A Place Both Wonderful and Strange - My Trip to Twin Peaks
In October of 2018, I impulsively booked a trip to Portland to visit my best friend, Taya and make a trip we, as Twin Peaks fans, had been wanting to take for years. I had a little bit of extra cash and I decided that finally it was time. It just hadn’t worked out despite the few times we had attempted to make it happen. But I booked my flight, packed up and headed to the west coast.
Once I got to Portland, I picked up my car rental and met up with Taya. Taya is easily one of my favorite people in the world and honestly one of the reasons I make every one of my trips to Portland. She’s always up for adventure and we are both big Twin Peaks fans. So this was the perfect trip for us.
The next morning, we left Portland and started the drive north. It was a fairly easy drive. In September I had driven on the Pacific Coast Highway, so honestly every drive since then has seemed relatively easy. Our first stop was Salish Lodge and Spa, our hotel. Salish Lodge is also known as the filming location for exterior shots of the Great Northern, the hotel Audrey Horne’s dad owns in Twin Peaks. It’s also perched at the very top of Snoqualmie Falls, and is genuinely one of the most picturesque hotels I have ever stayed in.
We arrived early, so we left our bags with the front desk and started exploring. There was a sign advertising the short hike to the falls, so we decided to do that and finally see the famous Snoqualmie Falls. There aren’t words to describe how powerful my first look at the falls felt. But here’s a picture so you can get an idea:
Salish Lodge went through some renovations a few years back, so the exterior looks a bit different than it did in Twin Peaks.
There are two important things to mention about our stay at the Salish Lodge. First, Taya treated us to the spa upgrade. This cost about $90 and included access to the spa area, which was access to the hot tubs, the sauna and the steam room. We could also purchase spa treatments if we had wanted to. This also included access to Club 268, named for how many feet long Snoqualmie Falls.
The Club was very cool and we could get access with our room key 24 hours. There were always snacks, like the make your own trail mix bar pictured in the gallery below. There were also a huge assortment of sodas and juices. And then they also had some additional food options. In the evening, they had a wine and beer hour, and that included snacks. In the morning, we had a light breakfast spread, with salmon. Salmon is one of my favorite breakfast options so I was happy to see it here.
Next up, we paid a bit extra to experience Salish’s Twin Peaks Experience. This included a driving map of filming locations, a few treats, and a $20 Amazon gift card so you can watch Twin Peaks.
Pictured above is the hotel’s cherry pie and coffee. The cherry pie was included.
This is the hotel’s signature Dale Cooper cocktail. It’s a gin based drink that includes honey and a honey cider, both made at the hotel. It’s very sweet, and Taya and I requested a window table in the Attic (one of the restaurants), so we could look at the falls while we enjoyed our drinks.
Next up, we checked out of the hotel and started working our way through filming locations. First we went to Ronette’s bridge, where Ronette Pulaski is seen walking in the first episode. As you can see, there is a chain link fence up around the bridge which kind of ruins the aesthetic, but is definitely a helpful safety feature.
Next up we drove about a mile away to Dirtfish, a driving school, which is also the filming location of the Twin Peaks Sheriff station. They have a car parked outside for fans to take pictures with, but they have a notice in the window asking fans to stay respectful and realize they are on Dirtfish’s property. I can only imagine what its like to deal with people coming to your business to take pictures and while I’m sure most people are respectful, I have definitely heard stories about visitors who were not.
Next up is Twede’s Cafe, aka the Double R Diner. This is actually located in North Bend, a town very close to Snoqualmie. A few years ago, Twede’s Cafe burned down. When it was rebuilt, it didn’t look much like it did in the show. However, when season 3 of Twin Peaks was being filmed, the owner of Twede’s gave the show permission to restore the cafe to it’s former glory. So currently, walking into Twede’s is like walking onto the set of the show.
The waitress we had was really cool, and told us some town gossip and we chatted a bit about the show. We had a great experience, and of course, ordered cherry pie and coffee.
Finally, we drove to the famous stretch of road, pictured below, which is where the “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign used to be. We learned from one of the ladies working at the hotel that the sign is no longer there because it kept getting stolen, which is so unfortunate. But even without the sign, you can see that the location is stunning.
After that, we drove back to Portland and enjoyed a few more days together before I had to head home. I had a great time and I hope to make another trip to Snoqualmie and North Bend.
Overall, I’m grateful I finally got to have this experience. If you're a fan of Twin Peaks, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful place and worth it even if you aren’t a fan of the show. I kept getting distracted by the scenery and the mountains. It was stunning, as I’m sure you can see from the pictures!
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you’ve ever been to Snoqualmie/North Bend. Or, if you’ve ever made a trip to the filming location for another show. I’d love to hear about it!