Stephenie Meyer may have never dreamed that her research visit to the small town of Forks, WA would bring much needed revenue into the travel industry. Her successful Twilight Saga and now the film Twilight has become the focus of the female teen scene (and also a number of mamas) and has renewed the idea of Vampire Tourism that first began with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Mamas love movies, books, and their locations. I decided that it was time to read the Twilight Saga before watching this movie, to see what the hype was all about. The books are very engaging and I can understand the appeal it has to teenage girls. Many fans have fallen in love with the fictional characters Edward and Jacob. I spoke briefly with a film critic acquaintance who wished to remain anonymous for copyright reasons. I think he just doesn’t want anyone to know that as a 30 something male, he actually enjoyed the movie. He was surprised that he liked it and recommends it as a date movie that guys can sit through.
Just in case you’ve ever wondered where some of the places mentioned in the books or movie are, I thought it would be nice to help you in your quest for more Twilight in your lives. Here are a few of the top travel spots mentioned in the books or movie that YOU can visit:
Forks, Washington – The town is not fictional, but is actually located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Here, fans and tourists can find the actual places listed in the series, such as Bella’s House, Forks High School, Forks Police Station, and even take a shopping trip inside of Forks Outfitters. Is the Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast really the setting for the Cullen’s home? It is close enough for many fans, and you can spend the night here also. The Forks Chamber of Commerce offers guided tours, which must be reserved in advanced. They’ll even take visitors to the Quillayute Prairie Cemetery, which serves as the Cullen’s baseball field in the book.
La Push – The unincorporated community of La Push is near Forks, WA and is part of the Quileute Indian Reservation. The fictional Jacob Black lives in La Push and it is here, at First Beach, where Bella and Jacob spend a good deal of time together.
Hoh Rainforest – This rainforest is located in Olympic National Park, a 30 minute drive from Forks, WA. It spans 70 miles, from the glaciers of Mount Olympus to the Pacific Ocean. Rustic cabin lodging is available at Hard Rain Café starting at around $69 per night and campsites are $15 per night.
Port Angeles – La Bella Italia Restaurant is where Bella and Edward (well, maybe just Bella) ate a dish of mushroom ravioli, which was just recently added to the regular menu. Diners can also order a glass of vampire wine and finish the meal off with Twilight cupcakes.
If you plan on exploring the Olympic Peninsula, Nerd’s Eye View offers great suggestions on a quick visit.
Volterra, Italy – This town is located in the Tuscany region of Italy and is home to the fictional Volturi, considered to be the royal family of vampires. This ancient city’s underground is where the Volturi lead unsuspecting tourists to their deaths.
Film Sites – Due to movie industry incentives and overall film budget, the screen adaptation of Twilight was filmed in the Oregon cities of St. Helen’s and Portland. FanTrips.Travel offers guided tours (with lodging and meals) that take fans through the film sites, including the Columbia River Gorge, View Point Inn (where Bella and Edward spend time after the Prom), and the Historic District of St. Helen’s serves as the stand in for Forks, WA. This tour runs between $800-$1000 per person.
This quick video of First Beach in LaPush, WA by striatic gives an idea of the atmosphere Bella and Jacob shared during their discussions on the beach.