The USA According to Forrest Gump

The beloved Tom Hanks film Forrest Gump was released in 1994. Since then, the film has inspired fans to visit many of the U.S. locations featured in the film, the majority of which served as a backdrop during Gump's epic cross-country run.

Here are all the places in the United States where Forrest Gump traveled during the film, including filming locations. As locations move back and forth throughout the film, it proved difficult to list everything below chronologically. For timeline sticklers, check out the Movie Timeline and Time Toast's Forrest Gump Timeline of Events.

  • 01 of 11
    Chippewa_Square_Savannah.JPG
    Chippewa Square, Savannah, Georgia. Wikipedia

    The film starts off with Gump talking about his life while sitting on a bus stop bench. This is Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia.

  • 02 of 11

    Alabama

    UA_President-s_Mansion_02.jpg
    President's mansion at the University of Alabama. Wikipedia

    In the film, Forrest Gump grew up in Greenbow, Alabama and got a football scholarship to the University of Alabama. While you can't visit Greenbow (the fictional town was portrayed by Varnville, South Carolina), you can visit the University of Alabama (even though the university scenes were shot in California).

  • 03 of 11
    National Mall, Washington, DC
    The White House, Washington Monument, and Jefferson Memorial are among a few spectacular sights on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Getty Images

    Several DC landmarks were featured in Forrest Gump in various parts of the film. They include the National Mall, the White House, and the Watergate.

     

  • 04 of 11
    huntingisland_Marsh_Boardwalk.jpg
    Marsh Boardwalk on Hunting Island, South Carolina. Wikipedia

    The southern state was a stand-in for several locations in Forrest Gump. Varnville (listed above) was Greenbow, AL; the Vietnam War scenes were filmed on Fripp Island and Hunting Island ; and numerous places around Beaufort appeared in scenes throughout the movie, including the shrimp boating scenes. See movie locations and movies filmed in South Carolina for more South Carolina details.

     

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11
    ColesFrenchDip.jpg
    Cole's Pacific Electric Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Los Angeles. Wikipedia

    L.A. played itself in a few scenes, while a few locations in the city pretended to be somewhere else. Weingart Stadium at East Los Angeles College was supposed to be the University of Alabama stadium and the Bovard Administration Building at USC was also used as a UofA building. The oft-used-on-film Ebell of Los Angeles, a women's club, played the role of Forrest's recovery hospital in Saigon. Meanwhile, the ramp outside of the legendary Cole's Restaurant, L.A.'s oldest operating restaurant and originator of the French Dip sandwich, is where Forrest Gump runs into a now-homeless Lt. Dan.

  • 06 of 11
    Santa_Monica_Harbor.jpg
    Entrance to the Santa Monica Pier. Wikipedia

    The Santa Monica Pier is only 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, but Forrest Gump didn't visit the pier until after he begins to run. When Forrest begins his epic run halfway through the movie, he starts out in Alabama (actually South Carolina) and runs to the Mississippi state line (also in South Carolina). Then, suddenly, Forrest has reached California, specifically the Santa Monica Pier. From there, he turns around and runs back across the country to...

  • 07 of 11
    Marshall Point Light Station, Maine
    Marshall Point Light Station, Maine. © Melanie Renzulli

    One of the most beautiful lighthouses in Maine is on the MidCoast. Along with Savannah's Chippewa Square, the lighthouse stands out among memorable landmarks in the film.

  • 08 of 11
    Glacier National Park
    Glacier National Park. Courtesy Glacier National Park

    On his way across the country again, Forrest Gump runs through a couple of Montana landscapes. The wheat fields are in Cut Bank, while the gorgeous mountain scenery is from outside Glacier National Park, specifically the St. Mary entrance.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11
    NC_grandfathermtn_BridgeAerial.jpg
    Aerial view of the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Hugh Morton via grandfather.com

    Another familiar mountain scene from Forrest's run is set in North Carolina. As Gump realizes that other runners have begun to trail him, he is near Grandfather Mountain near one pass of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

     

  • 10 of 11
    twinarrows_flagstaff.jpg
    Twin Arrows Trading Post outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. "Caveman Chuck" Coker

    Forrest Gump's contributions to popular culture -- the bumper sticker "Sh*t Happens" and the "Have a Nice Day" t-shirt -- were "created" while he was running in and near Flagstaff, Arizona. Various sources place these scenes in Flagstaff at East Aspen Street and Twin Arrows Trading Post (about 20 miles east of the city).

  • 11 of 11
    Monument_Valley_Mitten.jpg
    Monument Valley "Mitten". Wikipedia

    By the time Forrest Gump arrives in the desert surrounding Monument Valley, Utah, he decides he is finished running and heads back home to Alabama. Or was it South Carolina?