Ok, let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute. If you’re a Twilight fan, even if you don’t consider yourself a “Twihard”, you’ve probably considered visiting the tiny town of Forks, WA. Maybe it was a wistful “Oh, what a lovely area. I’d like to see those beaches!” or maybe it was more “OMG I MUST go see where Bella and Jacob and the Cullens live, THEN I want to buy tons of awesome fangirl stuff!” Somewhere in between? *wink* Well, this IS Forks week, and I just got back from a two week Pacific Northwest vacation, so of course I took a few days to visit the famed town! If you missed Pocket Edward’s photo-journal, look at yesterday’s post and check out his awesome trip photos! The rest of the week will also be lots of fun, with a look inside Twilight Tours, a review of the Misty Valley Inn Bed and Breakfast, and Edward’s own take on Port Angeles’ Bella Italia restaurant. Today is all about the money! Where can I spend it on attractions, souvenirs, and food?!
***** Note: For you non-Twilight fan readers out there, my normal blog activities (book reviews and news) will resume next week! *****
What to see!
Every Twilight fan on a pilgrimage to Forks, should visit the Chamber of Commerce. Not only can you see (and take pictures with!) Bella’s trucks (the model from the books and the model from the movies), you can also pose with life-size cardboard cutouts of our favorite characters and see for yourself and just how much rain Forks actually gets each year via the outdoor rain gauge. Don’t forget to put a pin in the map representing your home city, then marvel and just how much tourism Twilight has brought to Forks in the last few years.
(Click on any picture to open it full-size in a new window)
Also not to miss, however anticlimactic it may turn out to be, is the Forks “Home of the Spartans” high school sign. I’m told that not a single frame of the movies has been filmed in Forks, so don’t be surprised when you look at the high school and don’t recognize it at all. In fact, they’re in the process of rebuilding the old high school and only re-displayed the original sign after legions of angry Twilight fans complained about its absence during their visits. Thanks to our fellow sisters-in-arms (erm, sisters-in-sparkle?), you can now view the original Forks High School sign in all its wooden glory. Beware jaded glances from actual high school students if you are brave enough to try taking a photo with it. *grin*
Of course, any Twilight fan worth their glitter wouldn’t miss seeing all the famous houses! You can see them on your own (Lapelles Florist will give you a free handy map with everything nicely drawn out and easy to find) or you can take one of the Twilight tours. More info on the tours tomorrow! Check out a quick sneak peek at the houses the townspeople felt best fit Stephanie Meyer’s book descriptions…
Where to shop!
Shopping in Forks really is a must. Nearly all the stores in town carry some sort of Twilight paraphernalia, and some of them offer one-of-a-kind handmade items (by locals) and unique commercial merchandise.
Tops on my list for commercial items is Dazzled By Twilight. This is the mega-store for all things vampire and paranormal (including True Blood & The Vampire Diaries), and it even includes an “adult” section in a secluded black lit room. The decor is unsurpassed, better than some of the popular trendy shops I’ve seen in larger cities with its “grass” turf floor, tree and foliage decor, and the Twilight flavor just shimmering off its shelves. From “Bite me!” boy briefs to Cullen baseball jerseys, Dazzled has a selection large enough to satisfy even the most demanding of fans.
For personalized souvinirs and scrapbooking gems, you can’t beat Lapelles Flowers and Gifts. This unassuming little flower shop will surprise you with its large selection of vampire-inspired (and Twilight-specific) papers, stickers, and kits (all of which takes up roughly half the merchandise space!), and it still has a great selection of charming gifts, including a few items that can be personalized while you wait. Don’t forget t-shirts and caps! Lapelles has those too, as well as some super-cute knit “Cullen” beanies and, my personal favorite souvinir from the entire trip, a personalized glittery apple.
If you’re more interested in the native culture in Forks and the Twilight Saga, definitely visit Native To Twilight. Offering a wide selection of Quilluite-inspired home decorations such as carvings, jewelry, and wall & window hangings, Native To Twilight also carries handmade cards made by local artists. Get yourself one of these, then take it to the Post Office and ask for a “cancel stamp” (it’s free – you don’t have to actually mail it, just ask to have your item stamped). Voila, your very own one-of-a-kind keepsake with indisputable Forks provenance!
Where to eat!
With all this exploring, you’re going to need some serious fuel. Here are a few of my favorites…
No Twilight trip would be complete without a trip to Bella Italia in Port Angeles! Obviously, this restaurant is not IN Forks, but it is well worth the 45 minute or so drive to nearby Port A. You’ll probably notice that this too is not the same as the movie location for Bella Italia. Go ahead and feel a little down about it, but then shake it off and sit down to one of the best meals of your life… bar none. I’ve eaten all over the world, had some of the finest cuisine in some of the fanciest restaurants, and the food at Bella Italia ranks up there with all but the most elite. Of course, I’m partial to Italian food, but one thing I am NOT usually a fan of is mushrooms. Unfortunately, Stephanie Meyer wrote in Mushroom Ravioli as Bella’s food the night of her and Edward’s first date. This means (you guessed it) either my husband or I had to order this dish to try it. Much to my surprise and overwhelming relief, it was divine! I won’t go into any more detail because Edward will be covering the food reviews on Friday here on Gravetells, but suffice it to say this:
Save up some money ($14-$20 per plate ish), make your reservation (they fill up fast, so don’t wait til the day of!), make the drive, and sit down to one of the best restaurant Italian meals you’ll find outside of Italy itself!
For fast food with quality ingredients and a clean atmosphere, visit Pacific Pizza! I’m what I like to call a “pizza connoisseur”. That’s fancy-schmancy for “I eat a lot of pizza and can’t seem to get enough”. I’ve tasted a lot of bad pizza and I’m a little ashamed to admit that I expected Pacific Pizza to be disappointing. Well, I certainly don’t mind being wrong about a fabulous new pizza place! This joint was, to borrow from Rachel Ray, YUM-O! The menu is surprisingly sophisticated, with a selection of sandwiches and paninis in addition to their standard and gourmet pizzas, and the dining area was quaintly decorated and cleanly kept. The service was also warm and friendly, which sadly was not the overwhelmingly typical experience for me in Forks. Minimally friendly, yes. Southern-hospitality-style welcoming, no.
For yummy, fresh sandwiches and sweet coffee confections, head over to Forks Outfitters! Yep, I said Forks Outfitters. Outwardly, this building looks like a Safeway meets Academy meets Home Depo, with a coffee shop attached. Honestly speaking, it’s not really a welcoming facade, and I probably wouldn’t have stopped in here to check for food if I hadn’t been a) really hungry and b) jonzing for a London Fog. *grin* Luckily for me (and now all of you!), we took a chance and had the deli make us fresh sandwiches. As simple as that sounds (“fresh” sandwiches), I should point out that the deli has a decent selection of pre-made sammies and other cooked foods such as pasta, eggrolls, and meats. When we asked for a freshly made sandwich, we were repeatedly pointed toward the pre-mades and warned about the size limitation (they apparently won’ t make a half-sized-sandwich fresh, only whole ones) and the extra cost of additional meats and cheeses ($1 each). After about a 5 minute discussion and explanation, we finally had our sandwiches started. It took a while to make them (I’m thinking most people probably just cave and buy the pre-made ones, which probably taste great too!), but when we finally got them back to the B&B, the wait was COMPLETELY worth it!
Long story short? Go to Forks Outfitters and insist on a freshly made deli sandwich, then hit up the cute little coffee shop and get yourself a London Fog or a Mocha. Best sandwich and coffee I had all trip!
Finally, if you’re willing to spend a little extra and want the best breakfast in town, book a night at Misty Valley Inn bed & breakfast. The Misty Valley Inn is a wonderfully charming bed & breakfast just a couple miles outside the town center of Forks. By that, I mean it’ll take you a whole 5 minutes to drive from the B&B to downtown. 😉 The owners are lovely people and have a serious flair for extravagant breakfasts. You’ll get your morning tray of tea/coffee/chocolate, which is heavenly on its own, and then you’ll be treated to a literally gourmet breakfast overlooking one of the most scenic views in the entire area. More about the Misty Valley Inn B&B on Thursday, but for now let me just share a few images of their mouthwatering breakfast selections and view…
Contact info for featured businesses
If you live too far away to visit Forks but still want to order some merchandise, or if you’re planning a trip and want to start making your reservations, check out the links below. Hope you enjoyed the info! I’d be glad to answer any questions in the comments section below. Also look for my reviews (as davincikittie) on TripAdvisor.com
© All photos displayed in this post are property of DavinciKittie. Copies of these photos may be used for personal purposes without permission, but not on any monetized website/blog or in any media outlets intended for profit. Persons and businesses may use these photos in a non-profit manner ONLY as long as a link back to this site is provided in a reasonably visible location and (for businesses only) permission from DavinciKittie is obtained in advance.
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