Colorado Vacation Movies & TV Shows: From “Dumb and Dumber” to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

The unique Hallmark Christmas “Winter in Vail” uses romantic comedy tropes to tell the story of a career woman from Los Angeles rediscovering herself and “the values ​​of a small town” in Vail.
Hallmark / Courtesy photo

“Stupid and even more stupid”

After setting its comedic bar so hilarious with slapstick and crass gags, “Dumb and Dumber” has become an influential comedy classic. It’s also, to paraphrase one of my editors, a vacation movie in our house. When Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) set out on a trip across the country to return a briefcase to the elusive Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), they ended up in Aspen – actually filmed in Estes Park at the historic (and inspiring “Shining”) Stanley Hotel – for the holidays.

“National Lampoon Christmas Vacation”

Wait, isn’t that 1989 Chevrolet Chase vehicle installed in and around Chicago? It does, but we’re including it here because its opening streak – a brutally cartoonish tree-cutting chess series – was filmed in Colorado, along with a few others. The exterior staging of the Walmart shopping spree with cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and the interiors were filmed in Frisco, according to, while the shots in which the Griswold station wagon jumps into the park’s parking lot at the Christmas tree were captured in Breckenridge.

“Die hard 2”

With the original 1988 film being decidedly a holiday classic, the sequel (also set on Christmas Eve and starring Bruce Willis) is getting a closer look. Many scenes were filmed in Colorado, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, and not just exterior shots.


Scenes from the cult minor film were shot in and around Colorado Springs’ Carnegie Library, as well as Colorado Springs School, according to The former Hibbard & Co. department store in downtown Colorado Springs was on display throughout the first half of the year, The Location Scout blog reported. The full film is available on YouTube.

“Winter in Vail”

By our calculations, dozens of Hallmark, Lifetime, and other mini-series and television specials have been filmed in the high country of Colorado. But 2020’s “Winter in Vail” is one of the most recent and exemplary of what makes these comfort foods for some viewers. As with most of these romantic drama plots, it features a stranger (Hallmark regular, Lacey Chabert as the harassed career woman Chelsea Whitmore), who leaves a big city (Los Angeles) for Vail and quickly becomes more Vail than the people of Vail.

Learn more via the Denver Post.

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