Where was Twilight filmed?
Vernonia, OR; Kalama, WA; Portland, OR; British Columbia
Schools, Cafeterias, Forests, Nature Scapes, Rustic
Bungalow, Bus, Classic Truck, Modern Car, Factory, SUV
Twilight, produced by Summit Entertainment, is the first movie in the Twilight Saga adaptations (comprising five films) made in 2008. This phenomenal hit series is the on-screen adaptation of the four books written by Stephanie Meyer in the romance, fantasy, and drama genres. Twilight captures the on-screen dynamics of a human teenager and a vampire with fantastic cinematography, acting, and larger-than-life supernatural characters.
You most likely don’t need a spoiler alert for this one – but we’ll give it anyway in the event you are a new Twighlight fan. Twilight introduces the main characters Bella Swan (a teenage girl), played by Kirsten Stewart, and Edward Cullen (a 100-year-old vampire), played by Robert Pattinson, along with their families and friends (who also take on critical roles as the story develops).
The movie is based in the cloudy, rainy town of Forks, Washington. It starts with scenes explaining why Bella is moving from Phoenix, Arizona, to Forks to live with her father, Chief of Police Charlie Swan, and her subsequent enrollment in the local Forks High School. As she moves to her new home, she meets Jacob Black, another main character and a Native American teen from the Quileute Indian Reservation.
On her first day in school, she runs into a group of extremely good-looking, aloof vampires (aka The Cullens) and finds herself seated next to the handsome Edward Cullen in Biology class. However, he seems repulsed by her and runs out of class as soon as it is over. He skips school for a few days and is quite friendly with Bella when he returns.
As the movie progresses, Bella makes new friends and is seen to be hanging out with them in the school parking lot when Edward saves her from a skidding car in a feat of supernatural strength and speed (he covers more than 30 feet in a second or two and stops a skidding truck with his hand!) Since Bella's curiosity gets the better of her, she starts researching supernatural powers and realizes that Edward's abilities closely resemble a vampire's.
He eventually confesses (after a run-in with some thugs who try to abuse Bella), and he and Bella fall in love. The movie progresses with Bella being introduced to the other vampires in Edward's family, and a run-in with three nomadic vampires out to (literally) eat Bella!
The filming location of Twilight was across better parts of Oregon like Vernonia and Portland, with scenes in the Pacific Northwest, and British Columbia. The filming of the entire movie took approximately 44 days once the main characters of Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, and Bella Swan, by Kirsten Stewart, were finalized.
Did you know Pattinson was not the first choice for Edward? According to author Stephanie Meyer, she pictured Henry Cavill as Edward while she was writing the supernatural book series. However, Cavill was deemed too old and could not fit with the role's 'teen' age and ideology.
While the film shooting hardly took any time, Anna Kendrick, who plays the role of Jessica Stanley, has gone on record to rant about the incessant rain and clouds, making everyone wet and miserable! Some film stars even complained that their toes were cold, and their sneakers and Converse were wet throughout.
So, if you're planning a trip out to the movie locations soon, it's best to prepare for some wonderfully rainy weather and endless cloudy skies. Bring warm clothes. Or, you can visit the other film locations, which aren't half as dreary or cold as Vernonia, OR, and bask in some Twilight love.
Most of the film locations mentioned below offer tours to the public and are easy to book online or within driving or bus distance from the nearest major town.
While the movie is based in the cloudy town of Forks in Washington, none of the scenes were actually shot there! Some of the best scenes in Twilight were filmed in Vernonia and Portland in Oregon.
Edward's superhuman truck scene in Twilight
Kalama High School, Kalama, WA and Madison High School, Portland, OR
This Twilight film scene was probably the most memorable one in the entire series since it was the first time audiences saw the supernatural strength and speed of the swoon-worthy Edward Cullen! While most Twilight locations were shot in singular spots, the truck scene at school was shot at two different locations.
Forks High School was a combination of cafeteria scenes at Madison High School in Portland, OR, and the parking lots at Kalama High School in Kalama, WA. Edward first shows his superhuman strength and speed in the parking lot when he saves Bella from getting crushed by an out-of-control car. Bella is shocked at the superhuman display and is instantly curious and a little enamored of her mysterious savior.
The outer façade is of Kalama High School, which was also used as a shooting location for another film – an independent production called 'Paranoid Park' by Gus Van Sant in 2007. While visitors cannot enter the school premises and take a look around, you can drive up to the parking lot via I-5 N to Elm St on China Garden Rd to reach the school. Once there, search for the iconic shoot location, and click a few photographs and selfies in the same spot where Edward saves Bella.
Bella and Charlie's dinner at the café scene in Twilight
Carver Café, Damascus, OR
The famous café where Bella and her father, Police Chief Charlie Swan, catch up with the locals to have dinner is located northeast of Oregon City, approximately five miles out. Unlike many places in the movie, Carver Café is quite real and has been around since the late 1950s. It is pretty iconic and is run by a local couple who live in the house behind the café.
In the movie, Carver Café is one of the places frequented by locals and serves excellent grilled food. In this Twilight filming location, audiences get a glimpse of author Stephanie Meyer in a cameo role getting the veggie special from behind a laptop screen. If you slow the scene down when Charlie tells Bella, "Looks like the Newton boy's got a big smile for ya" you can see Stephanie in the background with her laptop.
Fans should drive out to Carver Café for the excellent steak and chips, Bella's Burger, fun drinks, the all-day breakfast, and a quick Twilight-related laugh. You can also buy an 'I got a bite at the Carver Café' t-shirt as a souvenir of your Twilight tour. To get to Carver's Café from the I-205 S, get off at Exit 12A right on Carter Rd. Once you reach Alice's Market, take a right and follow the road till you see your destination on the right.
La Push Beach surfing with Bella's new friends scene in Twilight
Indian Beach, Ecola State Park, Oregon
When it comes to Twilight locations, the La Push Beach scene is one of the most memorable. For a change, Bella is shown to have fun with her human friends, Jessica, Mike, Eric, and Angela. This is also when Eric irritates Bella by constantly saying, "It's La Push, baby! La Push!" Here, she runs into Jacob Black and takes a walk with him by the beach while he explains the legend of the Quileute Tribe – how the Quileutes are descended from wolves and how they protect the 'Pale Faces' from enemy clans.
The La Push Beach scene is shot at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, Oregon. This beach is a gorgeous, sandy stretch that gets plenty of rain, wind, waves, and hordes of surfers. The Twilight production team purposely chose a stormy, rainy day to bring out the cloudless day in Forks. It is said that the team used a van that was borrowed from a surfer for the shoot.
To get to Indian Beach from Portland, you should drive via US-26 W to N Alt Rte Route Highway 101 and exit to Ecola State Park from US-101 S. Once done, follow the Ecola State Park Rd to the Beach Trail. Once there, you can spend the day surfing, eating at one of the local stalls, or simply chilling with friends.
'Almost' vamp vs. vamp death trap scene in Twilight
Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Portland, OR
This is one of the few funny scenes in Twilight where the joke is on the vampires. Thanks to their superhuman strength, vampires hit the baseball so hard that it makes a loud cracking sound like those heard during thunderstorms. Audiences were thrilled with this display of power, strength, and speed as the Cullen family played baseball, keeping Bella out of harm's way. This is also when Bella asks Edward the all-American question, "Vampires play Baseball?" to which he replies, full of mirth, "It is the national pastime."
A nomadic coven of vampires led by James hears the ruckus created by the Cullen family while playing baseball and decides to investigate. Once James smells Bella and identifies her as human, all the Cullen vampires go on high alert. The baseball game is cut short, and the Cullens realize that Bella is in imminent danger.
This iconic scene is shot in the winter along the picturesque banks of the Columbia River Gorge with the backdrop of the Multnomah Falls in Portland, OR. It took nearly 10 days to shoot due to the adverse weather. While walking on the Multnomah Falls bridge, you can view the field from the center (on the side of the river). Visitors can drive out to the clearing via the eastbound Interstate 84 at Exit 31, and play baseball, make it a picnic, or just drive through while clicking selfies.
Ballet studio disaster with Bella nearly getting killed scene in Twilight
Ballet Studio, Phoenix, Arizona
Out of all the Twilight action scenes, this film location got the maximum violence. In this scene, James lures Bella to the Ballet Studio in Phoenix, Arizona (where Bella used to dance and learn ballet as a child) under the false pretense that he has kidnapped her mother, Renee. As she gets to the ballet studio, all she can hear is her mother calling out to her from inside a closet, "Bella, where are you?! Bella?!" When she opens the closet door, she realizes it's a trick (an old video recording), and James has deceived her.
A violent battle between Edward (who races to the rescue) and James ensues. During this time, James bites Bella to slake his bloodthirst and convert her into a vampire. The rest of the Cullen family (Emmett, Alice, Jasper, and the father, Carlisle) arrive on the scene. Since Carlisle is a doctor, he advises Edward to suck the venom out of Bella's body to stave off the conversion to vampirism.
Like many Twilight locations, this scene is not shot in the one stated in the movie. It was filmed in Portland, Oregon, at the iconic Yale Building, which also served as the hospital for Bella's recovery. The Yale building is now converted into a contemporary art center and hosts several exhibits each year for tourists. Simply hop on to the bus on line 15 or a Tram via Lloyd Center to get there.
Edward and Bella's prom scene in Twilight
View Point Inn, Corbett, Oregon
After the Ballet studio disaster with the nomadic vampire James, Bella has a cast on her leg and gets ready to go to prom with her boyfriend, Edward. At prom, Edward and Bella behave like normal teenagers getting their pictures clicked and dancing under a gazebo with fairy lights; when Bella asks Edward why he didn't let the venom spread so she could also become a vampire like him. Edward is against ending her life, but Bella is insistent and tells him, "I dream of being with you forever."
This romantic love scene is shot at The View Point Inn, located 22 miles from Portland, Oregon, near Crown Point. The View Point Inn has incredible panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge and the skylines of Vancouver and Portland. This beautiful boutique hotel built in 1924 has hosted past Presidents, European Royalty, and even Hollywood Stars.
In 2011, however, a fire broke out and destroyed the stunning hotel. Currently, the owners are rebuilding. This doesn't stop Twilight fans from going out to The View Point Inn. If you're traveling from the international airport, catch the I-205 S. Then take the I-84 E to NE Corbett Hill Rd. Get off at Exit 22 and follow the NE Corbett Hill Rd to 40301 E Larch Mountain Rd.
Twilight was the start of a wonderful saga filled with drama, teenage angst, supernatural creatures, and parental issues, all thrown together to create a romance-filled pop culture melodrama of a 100-year-old vampire and a human and their devotional love for each other.
You may not know that Twilight also put the original small town of Forks, WA, on the global map. Since it gets nearly 220 average days of rainfall per year, Stephanie Meyer did a brilliant job basing the series in Forks for a family of sun-fearing, incredibly sparkly vampires. The town has welcomed tourists from across the globe and has Twilight Gift shops, Native Art Jewelry Exhibitions, and a cherry red 1956 Chevy Truck (Bella's truck).
With an iconic movie like this, the Twilight tour can become a delightful experience for young and old fans – just watch out for the local werewolves and vampires!