Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, is a 1993 seasonal favorite for many of us old house lovers.
The Victorian Bed & Breakfast from the classic film is actually a real place! Although it is not actually located in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, as depicted in the movie.
The Inn featured in the film is actually located in Woodstock, Illinois.
Portrayed in the movie as the “Cherry Street Inn” where Bill Murray’s unfortunate character Phil stayed (again and again), the real-life inn has been on and off the market for years with different names. But it seems to have settled down in recent years and is now aptly named The Cherry Tree Inn B&B – an obvious nod to the film.
Here’s a recent photo of the Inn during winter, looking very much the way it appeared in Groundhog Day:
Unfortunately, only the exterior scenes were actually filmed at the Inn. All the interior scenes of the Cherry Street Inn were built and filmed on a soundstage in a warehouse nearby.
The home was a private house at the time of filming in 1992 (not a B&B) and the film crew only went inside to get shots out the window and to turn on lamps for proper lighting effects for the exterior shots.
Even still, you get a sense of déjà vu from looking out the upstairs window to the street below as Bill Murray’s character Phil did each day:
The famous repetitive shot from the actual film:
The inn embraces its connection to the movie, and routinely sells out during Groundhog Day, despite the fact that the real festival takes place over 500 miles away in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
The town in which the movie was filmed – Woodstock, Illinois – is just fifty miles from Bill Murray‘s hometown of Wilmette, Illinois. There is even a small plaque that reads “Bill Murray stepped here” on the curb where Murray repeatedly stepped into the icy puddle. There is another plaque on the building wall at the street corner that says “Ned’s Corner” where Phil was continually accosted by the hilarious Ned Ryerson.
It’s funny how Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) became more of a star/cult hero from this movie than the lovely Andie MacDowell, who was Murray’s co-star.
Current proprietors of the inn Lori and George Miarecki purchased the 19th-century Victorian mansion in 2017.
The house is painted a little differently today than it was in the movie, but otherwise, it looks very much the same from the outside.
The house was built in 1894-1895.
Let’s have a look inside to compare the real interior to the movie scenes.
Above is the staircase landing as depicted in the movie.
Below is the actual staircase in the real house:
The dwelling is a total of 5,815 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.
Below is the main lounge of the inn from the film:
And here we see the actual living room in the real-life inn:
You can see how the set designers took some inspiration from the real house with the use of the three-bay windows.
The décor in the movie was definitely in line with the late 1980’s/early 1990’s:
In the real inn, there are various little references to the Groundhog Day movie:
Here is the real inn’s kitchen (photos from the 2017 listing):
Guests are invited to take advantage of the whole house (with the exception of the private rooms, of course).
Fun fact: in 2020, actors Bill Murray, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Brian Doyle-Murray (Murray’s real life brother) reprised their Groundhog Day movie roles in a Super Bowl commercial for Jeep (because the Super Bowl was on Groundhog Day that year). As with the original movie, the ad was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois.
Here are a couple of photos of when the inn was decorated for Christmas:
Up the beautiful staircase are the guest rooms.
They each have their own ensuite bathroom:
The guest room where Bill Murray/Phil stayed in the movie was created on a sound stage and appears larger than the real-life suites. In the film, it even had a sitting area with a fireplace.
However, it seems the set designers who built the interior again took some inspiration from the real-life house for Phil’s room with those turret 3-bay windows:
How fun would it be to stay here on any day of the year, let alone Groundhog Day?
This gorgeous, historic inn is definitely on House Crazy Sarah’s bucket list!
What ya thinking? Leave a comment!