Forrest Gump Monument Valley filming locations. The main reason most people come to southern Utah!

At least, finding the Forrest Gump filming locations was one of the main reasons I went to southern Utah.

My mom and I had just finished up in Page, Arizona and needed to head to Mancos, Colorado, so when I found out that the exact location Forrest gave up on his cross country run and decided to go home was on our way, I was ecstatic.

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is a sacred (and gorgeous!) place that deserves a visit on any southwest road trip, so even if you think you’d just like to stop by Forrest Gump Point, try to budget an extra two or three hours to take it all in.

Here’s all you need to know about the movie magic in the area:

The Forrest Gump Monument Valley Filming Locations

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

Finding the Forrest Gump filming locations in Monument Valley is actually really easy. While the buttes look amazing up close, to find the perspective that’s in the movie, you want to be heading North on Highway 163 towards Mexican Hat, Utah.

If you type “Forrest Gump Point” into Google Maps, it will lead you to a spot on the highway that has a small dirt turnaround off the right side of the road (when facing North) so you can park your car.

There is usually a small crowd of people there, so as you approach the area make sure to drive slowly!

For some reason, Apple Maps and Waze were both not able to locate “Forrest Gump Point,” so make sure to have Google Maps downloaded before you head out.

Staying Safe at Forrest Gump Point

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

Much like Abbey Road in London (where the iconic photo of the Beatles was taken), Highway 163 is very much a real road and tourists have to kind of risk their lives to recreate an iconic shot. So be careful!

The speed limit on the highway is about 60MPH and the photo point in on the top of a small crest.

Because of this, you can see the cars coming from far enough away to safely clear the road for them, but it’s still a good ideas to have a dedicated lookout person, just in case.

Top Tips for Forrest Gump Monument Valley Locations

  • Time of Day

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

I’ve heard that early in the morning is the best time to go for photos because of the light in the area, but I went in the middle of the afternoon (and it was actually kind of cloudy out as well) and my photos turned out fine, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

Just arrive when it’s convenient for you (but obviously before dark lols).

  • Crowds

For such a remote location, the Forrest Gump Monument Valley locations are actually quite popular. There were probably about 15 – 20 other people there wanting to take photos when I visited, but the nice thing is that there are plenty of different angels and perspectives to choose from, so it’s quite easy to get a shot without anyone else in it.

The group of tourists there were also very willing to wait patiently for their turn for the perfect photo, so if you have a particular vision in mind,  just be kind and you’ll have your turn.

  • The Forrest Gump Sign 

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

If you would like to take a photo with the Forrest Gump Sign as well, stand with your back to the buttes at Forrest Gump Point. About 500 feet up on your left you will see a small structure that local Navajo tradesmen sometimes use to sell their work. It may or may not be occupied, but the sign is right in front of it.

With your back to the buttes, you can’t see the engraving on it and it kind of just looked like a blank piece of wood, but once you get over to it, you’ll see the inscription.

forrest gump monument valley filming locations

  • Run, Forrest! Run!

What’s the point of even going if you don’t yell this to the other people there at least once?

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Looking for short day trips from Boston? You’re in the right place.

Boston is the London of America: it’s politically important and culturally significant with an academic vibe that borders on artsy.

Whether you’re moving to the area, or have an extra day in the city, everything in New England is so close together it’s possible to take some really great adventures out of Boston.

Here are my favorites from when I lived in New England during college.

10 Short Day Trips from Boston

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Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: Lexington 15, Concord 20

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Both towns are significant to American political history in that many key events during our fight to secure independence from Great Britain occurred in these once sleepy little towns.

Lexington even has the honor of being the “official” birthplace of the Revolutionary War, as the famous shot heard ’round the world was allegedly fired on Lexington Green…although there’s some fun debate as to whether or not that’s true.

You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!

Salem, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 25 

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Salem is spooky all year round! While most people choose to visit Salem during October, the history of the Witch Trials, as well as the maritime history, is worth a visit no matter the season.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how quaint and relaxing this seaside town is.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 70ish, depending on the town you visit.

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Cape Cod (locally pronounced as Cape Cahd) is a great place to go for the seaside, quaint cabins in the woods, and cranberry bogs. It’s also where the Kennedy family compound is, so if you’re one of the brave souls who is willing to socialize with them, see if you can score an invite to one of their bonfires.

My friends and I stopped by a nearby beach to get a look at the house, but when I called my mom about it, she about came through the phone to set me straight. “Don’t you ever get into any sort of transportation with a Kennedy boy, Emily. It’ll be the last thing you do.”

Moms. Always looking out for you.

Western Mass

Miles from Boston: 90ish, depending on the town you visit.

Things to do in Western Mass Mount Holyoke

Mount Holyoke College

Step aside Boston, Western Mass is the true educational hub of Massachusetts.

Yes, it’s where I went to college, so I am extremely biased, but the number of things to do in the area still make it worth the trip. Emily Dickinson grew up in Amherst, so you can visit her house, and if you like to relive the simpler days of your childhood, the Eric Carle Museum is for you.

The five colleges in the area (Mount Holyoke, Smith, Amherst, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) also usually have a full calendar of academic and cultural events to choose from.

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Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 60

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

I’m a sucker for historic houses. When studying history, we learn so much about politics, war, geography, and the like that it’s just so refreshing for me to just be in a home.

I LOVE seeing how people’s day to day lives were. How they ate. What they wore. How they did their laundry. What kinds of toys the kids had. I feel like visiting historic houses humanizes the past, so Sturbridge Village was a dream come true for me because as the name suggests, it’s not just a historic house, but an entire village dedicated to 1830’s New England.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Miles from Boston: 40

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Seeing Plymouth Rock is actually anticlimactic AF, givin that’s tiny and I’m pretty sure the rock on display isn’t actually the rock the pilgrims landed on, nor in the same vicinity at all, but oh well.

It’s still cool to see the town of Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum where you can learn about the early days of American Colonialism and the Native Americans who lived in the area before the English arrived.

Newport, Rhode Island

Miles from Boston: 72

Rhode Island Day Trips: Which Newport Mansion Should I Visit

Newport is one of the best short day trips from Boston to take because of its famous Gilded Age mansions. Early buisness magnates like the Vanderbilts vanderbuilt (lols) palatial homes on the Atlantic seashore that are the ultimate #HouseHunterGoals.

It’s easy to spend a day exploring and envisioning yourself as a member of the elite.

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Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Miles from Boston: 98

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

While the Robber Barons hid out in Newport, Watch Hill, Rhode Island is where the modern day rich and famous go for a little seaside fun. Most notably, this quaint seaside village is home to country superstar Taylor Swift’s summer cottage.

And by cottage, I mean multi-million dollar mansion. It’s where she hosts her annual star-studded 4th of July party, so if you’re keen to meet a celebrity, that’s a good time to pop down.

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Portland and Freeport, Maine

Miles from Boston: Portland 112 / Freeport 123

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

Quintessential Maine: LL Bean Boots, lobster, and lighthouses. All things that are very easy to come by in Portland and Freeport.

Maine is one of the best short day trips from Boston to take because where else can you pose with a giant boot AND eat fresh lobster all in the same day? As you’re sitting on the waterfront with new Bean Boots on your feet, and lobster butter on your fingers, the state’s tourism slogan will never feel truer.

Maine: the way life should be.

Mystic, Connecticut

Miles from Boston: 100

Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

I tend to travel to places because Julia Roberts once ate pizza there.

For example, I ate at the Pizzeria di Michele in Naples, Italy because of Eat, Pray, Love and Mystic Pizza in Mystic, Connecticut…for the movie, you guessed it, Mystic Pizza.

Be sure to watch the 1988 coming-of-age classic before heading down for your day of fun. The Mystic Aquarium even has Beluga Whales — making it one of the best short day trips from Boston.

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Short Day Trips from Boston on Every Budget

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When my sister Kerry asked me to be her maid of honor, I knew I had to throw the most bangin bachelorette party of all time.

But, since she doesn’t really drink, the typical Vegas girls trip was not going to work. So I started looking for fun bachelorette party ideas for non-drinkers. The key to a great dry bachelorette party isn’t necessarily a city that doesn’t have any nightlife, just a city that has plenty to do during the day.

7 Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

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You have to find your bridal party’s niche: culture, nature, or classic. It’s also worth it to consider flight time from your bride’s base location.

Because of this, I’ve picked cities all over the USA, so you have plenty to choose from.

“Nature” Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

My sister and I at Mount Rushmore. She’s rockin her “bride to be” sash.

I took my sister to Mount Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills attractions for her bachelorette party in 2016. We LOVED it. There’s so much to do, from pretending to pick the noses of the presidents on the mountain, trying not to get attacked by rogue billy goats, and hikes — hikes galore.

If your bride (or bridesmaids!) like hikes, animals, National Treasure, or American history, a trip to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills should be perfect.

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The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

If anyone in your bridal party likes hiking, or taking selfies in wide brim hats next to a natural wonder of the world, then a road trip to the Grand Canyon is a great idea for your group. It’s also about a four hour drive from Vegas, so if your group is a partier / non-partier mix, it’s possible to appease both types of people within one trip.

“Culture” Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Washington, DC

New Location Hungarian Embassy DC

With some girlfriends at the Hungarian Embassy in DC.

Washington, DC has the best museums in the USA, if not the world. The National Gallery of Art, the Air and Space Museum, the Ford Theater (where Lincoln was assassinated), Newseum, and more.

If your bride likes to make art history Snapchats, learn about Spaceships, or even just stroll along the National Mall with an eye out for Captain America, Washington DC is the perfect place for your party.

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Boston, Massachusetts

MFA Boston Snow

Snow Day at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

I’m partial to Boston because I went to school in Western Mass and spent a lot of town in the city.

Boston is America’s London:  politically important and culturally significant. It’s perfect for a sober girls trip because you can spend the day wandering the Freedom Trail, chowing down on Clam Chowder, or taking in a game at Fenway.

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Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis or Nashville? How To Plan Your Tennesse Vacation

Memphis is the first place I ever went on a solo trip, so it has a special place in my heart. It’s also a good dry alternative to the “Nashvegas” bachelorette parties which seem to be becoming more and more popular. Memphis is more about the soul of rock n’ roll: how it came to be and the legend it left behind.

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“Classic” Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Orlando, Florida

Harry Potter Photo Op

Orlando is the ultimate classic girls trip!

Whether your bride is more interested in posing with Cinderella’s Castle or riding the Hulk at Universal Island of Adventure, Orlando has everything you could need for a dry bachelorette party. The adrenaline rush from your first ride on the Dueling Dragons at Harry Potter World will stay with you all day!

New York City

Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

New York City is the perfect trip for anyone! Whether your bridal party is into museums or manicures, parks or pub crawls, NYC has something at you all can do. You can divide an conquer or alternate the kinds of activities you do each day. It almost feels like a cop out to include NYC on this list of fun bachelorette party ideas for non-drinkers, because it’s such a given, but I had to put it forward, just in case.

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Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

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Looking for things to do in Watch Hill RI?

This idyllic ocean-front village is only about a two hour drive from Boston and a three hour drive from New York City (depending on traffic), making it the ideal place for a summer getaway.

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Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Napatree Point

The soft sand and the warm sun also make it a favorite destination for celebrity spottings…which is the reason I went. I wanted to meet Taylor Swift. It didn’t happen, but that’s okay, because she’s not the only cool thing about the town!

Here are a few of my favorite things to do:

Top 3 Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Napatree Point

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Swimming & Sunning

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

One of the best things to do in Watch Hill RI is simply to enjoy the beach all day. The sand on Watch Hill’s Napatree Point is one of the softest, whitest beaches on the planet and the grassy dunes leading up to the water look straight out of a Nicholas Sparks movie.

It’s easy to see why the area is a favorite getaway for the rich and famous, but luckily you don’t have to pay millions of dollars for an ocean-front home to enjoy it…just for parking.

The water is calm, clear and shark-free (for the most part). While coastal Rhode Island does have its fair share of sharks, they tend to congregate far offshore, in deeper waters, making them the constant companion of fishermen, not swimmers. Don’t believe me? Here you go.

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Visit Taylor Swift

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

Taylor didn’t want any visitors when we drove past..

Taylor Swift’s home in Watch Hill RI is the location of her famous 4th of July parties, so if you’d like to totally and completely, 100% accidentally run into a celebrity, that’s a good time to be in the area.

When Taylor was dating Tom Hiddleston, her Watch Hill estate was also where THIS notorious photo was taken of the couple…the photo that sparked 1,000 memes.

So, if you are looking for things to do in Watch Hill RI, especially during the summer, keep your eyes peeled for Taylor and her friends, including Blake Lively, the Hadid sisters, Ruby Rose, and more.

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Shopping

Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

The boat I’d buy if I live in Watch Hill.

Whether you’re looking for an ice cream cone to beat the summer heat, a new Alex and Ani bracelet, or some salmon shorts (but only if your dad’s a lawyer) there are cute stores on Watch Hill’s historic main street with exactly what you’re looking for.

There’s even a vintage carousel available for rides. When I visited, there were groups of young adults riding it, the glee evident on their sunburned faces, so don’t feel like you need to borrow your little cousin so it looks like you have a reason to ride. Just go for it!

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Things To Do in Watch Hill RI

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The entire town of Newport, Rhode Island looks like it walked straight of out a storybook. The water is so crisply blue I briefly wondered if it had been dyed. The sun, warm and bright, felt heavenly, not hellish. The famous Newport Mansions dotting the coast were the perfect final touch.

Luckily, the best photo spots in Newport, Rhode Island and the most interesting things to do in the area go hand and hand. If you have one day, one hour, or one week in this sometimes sleepy, sometimes sultry seaside town, here’s where you should visit:

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Gilded Age Mansion: The Breakers

Built in the 1890’s by the filthy rich Cornelius Vanderbilt II, The Breakers became a National Historic Landmark in 1994. The 125,339 square foot house is the closest thing you can get to a royal palace in America, as its over 70 rooms are crafted with only the finest marble and limestone.

It’s hard to imagine that it would not only belong to just one family, but that they wouldn’t even spend an entire month there each year because they owned so many other ornate homes. On top of everything, Cornelius Vanderbilt II wasn’t even the richest of the bunch. His grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt I was worth over $215 billion in today’s money.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is only worth $121 billion. Bill Gates is worth $91 billion.

So yeah. The Vanderbilts were rich.

Former Vanderbilt Home: Marble House

Marble House is one of the best photo spots in Newport, Rhode Island simply because of the history here.

Alva Vanderbilt was one of the original suffragettes and often held rallies calling for women’s rights on the front steps. When you visit, it’s hard not to close your eyes and imagine the commotion of it all unfolding around you.

The cool, marble exterior also sharply contrasts with the foliage and skyline, transforming Marble House from a simple structure into a striking statement. I can only imagine this was done entirely on purpose.

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"No woman should marry a man until all of us have won the right to vote. Should you need help, pray to God. I'm sure SHE will help you." -Alva Vanderbilt. ✌🏻✌🏻I was thrilled to stand on the steps of #marblehouse where #votesforwomen became the rallying cry for ladies who had had enough (unfortunately they weren't fighting for all their sisters…hello #intersectionality) but I got a little misty-eyed thinking about how 100 years ago women couldn't even vote and now our first female president is probably out there right now, angry and ready to fight back to get this show on the road.🇺🇸🇺🇸 ••TELL ME: do you enjoy political history? Have you ever visited a place for that reason?

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The Ida Lewis Yacht Club

Speeding over the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on our way to visit the Newport Mansions, my friend Siobhan and I noticed the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and made sure to circle around on our way home to explore it.

After spending the day in the “old money” part of Newport, learning about the Gilded Age legends who once called the area home, it was rather grounding to be in a place where modern Newport, the Sailing Capital of the World, thrived.

Back in my mother’s BC years (before children) she raced sailboats out of Cedar Point Yacht Club in Connecticut, so I also took interest in Ida Lewis for what it could tell me about my mother.

Any of the Local Beaches

The best photo spots in Newport, Rhode Island are anywhere along the water, as the town is colloquially known as the city by the sea.

Like I mentioned, the water is too blue. The sun is perfectly warm. If you listen hard enough, over the sweet sound of the birds chirping, you might even heard the hallelujah chorus.

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The Best Photo Spots in Newport, Rhode Island

 

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