The Sure Thing  movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Sure Thing filmed?


City Locations

Stockton, CA.; Los Angeles, CA; Ithaca, New York; Big Bear Lake, CA; Westwood, CA

Location Types

NatureScapes, House, Airports, Schools/Colleges

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Hotel/Motel Style, Modern Building, Plane, School

About The Sure Thing

This is one of those unpredictable but very rewarding types of love stories. This movie really revolves around a road trip with so many twists and turns, but there is an underlying connection lying beneath the surface. It all starts with the story of a college freshman named Walter. He isn’t exactly lucky in love, and he has struggled to meet girls or to have any sort of relationship.

He is frustrated with the same old thing and wants to meet a good woman. He decides to go visit his friend in California who promises to set him up with a “sure thing.” At the same time that Walter sets out to plan this road trip, he comes across a girl at his school, Allison, who is headed out in the same direction.

Allison decides to go on this road trip with Walter, as she is headed out to California to see her boyfriend. This takes the two of them on a very interesting road trip with many twists and turns. The story is crazy, and funny, and ends in an unlikely relationship. It’s great fun to watch this all unfold!

The Sure Thing Locations

The Sure Thing is an adventure rom-com directed by Rob Reiner and written by Steven Bloom and Jonathan Roberts. The all-star cast includes John Cusack as Walter Gibson and Daphne Zuniga as Alison Bradbury. The Sure Thing production was released in 1985 and had excellent reviews.

Some of the Sure Thing locations include the Knotty Pine Motel on North Wilson Way in Stockton, CA.; Griffith Park and UCLA in Los Angeles, CA; the University of the Pacific in Ithaca, New York; and Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Forest, CA.

A turning point scene in The Sure Thing

Khoury Hall swimming pool, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA

Walter is a talker and sometimes comes off the wrong way. He has good intentions deep down, but he is a bit of a shady guy sometimes. He is certainly a lot for Allison to handle at times. Yet somehow she is intrigued and wants to get to know him better. She gets frustrated with him at times, but she is starting to gain an appreciation for him. The more time they spend together, the more they are sharing about themselves with each other.

Walter is on a bit of a rant talking about what will happen to him if he fails English and therefore fails school. He talks about how frustrated he is and how bad it will be with his family. He goes on and on as Allison is swimming in the pool. Then he ends with a plea to her for help, and as he details it all out he ends a very long monologue with a quote that is pivotal.

He says “And why? Because you wouldn’t help me in English, no. You were too busy to help a drowning man! Too busy to help a drowning man!” He jumps into the pool and Allison can’t help but feel bad for him, and is somehow compelled to want to help him out moving forward.

This filming location of The Sure Thing is located at the University of the Pacific, on Pacific Avenue in Stockton, California. Specifically, the film shoot was done at the swimming pool in Khoury Hall. Right near the intersection of Interstate 5 and Highway 4, the school is easy to reach by many different forms of transportation.

Walter saves the day scene in The Sure Thing

Callahan's Old West Trading Center, 13660 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA

Things go from bad to worse when Allison decides to get into a truck as a hitch hiker. The two are sitting on the side of the road with nowhere to go and nothing to do to get help. It’s a horrible situation, and it seems as if the two will never get past this after a series of bad events. Suddenly a truck comes by and slows down as Allison has started to walk down the road. Though Walter warns her against it, she gets in for a ride.

Walter somehow catches up with the truck later on as things are about to go in a very bad direction. The driver has bad intentions with Allison, and Walter sees what is going on. This means that Walter is going to act crazy and as he busts into the truck he says, “Thanks for the ride, I’ve been out here all day.” He goes into a crazy rant and scares off the driver and frees Allison. Of course, she is very grateful for his interruption and outburst, and the two learn that they are going to have to rely on each other from here on out.

Also known as Indian Village, Callahan’s Old West Trading Post is where one of the best scenes in The Sure Thing was filmed. Although the building is no longer there, you can see the background when you visit The Sure Thing location.

A very happy ending scene in The Sure Thing

Cornell University, 930 Campus Rd, Ithaca, NY

After things end in a negative way in California, it seems as though Allison and Walter will never find each other again. They see each other back on campus, but things are very awkward after their last encounter. When they find each other in class, it solidifies that things are not good, and it seems that there is no happy ending here. Suddenly the professor reads out loud a paper that Walter read about Allison, and she sees that he cares about her.

After the paper is read out loud and Walter’s feelings are out there, Allison approaches him. She asked if he slept with the “sure thing” to which he says no. He then asks, “Are you still with Jason?” She says they broke up and this allows for so many possibilities. This is where the two discover that they are truly meant to be, and they kiss and live happily ever after in this epic ending.

Visiting the site of this filming location of The Sure Thing, all you have to do is visit Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. It was founded in 1865 and is one of the most well-known research schools in the world. To reach this popular college, take Highway 121, Interstate 366, or Dryden Road.


This is one of those movies that you can watch again and again. It’s a classic because it tells the story of two people who were unlikely to ever meet and fall in love. They set out on this journey across the country for two totally different purposes. This is doomed from the start, but the twists and turns the trip takes creates so much humor. Though there is conflict, the two eventually overcome that and get to know each other on a certain level.

They are the unlikely pair that you want to see end up together. They have an unlikely bond and start to gain a true appreciation for each other. Watching their relationship unfold is a big part of the fun of the movie. Then it seems once they get to California that they will never find their way back to each other. It feels as if all hope is lost, but it takes that one paper that Walter writes to solidify their relationship and help them to see that they are meant to be.