When the iconic show Twin Peaks first erupted onto viewers’ screens in 1990, it quickly gained a cult following, along with a reputation for being a mystery/horror/drama/fantasy series like no other.
The question “Who killed Laura Palmer?” kept the world enthralled for weeks as viewers followed FBI Agent Cooper’s every move in investigating both the murder and the supernatural world within Twin Peaks – the eponymous town where the mystery unfolded.
Three decades on and David Lynch’s wonderfully bonkers masterpiece is no less groundbreaking, and still makes for compulsive viewing today.
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As the show celebrates its 30-year anniversary, here are all the locations where Twin Peaks superfans can get a real-life taste of small-town drama.
Twin Peaks sign
The delightfully named town of Snoqualmie in Washington, around 28 miles east of Seattle, was one of the main filming locations for exterior shots of Twin Peaks. It’s home to Reining Road, which is where the footage of the famed “Welcome to Twin Peaks, Population: 51,201” sign in the pilot episode and opening credits was shot. The City of Snoqualmie installed a permanent version of the sign on the road in 2017, according to fan site welcometotwinpeaks.com.
Great Northern Hotel
Much of the show’s action takes place at the Great Northern Hotel, where many of the key characters live, work or stay. Agent Cooper holes up there for the duration of his investigation, commending the place’s “damn fine cup of coffee”. The exterior was shot at the real-life Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie. While the hotel wears its TP credentials lightly these days, guests can still order a Dale Cooper cocktail – gin, clove and cardamom, infused Salish honey, dry honey cider and lemon – in the Attic bar and restaurant.
The opening credits also notably feature the falls next to the Great Northern, plus a shot of them is frequently used as a cutaway in the show. The Snoqualmie Falls served as this landmark, and visitors can get a closer look from the observation deck.
Double R Diner
The local diner, owned by Norma Jennings, plays host to numerous important rendezvouses between the town’s characters, and serves a mean slice of pie. Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, Washington, served as the real-world setting, and should be a key stop on any Twin Peaks tour: it still dishes up “Twin Peaks cherry pie” and ”A damn fine cup o’ coffee“ (even if they’re not served to you by Shelly Johnson).
The atmospheric bar where the town’s teens go to hang out and drink can be found in Fall City, Washington. The exterior shots were filmed at the Fall City Roadhouse and Inn (although the interior was filmed elsewhere). The real-life Roadhouse looks a lot more family-friendly than the Twin Peaks variant, offering “brunch” or “small plates over cocktails” in its “vintage style Inn”.
It may not be the most glamorous location, but stop by the DirtFish Rally School (a rally driving school in Snoqualmie) if you want to see the real-life setting for the Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Department, where Cooper and his team of local cops race against the clock to solve the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder.
Weird as it may seem, one plucky inn in Poulsbo, Washington, has a giant piece of wood dedicated to where Laura Palmer’s body was found. Pete Martell finds it in the pilot episode, wrapped in plastic near a piece of driftwood. The scene was filmed in front of the Kiana Lodge, which commemorates the event with a plaque reading: “A pivotal scene in Twin Peaks’ pilot episode was filmed here in 1989. Laura Palmer was discovered right next to the immense log tethered before you.”
Though not a filming location, this Twin Peaks-inspired restaurant in Vancouver takes its inspiration from the series’ mythical Black Lodge. Stop by for some poutine, deep-fried Oreos and a themed cocktail (the Laura Palmer, Donna, Lynch-burg Lemonade and Audrey’s Curiosity all sound good) and enjoy the décor of red curtains and black and white zig-zagged floors in the toilets.
If you find yourself in New York City, the Mission Chinese Food restaurant has an homage to Twin Peaks in the form of its toilets, according to Eater New York. Inside is the iconic snap of Laura Palmer when she was crowned Prom Queen, along with the show’s theme music, which plays on repeat…
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