the film. A must-visit. And I promise you won’t shoot your eye out.

Apartment building from “Elf” (and “Ghostbusters”)

55 Central Park West
New York, NY

This landmark actually gets you two Hollywood classics in one. The apartment building from “Ghostbusters” also happens to be where Buddy the Elf’s dad (and wife and son) live in the charming holiday movie “Elf.” 

“Home Alone” house

671 Lincoln Avenue
Winnetka, IL

Many can relate to “Home Alone,” specifically Kevin McAllister’s frustrations with his family. Plus, the appeal of being left home alone to “eat junk and watch filth” is understandable, particularly if your family leaves you behind in a home like the one you’ll find here. The actual home from “Home Alone” will soon be available to rent on Airbnb!

It’s a Wonderful Life

Beverly Hills High School
241 South Moreno Drive
Beverly Hills, CA

During the courtship scene between Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in this 1946 holiday classic, the two young stars are dancing in the Bedford Hills High School gymnasium. A button is pushed (by Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer from “The Little Rascals”), which results in the dance floor opening, thus causing everyone to fall into the swimming pool that is located under the gymnasium floor. The “Swim/Gym” is still functioning at Beverly Hills High. It’s just south of the main school building, next to the school’s sports field. 

Next week I’ll be back with some more Hollywood holiday landmarks!

Read more from Chris Epting here

Chris Epting is an author, award-winning journalist/photographer and dedicated road-tripper. His best-selling books including James Dean Died Here (the locations of America’s pop culture landmarks),  Roadside Baseball, and The Birthplace Book, along with many others that remain popular with many travelers and RVers throughout the country and world. He is excited to be contributing to RVTravel.com and looks forward to helping to lead you places you may not have discovered otherwise. You may learn more about Chris at his author’s site, www.chrisepting.com

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