Back to regularly scheduled programming…
We spent two days exploring the Olympic Peninsula during the last week of July and fell in love! We hiked through Olympic National Park on our first day and then ended it with a Twilight inspired evening and second day. So. Much. Fun!!! For those of you that aren’t into the Twilight Saga – I apologize now. For those of you that are – you understand my enthusiasm. I have to admit though; I’m not what you would consider a “Twi-hard”. I am just a huge fan of the books and movies. Before them, I didn’t enjoy reading. But once I started this series I was sucked in and have read them twice. So that being said, I wouldn’t have taken a trip all the way to WA just to visit Forks, Port Angeles, and La Push. But since we were going to be over that direction anyway, it made for a very fun, light-hearted kind of day. I definitely felt a bit like a dorky teenager and loved every minute of it.
The cities of Forks, Port Angeles, and La Push have all capitalized on the Twilight series quite well. The entire area has marketed themselves to tourists. They have tour routes in place with all of the major destinations from the books designated, as well as all kinds of souvenir shops and group tours available. Kinda crazy but certainly smart!
So after our day in Olympic National Park, Skyler and I drove back up to Port Angeles to have dinner at Bella Italia where Edward and Bella had their first date. I even ordered the mushroom ravioli just as Bella did in the book. I swear that was what I wanted on the menu and didn’t just get it because of the book…but funny nonetheless. The food was actually very good. Just make sure if you go that you make reservations. Luckily I had done my homework online ahead of time and had booked us a table because I believe they stay pretty busy with Twilight fans.
The author of the series, Stephanie Meyer, hadn’t actually visited the area until she was further into writing the series, but she had clearly done her homework. I don’t actually know how well she researched the area versus how well the town just adapted to the books, but the tour route includes places like The Swan House, The Cullen House, etc…pretty clever. The real Bella Italia has been in business for several years, so she must have done some research on that one. But some of the other places were definitely conveniently dubbed by the Convention & Visitors Bureau based on Meyer’s descriptions. The Black House seemed very much like what I would have imagined. The Cullen House was pretty close I think but not enough off the beaten path. And the Swan House was not so believable to me. But hey, who am I to judge. It was a lot of fun regardless!
Dew Drop Inn
After dinner in Port Angeles, we ended our first night in the Olympic Peninsula at the Dew Drop Inn Motel. Despite the tourism surge the town has seen, it is still just a small town with old run down motels for overnight accommodations (for the most part). But we were happy with this place. It was $110 per night and the room was spacious and clean. Just old. But the location was definitely great. We were able to hit the road runnin’ the next morning. We finished off our night by watching Eclipse till we fell asleep and shared a Twilight beer. Yes, shared. It was gross.
Our first stop the next morning was at the Thriftway across the street from the motel to grab food for lunch. And next door to it was Forks Outfitters…not quite Newton Olympic Outfitters…but close. We then headed to the Forks Visitors Center to get a map for the self guided tour and some info on the rain forest. And best of all, a picture with Bella’s trucks.
The one on the left is like the one described in the books. The one on the right is the actual truck they used in the movies. Pretty cool!
The lady at the visitors center was super nice and helpful! She was diligent about making sure everybody signed the guest book and was very knowledgeable about her town. She gave us the map and a couple of additional pamphlets and we were on our way to the…
Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park is absolutely incredible! And to be honest, it is exactly what I pictured in my head while reading the Twilight series. While hiking through it, you are surrounded by the darkness of the green canopy. You kind of feel more like you are in a fairy tail than real life.
We hiked the trail to the Hall of Mosses and then to Maple Grove. One of the coolest places I’ve ever been!
Amazing right? Quite magical!
Twilight in Forks
Once we were done at the Hoh Rain Forrest, we headed back into Forks to begin our self-guided tour through the Twilight hotspots.
The Swan Home
Dr. Cullen’s Parking Spot at the Hospital
Forks High School
Charlie’s Cruiser at the Police Station
The Cullen House
…accompanied by a message from Esme
First Beach was absolutely beautiful with the driftwood covered shoreline and cliffs jutting out in the distance. We decided to make our lunch and enjoy the view, but we had to eat in the car instead of have a picnic like we had planned because it was extremely windy and chilly. The view was spectacular though…very relaxing.
On our way back to Forks we passed by Jacob’s House…
…along with his shop that he and Bella rebuilt the bikes in.
Dazzled by Twilight
Before we headed back home we stopped off at the big tourist shop in the area, Dazzled by Twilight.
It is pretty crazy to be in a store where everything is dedicated to the Twilight Saga. Kinda funny. And the answer is yes; I gave in and bought my very own Twilight dork gear…
That sums up our Twilight inspired weekend in the Olympic Peninsula and it was amazing! We headed back to the ferry and made our way back to Seattle to begin planning our next adventure.