Catapulting to fame after the release of Stephenie Meyer’s hugely popular Twighlight series, the tiny town of Forks on the Pacific North West coast has never looked back!
After seeing the stunning scenery of this region in the first Twilight movie, Forks made it to the top of my bucket list and boy, I wasn’t disappointed! When our recent plans changed in Seattle and we ended with a few spare days up our sleeves, visiting Forks and the Pacific North West coast seemed an opportunity to good to be true.
On a bright sunny morning in April, we drove south from Seattle on the i5, past Tarcoma and the southern end of Commencement Bay and ended up on Highway 101 travelling through beautiful forest scenery towards the larger town of Port Angeles and then on to the town of Forks.
Forks is well known for its incredible amount of rain fall… in fact, it averages 121 inches (over 3 metres) of rain every year spread across 212 days of rainfall. Situated between the Pacific Coast to its west and the Olympic National Park rainforest to the east and south, Forks is trapped in an oceanic climate combined with a temperate rainforest and it’s true, as soon as we crossed that mountain range, our bright sunny turned overcast and raining!
There are loads of nature loving things to do in and around Forks, including La Push beach, made famous in the Twilight movies located on the fascinating Quillayute Indian lands; visit other Pacific beaches; Olympic National Park rainforest, Hoh Rainforest and a fantastic variety of nature trails throughout the region. The scenery of this area is simply stunning.
Forks itself is a tiny town with a main street bustling with activity and lots of cafes and diners and the Visitor Information Centre has a wonderful map with many sites to see around town from the Twilight movies. The Centre has life size cut outs of all the Twilight stars to have your photo with, Bella’s truck is permanently parked out the front and lots of cute Twilight related memorabilia, such as Dr Cullen’s business card from the hospital! We spent several hours exploring Forks, driving past Bella’s dad’s house, Forks High School, the Community Hospital where Dr Cullen worked and cruising the main road as Bella did when she first arrived in Forks with her dad.
After reluctantly leaving Forks, we headed further south on Hwy 101 towards Astoria, where we overnighted on the shore front and had the pleasure of seeing a colony of sea lions living just off the wharf. The sound they made echoing through the bay area is not to be believed!
One of the more interesting things to do in Astoria is visit the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and take a short stroll through the gorgeous leafy forest to Fort Clatsop, the fort that Lewis, Clark and their men constructed to stay over winter before attempting the journey back home.
Another true gem of this region is the coastal road south of Astoria. This road travels a fair way down the Oregon coast and is one amazing coastal vista after another, dotted with invitingly picturesque seaside towns.
Overall, I found Forks and the entire North West Pacific Coast far exceeded my expectations and can’t wait until we have more time to go back and explore this region in more detail.