The Blue Heron French Cheese Factory was a real find. We had come to Tillamook to visit the Tillamook Creamery but could not help but notice another one just up the road. Tillamook specializes in cheddar cheeses and this one features softer varieties like brie. Since they are not really overlapping too much it seems they are both doing just fine. Despite the fact that we had already bought a ton of stuff at Tillamook, we decided to go in and try their cheeses. We didn't really plan on buying any but it turned out to be great stuff that we did.
What to buy: Their regular brie was one of the highest quality ones I have had made in the US, soft, creamy and a gorgeous smooth flavor but it was the mesquite smoked brie that really impressed us. The store also sells lots of other gourmet items perfect for a picnic including fresh bread. Obviously, they sell wine but we were happy to find a nice selection of great beers including the much coveted and quite hard to get (especially in summer!) Alaskan Smoked Porter. We bought all they had of this great find along with some of both bries. Time to make room in the cooler!
What to pay: A small wheel of either brie is $12, not bad for so well made a cheese.
The shop of the Tillamook Cheese Factory is one of its biggest attractions. After doing the free self-guided tour, you can either grab a bite to eat in their cafe, have ice cream, or shop in their gift/cheese shop. It's a good sized shop full of people buying up cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Who can blame them, the cheese is pretty darn good.
What to buy: Tillmook cheese are readily available through the western US. In fact, we had been eating it quite a bit on the trip. It is not super high end but very tasty and of good quality. We mostly had been getting their sharp cheddar but were happy to find some different varieties at their home store. We bought a 3 year aged Anniversary cheddar that was fantastic and a smoked cheddar as well which was good but not quite as smokey as we would have liked. We bought about $20 worth of stuff and it was quite a bit especially since we had to get it all into the cooler!
Aquarium Village is worth a visit just because it's so bizarre. It's set in the middle of an Industrial area, and it looks like they just converted a few empty auto body shops and created one of the strangest shopping experiences you'll find. You'll find pirates hanging from the roofs, giant walrus and sea creatures, Italian false fronts and other tacky Roadside America treasures. It's a feast for the eye if you're into that kind of thing.
As for the shopping, I really don't know. I did find a couple of good used books at the Antique Mall, which is shaped like a Paddlewheeler, of course.