10 of the Most Memorable Summer Vacations on Film

The weather is warming up, college graduation season is here, and The Avengers has just kicked off the summer blockbuster season with record-breaking numbers at the box office. Inevitably, at this time of year, working folk like us begin to fantasize about vacations — a month abroad, perhaps, or at least a long weekend at the beach. But since Memorial Day is still a few weeks away, most of us are just going to have to wait. To help you count down the weeks (or perhaps convince yourself that trips aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be), we’ve rounded up cinema’s most famous summer vacations. Pay a virtual visit to Barcelona, the South of France, and New England’s most beautiful beach towns after the jump, and add to our list in the comments.

National Lampoon’s Vacation
Destination: Walley World (Los Angeles, California)

There’s no way to get around kicking off this list with Vacation; the ’80s family road-trip movie owns this category. Here, we find Chevy Chase as a patriarch on a mission to spend some quality time with his wife and two kids — which means a seemingly endless drive from Chicago to Los Angeles’ Walley World amusement park that results in danger, dysfunction, and more than one hilarious death. If for some reason you’ve never seen this movie, make sure you cross it off your list this summer.