The Great Northern Hotel from popular '90s surreal crime drama Twin Peaks sits about an hour outside of Seattle, Washington. If you're in the area, you'll definitely want to make a pilgrimage to this hipster hot spot, especially if you're a Twin Peaks fan. Listen to the show's soundtrack as you drive up, be silent, and get ready for an exceptional site/sight.
You'll recognize the parking lot and exterior of the building immediately as you turn off of the highway. That's where the similarities end, though. The inside of The Great Northern, in reality called Salish Lodge & Spa, looks nothing like the charmingly rustic Horne brothers' hotel.
Walk around the outside of the lodge, following the roar of the iconic Snoqualmie Falls. The falls often create a mysterious cloud of mist around the hotel. We spent an afternoon hiking to the base of the falls and reading about their ties to local Native American tribes, who consider the falls sacred.
The Snoqualmie tribe (a subgroup of the Coast Salish people) tell of the falls in their creation story, and believe its mists carry prayers to the Creator. They traded and built camps near the falls, using them for protection.
In more recent years, the Snoqualmie people have fought Puget Sound Energy company to protect the Snoqualmie Falls area. The people rallied and formed the Snoqualmie Falls Preservation Project, working with the local town and Cascade Land Conservancy to create a nature preserve.
We spent an hour or so hiking to the base of the falls and back up, stopping halfway for a forest photo shoot. Before long, though, our dogs Charlie and Maya spotted (or smelled) something creeping close, and went on high alert. They barked and shook, and we humans scanned the trees for creatures. We didn't see anything, but based on their raised fur and trembles, we high-tailed it to the trailhead.
If you have time post-hike, head back to the Salish Lodge, and explore the indoors. We already had a place to stay for the night, so instead of booking a room, we enjoyed a drink and some snacks at the upstairs restaurant.
The Attic offers casual dining and a rich drink menu full of seasonal specialties, but the best part: We sat at a table overlooking the falls. We watched the sunset change the gray clouds to deep purples and pinks. Then, we headed back on the road to Seattle, grateful for a unique afternoon that connected us with the beautiful nature of the Pacific Northwest and brought to life one of our favorite TV creations of all time.