The USA According to Forrest Gump

spanish moss on trees in Savannah, Georgia


Michael Dunn / EyeEm / Getty Images 

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.

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Savannah, Georgia

Statue of General Oglethorpe in Chippewa Square in Downtown Savannah, Georgia.
  Sasha Weleber / Getty images 

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


UA President's Mansion

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

Washington, DC

national mall, DC
  picturist / 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

South Carolina

hunting island Marsh Boardwalk

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.

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05 of 11

Los Angeles

Coles French Dip

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.

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Santa Monica Pier, California

santa monica peer at sunset
 Christian Adams / Getty Images

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 Lighthouse, 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
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.

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09 of 11

Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

NC grandfather mountain Bridge Aerial shot
Hugh Morton via

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.

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Flagstaff, Arizona

twinarrows in flagstaff
"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).

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Monument Valley, Utah

monument valley
Basic Elements Photography / Getty Images 

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?

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