A Forrest Gump Film Tour of Beaufort, SC — Welcome Home Beaufort (2024)

Calling all Film Fanatics! Beaufort, SC is the backdrop for quite a few blockbuster hits---stop by Blackstone Cafe and check out their collection of posters from movies filmed locally and you’ll see just how many. Arguably the most famous movie to come out of our town though is Forrest Gump. Tourists are still making the pilgrimage to see where Tom Hanks ate, ran, and gave an Academy Award winning performance. Some spots are easily recognizable as being in the film and others may look a little different now, but most are accessible and free to the public to visit, take photos, and imagine what a day of filming may have looked like.

The Scene: Run Forrest Run!

One of the most memorable parts of the film Forrest Gump, is actor Tom Hanks’ run across America. As he runs over the “Mississippi River,” he encounters a slew of reporters. In reality, they were running over the iconic Woods Memorial Bridge in downtown Beaufort. The bridge is nearly identical today, sans the Mississippi sign.

In fact, several of Forrest’s running scenes were filmed in Beaufort. Part of Sea Island Parkway connecting Lady’s Island to St. Helena Island that crosses Chowan Creek was used as the setting where Forrest enters Mississippi. You can drive right through this spot when you’re on your way to Hunting, Harbor, and Fripp Islands.

The Scene: Forrest Mows the Football Field

Remember when Forrest cut grass for his local Alabama football stadium? You can visit this spot, but it won’t be a football field! He was actually cutting the grass of a baseball field at Basil Green Sports Complex, a local city park here in Beaufort.

The Scene: Gump Medical Center

The Bayou Le Batre Hospital, which is renamed the Gump Medical Center, was filmed in the front exterior of the USC Beaufort Performing Arts Center. You can find it on 801 Carteret Street in downtown Beaufort. Check out the Shows and events while you’re there!

The Scene: Visiting Bubba’s Mother

Bubba Blue’s house is located on Alston Road on Lady’s Island. After Bubba died in Vietnam, Forrest visited Bubba’s mother at her home. Bubba’s mother was played by Marlena Smalls, a local speaker, singer and Gullah historian.

The Scene: Forrest Sings in the Choir with Bubba’s Momma

In the film, Forrest went to church every Sunday praying and singing for shrimp. The church from the iconic film is located off a dirt road in McPhersonville, South Carolina, and known as the Stoney Creek Independent Presbyterian Chapel of Prince William Parish. The tiny chapel has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and is well-preserved.

The Scenes: Vietnam

The film crew did not have to travel overseas to film the Vietnam War scenes wherein Forrest meets Lieutenant Dan and Bubba. Fripp and Hunting Islands served as a backdrop for most of these war scenes. Some filmed on the Ocean Creek Golf Course on Fripp, while others were shot around the area on Hunting Island near the marshwalk. The spot where Forrest dropped off all of his wounded comrades was along the popular lagoon at Hunting Island.

The Scenes: On the Shrimp Boat

Forrest Gump’s beautiful shrimp boat scenes were staged to look like Bayou La Batre, Alabama. However, the majority of these scenes were shot on location at Lucy Point Creek, on Lady’s Island just over the bridge from Beaufort. The dock and boat house on Coosaw Island on the other side of Lucy Creek was the setting for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Stop by Gay Fish Company, a rumored favorite of Tom Hanks and the location of several iconic local shrimping boats. The owners at the time Bob and Hilda Gay provided the shrimp used in the shrimp boat scenes, and their shrimp boat “Miss Hilda” can be seen in the film when Forrest is naming his boat “Jenny”.

Beaufortonians are proud to mention that their hometown is the location of so many iconic scenes from this beloved film, and many local businesses still pay homage to Forrest Gump. At Saltus River Grill, you can order The Jenny co*cktail. The Chocolate Tree on Carteret Street remains famous as a favorite spot of Tom Hanks during filming, and it’s rumored that the owner still sends him a box of chocolates each year on his birthday. Beaufort Tours offers special film tours of Beaufort, and can take you to several of the locations.

What about you? Were you in Beaufort during filming? Do you have any fun stories to share or know of any other local people or businesses paying homage to Forrest Gump? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

A Forrest Gump Film Tour of Beaufort, SC — Welcome Home Beaufort (2024)


What scenes of Forrest Gump were filmed in Beaufort, SC? ›

Scenes of Forrest cutting grass were filmed at the Basil Green Complex. The baseball field was transformed into a football field using CGI. The running scene where Forrest is interviewed by the press was shot on Woods Memorial Bridge. A “Mississippi River” sign was added to the bridge.

Can you visit the Forrest Gump house? ›

The Gump boarding house and Jenny's (Robin Wright Penn) farmhouse stood on the Bluff Plantation, Twickenham Road, just southeast of Yemassee, on the Combahee River between Varnville and Beaufort. Built only for the movie, they were torn down after filming.

What films were shot in Beaufort, SC? ›

The most iconic movies that have been filmed here include:
  • Forrest Gump (1994) ...
  • The Big Chill (1983) ...
  • The Prince of Tides (1991) ...
  • The Great Santini (1979) ...
  • G.I. ...
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)

Where is Forrest Gump's military hospital located? ›

The Bayou Le Batre Hospital, which Forrest endows and is renamed the Gump Medical Center, is actually the front exterior of the USC Beaufort Performing Arts Center, located at 801 Carteret Street in downtown Beaufort.

What plantation home was Forrest Gump filmed? ›

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.

What tree is Jenny Gump buried under? ›

She's buried under the oak tree where the two used to play as children. Standing over her grave, Forrest tells her that he demolished her father's house where she was abused for much of her childhood.

Where is the real Forrest Gump bench? ›

The bench that Hanks/Forrest sat on was actually a movie prop that has since been placed in the Savannah History Museum. But the location of the bench for the movie in Chippewa Square is still a popular spot for photographs.

Where was Jenny's house in Forrest Gump? ›

5 Bluff Plantation, 3547 Combahee Rd, Yemassee, South Carolina . , site of the Gump boarding house and Jenny's farmhouse where she lived in as a child. Both built for the filming, and torn down as the film was completed.

Where is the shrimp boat from Forrest Gump? ›

Everyone knows that Forrest Gump's beautiful shrimp boat scenes weren't filmed in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. They were shot on location along Lucy Creek on Lady's Island. The dock and boat house on the Coosaw Island side of Lucy Creek was the setting for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.

What is Beaufort, South Carolina famous for? ›

Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and South Carolina Lowcountry. The city is renowned for its scenic location and for maintaining a historic character by preservation of its antebellum architecture.

What movie is The Beaufort SC Homes in? ›

The Big Chill (1983)

Seven former college friends reunite in a Beaufort vacation home after the funeral of another of their college friends in this comedy starring Tom Berenger, Glenn Close and Jeff Goldblum. The interior and exterior of the Tidalholm Mansion, built in 1853, is featured throughout the film.

What church is in the movie Forrest Gump? ›

And if you happen to notice, the Independent Presbyterian Church can also be seen in the movie Forrest Gump, when a white feather floats across the tall steeple. A moment in history and an uplifting experience, a visit to the church is not soon forgotten.

Is Forrest Gump autistic? ›

Most people who have watched the movie Forrest Gump can tell the titular character is not neurotypical. While both the author of the 1986 novel, Winston Groom, and Robert Zemeckis, the director of the 1994 movie, say Gump has no specific diagnosis, that hasn't stopped speculation.

Is Forrest Gump based on a true story? ›

Forrest Gump uses real historical events as a way to introduce Forrest and his acquaintances as products of America's turbulent narrative, but many of the factual occurrences were adjusted to account for Forrest's inclusion and dramatic effect. Here's the Forrest Gump true story explained.

Where was the bus stop scene in Forrest Gump filmed? ›

Forrest Gump made Chippewa Square famous with its bench scenes, where Forrest waited for the bus. They actually used at least four fiberglass benches while filming these scenes on the square. One of which was donated to the city and moved into the Savannah History Museum.

What were the filming locations for Forrest Gump? ›

Although most of the film is set in Alabama, filming took place mainly in and around Beaufort, South Carolina, as well as parts of coastal Virginia and North Carolina, including a running shot on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Downtown portions of the fictional town of Greenbow were filmed in Varnville, South Carolina.

Where was Forrest Gump's bench scene filmed? ›

Chippewa Square

A statue of General Oglethorpe sits in the middle, but it's the film history that brings visitors. Forrest's iconic bench scene took place here, but the bench is now housed in the Savannah History Museum.

Where was the shrimp boat scene in Forrest Gump filmed? ›

Forrest Gump's beautiful shrimp boat scenes were staged to look like Bayou La Batre, Alabama. However, the majority of these scenes were shot on location at Lucy Point Creek, on Lady's Island just over the bridge from Beaufort.

Where is the oak tree from Forrest Gump? ›

You'll find Bluff Plantation in all its lush glory at 3547 Combahee Road in Yemassee, South Carolina. One of the most precious scenes in the beginning of the movie is when Forrest and Jenny climb a tree and read a book together in order to escape life's troubles. The tree can be found at 2979 Combahee Road in Yemassee.

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