Florida Scenes from Elvis Presley's Follow That Dream Movie
By Hilda Mitrani
At the request of a reader, I've done some research on Elvis Presley's "Follow That Dream" and the time he spent filming on Florida's Nature Coast. Of course, it wasn't called "Nature Coast" back then. Elvis filmed primarily in Yankeetown, which sits on the Withlacoochee River a few miles inland from the Gulf. This is what I learned after a bit of digging on www.inglisyankeetown.org:
"The Elvis Presley movie, "Follow that Dream," [was filmed] in our historic courthouse. When you visit Inverness, you will be struck by the beauty and quaintness of our historic "Courthouse Square" shopping district, the centerpiece of which is our stately Historic Courthouse... It was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places on April 2, 1992." During the shooting, Elvis apparently stayed in Crystal River. From there, it was an easy drive to the locations that took him to Inverness, Yankeetown, Ocala and Tampa. Yankeetown has a marker commemorating the shoot, and it also named a highway after Elvis, the Follow That Dream Highway.
To get to the spot in Yankeetown where the fishing scenes from Elvis Presley's "Follow That Dream" were filmed back in 1961, you need to travel to the end of Highway 40 West at the Gulf of Mexico. There, at the bridge that goes over Bird Creek, you'll also see some of the most glorious sunsets in the entire state.
Like Elvis, many people before and after have followed their dream to Florida.
Sources: Citrus County Historical Society and Visiting Small Town Florida by Bruce Hunt, published in 2003.