The Twilight Tour: A Guide to Visiting Forks
You've read the books, you've seen the movies and you're still craving more? Head to the real Forks and immerse yourself in all things Twilight.
Located between the Olympic Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s no wonder the tiny town of Forks—population 3,500—has embraced its connection to Stephenie Meyers' hit vampire book series. Once a quiet logging community, businesses have seen an unprecedented boost in the local economy since the release of the Twilight saga, says Forks Chamber of Commerce Director Marcia Bingham (as of December 2010, tourism to the area has increased 600 percent since 2000). The town has become the vampirical Holy Grail for Twilighters wanting to catch a glimpse of where Bella Swan lives.
Forks residents have responded by giving the fans what they want. From merchandise: T-shirts say “Forks Bites!”, to signage: “No Vampires Beyond this Point”, most everyone has given in to the Twilight phenomenon.
And lucky us–we Seattleites can make the trip to Forks in roughly three and a half hours. (Click here for a map) Whether you're a diehard fan or new to the vampire scene, we've etched out the authoritative list of places to go and things to see in Forks. (Caution: Spoilers ahead)
Forks Welcome Sign
Located on Highway 101, North and South points of town
This is the piece of evidence you'll need to prove you've walked in Bella's beat up pair of Converses. The sign is close to the road, so be careful when you pull over on your way in to or out of town to snap a pic.
Forks Visiting Center, 1411 South Forks Ave.
As every Twihard knows, Bella’s red 1950’s Chevrolet pickup truck is a character in its own right throughout the Twilight series. While her appreciation for the town of Forks is slower to grow, she falls in love with Charlie's welcome gift instantly. Available for photo ops 24/7; for more information call 360.374.2531 or visit the Forks Chamber of Commerce website.
775 K St.
While there is no real Swan home in Forks (news flash: they're fictional), a real Forks couple volunteered their home to be the “official” home of Bella and Charlie. Note: You can drive by and take pictures by the sign out front, but it's a private residence so don't attempt to go in. (Again, she doesn't really live there.)
Forks High School
191 S. Spartans Ave.
As you probably know, Forks High School is home to many scenes in the books and film adaptations. They based the sign in the movie off of the real one, so it makes a great background for a photo op. Show your Spartan spirit (or don't--we know Bella never did).
530 Bogachiel Way, Forks, WA 98331
Dr. Cullen will most likely be out for the day, but the Forks Hospital makes for another fun stop on the tour. Just try not to be as klutzy as Bella and end up in the emergency room--there's still a lot more to see.
118 E 1st St, Port Angeles
If you want to cover all Twilight ground, visiting Port Angeles is a must. After all, it's where Edward and Bella had their first date. Go to Bella Italia and order the Mushroom Ravioli like she did. Just make sure not to get caught alone after dark--unless you have a spare Edward around to save you. Located halfway between Seattle and Forks; open 7 days/wk at 4 p.m; 360.457.5442
90 Main St., La Push
La Push is said to be one of the most popular locations on the Twilight tour. Home to the Quileute Indian Tribe, it's where Jacob tells Bella about the Cullens and the Quileute legends. It's also where Bella goes cliff diving and nearly drowns. Go there to sit where they did on piles of driftwood and take in the breathtaking scenes.
The Hoh Rainforest
The Hoh Rain Forest is accessed by the Upper Hoh Road, off of Highway 101
If you really want to put yourself in Bella and Edward's shoes, taking a hike in the Hoh Rainforest will do it. There are two trails near the Visitor Center that are easy to stroll through, and the famous Hall of Mosses Trail is just 3/4 of a mile. You won't be running through it at the speed of a vampire, but the lush canopies of green will help to create a day of enchantment.
(The Hoh is on the west side of Olympic National Park, about a two-hour drive from Port Angeles and under an hour from Forks.)
Dazzled By Twilight
11 North Forks Ave.
Every fan will want to stop at the "Dazzled by Twilight" store located on Forks Ave. This will be the shopping portion of your tour (we’re guessing the only shopping opportunity you’ll find while there). Not only can you stock up on Twilight merchandise, but the "Dazzled" store doubles as a tour company. Their tour lasts two to three hours (depending on size and participation), and the tour guides have lots of insider information and offer plenty of stops and photo opportunities. There’s also a “Dazzled” store in Port Angeles (135 E. First St.) It’s walking distance from other Twilight sites such as the Lincoln Theater and Bella Italia Restaurant.
(Why the super cheesy name? As twihards know, Bella told Edward that the way he looked at her was "dazzling". Check out this Vanity Fair profile of Robert Pattinson as he delves deeper into the "dazzling" phenomenon.)
Insider tip #1: Before you leave Forks, make sure to stop at the Chamber of Commerce and sign in. Says Director Marcia Bingham of the Twilight fans who stop by: "One of the nicest things about them--they don't complain about the rain."
Insider tip #2: The Forks Chamber of Commerce website has created a Twilight travel Web page which features a Twilight map and slideshows--the perfect companion to all of the info above ... Download it here and take off on your Twilight adventure.
(Photos by Mike Gurling, Vistor Center Manager, Forks Chamber of Commerce)