Chicago, John Hughes, Travel

Walking in John Hughes Footsteps: Movie Locations & Addresses

A few months ago, my husband had suggested I run a fun tour of these homes this summer for some of his co-workers as they were John Hughes’s movie fans. We had planned a route, where we were going to make pit stops, planned out tee-shirts, and even had a playlist. Then coronavirus hit and now we aren’t sure when or if this will happen. But since we are heading into birthday week, I wanted to re-share this post because it is one of my favorites. Mike and I had so much fun researching for this post and it is during my birthday week that we usually revisit these places together. 
This year it will have to be virtual. 🙂 
Reblogged on April 24, 2020

First published August 3, 2015

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 John Hughes.
You’re probably beginning to think I am wallpapering my living room walls with his pictures.
I’m not, I swear.
I have however written quite a few posts about him.
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 at John Hughes’s former mansion here.
So I understand 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 our family room, I am not keeping a drawer of anything else of him in my home.

One late night back in May, my friend Jen was 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 searching google for my Chicago Parent John Hughes post for the exact addresses so that they could pay their respects at his grave, drive-by his mansion and get a slice of his favorite ‘za.
This was after 10 p.m., mind you.
Mad props trying to find ANYTHING in Lake Forest after dark beside deer and frat boys.
Alas, they couldn’t find anything because my article was buried on page five of a google search, I later learned.
Way. To. Go. Chicago. Parent.
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
Jen later suggested that maybe I should make a post including all of 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 his movie sites but that takes a lot of time and effort especially if you are in the car driving around the Chicago area.
So today, I am providing you with most of John Hughes’ 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.

Before I get started, I would like to offer the following disclaimer: PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, RESPECT THE OWNER’S PROPERTY.
These are their actual homes in most cases, so just stop, take a picture and move 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.
So without further adieu, I share with 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.

If you click on the links of the addresses, it will lead you to Google maps to help you with your search. 

Lake Forest, Illinois

John Hughes Grave, John Hughes, Lake Forest
I start our tour by paying our respects to the man who started it all.
John Hughes’s grave is located at Lake Forest Cemetery, which is located right on Lake Michigan.
This isn’t a tourist trap, but rather a place to visit and reflect.
This is also within a residential area as well, so please be respectful

It is also kind of tricky to find on GPS.

It is located on Lake Road in Lake Forest.
The cemetery itself is located at the end of the road on 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.

As you drive into the cemetery, take the first lane on the left and his grave is immediately on your right.

*Nancy Hughes passed away in September of 2019 and is buried there now as well. You can read this beautifully written obituary about her life. 

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 and is just down the road and around the corner from the cemetery.

John Hughes Lake Forest Mansion

You won’t be able to get onto the property obviously, but you can peek onto the property as you drive by.
Go here to read about my tour of this home when they offered it up for charity.

John Hughes Lake Forest Home

Nancy Hughes donated this property to the local hospital, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital
They then used that money to help build a brand new hospital that is opening in 2016.

2019 update: 

This wing is just around the corner from my neurologist’s office within Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. When I turned the corner and saw this, I gasped.

This is the part of the tour where you need to turn on your John Hughes playlist on Pandora or Spotify.
Wait, you don’t have one? Well, let’s right that wrong!
If you don’t have a John Hughes playlist, I guess an 80’s CD will work.

As far as John Hughes’ favorite pizza, an amazing New York Times interview with his oldest son, John III, reveals that he regularly frequented Coal Fire Pizza located at 1321 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago.

But locals will tell you that he also loved the downtown location of Ferentino’s Pizza in Lake Forest, located at 842 Western Avenue. We have eaten at this location many times over the years and just love it. The pizza is absolutely amazing…I mean, the smells alone.

Side note- Ferentino’s is closed on Sundays.

John Hughes Home

Leaving Lake Forest and heading south, we will be entering Highland Park where quite a few movie scenes were shot.
But if you are getting hungry and decided to skip Ferentino’s, stop in the town of Highwood located in between the two towns because there are some great little restaurants there.
Our favorite is Buffos located at 431 Sheridan Road in Highwood.

Highland Park, Illinois

We first head to Jake Ryan’s home from the movie Sixteen Candles.
Think Anthony Michael Hall stuck inside a glass coffee table.
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.

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 but just sold in 2014 for a little over a million.
My father-in-law was there the day that they filmed that famous scene, as he worked security for a lot of films. He was a policeman in Highland Park at the time and he has so many great stories.
I told my husband he needs to write all of them down or at least recite them to me.
He also gave these to me when he learned of my John Hughes’ obsession (I hate using the word obsession but okay):



Those placards were used in the cars on the streets while filming. Obviously Risky Business wasn’t a John Hughes film but my father-in-law worked on that movie set as well as many others that aren’t up there.

Again, needs to write his stories down. 

While you are in Highland Park, stop and get a burger at Michael’s.
You’re gonna be full after this tour. 
It’s located at 1879 Second Street.
There is outdoor seating for warmer weather months but don’t let the size fool you, it’s really big on the inside.


My father-in-law, circa I have no idea.


Even though it wasn’t a John Hughes movie, Risky Business was primarily filmed in and around the Highland Park area as well.
Go here for all the filming locations because this post has nothing to do with that movie.

Back to the tour, head over to 1200 Linden Avenue where you can see Gary’s house from Weird Science.

John Hughes Weird Science Gary House


John Hughes Weird Science Movie Location

It’s obviously been updated and it’s really pretty too.
Sorry for the tree SMACK DAB in the middle of the house.
I don’t feel comfortable standing in the middle of the street taking pictures of someone’s house.

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.

Glencoe, Illinois

Head a little further south to the town of Glencoe where you will find the church used in the second to last scene in the movie Sixteen Candles.
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


Sixteen Candles church

It’s 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 only a block away, so park your car and walk around if you have time.

Winnetka, Illinois

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 during this trip.
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.
That is located at 671 Lincoln Avenue.

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

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 quite 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, or, don’t do it, ring the doorbell.

Home Alone House John Hughes

The day we drove down this street was a quiet Wednesday morning at 10 am and only two other cars were driving down it suspiciously slow and snapping pictures.

Also, the street that this home is on is very narrow; think one-lane road. The street shown in the movie was not the same street that this house sits. So it is very easy to become a traffic jam if you sit and stare at the home, so keep that in mind.

Kenilworth, Illinois

Image result for house from planes trains and automobiles"
Courtesy of Flickr


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 & Automobiles.

Speaking of Planes, Trains & Automobiles, there are four other filming locations in and around the metro Chicago area.

Courtesy/WGN TV

The “Braidwood Inn” which was said to be in Witchita, Kansas is actually just outside of Joliet in Braidwood, Illinois. It can be seen along Interstate 55 if you don’t have time to make a stop and honestly, it really isn’t worth it. In recent years it has been the Sun Motel notorious for prostitution and drug busts.

The motel is located at 140 South Hickory Street in Braidwood, IL.

The hotel that the car crashed into at the end of the movie is the El Rancho Motel and is located at 36355 North U.S. Highway 41 Gurnee, IL.  There is a really cool story about this location as it is being used now and you can read that at the end of this post.

The courthouse scene where Del and Neal are picked up by the semi is located in Woodstock, Illinois (also known as the filming location of the movie Groundhog Day). The courthouse is located at 101 North Johnson Street.

And the scene where they end up in Chicago getting on an elevated train (the “el”) is located at the LaSalle/Van Buren CTA station located at 121 West VanBuren Street in Chicago.

Image result for lasalle van buren cta station

Evanston, Illinois

Leaving the Winnetka/Kenilworth area, let’s head down to Evanston.
Home of Northwestern University and two major 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 we 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 shovel pancakes in.
Or at least punched the clown on the front porch.
I miss John Candy.

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 the most amazing burgers and shakes.
It is located at 1571 Sherman Avenue but is closed on Mondays.
So don’t go on a Monday.

Northbrook, Illinois

Now you have your tummy full and you might be 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 to jam because you’re going to hop on the Illinois Tollway and head up to the Northwest Suburbs toward the fictional town of Shermer, Illinois.

The first stop will be Northbrook which used to be called Shermerville in honor of 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 Chicago 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 around Northbrook.

Start your Northbrook tour at the house where Anthony Michael Hall stops to capture the moment on film of his time with the blonde in the Rolls Royce in Sixteen Candles.
So I later found out there are two different addresses online for this 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 sits Glenbrook North High School.
John Hughes was an alumnus of this high school and he used Glenbrook North in a few of his movies: 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 FERRIS water 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 saving and water pressure issues.
They were very close to tearing 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, it just didn’t sit right with Ferris Bueller fans everywhere and after a campaign, the water tower sits untouched.

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 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.
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 you are heading to a Mecca for John Hughes fans and the biggest debate as well.
The Breakfast Club high school.

Des Plaines, Illinois

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’s in a residential area.
Not really 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 at the end of the movie, happened at the field across the street from this former school.


field across the street from Breakfast Club high school


Others think it happened at another high school listed in the credits, the aforementioned Glenbrook North High School.
But that school was used for interior shots only.


(Edited in 2020- Thank you to reader Laura who pointed out that it was Maine SOUTH High School where the actual field was, which is in Park Ridge some 15 minutes away from here. Thank you SO MUCH, Laura! I love it when I get these tips! I did however leave the rest of this ending in because I am too lazy and until I get down to Maine South High School, this is going to have to do).

What is right next to Maine North High School now?


Big Lake.

I couldn’t resist.



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.

Courtesy of a screengrab

So there you have it.
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.

If you are interested in reading a John Hughes-inspired screenplay, head here.

29 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!


  4. Great summary! (Note: Glenbrook North acronym is GBN to the locals. Sister high school, Glenbrook South, is GBS.)


  5. Do you know the address of the house in Northbrook John lived in while he was there? Can’t find that anywhere….


    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.


  6. You are for sure, without a doubt the biggest John Hughes fan E.V.E.R. Impressive research and sweet photos. I could google it, but it seems more appropriate to ask an expert: What did John Hughes die of and when and how old was he? How many kids did he have? Go, you -my private Wikipedia-like friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually had to Google his age! I knew once but forgot. He was 59 and had a heart attack while visiting NYC for the birth of his grandson, which is so sad.

      He had two sons, one of which lives in Chicago and is a writer. ❤️


  7. Wait, did you reblog this? Or did Feedly throw it my way because I hadn’t read it when you first posted it? Either way, I love this post. It feels more like a scrapbook and a guide, but I love that it serves as both. I don’t love John Hughes, and I hate to say that on your blog, but I do love the way that you love him and experience him. Don’t get me wrong, some of his movies are in my list of classics that I love, but I love that there is this other side that you’ve shown me that goes beyond my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi! Actually the ending scene of The Breakfast Club in the field was shot at Maine South Hogh School in Park Ridge! 🙂 just 10-15 mins from the old Maine South.

    Liked by 1 person

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