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Where Is The Resort In Dirty Dancing


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Anselma Brooks



Dirty Dancing, released in 1987, quickly became a beloved classic among moviegoers around the world. The film tells the story of Baby, a young woman spending her summer vacation at a resort in the Catskill Mountains. The resort, known as Kellerman’s, serves as the backdrop for the heartwarming and unforgettable tale of love, dance, and self-discovery.


As fans of Dirty Dancing know, the resort plays a pivotal role in the film, providing the setting for many memorable scenes. The beautiful location, along with its vibrant atmosphere and iconic dance routines, has left viewers longing to experience the magic of Kellerman’s themselves.


But where exactly is the resort featured in Dirty Dancing? Is it a real place that can be visited, or was it merely a fictional creation for the movie? In this article, we will explore the background of Dirty Dancing, reveal the real location of Kellerman’s, highlight the filming locations used in the movie, and discover if it is possible to visit a place reminiscent of the famous resort today.


So, grab your dancing shoes, and let’s take a trip down memory lane as we delve into the world of Dirty Dancing and uncover the secrets behind the resort that captured our hearts.


The Background of Dirty Dancing

Before we dive into the details of the resort, let’s explore the background of Dirty Dancing. Released in 1987, the film was directed by Emile Ardolino and written by Eleanor Bergstein. Set in the summer of 1963, the story revolves around Frances “Baby” Houseman, a seventeen-year-old girl who finds herself swept away into a world of music, dance, and first love.


Dirty Dancing was not just a coming-of-age love story; it was a cultural phenomenon that resonated with audiences of all ages. The film achieved remarkable success, grossing over $214 million worldwide against a modest budget. Its memorable soundtrack, featuring songs like “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes,” topped charts and won multiple awards, including an Academy Award for Best Original Song.


One of the reasons for Dirty Dancing’s enduring popularity is the authentic and relatable characters. Jennifer Grey portrayed Baby with vulnerability and determination, while Patrick Swayze exuded charisma and dance prowess as the enigmatic Johnny Castle. Their chemistry on-screen captivated viewers and added depth to the story.


The backdrop of Dirty Dancing is an idyllic resort in the Catskill Mountains, where families come to indulge in various activities and entertainment. The resort’s lively atmosphere, complete with dance lessons and performances, serves as the perfect setting for Baby and Johnny’s passionate dance routines and blossoming romance.


With its heartfelt story, dynamic characters, and memorable soundtrack, Dirty Dancing has become more than just a movie; it’s a cultural touchstone that continues to inspire and entertain generations of fans.


The Resort in Dirty Dancing: Kellerman’s

In Dirty Dancing, Kellerman’s serves as the fictional resort where Baby and her family spend their summer vacation. Situated in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, Kellerman’s is a sprawling property that offers a wide range of activities and amenities for its guests.


At Kellerman’s, guests can enjoy activities such as swimming, tennis, golf, and even a game of shuffleboard. However, the main draw of the resort is its vibrant dance scene. From nightly dance parties to professional dance lessons, Kellerman’s is a haven for those who love to move their feet and express themselves through dance.


The resort’s main building houses the dining hall, where guests gather for delicious meals served by friendly staff. The socializing and camaraderie among the visitors add to the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Kellerman’s. It is within this setting that Baby discovers her own love for dancing and finds herself drawn to the enigmatic dance instructor, Johnny Castle.


Kellerman’s is not only a place for relaxation and recreation but also a hub for budding romances and coming-of-age experiences. The resort encapsulates the spirit of summer love, personal growth, and the joy of belonging to a tight-knit community for a few transformative weeks.


The portrayal of Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing has left a lasting impression on audiences, with many longing to experience the enchantment and nostalgia of the resort firsthand.


The Real Location of Kellerman’s

Although Kellerman’s is a fictional resort in Dirty Dancing, the film was inspired by real locations in the Catskill Mountains region. The primary inspiration for Kellerman’s is believed to be the Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel, a popular vacation destination during the heyday of the Catskills resort era.


Grossinger’s, located in the Sullivan County town of Liberty, New York, was a renowned family resort known for its luxurious amenities, entertainment offerings, and vibrant social scene. The resort catered to a diverse range of guests, including families, celebrities, and even prominent political figures.


Many aspects of Kellerman’s in Dirty Dancing were influenced by Grossinger’s, such as the grand main building, the sprawling grounds, and the emphasis on dance and entertainment. The resort’s reputation as a hub for socializing and romance also echoes the spirit of the fictional Kellerman’s.


Unfortunately, Grossinger’s ceased operations in 1986, just a year before Dirty Dancing was released. Despite its closure, the legacy of Grossinger’s lives on through its depiction in the beloved film.


While Kellerman’s may not exist as an actual resort, the inspiration from Grossinger’s allows fans to imagine the magic and nostalgia associated with a Catskills summer getaway.


Filming Locations of Dirty Dancing

Although Kellerman’s is a fictional resort, the filming of Dirty Dancing took place in various real locations that beautifully captured the essence of the story. Let’s take a look at some of the notable filming locations:

  1. Lake Lure, North Carolina: The breathtaking Lake Lure served as the backdrop for many iconic scenes in Dirty Dancing. Its crystal-clear waters and scenic surroundings provided the perfect setting for the film’s lakefront moments, including the famous lift scene.
  2. Mountain Lake Lodge, Virginia: This picturesque resort in Pembroke, Virginia, doubled as Kellerman’s in the movie. The lodge’s stunning architecture, expansive grounds, and sweeping mountain vistas embodied the charm and allure of the Catskills resort.
  3. Hendersonville, North Carolina: Several scenes, such as the Sheldrake Hotel and the staff quarters, were filmed in the charming town of Hendersonville. The town’s quaint streets and historic locations provided additional authenticity to the film’s setting.
  4. Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind: The real-life school in Staunton, Virginia, was transformed into the fictional resort’s staff quarters and talent show venue. The school’s unique architecture and spacious grounds lent themselves well to the film’s storytelling.
  5. Bell’s Garage, North Carolina: Baby’s iconic dance studio scenes were filmed at Bell’s Garage in Lake Lure, North Carolina. The converted garage space added a touch of authenticity to the film’s dance sequences.

These locations, carefully selected to capture the essence of Kellerman’s, played an integral role in bringing the world of Dirty Dancing to life. Through the magic of film, they transported audiences to a vibrant and nostalgic era of summer romance and dance.


Finding Kellerman’s Today

While Kellerman’s may not be an actual resort that can be visited, fans of Dirty Dancing can still find traces of the film’s magic in various ways today. Here are a few ways to relive the nostalgia of Kellerman’s:

  1. Mountain Lake Lodge: The real-life resort that doubled as Kellerman’s, Mountain Lake Lodge in Virginia, welcomes fans of Dirty Dancing to the place where the iconic film was brought to life. Visitors can stay in one of the lodge’s guest rooms or cabins, walk in the footsteps of Baby and Johnny, and even participate in Dirty Dancing-themed weekends filled with dance lessons and movie screenings.
  2. Fan Events and Festivals: Throughout the year, various fan events and festivals celebrate Dirty Dancing, providing opportunities for fans to dress up, dance, and meet fellow enthusiasts. From dance parties to film screenings, these events recreate the atmosphere of Kellerman’s and offer a chance to immerse oneself in the world of Dirty Dancing.
  3. Trivia and Memorabilia: Fans can indulge in Dirty Dancing trivia nights or collect memorabilia associated with the film. From posters and t-shirts to autographed items and movie props, there are plenty of ways to bring a piece of Kellerman’s into one’s own home and keep the spirit of Dirty Dancing alive.
  4. Revisiting Filming Locations: Visiting the actual filming locations, such as Lake Lure in North Carolina or the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, allows fans to reminisce about the scenes that captured their hearts. Exploring these sites and reveling in their beauty can be a powerful way to connect with the magic of Dirty Dancing.
  5. Recreating Dance Routines: For those who like to dance, learning choreography from the film and recreating the iconic dance routines can be a fun and fulfilling way to feel connected to Kellerman’s. Whether it’s the sultry movements of the mambo or the energetic steps of the final dance, recreating these routines can bring a sense of joy and nostalgia.

While the physical location of Kellerman’s may remain a fictional place, the impact of Dirty Dancing continues to be felt by fans all over the world. Through various experiences and engagements, enthusiasts can keep the spirit of Kellerman’s alive and relive the magic of Dirty Dancing in their own unique way.



Dirty Dancing, with its timeless story of love, dance, and self-discovery, continues to captivate audiences decades after its release. While the resort of Kellerman’s is a fictional creation, it holds a special place in the hearts of fans around the world.


Although Kellerman’s cannot be visited as a physical location, the inspiration behind it from the real-world Grossinger’s Resort allows us to imagine and dream of the enchantment of a Catskills summer getaway. The film’s filming locations, such as Lake Lure and Mountain Lake Lodge, offer glimpses into the beauty that served as backdrops for iconic scenes.


Today, fans of Dirty Dancing can relive the magic of Kellerman’s through various means, whether it’s staying at Mountain Lake Lodge, attending fan events, collecting memorabilia, or recreating dance routines. These experiences allow us to connect with the film, its characters, and the spirit of Kellerman’s in our own unique way.


Dirty Dancing continues to inspire and leave an indelible mark on popular culture. Its heartfelt story, memorable characters, and catchy soundtrack have solidified its place as a beloved classic. Whether we’re replaying the film, swooning over the romantic moments, or dancing along to the iconic songs, the magic of Dirty Dancing transcends time.


So, let’s keep the spirit of Kellerman’s alive and continue to embrace the joy and nostalgia of Dirty Dancing. Remember, “nobody puts Baby in a corner,” and the memories of Kellerman’s will always hold a special place in our hearts.