Forks, Washington has received quite a bit of attention in recent years. The town was not only a setting for the book-to-movie series Twilight (which was actually filmed mostly in Vancouver), but it's also home to a gorgeous Pacific landscape. When it comes to beachcombing, there aren't many better places in which to do so than on the Pacific Coast. And when the love of both the beach and its unique oddities are combined, one can only get one thing: a beachcombing museum.

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The unique roadside attraction known as John's Beachcombing Museum has drawn in visitors from all over who are visiting Forks. The items found within it range in variety from things that are very well expected on the beach, to things that one couldn't even imagine washing ashore.

Related: Giant Legos And Strange Fossils: The Weirdest Things Ever Found On Beaches

John's (Very Unique) Beachcombing Museum

The Discover Forks visitor website describes John's Beachcombing Museum as being a home for 'treasures from around the world.' The owner and mastermind behind this intriguing museum, John Anderson, has spent decades searching for those treasures. Although the museum only recently opened within the last decade, Anderson has been combing the local beaches since 1976. Over three decades of beach walking has yielded a fruitful bounty of unique, curious, and intricate findings, all of which can be seen on display at his Forks museum. The beachcombing began as a search for glass buoys, something that went out of use after the early 20th century and dates all the way back to the 19th century. While out searching for these, Anderson discovered that the beach can hold a myriad of things for the eager explorer - and it's not all driftwood and dirt.

Among the findings that Anderson has picked up, the most interesting are those which tell a story. While searching the beach, he's even stumbled upon a mammoth tooth, which is on display for visitors and is, indeed, part of the prehistoric era. Those who have a zest for long-lost love or finding friendship in unusual places will be thrilled to find a collection of messages in bottles, all of which Anderson does his best to reply to. Of those letters that have been picked up along the shore, many, according to Atlas Obscura, came from school children in Japan who had written them following the devastating tsunami that struck in 2011. In short, the museum is so much more than a display of oddities picked up at local beaches - it's a wild ride through items that tell stories, and just happen to have been given to the land from the sea.

Visiting John's Beachcombing Museum

It could be said that this museum plays host to some of the most incredible things ever found on beaches. According to those who have visited, the experience is one that's unexpected but makes one think, nevertheless. Google Reviews claim that it's unlike any roadside attraction they've ever visited:

"This is not just another roadside attraction. It’s an extensive, expertly curated collection. An exhausting amount of material to browse. Glimpses of our humanity and culture told through the flotsam that lands on just a few miles of beach on the Olympic Peninsula. The container spills and tsunami debris were my favorite."

Another review recommends spending at least an hour or two walking through the museum, simply because of all of the letters one can read on display. Another gave it five stars, claiming contradictory emotions that really make visitors think about how their oceans are treated:

"Wow! This collection is devastatingly beautiful. It is absolutely amazing what John has collected over the years but also so very sad to see so much trash washed up on shore. Very friendly, very organized, and lots of information around the finds. Glad we stopped."

Regardless of whether one visits the museum to explore its unique finds, or to experience somewhat of a wake-up call in terms of what goes into the world's waterways, it's a worthy stop. At this point, the museum has become part of Forks history (at least, since 2015), putting on display a lost art that seems to resonate differently with everyone who walks through its doors.

Hours & Admission

  • Hours: Open daily during the summer from 10 AM - 5 PM, call ahead during the off-season
  • Admission: $5 for adults
  • Address: 143 Andersonville Ave, Forks, WA 98331
  • Unique Displays: Road signs, a binder full of messages from bottles, a buoy totem pole, a tree made out of found toothbrushes, floats, buoys, hard hats, camera bags, stuffed animals, gas cans, fishing lures, flippers, doll heads, cigarette lighters, grey whale skull, an anchor chain from the 16th century, a snake inside a sake bottle, A Rubicon 1 space probe panel, a 20-million-year-old mammoth tooth

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