Forrest Gump was not just a huge Hollywood hit, but also a major achievement in special effects and storytelling. The story chronicles the life of Forrest, a simple man who’s life leads him through some of histories biggest moments of the 20th century.
This blockbuster is based on a novel by the same name, and received a pretty big budget from Paramount Pictures. This allowed them to film in locations right across the US. It would be quite a feat to visit every location, although I have managed to visit a few during my travels.
A memorable scene occurs when Forrest Gump attends a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. This is where he sees Jenny and they reunite in the middle of the Reflecting Pool as the crowd cheers.
Another location in Washington DC featured in the film is the Watergate Complex. This is where the real life location where President Richard Nixon ordered a break-in to the Democratic National Committee Headquarters. In Forrest Gump, the story has Forrest staying at the Watergate Hotel when he notices the break-in and advises security.
The beautiful Monument Valley is featuring as part of Forrest’s run across America. This is the location where he gets tired of running and decides to go home.
To find the location from the film, it’s on US Hwy 163. It’s on the Utah side of Monument Valley, so it’s located just north-east. It’s actually been pinned on Google Maps as “Forrest Gump Hill” making it quite easy to find. There are plenty of places to pull over on the side to get out and take photos. This same area is featured in countless western movies, as well as Back To The Future 3.
Santa Monica Pier
Another location featured in Forrest’s years of running is the Santa Monica Pier. This famous attraction is the end of famous Route 66, and it’s where Forrest runs out of land to run, so he turns around and starts running back east.
As a tie-in to the film, there is now a Bubba-Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant located on the pier. This restaurant and the entire chain is themed from the movie, and features photos and memorabilia from the film.
The Forrest Gump Bench
The famous bench where Forrest sits and narrates his life story was set up in Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia. It was placed there for filming, and was removed after. Where the bench ended up in something of a debate. The Savannah History Museum claims to have the original bench from the film, and it’s one of the attractions that can be seen on display.
However if you visit Paramount Studios in Hollywood, they insist they have the original bench on display. The information they provide is that the one in the Savannah History Museum is a replica, one of several made after filming. You can find more info about the bench debate in this article from Entertainment Weekly.
The Jenny Boat
Later in the film, Forrest becomes the owner of a successful Shrimp business. The first fishing boat in his fleet is named The Jenny.
The boat was displayed for many years at the Planet Hollywood restaurant at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs) at Walt Disney World in Florida. The boat has been removed in recent years, and according to this article, Planet Hollywood still has it in storage.