The City of Forks, one of the rainiest places in America, had a sparkly light shine on it in 2005 -- and the name of that light was Edward Cullen. Located in Washington's rain forest, the town had fallen on rough times as its timber industry declined. The economy ran mainly on sports fisherman who traveled to nearby Olympic National Park; all that changed, however, after Stephenie Meyer published her first book. img hspace="4" border="1" align="middle" vspace="4" alt="" id="vimage_3017346" src="http://www.blogcdn.com/blog.moviefone.com/media/2010/05/novamps.jpg" />
The City of Forks, one of the rainiest places in America, had a sparkly light shine on it in 2005 -- and the name of that light was Edward Cullen. Located in Washington's rain forest, the town had fallen on rough times as its timber industry declined. The economy ran mainly on sports fisherman who traveled to nearby Olympic National Park; all that changed, however, after Stephenie Meyer published her first book.
Most of the 'Twilight' series is set in Forks, and since the first book's publication, the town has seen a 600 percent increase in tourism. Although the bulk of the footage is not actually shot in the town, the locations are modeled after Stephenie Meyer's descriptions of Forks High School, Forks Community Hospital, etc. Unlike 'The Blair Witch Project' town, Forks has embraced the fame and offer tours of "the Cullen house" (Miller Tree Inn), "Bella house" and the hospital where Dr. Cullen supposedly works. Summit Entertainment, the studio that produces the Twilight films, has even released a documentary called, 'Twilight in Forks: The Saga of the Real Town' -- which is less a documentary than a marketing video for the city's new vampire tourism boom. A second documentary, 'Forks: Bitten by Twilight,' covers the subject matter less favorably, and has been sued by Summit for trademark infringement.
Location as Character: The climate of Washington's rain forest is perfect for vampires, since there are only a few days of sunshine each year. The Cullens enjoy hunting the rich game in the vast woods, and it just so happens there is plenty of room left over for gorgeous, half-naked Native Americans to shape-shift into gigantic werewolves. The nearby La Push, home of the Quileute Indian Reservation, is where Jacob and his hairy friends protect the forests from bloodsuckers.
Visitors can see everything from the store where Bella works, Forks Outfitters, to "Bella's Truck," which looks just like the one in the film and is permanently parked in front of Forks Chamber of Commerce.
Historical Significance: Whether you love or hate 'Twilight,' you have to admit it is the biggest cultural phenomenon to come along since 'Harry Potter.' The simple fact that a town's economy can completely be turned around because a story is set there is just short of amazing. No other work springs to mind that has turned an otherwise dying town into an international phenomenon. On top of the two recent documentaries profiling Forks, there are multiple fan sites and merchandise promoting the connection.
On her website, Stephenie Meyer recalls her first trip to the town after researching it for the book: "Of course it was raining when we landed. It rained both days that we were in Port Angeles. However, the sun shined the entire time we were in Forks. I'm still not sure if that was a good omen or a bad one. Every local we spoke to commented on our rare luck."
Fun Fact: As you travel from Forks into La Push, there is a large road sign reading, "No Vampires Beyond This Point." This is of course referring to the deal that the Cullens have with the Quileute, promising never to set one dead foot on their land. Three Rivers Resort has taken advantage of its close proximity to the border and claims to be "the treaty line."
The resort's restaurant even features the Treaty-Line Twilight Menu, which includes Cullen's Clam Chowder, Jacob Black Shake, Bella Banana Split, Swan Sandwich, and Werewolf Burger.
Directions: It is a 140-mile drive northwest from Seattle, across the Olympic National Park, along the WA-104 to the US-101. Visitors can also fly into Forks Airport -- or "Quileute Airport" if you're Team Jacob -- on small commuter planes.
Visitor Info: There is absolutely no lack of things for a 'Twilight' fan to do in Forks. Thinks about renting a car if you fly in, because La Push is 15 miles away, and no visit would be complete without seeing First Beach, which is where Jacob first shares Quileute legends with Bella. Also, make sure to bring a poncho. There is no rainy season -- only rainy year and rainier years.