Around the holiday season, most of us dream of being transported to those classic Christmas movie locations. From the snowy Vermont lodge in White Christmas to the banisters of Kevin McCallister’s house in Home Alone, these settings don’t have to just stay within your television screen. Even if some of those classic Christmas movie settings were the work of Hollywood studios, you can still find their inspirations across the country. As you pop in It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story this year, consider popping over to their actual settings as well.
Home Alone, Winnetka, Illinois: If you find yourself in the Chicago area, you can drive by the Georgian home featured throughout the holiday staple, Home Alone. The red brick home lords over 671 Lincoln in east Winnetka, a northern suburb of Chicago. While the famous site of Kevin McCallister’s shenanigans was up for sale a few years ago, it eventually sold in 2013 for $1.585 million. You can’t tour the 1921 home but you can cruise on by to see the exterior of the three-story house.
It’s a Wonderful Life, Seneca Falls, New York: While set in the imaginary Bedford Falls, many believe Frank Capra’s inspiration for the setting of the classic holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life was none other than Seneca Falls, New York. In fact, the locals whole-heartedly believe Seneca Falls to be the film’s inspiration as they host the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival each year. The event features a screening of the film, special guests such as as the actresses who played the Bailey sisters and even similar Christmas light displays to the film around the downtown. Seneca Falls is also home to the It’s a Wonderful Life Museum. Located in part of the first movie theater in town, the museum boasts photographs and memorabilia from the film. The similarities to the fictional Bedford Falls are apparent. The architecture of the town’s main street mirrors that of the film’s main street. Seneca Falls also holds a similar bridge and a number of Second Empire Victorian homes like George and Mary’s home in the film.
White Christmas, Vermont: The quaint Columbia Inn featured in the film White Christmas was merely a studio set in California. While there might not be a Pine Tree, Vermont where Bing Crosby belted out the classic Christmas carol, travelers can recreate the cozy lodge and snowy Vermont experience in several spots in the state. Namely in the town of Stowe, wedged in between the Green Mountains and Worcester Range visitors can have a white Christmas by taking part in the skiing available. If skiing is not your sport, you can curl up with some cocoa at one of the many country inns in town and pretend Bing is warming up by the fire.
A Christmas Story, Cleveland, Ohio: Fans of the 1983 holiday movie classic, A Christmas Story, will want to head to Cleveland to see the home used in exterior shots in the film. Restored to its movie splendor, the house also boasts a museum across the street where you can see original props, costumes and memorabilia from the film including Randy’s snowsuit and the family car. There is also a gift shop on site where you can purchase more A Christmas Story items like the infamous leg lamp. Open year round and 7 days a week, the home is right in Cleveland, Ohio. This year marks 30 years since the film debuted.
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