Talk about a Twi-hard’s dream vacation spot! Although Stephenie Meyer created Twilight totally from her own imagination, the town of Forks, where Bella and Edward live, meet and fall in love, is a very real, very lovely and friendly place. If you’re thinking of visiting Forks, check out OK!’s guide to the city, made with the help of the Forks Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

Forks is nestled right at one of the gateways to Olympia National Park, home to one of the only temperate rain forests in the world. The beauty of nature — whether it’s hiking through the forest on any of the 600 miles of trails, heading to a local fishing spot or checking out the Pacific beaches — is obvious to anyone surfing the city’s homepage at forkswa.com. Potential visitors can also find places to stay, where to grab a bite or get the basics on their Twilight points of interest.

To really get the inside scoop of how to best enjoy Forks and all of its many charms, OK! had the pleasure of chatting with Mike Gurling, the manager of the Forks Visitor Center. He explains that before the movie even hit the big screen, the original Twilight books started the deluge of fans arriving in town.

“It all began really in July of 2006 when Stephenie Meyer came here and did a book reading and a book signing for New Moon. There were several hundred people that came that day,” recalls Gurling. “That was really the kickoff point, and it’s just been gradually building ever since that time.”

Gurling estimates that this past summer, there were anywhere between 500 to 700 people each day coming into the visitor center — a “huge increase” — where he passes out Twilight information packets to those interested. The packets include trivia quizzes and a map of the town with designated Twilight sites — locations they’ve picked out to represent scenes in the books, as the movies were not shot in Forks. For example: the house the Swans could’ve lived in, Forks High School, First Beach and a Victorian-style house for the Cullens — one that Gurling thinks fits better than the home chosen in the movie.

CHECK OUT THE BEAUTY OF FORKS!

Twi-hards will be in good hands with Mike, who says not only did he read all four books in the saga, he took notes!

“Our feeling is we have to be at least as knowledgeable, if not more so, than the fans that are coming here,” explains Gurling. “One of the things I did when I read the books is I treated them as if it was college test; so I actually took notes and wrote down page numbers and I developed a test for each of the four books.”

If you’re thinking that it sounds like a dream job, Gurling is aware of how lucky he is to delve into the world of Twilight on a daily basis.

“I never dreamed I’d be doing anything like this, but it’s really wonderful to be able to do it,” Gurling admits.

And Gurling isn’t the only one in the family who’s into Twilight — even his mom sounds like a Twi-hard!

“My 87-year-old mother has read all of the books twice and has seen the movie numerous times and LOVES Edward!” laughs Gurling. “She’s the biggest fan. In fact, she lives in San Diego, and when I went to visit this last Thanksgiving, we got to go see the movie together.”

Whether you love exploring nature, and whether you’re young or old, Gurling thinks Forks and the allure of Twilight makes his town a great place to visit, and we definitely agree!

For more information, check out the Forks Chamber of commerce website at forkswa.com or call 1-800-443-6757.

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation