by Bianca Ohannessian
For a place called Forks, there aren’t too many places to eat around here. The tiny city in the USA’s northwestern state of Washington (not to be confused with Washington DC) consists of little more than a small high street sprinkled with a few shops, a couple of diners and a liquor store.
Forks shot to fame when it starred as the mysterious setting for the Twilight Saga films. Although Twi-hard fans are sure to enjoy recognising places from the biggest teen vampire franchise on record, there’s so much more to discover beyond the story of Bella and Edward.
Breath-taking natural scenery ranges from moss-cloaked forests to dramatic coastlines and there are enough activities to keep you going for a good few days. Although its tourism industry revolves around the Twilight hype, it still feels like you’re venturing off the beaten path and into the wilderness when you visit. You really don’t have to be on #TeamEdward or #TeamJacob to appreciate the beauty of Forks.
One of the best parts of Forks is the drive there. That’s not to say it’s a disappointment when you arrive, but the journey is stunning. If you take a road trip from Seattle, Route 101 runs along the edge of peaceful puddles, such as Lake Pleasant and the spectacular Lake Crescent. The water is startlingly clear and you can see right to the bottom in surprising detail. It’s the perfect place for a pit-stop and a bit of kayaking or hiking. The long road is hugged by pine trees too, so whichever side you look out of the car window you’re bound to be greeted by beautiful views.
The area is lush with dark green rain forests and pretty white wild flowers. In some areas the trees seem to be entirely covered in soft green moss, giving them an otherworldly appearance. The selection of national parks and conservation areas offer lots of hiking routes to follow if you want to slip your boots on and get back to nature. Discover the gigantic Olympic National Park where you can find river trails and mountain peaks with views to admire.
Hot Springs in the Clouds
Hidden away up in the hills and surrounded by forest, is the open-air spa of Sol Duc. Melting snow meets volcanic heat to give you three pools of mineral-rich water. As you bathe in the natural hot springs, clouds of mist drift by in the high hillside setting. There are also the smaller and more rugged Olympic Hot Springs which sit along the banks of Boulder Creek, if you can find them!
If you find yourself with a particularly rainy day on your hands, you could take shelter in the local bowling alley. A classic Americana bowl-a-rama, it only has four lanes and probably less than four players in the entire building at any one time. It’s quaint and charming and offers an alternative to the selection of outdoor actives.
La Push Beaches
The Quileute Native American reservation of La Push hugs a stunning beach area teeming with wild, natural beauty and majestic rock formations. Stop off in the small town to learn more about the tribe’s culture or try First Beach for watersports, such as surfing and kayaking. If you’re visiting around February to April, you might even be able to spot some whales splashing through the waves. You can also catch some great colours from this spot as sunset fades into twilight.
Give @rockskippers a follow on Instagram for more adventure inspiration.