John Hughes was the man behind some of the most beloved movies from the '80s and '90s, including "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "The Breakfast Club," "Home Alone," and "Pretty in Pink." Many of these films also hold a special place in Chicagoans' hearts due to the fact that Hughes frequently used the North Shore for filming locations. Take a walk down memory lane — you just might be inspired to schedule a movie night soon! — and visit these spots that you’ll notice in John Hughes films.
Glencoe Beach 999 Green Bay Road, Glencoe
In the classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," which was released in 1986, Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) convinces his friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to use his father's Ferrari during their epic day skipping school. Unfortunately for Cameron, a couple parking attendants take the car out for a spin, racking up a noticeable amount of miles. When Cameron goes into shock upon this discovery, Bueller and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) take Cameron to what is really Glencoe Beach. You too can spend a day at Glencoe Beach (hopefully you’ll be in better spirits than Cameron!), where you can enjoy a picnic under the sun shelters, play volleyball, or rent a paddleboard or kayak for some fun out on the water.
Glencoe Union Church 263 Park Ave., Glencoe
The exterior of this North Shore church can be seen at the end of 1984's "Sixteen Candles" when Jake (Michael Schoeffling) finds Sam (Molly Ringwald ) after her sister's wedding (watch below). Make plans to visit the church before making the four-minute walk to Guildhall (694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe) for lunch or dinner. The menu at this "American bistro with European influences" changes with the seasons, but available dishes can include Watermelon Salad, Faroe Island Salmon, Oven Roasted Chicken, Horseradish Crusted Beef Tenderloin, and Bucatini. You'll also find an extensive list of cocktails, wine, and beer.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group 538 Chestnut St., Winnetka
This location served as Ferris' mom, Katie Bueller's office where she worked as a real estate broker for Koening & Strey. While visiting, check out this other downtown Winnetka location (530 Chestnut St., Winnetka) that served as the site of Principal Rooney's (Jeffrey Jones) search for Ferris Bueller and friends at a pizza parlor (where he just misses seeing them on TV at the Cubs game). Plan this outing on a nice day so you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around Winnetka afterward.
Corner of Green Bay Road and Gage Street, Winnetka
In favorite holiday movie "Home Alone," Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself running out of a local pharmacy without paying for a toothbrush, and you can still find the building used for filming this scene in Winnetka's Hubbard Woods neighborhood. You'll also find Grateful Bites (899 Green Bay Road, Winnetka) here, a must-visit for delicious pizza. Order classic pies like Margherita or cheese or get adventurous with Pepperoni with Hot Honey (red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, parmesan, hot honey, and chives) or Elote (oil, mozzarella, roasted corn, mayo, cotija cheese, cilantro, and chili powder). End the night with a Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel, and fudge.
Southeast Corner of Skokie Boulevard and Dempster Street, Skokie
Although "Home Alone 3" didn't star Macaulay Culkin (Alex D. Linz instead played boy genius Alex Pruitt), John Hughes still used the Chicago area for many scenes throughout the film. In Skokie, you'll find the bank exterior that was used for Pruitt's mom's office. Head over to Kaufman's Bagel & Delicatessen afterwards to grab bagels or a sandwhich like the classic rueben, Bubbe's Kitchen Sink (with your choice of 5 meats pile sky high) or the Looney Tuna (tuna salad, beef bacon, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onions on toasted chale).
Central Street, Evanston
The scene in "Sixteen Candles" in which "Geek" (Anthony Michael Hall) drives Caroline (Haviland Morris) home was filmed along Central Street in Evanston. Today, Central Street is a go-to destination for shopping and dining, including Great Harvest Bread Co. (2126 Central St., Evanston). It's the perfect place to end the day with a scone, cookie, or even cinnamon roll (item availability depends on the day).
Glenbrook North High School and the "SAVE FERRIS" Water Tower 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook
You'll recognize the staired entrance at Glenbrook North High School as the same one Sloane Peterson exits with Principal Rooney as she's waiting to be picked up by her father (aka: a deeply disguised Ferris) in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". About a 5 minute drive down the road behind the Northbrook Public Library (1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook), you'll find the "SAVE FERRIS" water tower where the community painted a message to wish Ferris well during his alleged illness.
Northbrook Court 1515 Lake Cook Road, Northbrook
In 1985's "Weird Science" starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton, and Robert Downey Jr., you'll catch glimpses of the exterior of Northbrook Court during mall scenes. Visit the mall today for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, where you can start your meal with the new BBQ Heirloom Carrot Flatbread or Sticky Asian Cauliflower. And although the restaurant offers salads, pastas, and other main plates, the focus here is pizza. Try the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, Thai Chicken Pizza, or Carne Asada Pizza, all of which you can now order with a cauliflower crust.