Posts Tagged ‘Forks’


Remember my wonderful housemate Caitlin from three posts back? Well, in addition to being an expert on all things Forks, she has also spent substantially more time in Leavenworth than I have. I’ve asked her once again to be our virtual tour guide of this Bavarian-themed town, which National Geographic  named one of the 50 best places to live and play in the U.S. 




Caitlin’s Favorite …

Restaurant: King Ludwig’s. Voted Restaurant of the Year by Leavenworth’s Chamber of Commerce, this restaurant provides a full Bavarian experience. Servers are dressed in their finest Bavarian get-ups, and live accordion music plays in the background while you enjoy your meal. Come here with your family or a large group of friends, and try Caitlin’s favorite dish, King Ludwig’s family-style platter. This feast, made for four or six people, consists of Schweinshax’n (rotisseried broiled pork hock), half a rotisserie chicken, Schweine schnitzel (breaded, pan fried pork cutlet), sausages, Leberkäse (Bavarian meatloaf), and much, much more. The food may be foreign to most Americans, but Caitlin advises to not judge the food before you taste it.

Kris Kringl

Places to Shop: Downtown Leavenworth offers a myriad of fun places to shop. Kris Kringl sells hundreds of Christmas ornaments year-round. Caitlin says the Hat Shop is a great place for those with kids, or if you’re immature yourself. Here you can find pizza hats, Viking heads, and basically any other hat you can imagine. The Hat Shop is also connected to the Leavenworth Wood Shop, a toy store. Have a sweet tooth? Get a caramel apple at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. And while there, get your picture taken with the bear outside the store.

Christmas Lighting in downtown Leavenworth

Seasonal Activity: Leavenworth’s annual Christmas Lighting. This event actually consists of an entire weekend of events, but the highlight is when the downtown businesses’ Christmas lights are turned on at once. Caitlin says the town is already beautiful as it is, but the lights add another dimension of beauty. In 2007, reporters from Good Morning America visited Leavenworth to help light the town.

When I told my boss I was writing about Leavenworth, she told me about the following YouTube clip, created by the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce. This music video takes an interesting twist on Bavarian life. Enjoy.

Quick Facts about Leavenworth:

Founded: 1890 (According to the City of Leavenworth web site)

Population: 2,347 (2009 U.S. Census estimate)

Name Origins: Leavenworth was named after Capt. Charles Leavenworth, president of Okanagan Investment Company, who helped found the town. (According to

Driving distance from:

Ellensburg: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Yakima: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Seattle:  2 hours, 9 minutes

Spokane: 3 hours, 20 minutes






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Driving distance from:

Port Angeles: 1 hour, 2 minutes

Olympia: 2 hours, 56 minutes

Seattle: 3 hours, 11 minutes

Portland: 4 hours, 26 minutes

Bird's Eye View of Forks






Founded: 1945 (According to the City of Forks web site)

Population: 3,349 (2009 U.S. Census U.S. Census estimate)

Name Origin: Forks was named after the forks in the nearby Quillayute, Bogachiel, Calawah and Sol Duc rivers (According to the Olson’s Cabin web site).

Did You Know … in 1951, a fire destroyed nearly 38,000 acres of forest near Forks overnight. It was a huge blow to the community’s large lumber industry.

I should admit right off the bat that I’ve never been to Forks. However, since it’s a popular tourist destination, and since my fabulous housemate Caitlin hails from the town, I figured it would be a great place to feature. You probably already know that Forks is the primary location for the wildly popular Twilight series. Twilight- and vampire-themed attractions abound in Forks, and you’re sure to find them without trying. But if you’d like to experience the town through the eyes of a local, read on.

Caitlin’s Favorite:

Three Rivers


Restaurant: Three Rivers Resort. Caitlin recommends the Bogie Burger and the Quill Burger (named after the Bogachiel and Quilayute Rivers). If the weather’s cooperating, take your burger and strawberry milkshake to Rialto Beach. In addition to the restaurant, Three Rivers is also in part a family-run campground and convenient store.

The trail near Third Beach


Freebie: Hiking. Forks is an outdoors lover’s dream, with dozens of trails near the town. Caitlin’s personal favorites are Second Beach and Third Beach. She says the latter in particular offers some gorgeous views. Before planning your hike, check the forecast, as Forks receives a lot of rain. That said, summer is clearly the best time to hike. Caitlin describes the hikes around Forks as, “nature at its best.”

A parade from Forks' Old Fashioned Fourth of July


Summer activity: Forks’ Old-Fashioned Fourth of July. This event covers not just the actual day of the fourth, but a weekend of events leading up to the day. Highlights are the salmon bake by the Lion’s Club, the popular demolition derby, and a parade down Main Street with floats, logging trucks, demolition cars, and fair royalty from neighboring towns. But the main event is the impressive firework display at dusk. Best of all, you can be entertained by the events for an hour, a day, or a weekend and not spend a penny.

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