Part ice cream store (selling of course only Tillamook brand ice cream), part factory tour, and part tourist trap, the Tillamook Cheese Factory (with Ice Cream) is by far the most famous of anything in Tillamook, and perhaps the most famous single thing on the Oregon Coast.
However, there has already been so much written about the Tillamook Cheese Factory, and its factory tours, that I am not sure there is too much for me to add.
I will add a warning, however: this is a major tourist attraction on the Oregon Coast, and especially on warm days, especially on the weekends, expect there to be a very long line for ice cream. You could do better buying a gallon of Tillamook one of the local grocery stores if you have a particular favorite flavor. You could also do better coming on a weekday, or during a cold winter day!
How to Get Here: The parking area is just north of Latimer Road N. and Highway 101. If coming from Portland, take Wilson River Loop north to Latimer Road (across the bridge at the end of the road) and go west to the factory parking area. The southern part of the parking area is less congested, but is mostly reserved for large vehicles such as RVs and boat trailers. However, the western edge of this parking area has parking for smaller vehicles. It is best to use this area if possible due to the less congested nature of it as opposed to the main parking area closer to the main entrance of the factory. It is a slightly longer walk, but not too bad. There is a traffic light at Latimer Road and highway 101 that serves as the main exit point, and allows visitors wishing to go south on 101 to make an easy left turn into traffic.
The factory is on the north side of downtown Tillamook, past the arch bridge over the Wilson River. As seen in Photo 3, the factory parking lot is very well marked. The factory complex might not be the largest in Tillamook, but it is the largest factory complex type building in the city.
We stopped at Blue Heron after passing the Tillamook factory and seeing boucoup cars in the parking lot----Blue Heron only had Brie but also sold other local cheeses in its shop...Not much a fan of brie, I bought some sharp havarti (never had that before!) and some Tillamook sharp cheddar...some cool photo ops outside with some farm animals and signage...
They also do a wine tasting with local vintages, 5 samples for $5, or one full glass and 5 tastes for $10. Some wines include Blue Heron Reserve, Dragonfly, Barnard Griffin, and Flying Fish, to name a few.....
If you happen to be in the area and like cheese then stop by the Tillamook Factory. Here you can take a self-guided tour of the facility and see the cheese-maiking process and then stop by the visitor's center for cheese samples, ice cream and gifts. It's not terribly exciting, but it's a fun little diversion and a good place to stretch your legs if you're passing through and the cheese is tasty!
1722 North Makinster Road, Tillamook, Oregon, 97141, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Wooded with sites available next to the creek. Just be forewarned the campground is a popular...more
2512 North Main
In the old downtown core of Tillamook, there are not a huge number of places to eat. There are a few, but not many. Most such places have moved next to highway 101 north of town a little ways, between downtown Tillamook and the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
One of several notable exceptions to this is La Mexicana, which is located directly on Highway 6, one block west of the intersection between Highway 101 and Highway 6. The building is an older coastal home that has somehow survived the conversion of Tillamook into a coastal tourist commercial center, and has been reasonably well converted into a restaurant. Unlike many such conversions, there is a ramp (albeit a steep one) that allows certain mobility devices to access the restaurant. However, it is narrow and has a tight curve in it, and some such devices may not fit. The ramp is on the east side, facing the parking lot.
The prices may seem fairly high, but the quantity of food is reasonable for the price, especially if you order one of the complete plate meals.
The restaurant also is a WiFi hot spot, should you be suffering from Internet withdrawl in your exploration of the Oregon Coast.
The restaurant is "cozy" - which basically means that it is a very tight squeeze to put all these tables, a cash register, a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and various other features into a rebuilt house. Don't come here if you expect to have a private conversation as in many cases the other tables are very close by. Also, in the fashion the house was rebuilt, there is only one table in the place that has a view of much of anything - though it is a view of the street which isn't really that scenic anyway.
Chips and Salsa are included with the meal.
Favorite Dish: Camarrones Ranchero plate - a fairly large plate of shrimp and vegetables with beans and rice for $14.
Getting to and around Tillamook is not as convenient without an automobile, but it is possible to do. Tillamook Transit operates a bus several times a day to downtown Portland, providing an important link to those that do not have automobiles available to them. Also operating several times a day, the buses also run west to Oceanside, north to Cannon Beach, and south all the way to Lincoln City.
The service also provides a "downtown loop", which connects a few important points (including the Tiilamook Cheese Factory) around the community of Tillamook.
Fares are reasonable for the distance covered.
The buses do have bike racks, but space is limited, and due to the infrequency of service it is exceptionally inconvenient to try to wait for the next bus, except for the downtown loop.
The buses are also decorated with colorful images of Tillamook County, and each bus is slightly unique in the design of the artwork on its side. Unfortunately this does make sightseeing directly from the bus a little limited.
Tillamook Transit also participates with several other transit agencies in a cooperative 7 day tourist pass that allows people to ride into a number of different areas, including Astoria and Seaside.
Unfortunately, other than the downtown Tillamook loop service is fairly infrequent, but at least it is possible to get around without an auto if you are able to work with the limited timetable.
Favorite thing: The Tillamook Cheese Factory. For further information, check them out on-line at www.tillamookcheese.com