As a fan of the Twilight Saga, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Forks, Washington twice. My first visit to Forks was a whirlwind of confusion that left me drained and exhausted. With a better understanding of the area, my second trip was so much more relaxing. Here are a few of the things I learned that will help you have a smooth visit to the vampire inhabited city on the coast.
1. If you will be flying to Washington for your visit, you really need to allot the necessary travel time. Flying into Seattle is only half the battle. Once you arrive at SEATAC, you will either need to rent a car so that you can drive to Forks, or you will need to take a puddle-jumper flight to Port Angeles and then drive the rest of the way to Forks. I have found that the puddle-jumper flights are just as expensive as the commercial flights, so I would recommend renting a car in Seattle and driving the rest of the way. It is at least a three hour drive to Forks with a ferry ride. I recommend taking the Bremerton Ferry across Puget Sound, however check the schedule ahead of time to make sure when the ferry is running on the day you arrive. Then, on your return to Seattle from Forks, I recommend leaving Forks the evening before your flight and spending the night in a hotel in Seattle so that you can catch your flight on time. Also, you should know that there is very little in between Seattle and Forks. If you need to eat or use the facilities, do so before you leave town or while you’re on the ferry!
2. Every Twilight fan will insist on the ever popular stop in Port Angeles to eat at Bella Italia. The restaurant does, indeed exist and they do serve Bella’s mushroom ravioli! However, it is an extremely small restaurant that is only open after 4pm. Reservations are highly suggested or you will end up waiting for several hours for a seat. Also consider that Port Angeles is about an hour away from Forks. I suggest either making plans to visit Port Angeles on your way to Forks or on your way back to Seattle if your schedule is tight. If you have the luxury of a flexible schedule, you can spend the day walking around the shops along the wharf and can even take a ferry to Victoria, Canada if you have your passport.
3. The time of year you visit Forks will greatly impact the ease of your vacation. Giving the location and the fact that many Twilight fans are young and in school, it seems an obvious choice to go to Forks in the summer. Be aware that hotels will be more expensive and more difficult to book in the summer than at any other time of the year. Also, any other camping, boating, or fishing excursions you may be interested in, which are what the area was known for before Twilight, will be more difficult to book as well. And if you plan on visiting for Stephenie Meyer day in September, you better book at year in advance! I suggest going closer to the fall season, if you can, or early in the summer before the full tourist season hits.
4. If you are going in a group that consists of more than four people, I highly recommend renting out one of the many houses that are available in the area rather than staying in a hotel. Stephenie Meyer herself stayed at The Cozy River House, and you can, too! Houses can sleep up to twelve people and provide you with the opportunity to cut down on some food costs. There aren’t very many places to eat around Forks (the only fast food in the area is a Subway!) so being able to cook a meal for everyone can really help if you need to keep your budget low. It also allows you to better visit with each other in the evening. However, if you do want to stay in a hotel, The Forks Hotel does offer Twilight themed rooms for an additional cost.
5. As much as there is to see and do in the actual city of Forks, don’t skimp on what La Push has to offer! Even if you aren’t Team Jacob, La Push is a must see and should be given ample time on your vacation. It takes about 45 minutes to drive from Forks to First Beach in La Push. However, if you want to experience some real ocean fun, make plans to visit Rialto Beach when the tide is out so you can see the tide pools. For distinctive and beautiful jewelry, be sure to shop at the Quileute Nation’s store just off the beach. You can even rent a cabin on the beach for a truly unique experience. Where ever you go in La Push, dress warm and be ready to walk! The North Pacific Ocean is much colder than you expect.
Very few supernatural books provide fans with an actual destination stop in the way Twilight does. The city has really embraced the books and can provide tourists with maps of all hot spots a Twilight fan will want to see. I hope these small tips will help your trip to Forks be a successful one!