Chicago, John Hughes, Travel

Walking in John Hughes Footsteps: Movie Locations & Addresses

Back in January, I wrote an article for Chicago Parent about John Hughes and included a few addresses such as where to find his former residence, the cemetery where he is laid to rest and the restaurant where he liked to get a piece of pizza.
It is no secret that I love Mr. John Hughes.
You are probably starting to think I am papering my living room walls with his pictures.
I am not.
I swear.
I have written quite a few posts about Mr. Hughes.
My need for him to be memorialized in the form of a museum here.
As well as the coolest tour my husband and I got to take of John Hughes former mansion here.
So I get where you might think I have become a little, oh I don’t know, keep a shrine to him in my basement.
Other than keeping a drawer of his movies in my family room, I am not keeping a drawer of anything else of him in my home.
One late night in May, my friend Jen was out with her boyfriend George wandering the mean streets of Lake Forest, Illinois looking for any and all things John Hughes.
There are no “mean streets” in Lake Forest, by the way.
That was for “dramatic effect”.
They were madly Google searching my John Hughes post for the exact addresses so that they could go to his grave, his mansion and other points beyond.
This was after 10 at night, mind you.
Mad props trying to find ANYTHING in Lake Forest after dark beside deer and frat boys.
But alas, they could not find it because my article was buried on page five of a Google search, I later learned.
They gave up and went home, John Hughes-less.
This made me sad because no one should ever go home John Hughes-less.

John Hughes Movie Locations and Addresses Chicago
She suggested that I should make a post of all the addresses to the movie location homes, addresses, pictures, etc. in one handy location.
You could go to IMDB, Google and a myriad of other movie fan pages to find the locations of movie sites but that takes a lot of time and effort.
So today, I am providing you with most of John Hughes’ most famous and well-loved movie sites in one handy place.
To be clear, I am not providing any new information.
So please don’t think I am invading anyone’s privacy.
You can go online and look up all of the addresses I am about to provide and they are indeed given.
But I will offer the following disclaimer:
These are their homes.
Stop, take a picture and move the hell on.
Don’t walk on the property, don’t ring the doorbell and for God’s sake do not ask if Long Duck Dong is home.
Without further adieu, I give you my guide to the Chicago area John Hughes movie tour!
My husband and I ate a lot of greasy food, ice cream, listened to months of 80’s New Wave, watched hours of John Candy, Matthew Broderick and Judd Nelson and put a ton of miles on our car all in the name of research.

Lake Forest

John Hughes Grave, John Hughes, Lake Forest
I start our tour with paying our respects to the man who started it all.
John Hughes grave is located at Lake Forest Cemetery, which is located right on the lake.
It is beautiful and quiet.
Please be respectful.
If you are only going there to take a picture, don’t go.
If you are going there to sit on the bench, talk to him and maybe even write a little, then go.
I am very territorial.
This isn’t a tourist trap, this is a place to visit and reflect.
This is also a neighborhood as well, so be respectful

It is kind of tricky to find on GPS.
I believe that they make it that way on purpose which makes me all kinds of happy.
I love a challenge.


It is located on Lake Road in Lake Forest.
The cemetery is located at the end of the road at the north end of the town.
If you aren’t able to find it after three tries, consider it a sign from Mr. Hughes himself.

The second stop on the tour is the mansion that Mr. Hughes and his family called home before his death.
It is located at 855 E. Westminster in Lake Forest, just around the corner from the cemetery.

John Hughes Lake Forest Mansion

You won’t be able to get onto the property but you can peek into the driveway.
Go here to read about my tour of the property when they offered it up for charity.
It was really cool but it wasn’t at all decorated as it was when he lived there and of course they gutted it completely, so you weren’t missing anything.

John Hughes Lake Forest Home

Here is a cool story though.
Mrs. Hughes donated this property to the local hospital, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital
They then used that money to build a brand new hospital that is opening next year.
So thanks to John Hughes, we will have a brand new Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.
I should say that Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital is where both our daughters were born.
I hope there is a big picture of him somewhere in that hospital.
I think they should name a wing after him….maybe the Pretty In Pink and Blue Baby Wing??
Just an idea.

This is the part of the tour where you need to turn on your John Hughes playlist on Pandora or your iPod.
This is also the part of the tour where you realize I have an illness.
I have pulled you in far enough that you are sucked in.
You can’t quite leave yet because you want to see where this goes.
I know what I am doing.
This is also where the evil laugh comes in.
If you don’t have a John Hughes playlist, an 80’s CD will work.


Moving on…..

John Hughes Home

Leaving Lake Forest and heading south, we will be going to Highland Park where quite a few movie scenes were shot.
But if you are hungry, stop in the town in between the two called Highwood.
There are some great little restaurants there.
Our favorite is Buffos.
It is located at 431 Sheridan Road in Highwood.
They have great food there, stop for a slice of pizza and a beer but I don’t drink and drive.
That’s why I ride a bike.

Highland Park

We first head to Jake Ryan’s home from the movie Sixteen Candles.
Think Anthony Michael Hall stuck inside a glass coffee table scene.
This is located at 1407 Waverly in Highland Park.
The roads are very tight in this neighborhood as it is close to the lake, so I would recommend coming during the day so it is safer to drive and safer for the residents.
Please remember that it is a residential area and be respectful.

John Hughes Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan House

The garage where the car pulled out with Anthony Michael Hall and Jake’s girlfriend.

John Hughes Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan House

Just five minutes around the corner is another familiar movie house located at 370 Beech.
Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Also known as the house where Cameron’s dad’s car crashed to the ground.

John Hughes Ferris Bueller House Cameron
John Hughes Ferris Bueller Cameron House

It was for sale for many years and just sold in 2014 for a little over a million.
My father in law was there the day that they filmed the scene where they crashed the car to the ground.
He worked security for a lot of the films back then as he was a policeman in Highland Park at the time; so he has lots of great stories.
I told my husband he needs to write them down.
Maybe he should write a book of his own.

While you are in Highland Park, stop and get a burger at Michael’s.
You won’t regret it.
It’s located at 1879 Second Street.
There is outdoor seating and don’t let the size fool you, it is HUMONGOUS on the inside.

Even though this wasn’t a John Hughes movie, Risky Business was primarily filmed in and around the Highland Park area.
Mike’s dad worked for that film as well.
I tell you, he really needs to write that book.
Go here for all the filming locations because this post has nothing to do with that movie.

Head over to 1200 Linden Avenue and you can see Gary’s house from Weird Science.

John Hughes Weird Science Gary House

It looks nothing like it did in the movie.
Smart homeowners that they are.

John Hughes Weird Science Movie Location

It has obviously been recently updated.
It is really pretty too.
Sorry for the tree SMACK DAB in the middle of the house.
Again, not getting out of my car and taking a picture of these houses.
I refuse to be one of those tourists.
And I beg you not to be one of those as well.

Just a few houses down is Deb’s house from the same movie located at 1150 Linden.

John Hughes Weird Science House

Sorry for the close-up picture.
It was raining and I didn’t get out of the car, so I had to edit the rearview mirror out of the picture but you get the main idea.


Head a little further south to the town of Glencoe where you will find the church used in the ending scene in the movie Sixteen Candles.
You know “the scene” where Jake is leaning against his red Porsche?
The church is located at 263 Park Avenue.

Sixteen Candles church movie location

At the brown door are the steps where Samantha stood looking out to where Jake was standing.

Sixteen Candles wedding church

And below is across the street where Jake stood leaning against his Porsche.
Again, swoon……

Sixteen Candles movie site

We almost got a ticket so I hope you appreciate this picture.

Jake Ryan street

Appreciate all of it.
But it is great, isn’t it??

Sixteen Candles church

It is a beautiful church, isn’t it?
Glencoe is a really pretty town, upscale North Shore wealthy Chicago at its finest.
Take time to drive around and admire the homes.
The downtown shopping and dining area are a block away, so park your car and walk around if you have time.


Just south of Glencoe, is the next stop on our tour, Winnetka.
Home to two places in our John Hughes tour but I only stopped at one.
I didn’t research the other place until I got home but if you are reading this on your phone, definitely stop at both.
First, make a stop at Ferris Bueller’s mom’s workplace also known as Koenig and Strey’s real estate office located at 583 Chestnut Street in downtown Winnetka.
Then once you have snapped a picture there, head to one of the biggest draws in town: The Home Alone house.
Located at 671 Lincoln Avenue.

So I had never been here until this day.
But apparently, everyone else had because when we pulled up there was this:

Home Alone Movie House

See that black iron fence around the yard?
I love that fence.
Do you want to know why?

Home Alone Movie Location

This house was up for sale a few years ago.
And of course, everyone knew that this was “the” house.
As these houses go, they are marketed on the Internet as The Home Alone House” and so as easy as one would think for them to be scooped up on the real estate market, they are not.
They sit.
And sit.
And sit.

Home Alone House

Now, granted, a huge part of that reason is that they are expensive.
Millions of dollars and the taxes are ridiculous in Illinois.
But a lot of people are not too willing to live in a home where they know people will be driving by daily to snap pictures, walk on the lawn, don’t do it, or ring the doorbell, again don’t.

Home Alone House John Hughes

So this fence makes me smile because these owners put it up because I am sure they have had their share of yard walkers and doorbell ringers.
But why am I smiling?
Because they could have put a fence that blocked the house.
Hell, they could have put up a privacy fence but they didn’t because they get it.
The day we drove down this street was a quiet Wednesday morning at 10 am.
Two other cars were also driving down it suspiciously slow and snapping pictures.
It is a cool thing.
Drive by quietly, snap a quick picture and leave.
Respect the owner’s privacy.
Then ogle at your picture over lunch.
It’s getting old.


If you are down this way, I forgot to take the picture, but head to 230 Oxford Road in Kenilworth to see the home shown at the end of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.


Leaving the Winnetka/Kenilworth area, let’s head down to Evanston.
Home of Northwestern University and to two big John Hughes movie homes: Samantha Baker’s from Sixteen Candles and the house used in Uncle Buck.

Uncle Buck House John Hughes

Located at 2602 Lincoln Avenue, my husband and I both were like…are you sure this is it?

Uncle Buck House Evanston

It looked smaller in person even though it is huge but it’s funny how homes look on screen compared to when you see them in real life.

Uncle Buck House

It is indeed the house Buck Russell made his famous big ass pancakes in.
Or at least punched the clown on the front porch.
I miss John Candy so much.

About ten minutes away is Samantha Baker’s house at 3022 Payne Street.

Sixteen Candles street

Take a good look at the above street.
That is the opening street scene to Sixteen Candles .

Sixteen Candles House
Samantha Baker’s home current day.

While in Evanston, stop in at Edzo’s Burger Shop.
A former classmate of my husband opened this chain years ago and they make a mean burger and an amazing shake.
It is located at1571 Sherman Avenue but is closed on Mondays.
So don’t go on Monday.


Now you have your tummy full again and you are blasting some Simple Minds, maybe even a little Psychedelic Furs?
This next leg definitely calls for The Breakfast Club soundtrack and you have some time because you’re going to hop on the tollway and head over to the northwest suburbs toward the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois.
So head to the Itunes store and pay the six bucks to buy the soundtrack.
You have time.
Unless you are alone.
Then pull over.

First stop will be Northbrook which used to be called Shermerville in honor of a one time resident Frederick Schermer.
So John Hughes wasn’t just making things up; there actually WAS a Shermer, Illinois.
In fact, all over Northbrook, there are signs of Shermer.

Shermer Road
Graeters Ice Cream

To us suburban residents, it isn’t really anything new but to someone who doesn’t live here and loves John Hughes’ movies, this is pretty cool.
You will find signs of Shermer in and all around Northbrook.
Quite honestly, it’s still cool to residents too.
If they say it isn’t, they are lying to you.
Or they just aren’t cool.

Start your Northbrook tour at the nerds’ house where Anthony Michael Hall stops to capture the moment on film of his time with the blonde and the Rolls Royce in Sixteen Candles.
So I later found out there are two different addresses online for the nerds home.
The address I was originally given was actually the incorrect one and instead was the location of the tree that Long Duc Dong jumped out of.
So I don’t have a picture of the correct house.
The actual house address is 1423 Sycamore Lane.
The school where they filmed the famous underwear scene is just down the street.

We are going to head around the corner to see a little-known trivia tidbit.

John Hughes high school

On Shermer Road, no less resides Glenbrook North High School.
John Hughes was an alumnus of this high school.
He used GBN in a few of his movies in such ways as putting the logo on tee shirts, folders, binders, jackets and the like.
He also used the GBN colors for the Sixteen Candles high school colors, green and gold.
Be on the lookout for the GBN logo in Hughes movies, especially in the opening credits of Sixteen Candles.
GBN was also used in Ferris Bueller’s Day off as the high school you see when Mr. Petersen aka Ferris picks up Sloane outside of the school.

After turning left onto Shermer Road from the parking lot of GBN, you should be seeing this slowly come into view:

Save Ferris water tower in distance
Any guesses?
Save Ferris Water Tower Northbrook

To some who pass this every day, it’s just a plain old water tower.

Save Ferris water tower Northbrook Illinois
But to freaks like us?
Save Ferris Water Tower 2015

It’s the SAVE FERRISwater tower.

Save Ferris

They painted over the words years ago but they never painted anything else on it.
There was actually a campaign to ..wait for itsave the Save Ferris water tower.
They were going to tear this down in 2011 because the village was building another water tower for money and water pressure reasons.
They were very close to bringing this down but nostalgia gets the best of people.
Well, that and the Internet.
When the rest of the world found out that THE Save Ferris water tower was coming down?
Well, that just didn’t sit right with Ferris Bueller fans everywhere and now the water tower sits untouched.
And that says something.
Why can’t we make THIS a cool monument to John Hughes, dammit??
Because I am SURE that is just what he would want.
Actually, I am almost positive that is what he would want.


Added in 2019

If you want the coolest place to sit and look at the tower, head to the Northbrook Public Library to sit on the John Hughes memorial bench.



If you sit on the bench, this will be your view:



The infographic is really great and the view is even better.



The bench is tucked away in the library parking lot and can be found by entering this address in your GPS: 1201 Cedar Lane.

By the way, there is an amazing ice cream place right around the corner from the water tower that my husband and I have gone too many times to mention since I have taken on this cool project.

Graeters Ice Cream Northbrook

Graeter’s is in my home state of Ohio and beyond and now they have a location in Shermer, I mean, Northbrook.
Get ice cream, walk to the water tower, take in all the happy vibes and just be.
Life is good, man.
Graeter’s is located at 1347 Shermer Road.

You got your ice cream fix and you saved Ferris.
Time to throw your fist in the air because are heading to a Mecca for John Hughes fans and the biggest debate as well.
The Breakfast Club high school.

Des Plaines

Set your GPS for this address:
9511 Harrison Street Des Plaines
It will take you here:

The former Maine North High School.
Also known as Shermer High School.

Illinois State Police Headquarters

Which is now the Illinois State Police Headquarters.

Breakfast Club High School

But you can’t go in here or you will end up in cuffs.
Unless that is your thing, then go for it.
Bender would be very proud of you.

By the way, see how I finally broke into The Breakfast Club high school here! 

Shermer High School

This is kind of where I would love to have a John Hughes museum but it is in a residential area.
Not cool for a museum.

So here is where the debate lies.
Most people, I included, thought the field scene where Bender does the fist pump, happens at the field across the street from this former school.


field across the street from Breakfast Club high school

And that would be a big old nope.

Others think it happened at another high school listed in the credits, the aforementioned Glenbrook North High School.
But that was for interior shots only.
So I did some research and it turns out that the actual field where Bender does his fist pump was right next to Maine North High School.
What is right next to Maine North High School now?


Big Lake.

I couldn’t resist.

Just kidding.


I mean you could recreate the fist pump scene if you wanted.

next to high school from Breakfast Club

Just don’t trip over the trash cans on garbage day.
That happens to be Wednesday, for inquiring minds.

field from Breakfast Club?

But then, we drove to the back of the townhouses and ……

Breakfast Club end scene location

……I could almost picture it.

So there you have it.
All in one place.
I am sure I am forgetting something.
Please don’t sue me.
Or come after me.
Unless you have a million dollars and you want to start a John Hughes museum or something.
Then I am all ears.


21 thoughts on “Walking in John Hughes Footsteps: Movie Locations & Addresses”

  1. O.M.G.! Love this post! You have made my John Hughes tour so easy! I’ll be making lots of these stops! I’ll post back w/a special picture I’m sure you’ll LOVE! Stay tuned…


  2. Great article Kari ! Massive Hughes fan, infact , class him as a hero of mine. Its all nostalgia when I think of John and watch his movies (repeatedly!) I’m from London, England, so I always found it rather endearing that John was a huge fan of 80’s Brit Pop, New Romantics, New Wave, Synthpop etc etc! Using many British artists for the soundtracks to his timeless movies. Hughes, like Candy, was taken from us way too soon, its people like us Kari, that keep their spirits very much alive.


    1. Amen to ALL of this.
      I love 80’s New Wave more now than I ever did IN the 80s!
      I appreciate your comments, Simon.
      It validates my John Hughes obsession. 🙂


      1. Amen indeed ! I really feel for anyone who isn’t a Hughes or an 80”s fan ! How can they possibly be living complete live’s, without these two elements missing! More power to us I guess! I think I’ll end my evening with a slice of Plane’s, Train”s & Automobiles! 😉


  3. Oh , I know this isn’t anything to do with Hughes , but maybe if you ever get a free day , you could research another great movie that was set in Chicago! The best rom com of the 80’s ( for me anyway) the 1986 movie About Last Night! Starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi & Elizabeth Perkins. I reckon you love that movie too!


    1. You have a great point because there were so many great movies filmed in Chicago (Risky Business, Ordinary People…..).
      I will work on that, thank you for that suggestion!


    1. OH MAN…I used to have this address written down on a post-it note for over a year waiting for a time to go down and see it. I Googled it to try and find it again and no luck. I do think I read it in the book You Couldn’t Forget Me If You Tried written by Susannah Gora. I also know he had a farm in Hebron, Illinois as well as a home in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. I’ve never seen an address for the Wi. property but have a map of the area of the Hebron farm on my phone camera roll if I ever get out that way.


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