Out of all the kooky characters and avant-garde art scenes, the best character in David Lynch’s ‘90s cult classic is place. Twin Peaks wouldn’t be the same show without the brooding, dreary mountain town of the show’s title. With Showtime’s new season underway, Twin Peaks fandom has reached peak hysteria. But if you really want to get into the spirit, visit the real Twin Peaks, have a damn fine cup of coffee, and find the place where “the owls are not what they seem.”
The opening credits of the show feature the iconic falls that seem remote, but in reality are easily accessible. Less than an hour’s drive from downtown Seattle, Snoqualmie, Washington is a Twin Peaks wonderland and home to Snoqualmie Falls. The 270-foot waterfall is one of Washington state’s most-visited tourist attractions with more than 1.5 million visitors per year. If you go, go early so you can beat the crowds and get that iconic shot of the falls with The Great Northern Hotel in the background. Parking and admission are free. There are two observation platforms. The top area is an easy walk from the parking lot, but the lower area requires a hike. Be sure to bring a rain jacket and poncho and accept that you will get wet. The mist off the waterfall is incredibly powerful. Use a waterproof sport camera or at least take a waterproof phone case.
This spot may be the most exciting for fans to visit. The Great Northern Hotel, the lodge behind the falls, is a luxury hotel in real life. The Salish Lodge and Spa is the premiere hotel in Snoqualmie and even if you can’t stay overnight, you have to visit their gift shop for a treasure trove of Twin Peaks inspired goodies, such as local coffee, local cherry pie filling, owl knick knacks, and log pillows. Oh, and yes, you can stay in room 315, though the interiors for The Great Northern Hotel were filmed in upstate Washington at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, Washington for the pilot and later recreated on a soundstage in L.A.
The Kiana Lodge inspired many rooms for The Great Northern Hotel. The hotel lobby scenes were filmed here for the pilot. And the hotel’s Moose Room was used for the Horne’s family dining room as well as Ben Horne’s office. After the pilot, replicas of the rooms were created on a soundstage in L.A.
Just a ten-minute drive from Snoqualmie, visit North Bend, Washington for Twin Peaks’ famous Double R Diner. In real life, it’s Twede’s Cafe, but once you walk in you’ll find Double R signs on the walls from the series, black and white checkered floors, and retro red bar stools. And, yes, you can order a damn fine cup of coffee (and hot!) with a slice of cherry pie. Remember to tell the waiter you take your coffee “black as midnight on a moonless night.”
One of the more chilling scenes in the show is when missing girl, Ronette Pulaski, mysteriously turns up in a daze walking across a railroad bridge outside-of-town. Reinig Bridge can be found in Snoqualmie, but, since filming in the ‘90s, the railroad tracks have been removed and the paved bridge is now part of a jogging/cycle trail with beautiful views of the Snoqualmie River.
Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station
In real life, Harry Truman’s station is used as an office and shop for DirtFish, a premiere motorsport company and rally school where you can take driving classes with professional and stunt drivers. The building facade is still very much the same. And Lucy’s reception desk is still intact. You might even spot Truman’s retro Bronco parked outside.
“Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.” You don’t have to venture through Ghostwood National Forest to find Owl Cave. Just head toward the Hollywood Hills. Bronson Canyon has been a Hollywood favorite for years with dozens of movies and TV shows filmed in the cave. Located in L.A.’s Griffith Park, it’s accessible via a short hike.
Beach Where Laura Was Found
This is a morbid location but fans do seek out the spot where Laura Palmer’s body was found. The scene was filmed at Kiana Lodge and the massive log is still on the pebble beach. These days the spot is popular for wedding photos.
Next to Snoqualmie in Fall City, you’ll find the Fall City Roadhouse Bar. The exteriors were used as the town’s biker bar but in real life it’s a lot more family-friendly and cheery with new blue exterior paint. There’s no Bang Bang Bar neon sign but the combination inn and restaurant does have a Fall City Roadhouse neon blade. The interiors of the bar were shot in Seattle in a rustic Scandinavian building that is now the Raisbeck Performance Hall at Cornish College of the Arts.
While the exterior shots were filmed outside a tiny cabin in Snoqualmie Valley, the interior shots of the Twin Peaks secret society hideout were filmed at The Old Place in Cornell, California. The restaurant and bar has been open for more than 40 years and has a modern cowboy menu with items like cornmeal flapjacks, beef stew and iced tea with local sage.
The iconic town sign isn’t there anymore but you can drive down the road where it was shot, frame by frame. Sign or no sign, Reinig Road has picturesque country landscapes with the foggy Cascades looming in the background. If you really want a photo of the sign, however, The Double R Diner has a mural painted on the back of the building.
While there isn’t another dimension where the good and evil in you is challenged by facing your doppelganger spirit, there is a bar in Vancouver, Canada called The Black Lodge and this Twin Peaks-themed bar is a must-visit for diehard fans. Don’t miss the Red Room-inspired restroom.