Migrating benches, a Vietnamese jungle in South Carolina, ridiculously beautiful running routes and Gay Fish... probably not what comes to mind when you think of Forrest Gump, but those things form part of the reality behind the gloss you see on screen. For real film fans, we've travelled the globe to find some of the best locations from our favourite films, and we're starting with everyone's favourite resident of Greenbow, Alabama - Forrest Gump.
Forrest Gump (1994)
Life is like a box of chocolates, but at least with Destinology, you know what you’re going to get. It’s difficult to find anyone who doesn’t love Forrest Gump, and what’s not to like? This tale of a naïve, kind-natured, small town simpleton and how he copes with the trials and tribulations of life is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Forrest Gump’s penchant for running provided the movie with some spectacular scenery from around the United States, and now we’re casting a spotlight on them for you and our film fans around the office. Welcome to Forrest’s world.
Savannah, Georgia – USA
“Momma always said there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by they shoes. Where they going, where they been. I’ve worn lots of shoes.”
Perhaps the most recognisable location in the film is the famous bus stop bench. However, the bench only resided on the North Side of Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia for the film, and now takes permanent residence in the Savannah History Museum. The sublime and sleepy city of Savannah isn’t just worth a visit purely for its cinematic sights, it's also steeped in history.
Washington, DC – USA
“There was this man, giving a little talk, and for some reason he was wearing an American flag for a shirt. And he liked to say the F-word. A lot.”
The Lincoln Memorial has featured in many, many films over the years, but the scene that takes place there in Forrest Gump has to be one of the best. Even without huge crowds, the Lincoln Memorial and Washington DC really are sites that inspire and awe. The US capital is the first stop on our East Coast Cities by Rail tour – a real must for fans of US history.
Fripp Island, South Carolina – USA
“We was always taking long walks, and we was always looking for a guy named Charlie.”
Believe it or not, Gump’s Vietnam War scenes weren’t actually filmed in Vietnam. They were shot just over an hour’s drive east of Savannah, on Fripp Island. A South Carolina barrier island, Fripp is predominantly green and largely covered by a golf course, but there’s plenty for non-golfers to do in the area, including a visit to the Nature and Activity Centre and water sports. Just before reaching the island, you’ll pass Gay Fish Co. on St. Helena Island – the company who provided shrimp and boats to the production of the film, helping Bubba Gump Shrimp Co come to life on screen. If you’d like to sample their produce, call in at the Shrimp Shack just down the road.
Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina – USA
“My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on, and I think that’s what my running was all about.”
Now, this location only features for a single shot, but just look at that scenery! As Forrest gathers running disciples in the movie, the first shot of him as the messiah of marathon runners takes place on the side of Grandfather Mountain, one of the seemingly infinite spots of indescribable beauty on the Blue Ridge Parkway. While we don’t recommend you run it like Forrest did, we do, however, recommend that you treat yourself to a self-drive holiday through this part of America – simply breath-taking.
If you’d like to learn more about the Blue Ridge Parkway and other great American road trip suggestions, click on Hit the Highway for further inspiration.
Sadly, we’ve reached the end of our exploration of Forrest Gump's world, but we’ll be back at the movies again soon, holding another blockbuster under the magnifying glass. If you’d like more information regarding any of the locations featured in this article, get in touch with one of our luxury travel experts today. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for the sequel.
Destinology at the Movies II – coming soon to an inspirations post near you!