Forrest Gump movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Forrest Gump filmed?

1994

About Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by The Tisch Company, is an inspiring story revolving around a gentle and friendly man who navigates several difficulties arising from his simplistic nature. His perpetual optimism and simplicity help him inspire others around him while he sees himself move forward with the help of family and loved ones.

It is based on the book Forrest Gump by author Winston Groom. Forrest Gump is played by renowned actor Tom Hanks, who has done splendidly in this emotional and sentimental drama.

This movie starts as a narration when Forrest relays his past events to a young nurse sitting at the same bench as him. As the film progresses, different people come to listen to his story and share their reactions.

He retells the story of his childhood, his only love, Jenny Curran (played by Robin Wright), his 'Best Good Friend' Benjamin 'Bubba' Buford Blue (played by Mykelti Williamson), Lieutenant Dan Taylor (played by Gary Sinise), and his mother Mrs. Gump (played by Sally Field).

Forrest retells his life story while eating chocolates with strangers. He reminisces over his childhood and teens with Jenny (whom he falls deeply in love with), becoming a football star, fighting in Vietnam (where Bubba dies because of a gunshot wound), and becoming a national hero who wins the prestigious Medal of Honor.

He also tells the story of playing ping pong and becoming a national champion, becoming a shrimping boat Captain, succeeding in setting up a multimillion-dollar business and running cross-country several times. This running and the iconic line "Run Forrest, run!" made this film an overnight sensation.

The Forrest Gump movie has delivered some poignant messages, iconic lines, and the never-ending love story of a disadvantaged boy and a beautiful (albeit lost) girl who finally come together despite the ups and downs life throws at them. They share a son together, who is also named 'Forrest Gump' played by Haley Joel Osment – his debut feature film.

City Locations

Varnville, South Carolina, Fripp Island, Hunting Island, Beaufort County, Santa Monica Pier, Pemaquid in Maine, Flagstaff in Arizona

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, House, Nature Scapes, Religious, Schools/ Colleges, Ship Docks

Location Styles

Anywhere Americana, Beachfront, Bungalow, 50's-60's-70's Building, Tropical, Rustic

Forrest Gump Locations

The Forrest Gump filming locations span several states across the United States. The filming lasted approximately five months, from August 1993 to December 1993. While the movie had sweeping locations of everything from Savannah to Vietnam, the actual places were quite different. Even the Forrest Gump film scenes of the fictional town of Greenbow, Alabama, were in Varnville, South Carolina.

Major chunks of the Forrest Gump production were shot in and around the parts of Beaufort in South Carolina, areas of North Carolina, and coastal Virginia. There's also a famous running shot of Forrest going over the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone in North Carolina. The filming and shooting scenes took place in Fripp Island, Savannah, Hunting Island, Beaufort County, Santa Monica Pier, Pemaquid in Maine, Flagstaff in Arizona, Ambassador Hotel in LA, Marshall Point Lighthouse, Monument Valley, and Yemassee.

Teaser: Did you know that the Forrest Gump filming location of Grandfather Mountain became so famous that they named a small part of the road "Forrest Gump Curve?" Tourists can visit the same spot, click photographs, and run while saying 'Run Forrest, Run!'

Also of interest is that the famous running scenes in the movie were filmed by Tom Hanks' younger brother Jim Hanks. Tom's daughter Elizabeth Hanks also has a cameo as one of the schoolchildren on the bus.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you need to! We’ll cover many good scenes so we’ll pop in a spoiler alert here.

Fun Fact:

Forrest meets incredibly popular and famous people throughout his journey – Elvis Presley, Governor George Wallace, President John F Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson, John Lennon, and President Richard Nixon. He also visits the White House several times for awards and recognition events.

Forrest being chased by bullies scene in Forrest Gump

Bluff Plantation, Yemassee, South Carolina

Since many of the fictional scenes of Greenbow were actually filmed in South Carolina, one of the most notable is of young Forrest (played by Michael Conner Humphreys) bullied by schoolmates as he walks with young Jenny (played by Hanna R. Hall). This major Forrest Gump action scene becomes quite pivotal for the entire movie.

In this scene, when Jenny sees Forrest about to be beaten, she tells him, "Run Forrest, Run! Run Forrest, Run!" and even with his leg braces, Forrest starts running. He picks up speed, and in a pure theatrical moment, his leg braces unbuckle, break into pieces, and young Forrest starts running on his own! This scene is inspiring while being sad (at the evident bullying), and audiences start cheering for Forrest as he runs away from his tormentors.

This touching scene is shot at Bluff Plantation on a beautiful private road located at the picturesque 3547 Combahee Road, Yemassee. Visitors wishing to see this road can cycle for an hour from Yemassee Square, following the US-17 ALT N to the cut-off on Combahee Road. If you're driving, you can get there faster. However, since it's a private road, you will have to walk the final stretch and take permission before clicking photographs.

Forrest narrates his life story to strangers scene in Forrest Gump

Chippewa Square, Savannah, GA

Did you know that the scenes where Tom Hanks fumbles with the chocolate box and ribbon were not supposed to be funny scenes in Forrest Gump? The director decided to let them be since they were highly relatable!

While Forrest is narrating his life story to various strangers, he is shown to be sitting on a bench at a bus stop. The initial stranger he speaks to is an off-duty nurse wearing practical shoes that help her aching feet. The film starts from this instance, with Forrest offering his chocolates to her and saying the iconic line, "Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get."

Visitors can get to Chippewa Square in Savannah and see where the bench was placed. The bench was there only for the duration of the filming period. Once the film gained popularity, the bench was removed and relocated to the Savannah History Museum, where you can see it but not sit on it.

Tourists can get to Chippewa Square (named after the Battle of Chippewa) throughout the day by bus or car via Bay St or Louisville Rd or by hopping on to the Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah. One of the main stops is Chippewa Square, where tour guides show the exact spot of the bench.

Forrest singing in the Gospel Church praying for shrimp scene in Forrest Gump

Stoney Creek Independent Presbyterian Chapel, Mc Phersonville, Yemassee

This remarkably poignant scene is hilarious yet heart wrenching at the same time. Before this scene, Lieutenant Dan tells Forrest to pray to God that they find some shrimp soon. So, Forrest decides to join the Four Square Gospel Church and sing to the Lord, asking Him to bless their business, the Bubba Gump Shrimping Corporation, with shrimp.

This scene is unique, showing Forrest's innocence and belief in his friends and loved ones. Since Lieutenant Dan said, "Maybe you should just pray for shrimp!"; Forrest prays! He simply shows up at church every weekend and prays and sings to the Lord for shrimp. His innocence and loyalty are astounding!

This beautiful church is real but is the Stoney Creek Independent Presbyterian Chapel in a tiny area of the town of McPhersonville, and not the fictitious Four Square Gospel Church. This church has its roots in the early 1800s. It is one of the only pre-Civil war structures still standing in the area and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has beautiful white and blue old-fashioned architecture and is a popular tourist destination. From Yemassee main road, take County Rd S-25-17 to S-25-286. Unfortunately, there aren't any buses to this location.

Principal Hancock tells Mrs. Gump that her son has below average I.Q. scene in Forrest Gump

Waterloo Academy, now Colleton Civic Center

If you want to visit the Forrest Gump location for the school, you are probably thinking of Greenbow's Elementary School. This school was fictitious, just like the town of Greenbow. However, the scenes were shot at the Waterloo Academy. In this scene, Principal Hancock (played by Sam Anderson) tells Mrs. Gump that her son Forrest has a below-average I.Q. of less than 80. He then tells her that since her son is ineligible, Forrest would need to go to a special school.

To this dismal response, Mrs. Gump responds, "He might be a bit on the slow side, but my boy Forrest is gonna get the same opportunities as everyone else." This pivotal scene is especially critical since Forrest grows up believing there is nothing wrong with him and he can also have a normal life like everyone else.

Waterloo Academy was renovated and now is the Colleton Civic Center. This Center has gained popularity over the last decade as an excellent place for art and dance studios, which are available for short and long-term rentals to people wishing to have a place to share their skills.

To get to this location at 494 Hampton St, Walterboro, visitors need to head East on Wichman St to Paul St and turn right on N Miller St. Within minutes, they should turn right onto Hampton St.

Forrest and Jenny in the water scene in Forrest Gump

Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Washington D.C.

After the Vietnam war, when Forrest is awarded the Medal of Honor by President Johnson, he has a hilarious scene when the President asks him where he was shot. In his innocence, Forrest pulls his pants down on national T.V. to show Mr. President the bullet wound on his buttocks! After this incredible escapade, Forrest walks around the nation's capital when he gets pulled into attending and giving a speech at a rally in Washington D.C.

Towards the end of the speech, he hears a female voice call out, "Forrest?! Forrest!!" and sees someone wading into a pool trying to reach him. He realizes it's his childhood sweetheart and screams on the microphone, "Jenny!" and rushes out to meet her while everyone is watching. He then meets her in the knee-deep water, and when they see each other and hug, everyone around them cheers loudly!

This beautiful scene is shot across the famous reflecting pool between Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The reflection pool, monument, and memorial site are free for visitors to see. The National Park Services have recorded that these iconic sites get more than 25 million visitors annually. This reflection pool is easy to get to with bus 42 and is located at 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington D.C.

The day Forrest decides to stop running scene in Forrest Gump

Monument Valley, Utah, and Arizona

While Forrest is running marathons across the country because he feels like it, there are some iconic places he visits. Some are Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, and the Twin Arrows Trading Post in Arizona, where he helps a local by cleaning the mud off his face. According to the movie, this is where the famous 'smiley' is born!

However, one of the most iconic scenes in the movie is when Forrest suddenly stops running (three years into his cross-country journey). The place he finally decides to give his running a rest is the picture-perfect location of Monument Valley, which extends into Arizona and Utah.

Forrest says to himself, "I had run for three years, two months, 14 days, and 16 hours" before he just stops. When he turns around, his followers think he will say something inspirational, but he just says, "I'm pretty tired. Think I'll go home now."

The valley is peppered with gorgeous sandstone buttes and is known to be an extraordinarily photographic location. This scene is on Highway 163 and is approximately 22 miles from Kayenta or Halchita Mexican Hat. It might be challenging to find a bus that only stops on this route, so it is best to drive. If you input the directions in Google Maps, it will take you to the exact location.

Conclusion

Forrest Gump is the heartwarming, inspiring story of a simple, small-town boy who grows up to become one of America's heroes. This film won several accolades and grossed $24 million in its opening weekend. It also placed first at the U.S. Box Office and eventually crossed $67 million worldwide!

This movie unfolds like a picture-perfect landscape of America, with the Vietnam War, the presidencies of Kennedy, Reagan, and Johnson, the Watergate Scandal, and the love of an ordinary man for Ping-Pong and running. It spans gorgeous locations in North and South Carolina and shows audiences everything from Arizona to Maine.

Forrest's ups and downs as he keeps wanting to be reunited with his Jenny, his love and respect for his mother, and his unfailing loyalty to his 'best good friend' Bubba and Lieutenant Dan Taylor are what keep the tears rolling in this incredibly poignant, yet hilarious drama. Forrest Gump is shown to be as normal as the next person, yet with a twist that tugs at your heartstrings.

The scene selection, cast, locations, and shooting of Forrest Gump portray a movie about unconditional love, tolerance, and respect – something that we all need more of, even today!