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Driving from SeaTac to Forks

Guymon, Oklahoma
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Driving from SeaTac to Forks

I've read some old messages on the subject, but have more questions. My wife and I will be flying in to Seattle in June on a Friday evening (7pm) for a cruise that departs Sunday. She is a Twilight fan, so I'm thinking of surprising her with this - we will rent a car and drive at least to Port Angeles that evening and then on to Forks on Saturday, returning to Seattle that evening. Everything I've read says avoid the ferry on Friday/Saturday, but if we don't leave SeaTac until after 7, will we miss the long waits? Is Edmonds the best option for the ferry?

Port Townsend...
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1. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

I would just drive around on the Tacoma Narrows bridge.

western WA
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2. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

Good idea to drive to Port Angeles. It will be a lot of driving for two days, but she will like it.

From Port Angeles, it will take six hours I'd say to drive to Forks, see all the sites, drive to Rialto Beach, hike around a bit and return to Port Angeles. You should stop for a look around Crescent Lake. In the books, Edward drove this at 100 miles an hour. You will be making about 35 around the lake!

If you're staying in downtown Seattle before the cruise, take the Bainbridge ferry back to the city. It will take another 3 hours or so to get from PA back to Seattle. Get a late check in at your hotel, and plan to take a ferry at 9pm or so to get a great view of the lit up city at "Twilight". You could have dinner near the Bainbridge ferry, or drive down to Bremerton for that ferry and eat at Anthony's there.

Port Angeles, WA
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3. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

Ainwa and Pala are right. The quickest way to get to Port Angeles from the airport is the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. This applies even in the non-summer season, but it is even more true in tourist season. At least you will avoid the ferry wait. However, you may still face delays. Half of Seattle seems to head for the Olympic Peninsula on Friday night, and you will be right there at the peak. The Hood Canal Bridge may be backed up for a while. Just be patient. It will probably take a full 3 hours. If you are unlucky with the traffic it could take a little more.

Since you are staying for a single night, try to book the Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles. It is not a charming hotel, but it is clean and comfortable. If you had more time, I would suggest one of Port Angeles' lovely B&Bs, but they will demand a two night stay on a summer weekend. Book soon. even the Olympic Lodge gets booked up in advance.

Forks is about 1 hour and 10 minutes west of Port Angeles. Follow Ainwa's suggestions about seeing Lake Crescent, which you will pass on route, and Rialto Beach. Forks itself is not impressive, and Twilight was not filmed there. It was filmed in Oregon. However, die-hard Twilighters love it anyway. You biggest problem will be finding a place to eat. There is no good place to eat in Forks, with the possible exception of a little taqueria there. I have heard good things about it. Your other food choice would be burgers at 3 Rivers Resort, which is on route to Rialto Beach. They are a very rustic place, but the burgers and pie are honest, and the coffee drinks are very good. You will be spending a lot of time on the road for this trip, so getting some food in you is important.

If you want to get dinner on your way back to Seattle, Bella Italia in Port Angeles is supposedly the site of Bella and Edward's first date. Neal, the owner, features the dish they ordered: mushroom ravioli. Bella opens at 4:00 pm. Make a reservation.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

I disagree about driving via Tacoma. By 8 PM or so on a Friday in June there won't be enough ferry traffic to cause delays, the sun will still be up, and the ferry ride will be a splendid introduction to the region, way better than the long trafficky schlep around the bottom through Tacoma. If there's a baseball game on, you'll still miss the traffic heading past Safeco Field as it will have already started. Use SR 509 and SR 99 from the airport to the main ferry terminal. You don't want to go to Edmonds - too much traffic and smaller and less frequent boats.

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5. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

I really only suggested the bridge since construction on the viaduct is so tumultuous. But I'm not there regularly. I agree, it's a shame to miss the ferry ride. The choice remains six-of-one, etc., I suppose.

Thanks igbardyloo.

Port Angeles, WA
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6. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

Ibgardyloo, you are right that the ferry traffic may not be a problem, but the OP is driving in from Sea-Tac. If he takes the ferry, he will have to drive to downtown Seattle and wait for a boat. It's true that the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is not a pleasant route, but it really is slightly faster when you are starting at the airport, and the OP will be starting sometime well after 7:00 pm, so he will miss local rush hour. The real backup on a summer Friday night is likely to be the Hood Canal Bridge, and there is no getting around that.

Poulsbo, Washington
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7. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

Tacoma Narrows Bridge! I am a ferry commuter. You will save time in the long run since you are getting a late start. I am not sure why people do not realize that many Twilight fans do not care where the movies were filmed. The book to many is the thing.

Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

Remember the OP is (presumably) coming from Oklahoma, so driving three hours starting at 10 PM body time, possibly with the sun in your eyes, possibly past an event at the Tacoma Dome, possibly with construction along I-5 or SR 16... to save what, half an hour? Meh. But it's the OP's call.

Fortaleza, CE
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9. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

I assume you've researched just how much of "Twilight" "took place" in Forks,, how much of the film was or wasn't filmed there, etc. www.imdb.com/title/tt1099212/locations… You will be driving a lot. You are truly giving parents. This is not a short side trip you're considering.

If you're locked into a flight arriving at 7 p.m., I don't think you can bank on leaving with your rental car before 8 at earliest. It will be a long day. On the plus side, traffic should be lightening by then, whether you take the Takoma Narrows or a ferry route. At least the driving the next day will be on a Saturday. Where will you return your rental car? I think most downtown rental car offices closed by mid-day or late afternoon. Can you return the car Sunday?

Poulsbo, Washington
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10. Re: Driving from SeaTac to Forks

I drive this route often sun in the eyes is not a problem. You are assuming traffic delays this far in advance. Even if the ferry traffic is light going to the ferry, if they JUST miss a ferry they will have to just sit and wait. Why bother driving into Seattle with a good chance of just sitting in a ferry line. It could easily be more than an hour difference. It is all about timing with the ferries, which no one can predict. Add on the traffic trying to get off the ferry on Bainbridge as it crawls off the Island. I do this 5 days a week.

Edited: 21 February 2014, 21:25