The Best Road Trip Destinations for a Holiday Movie Buff

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Get into the holiday spirit by visiting the filming locations of some of your favorite holiday movies. With classic scenes shot from New York to Cleveland, Ohio to Los Angeles, California, you’ll have quite an adventure for your own Christmas vacation.
You’ve made your list. You’ve checked it twice. But you know what certainly wouldn’t be nice? Getting stranded on an icy road without roadside assistance.
That’s why Jerry offers a membership program with industry-leading roadside assistance, including benefits like towing, lockout service, and a mechanics hotline. To find out if you’re eligible, you can check the app or call one of our friendly agents. You may qualify for a special rate of $50 for your first year! 
So pack your bags, and get ready to jingle all the way to these holiday hot spots. 

Rockefeller Center—New York City

People ice skating at Rockefeller Center on a holiday evening with Christmas lights lit up
Rockefeller Center, New York City, New York
Perhaps the most iconic holiday site in New York, the tree at Rockefeller Center—home of SNL, Jimmy Fallon, and many other hallmarks of pop culture legacy, can be seen in the background of almost any holiday movie that has b-roll footage over New York City. 
That said, the tree makes a prominent appearance in many well-known holiday movies. Most notably, the tree and its neighboring ice skating rink set a festive mood in the Will Ferrell classic, Elf. On their quest to find all of the Christmas trees in New York City, Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) takes Buddy (Ferrell) to see the biggest of all Christmas trees—the tree at Rockefeller Center. 
Jovie and Buddy start to fall for each other while skating in front of the tree, and you can recreate the same magic on your road trip through New York. The tree and skating rink can be found at Rockefeller Center—between 5th and 6th Avenue and 49th and 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan. 
Fun Fact: Several famous NYC spots make an appearance in Elf. Head to 55 Central Park West, Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, and Gimbel’s for an Elf-themed day

Wollman’s Skating Rink—Central Park, New York City

People ice skating in circles on an evening at Wollman's Rink.
Wollman's Skating Rink, Central Park, New York City, New York
Skating rinks play a prominent role in many magical winter scenes in holiday movies. One of the most romantic examples is at the end of the movie Serendipity, which takes place at another well-known ice skating rink in New York. 
After a chance encounter, Sara (Kate Beckinsdale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) spend the rest of the movie searching for each other, believing fate will bring them together if they are meant to be. In true movie magic, they find their way to each other on a snowy night, meeting at the Wollman Skating Rink in the middle of Central Park. 
If the crowds and lights of Rockefeller Center are not your things, consider carving figure eights into the ice at this public skating rink, located in the southern part of Central Park. The large rink is tucked behind the trees and features impressive views of the New York City skyline. 
Pro Tip: After you’ve burned some calories doing loops around the rink, consider getting a Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3 located at 225 E. 60th Street. Though it’s in a new location, the dessert spot was prominently featured at the beginning of the movie. 

Macy’s at Herald’s Square—New York City

Crowds of people walking by Macy's Herald's Square at night during the holiday season
Macy's Herald's Square, New York City, New York
Rounding out our list of New York City holiday movie locations is the iconic department store that’s home to one of the biggest parades in America. While Macy’s may be best known for its namesake Thanksgiving day parade, it is also the location of the famed miracle that happened on 34th Street in both the 1947 and 1994 classic, Miracle on 34th Street. 
After the parade’s Santa Claus is dismissed for being intoxicated, Kris Kringle steps in as the store’s resident Santa. Despite the lack of belief from store staff and customers, Mr. Kringle performs some miracles to prove to the naysayers that he really is Santa Claus, bringing holiday cheer to even the most doubting skeptics.
The store’s flagship is still open for business in its original location—right on 34th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue. If you time it right, you can visit the store to get your holiday gifts—and maybe catch a glimpse of Kris Kringle himself. 

Madison, N.J. 

Parked cars by a street clock on the streets of Madison, New Jersey
Madison, New Jersey
This picturesque New Jersey town has long been considered as charming as a holiday movie set. Fortunately, it served as just that in the 2005 holiday family movie, The Family Stone. 
The film—which starred Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, and other Hollywood favorites—follows Everett (Mulroney) as he introduces his uptight girlfriend (Parker) to the rest of his family, and she spends the rest of the movie trying to win them over. 
The movie features some classic locations in this quintessential New England town, including the local colleges (Drew University and Farleigh Dickinson University), the town’s Main Street, and the Madison Millenium Clock at Waverly and Maine
In addition to the filming locations, the real town of Madison certainly boasts some holiday magic in December. Consider joining in the city’s Search to find Rosie the Reindeer and partake in some local shopping or grab some cocoa at one of the many locally-owned coffee shops on Main Street. 
Fun Fact: The house at which much of the film was shot is not in New Jersey at all but rather in neighboring Riverside, Connecticut. While it is a private residence, you can make a slight detour to snap a picture of 144 Riverside Ave. 

A Christmas Story House—Cleveland, Ohio

Outside the entrance to the A Christmas Story House museum and hotel in Tremont, Ohio on a partly cloudy day
A Christmas Story House, Cleveland, Ohio
We triple dog dare you to make this a stop on your holiday road trip! 
Though it is set in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the house from the 1983 cult classic A Christmas Story is situated in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio. The two-story Cleveland abode has been turned into a museum and bed and breakfast to commemorate the exploits of Ralphie, Randy, and the rest of the parkers.
The house has been recently restored to replicate the movie set, and it features film memorabilia and behind-the-scenes photos. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase your very own Leg Lamp. For the die-hard A Christmas Story fans, you can even book a two-night minimum stay in The Stolen Turkey Suite or Hound Dog Haven. Maybe you’ll even wake up and get your Red Ryder BB gun on Christmas morning! 
The A Christmas Story Museum and Bed and Breakfast is located at 1359 W. 11th St., Cleveland, OH and is a convenient, 10-minute drive from Downtown Cleveland.

The Home Alone House—Winnetka, Illinois

A front view of the Home Alone house with two tree trunks in the front yard
The Home Alone House, Winnetka, Illinois
Another recognizable abode is the house from Home Alone, where Kevin McCallister was famously left home, well, alone. 
The beautiful house is located in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka. Though it is a private residence, you can still drive by and snag a picture of the famous facade at 671 Lincoln Ave. It’s worth driving through the neighborhood as well, as the surrounding houses have quite the light displays around the holidays. 
The town of Winnetka itself doesn’t have too many tourist attractions, so if you’re planning to make this a destination on your trip, consider spending a few days in Chicago, Illinois as well. Chicago is just 20 minutes away from the house, and it’s a great stop for any holiday festivities.
Pro Tip: If you’re not driving through Chicago, you might be flying through the busy O’Hare Airport, another filming location from the movie. Channel your inner Catherine O’Hara and scream for ‘Kevin’ as you go past security. 

Mall of America—Minneapolis, Minnesota

Inside the white interior of Minneapolis' Mall of America with people shopping on every floor
Mall of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1996 holiday flick Jingle All the Way tells a harrowing story that parents (or anyone shopping for toys around the holidays) know all too well—Christmas toy sell-outs. The holiday romp is set and filmed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and some of the movie’s most notable scenes are filmed at Minneapolis’s iconic Mall of America. 
In the film, Howard (Schwarzenegger) is determined not to disappoint his family and find his son a Turbo Man doll for Christmas. 
There’s just one problem—the doll is sold out everywhere. Howard tracks down an off-brand knock-off from a con-man Santa at the Mall of America before continuing his quest to find the real thing. 
While we hope you don’t get tricked into purchasing a toy from swindlers, you can visit the Mall of America to do your own holiday shopping. With over 500 stores, the Mall of America is the largest in the United States, so you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list! 
Pro Tip: If you’re staying in the Twin Cities for a few days, you can head to other spots seen in the movie, including Mickey’s Dining Car located at  36 W. 9th Street in St. Paul

Breckinridge, CO

View of Mountain Lake from up top the Breckinridge Ski Resort in Breckinridge, Colorado
Breckinridge, Colorado
Even though Chevy Chase and his family set out on their adventure from snowy Chicago in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, much of the movie was filmed in the mountain town of Breckinridge, Colorado.
Clark Griswold (Chase) plans to have a terrific vacation with his family, but in true Lampoon style, his plans go awry. Many of the iconic scenes were filmed on location with a local Breckinridge crew. In fact, the scene in which the Griswold family cuts down a tree was filmed at the Breckinridge Golf Course. 
Additionally, Chevy Chase’s jaunt through traffic on a saucer-shaped sled was captured at Breckinridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8. And the Toys for Tots bin he lands in? That was in front of the Wal-Mart in the neighboring town of Frisco
As a snowy wonderland, Breckinridge is a great place to visit in the winter. You can even make the film sites a part of your adventure—consider snowshoeing through the golf course or getting a ski pass to hit the slopes in Breck. 

Fox Plaza Tower—Los Angeles, California

Sign for the Fox Plaza with the Fox Plaza tower in the background with clear skies
Fox Plaza Tower, Los Angeles, California
To end the debate once and for all: Yes. Die Hard is a Christmas movie. John McClane spends Christmas Eve trying to rescue his estranged wife and her coworkers who are being held hostage in Nakatomi Tower, aka Fox Plaza Tower in Culver City. 
The movie captures the grandeur of the tower from every angle, depicting it as a looming presence and obstacle for Bruce Willis’s McClain. Because of the cinematography, the building became as much of a character in the movie as anything else. 
The Fox Tower continues to be the home of several high-powered corporations, but Die Hard fans can visit the building to take a self-guided tour. 

Houses from The Holiday–Los Angeles, California ||| Houses from The Holiday

View of the front walkway to the famous Ohara House in Los Angeles
The Ohara House, Los Angeles, California
Any Nancy Meyers fan knows that the houses play a big role in her films, and that is certainly the case when two women swap houses in The Holiday. While you can’t drive to a picturesque English cottage, you can visit many of the houses around Los Angeles. 
Iris (Kate Winslet) trades houses with Amanda (Cameron Diaz), whose humble abode is actually a 1920’s Tuscan-style mansion in San Marino, California. Iris is blown away by its grandeur—and pool. It’s been updated a little bit since the filming of the movie, but fans can still drive by the house at 1883 Orlando Road.
Another house in the movie belongs to Iris’s new friend, Arthur Abbot (Eli Wallach). Abbot was a hit screenwriter in his day, but he has become a bit of a recluse in his later years. And the house he calls home? The cozy, wood-paneled house was home to comedian Phyllis Diller, who owned it for 37 years. The 22-room mansion is located in Brentwood.
The LA last house prominently featured in the film is The Ohara House, located in LA’s Silverlake neighborhood. This was the home of composer Miles (Jack Black), and it’s known for its modern architecture and stunning location. Built by noted architect Richard Neutra in 1961, the house overlooks the beautiful Silverlake Reservoir—complete with a view of the Hollywood Hills. 
Fun Fact: As much of the movie was filmed in California, many sites around LA became stand-ins for England. One such sight was the Greystone Mansion, which can be seen in countless Hollywood films. 

Why you need roadside assistance

You might not be in a one-horse open sleigh, but it’s a good idea to make sure you’re as prepared to hit the road for a holiday road trip as possible. 
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If you’re embarking on a road trip, you’ll also need a good car insurance policy. Finding [car insurance] with Jerry is a breeze! 
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