A Book and a Town

September 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Book Blather | 9 Comments
We stumbled across something on our return from our honeymoon trip.  The ferry from Victoria stopped in Port Angeles, Washington, where we decided to stop for gas and lunch.  Little did we know, this was the place that portrayed the town of Forks from the Twilight series in the film.
Dazzled by Twilight

Dazzled by Twilight

 Above is a photo of a shop dedicated solely to Twilight memorabilia.  It has another location in Forks.  There was also a restaurant that advertised itself as the location of Edward and Bella’s first date.  (We opted for Chinese instead).  Port Angeles appeared to have Twilight fever.

The real town of Forks has probably also found itself beset by vampire fans.  It looks like you can take a tour of locations in the book if you travel there.  Imagine, an entire tourism niche dedicated to one foot of bookshelf!

I’m trying to think of another literary town whose tourism industry might be based around a particular book.  I myself once took a visiting guest to Snoqualmie, Washington to visit sites from Twin Peaks, but that was a TV series.  (What is it about Washington, anyway?)  Ah.  Now that I think about it, I imagine New Zealand had to fend off thousands of tourists after the Lord of the Rings movies came out.  Chambers of Commerce around the world probably bid for the right to host the latest blockbuster literary/film phenom.

Readers, do you know of any other book-related tourist traps out there?



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  1. I can’t find it now, but I read an article a while back about all the restaurants in Forks that are now featuring Twilight-themed meals. I think there were other businesses jumping on the bandwagon as well. So crazy!

    I know there are Dan Brown-themed tours in Paris and Rome, as well.

  2. I wouldn’t call it a tourist trap per se, but Savannah, GA is all about cashing in on John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. But perhaps that’s a little more appropriate as it was non-fiction and names many of its streets and homes by name.

  3. How about Monterey? They have a Steinbeck museum and his books are featured everywhere in the bookstores and the aquarium, etc. The house he grew up in was turned into a restaurant (in Salinas).

  4. I think Bridges of the Madison County is one of them. Although I don’t think there is a tour on it, people do come to visit it becuase of the book.

  5. WOW – that’s hilarious! I can’t think of another town that was made popular through books.

  6. Not exactly book related, but Hannibal, Missouri loves them some Mark Twain. The emphasis is on Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

    • At least it isn’t on Hannibal Lecter!

  7. PEI has Anne of Green Gables on the license plates, they have a musical based on the book (my husband, who grew up in PEI, says it’s mandatory that everyone there grow long red pigtails and they must wear them for two years), and they are beset with a million visitors every year–and if it weren’t for LM Montgomery’s books, you know it wouldn’t be anywhere near that. Tourists go to PEI just to get married at Green Gables (which is fictitious).

    And don’t forget about all the people who make treks to the cities in the Bible. I’m sure there are plenty of tourist traps to be found in those places.

  8. I don’t think any such list could be complete without the mother of all book tourist traps–Stratford-upon-Avon. Without a single book (well, many plays and poems, but I’m thinking of my Complete Works), it would be a forgotten village.

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