Discover The Ultimate Guide To Things To Do In Tillamook, Oregon

Things To Do In Tillamook Oregon

Planning a trip to Tillamook, Oregon can feel a bit daunting with all the options to consider. Trust me, we’ve been in your shoes. After spending time exploring this charming coastal town, we can say with confidence it’s about so much more than just cheese and ice cream (though those are pretty great too).

Our guide will help you uncover the best attractions, outdoor adventures, and hidden gems Tillamook has to offer. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get ready to discover one of the Oregon Coast’s best-kept secrets.

Who knows? You might just fall in love with this little slice of Pacific Northwest paradise.

Key Takeaways

  • Tillamook offers diverse attractions beyond its famous creamery, including scenic coastal drives, lighthouses, forests, and outdoor adventures like kayaking and hiking.
  • Popular experiences include guided kayak tours on the Salmon River Estuary for $100 per adult, Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad rides from $22, and free visits to Cape Meares Lighthouse from April to October.
  • Must-see spots are the Tillamook Creamery, Jacobsen Salt Co., Cape Meares Lighthouse, and the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, which operates from May to September.
  • Visitors can explore nearby ghost towns like Idiotville and Bay Ocean, taste unique beers at De Garde Brewing, or learn about aviation history at the Evergreen Air & Space Museum.
  • The area offers various lodging options in nearby coastal towns like Cannon Beach, Rockaway Beach, and Pacific City, making it easy to extend your stay and explore more of the Oregon Coast.

Exploring the Charm of Small Towns: Why Tillamook Stands Out

Things To Do In Tillamook Oregon - A rustic small town scene in Tillamook: a charming dairy farm with cows grazing in green pastures under cloudy skies, surrounded by rolling hills and a distant view of the Oregon Coast.

We love exploring the charm of small towns, and Tillamook stands out as a true gem on the Oregon Coast. This quaint city offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and local flavors that captivate visitors seeking a quieter getaway.

With its famous Tillamook Creamery drawing over a million cheese enthusiasts annually, the town has become a must-visit destination for food lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Tillamook’s appeal extends far beyond its dairy fame. We’re drawn to its stunning coastal scenery, complete with lighthouses, scenic drives, and miles of pristine beaches. The Three Capes Scenic Loop showcases breathtaking views, while the nearby Tillamook Forest Center invites us to delve into the area’s logging history and natural wonders.

From kayaking in the Salmon River Estuary to hiking Cape Lookout, Tillamook County’s hundreds of square miles offer endless adventures for those eager to escape the hustle and bustle of larger cities.

Top Experiences and Tours in Tillamook

We’ve curated some of the best experiences Tillamook has to offer. From scenic coastal tours to wine tastings, there’s something for every traveler in this charming Oregon town.

Oregon Coast Sightseeing Tour

We love exploring the Oregon Coast, and there’s no better way to do it than with a sightseeing tour. These tours offer a fantastic opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Tillamook and its surrounding areas.

From May to September, visitors can join day trips and historical tours that showcase the best of the coast. Our favorite part? The Moonlight Excursions – a 3-hour adventure starting at $72 that lets us experience the coast’s magic after dark.

During these tours, we get to see iconic spots like Cape Meares Lighthouse, ranked 838 on TripAdvisor, and the Tillamook Forest Center, rated 155. We also visit lesser-known treasures such as Munson Creek Falls, which holds the 216th spot on TripAdvisor’s list.

These excursions provide a perfect blend of natural beauty, local history, and coastal charm, making them ideal for those of us seeking a quieter, more intimate Oregon experience.

Guided Kayak Tours on the Salmon River Estuary

We offer guided kayak tours on the Salmon River Estuary, perfect for those seeking a tranquil adventure in Otis, Oregon. Our 2-hour excursions cater to adults aged 18-88, providing a moderate fitness challenge while paddling through serene waters.

We equip participants with 15ft or 17ft wooden handmade kayaks, ensuring a comfortable and authentic experience.

These tours, priced at $100 per adult, allow us to explore the coastal ecosystem up close. As we navigate the estuary, we’ll spot local wildlife and absorb the stunning scenery that makes the Oregon coast a must-visit destination.

It’s an ideal activity for those looking to escape the bustle of larger tourist spots and immerse themselves in the natural wonders of Tillamook County.

Bed and Breakfast Wine Tour

We’ve discovered that wine tours are a popular attraction in Tillamook, and the Bed and Breakfast Wine Tour offers a unique experience for those seeking a quieter getaway. This tour combines the comfort of cozy lodging with the pleasure of exploring local vineyards.

Guests can unwind in charming accommodations while savoring the flavors of Oregon’s wine country.

Our favorite part of this tour is the Willamette Valley Boutique Winery experience, which includes a delightful lunch. It’s a perfect way to spend a day, tasting exquisite wines and enjoying the scenic beauty of Tillamook’s countryside.

The tour provides an intimate look at smaller, family-owned wineries, giving visitors a chance to connect with local vintners and learn about their craft.

Must-See Attractions in Tillamook

Tillamook offers a variety of must-see attractions that blend natural beauty with local culture. From scenic lighthouses to cheese factories, there’s something for everyone… Read on to discover the top spots you won’t want to miss during your visit!

Tillamook Creamery

We love visiting the Tillamook Creamery, a must-see attraction for cheese enthusiasts and casual tourists alike. This iconic destination welcomes over a million visitors annually, offering an immersive experience into the world of dairy production.

We’re always impressed by the Farm Exhibit Hall and Viewing Gallery, where we can watch the cheese-making process up close. The creamery’s guided tours are a highlight, providing in-depth insights into their operations and history.

At the Tillamook Creamery, we never miss the chance to indulge in their famous cheese and ice cream tastings. It’s a treat to sample their exclusive products, especially the Tillamook Cheese Curds – a local favorite.

Open seven days a week, the creamery also boasts a gift shop filled with dairy-themed gear and souvenirs. We find it’s the perfect spot to pick up a unique memento of our Oregon coast adventure.

Jacobsen Salt Co.

We’ve discovered a hidden gem in Tillamook that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds – Jacobsen Salt Co. Located at 9820 Whiskey Creek Rd, this charming shop offers a unique experience for salt enthusiasts and culinary adventurers alike.

Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, it’s the perfect stop during your coastal exploration.

At Jacobsen Salt Co., we’re treated to an array of flavored salt options that have earned rave reviews for their ability to elevate meals. The black garlic salt, in particular, has become a favorite among visitors for its rich, complex flavor profile.

As the third highest-ranked shopping attraction in Tillamook, with 22 glowing reviews, this spot is a must-visit for anyone interested in the art of salt production or looking to enhance their home cooking.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

At Cape Meares Lighthouse, we’re treated to a unique piece of Oregon’s coastal history. This charming beacon stands just 38 feet tall, making it the shortest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast.

Built in 1889, it’s a testament to the area’s maritime heritage. We love that it’s perched at the north end of the Three Capes Scenic Route, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific.

Despite its modest stature, Cape Meares Lighthouse packs a punch with its first-order Fresnel lens, visible an impressive 21 miles out to sea. It’s open from April through October, perfect for our summer and fall explorations.

Best of all? Admission is free, allowing us to soak in the coastal beauty and rich history without breaking the bank. It’s a must-visit spot for anyone looking to experience the quieter side of Oregon’s coast.

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

We love taking our visitors on a journey through time aboard the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. This historic train ride offers a unique glimpse into the logging history of Tillamook County, winding through lush forests and along the picturesque coastline.

Tickets for this 90-minute adventure start at $22, making it an affordable option for families and history buffs alike.

From May to September, we can hop on this nostalgic ride and enjoy a 30-minute layover to stretch our legs and take in the scenery. For those of us looking for a more adult-oriented experience, the Moonlight Excursions (21 and up) provide a perfect evening out.

Season passes are available too, allowing unlimited rides on select excursions – perfect for locals or extended-stay visitors who want to immerse themselves in the area’s rich logging heritage.

Adventurous Activities in Tillamook

For adventurous souls, Tillamook offers a playground of outdoor activities. From rugged coastal hikes to tranquil kayaking trips, there’s no shortage of thrills in this charming Oregon town.

Horseback riding

We love exploring Tillamook’s stunning coastline on horseback. It’s a fantastic way to experience the region’s natural beauty at a leisurely pace. Oregon Beach Rides offers sunset rides along the Manzanita shoreline, providing a picturesque and memorable experience.

For those seeking a longer adventure, Nehalem Bay State Park boasts six miles of ocean trails perfect for riding.

Horse enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that Nehalem Bay State Park also offers horse camping facilities. It’s a unique opportunity to combine our love for horses with the great outdoors.

We always recommend calling or emailing the stables in advance to ensure availability and make necessary arrangements. Outfitters in Pacific City and Nehalem Bay provide various options, catering to riders of different skill levels and preferences.

Hiking to the Octopus Tree

We’ve discovered a unique natural wonder near Cape Meares that’s perfect for our fellow adventurers seeking quieter spots along the Tillamook coast. The Octopus Tree, a distinctive Sitka spruce with sprawling branches, offers a fascinating hiking experience.

This moderately challenging 0.3-mile trail is accessible to visitors of all ages and abilities, making it an ideal destination for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

Our journey to the Octopus Tree begins at Cape Lookout State Park, where we can enjoy not only the hike but also beachcombing and camping activities. The trail leads us through lush coastal forest, revealing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean along the way.

As we approach the tree, its unusual shape becomes apparent – a testament to the forces of nature that have shaped this coastal landscape over centuries.

Exploring Cape Lookout

At Cape Lookout, we’re treated to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and lush coastal forests. This stunning headland juts out 1.5 miles into the sea, offering us a unique vantage point for whale watching and spotting diverse marine life.

The cape’s 2.5-mile trail winds through old-growth Sitka spruce forests, leading us to dramatic cliffs where we can marvel at the crashing waves below. It’s an ideal spot for picnicking, bird watching, and soaking in the raw beauty of Oregon’s coastline.

Cape Lookout also boasts a serene beach perfect for beachcombing and quiet contemplation. We love exploring the tide pools teeming with colorful sea creatures or simply strolling along the sandy shore.

The area’s rich ecosystem provides ample opportunities for nature photography and wildlife observation. With its mix of scenic beauty and outdoor activities, Cape Lookout embodies the tranquil charm that draws visitors to Tillamook’s lesser-known coastal gems.

Discovering the Ghost Towns Near Tillamook

We’ve uncovered some fascinating ghost towns near Tillamook that offer a glimpse into Oregon’s past. Idiotville, once a thriving logging community in the Tillamook rainforest, now stands abandoned and overgrown.

Bay Ocean, formerly known as the “Playground of the Pacific Northwest,” met a tragic fate. By 1939, its buildings had slid into the Pacific Ocean due to coastal erosion, leaving behind only memories and scattered remnants.

For those seeking a unique adventure, we recommend exploring these quiet, lesser-known historic landmarks around Tillamook Bay. Hiking enthusiasts can visit old ghost towns and abandoned bunkers, immersing themselves in the area’s rich history.

A visitor guide is available for ghost town exploration, making it easier to navigate these intriguing sites. These forgotten places provide a perfect opportunity to step back in time and experience the quieter side of Oregon’s coastal history.

Things To Do In Tillamook Oregon – Food and Drink Recommendations

Tillamook’s food scene is a treat for all taste buds. From fresh seafood to artisanal cheese, we’ve got the scoop on where to find the best bites and sips in town.

De Garde Brewing

We love De Garde Brewing, a hidden gem nestled at 114 Ivy Ave in Tillamook. This unique brewery specializes in wild yeast and distinctive taste profiles, offering beer enthusiasts an unforgettable experience.

The tasting room welcomes visitors Thursday through Saturday from noon to 7 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.

At De Garde, we can sample six guest beers on tap, though some visitors have noted a limited variety. While they don’t serve food, we’re free to bring our own snacks to complement the brews.

It’s worth noting that opinions on De Garde are mixed, with some praising its unique offerings and others wishing for more options. Nonetheless, it’s a must-visit spot for those of us exploring Tillamook’s quieter side and seeking out craft beer adventures.

Seafood options

We’re excited to share some of the best seafood options in Tillamook, Oregon. Fresh catches from the Pacific are a major draw for visitors to this coastal gem. Pacific Restaurant and The Fish Peddler at Pacific Oyster top our list for mouthwatering seafood dishes.

These local favorites serve up the day’s catch with skill and care, giving us a true taste of the Oregon coast.

For those craving more variety, Roseanna’s Cafe offers delectable seafood alongside other local specialties. While great seafood isn’t always easy to find in the area, these spots consistently deliver on quality and flavor.

They’re popular choices for both lunch and dinner, satisfying our cravings for fresh, local seafood experiences. Whether it’s succulent Dungeness crab, tender halibut, or briny oysters, Tillamook’s seafood scene won’t disappoint.

Tillamook Forest Center

We love exploring the Tillamook Forest Center, the region’s largest forest-based learning center. It’s a gem for those seeking a quiet, educational experience in Oregon’s lush woodlands.

The center offers fascinating programs on sustainable forest management, giving visitors insight into the area’s rich history, including the Tillamook Burn. We’re impressed by their commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients in their café, supporting the community while providing delicious refreshments.

At the Tillamook Forest Center, we can rent event spaces like the Forest Learning Shelter for special gatherings. The picnic area is perfect for a leisurely lunch amidst nature’s beauty.

As we stroll through the exhibits, we gain a deeper appreciation for the forest’s ecosystem and the importance of responsible stewardship. It’s an ideal stop for anyone interested in Oregon’s natural heritage and sustainable practices.

Evergreen Air & Space Museum

We’re excited to share one of Tillamook’s hidden gems – the Evergreen Air & Space Museum. This fascinating attraction is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, offering a wealth of aviation history and interactive experiences.

Here, we can marvel at the Hughes Flying Boat, affectionately known as the Spruce Goose. It’s a unique opportunity to step inside the cockpit of this legendary aircraft and imagine its historic flight.

The museum isn’t just about static displays; it’s a hub of activity. We can catch upcoming events or plan ahead for their future summer camps. For an immersive experience, we’ll want to check out the giant screen theater and flight simulator.

To make the most of our visit, let’s grab a digital visitor guide for a personalized tour through this treasure trove of air and space history.

Exploring More Towns Along the Oregon Coast

We love exploring the charming towns along the Oregon Coast near Tillamook. Cannon Beach, just an hour north, offers stunning views of Haystack Rock and a vibrant arts scene. Rockaway Beach, a quaint seaside community, boasts seven miles of sandy shores perfect for beachcombing and relaxation.

For those seeking a quieter escape, Pacific City provides a more laid-back atmosphere with its beautiful dunes and the iconic Cape Kiwanda.

Our favorite accommodations in the area include the luxurious Headlands Lodge and the family-friendly Surfside Resort in Pacific City. These spots serve as excellent bases for adventures like hiking, wildlife viewing, and savoring locally harvested oysters.

Don’t miss out on visiting Tunnel Beach and McPhillips Beach – hidden gems that showcase the raw beauty of Oregon’s coastline. With options ranging from cozy cabins to upscale lodges, there’s something for every traveler looking to experience the magic of Oregon’s coastal towns.

Things To Do In Tillamook Oregon Conclusion

Tillamook, Oregon offers a treasure trove of experiences for every traveler. From the iconic Tillamook Creamery to the breathtaking Cape Meares Lighthouse, this charming coastal town has something for everyone.

Nature lovers will find solace in the countless hiking trails and scenic beaches, while history buffs can explore fascinating ghost towns nearby. Our journey through Tillamook’s attractions, activities, and culinary delights showcases why this gem on the Oregon Coast deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.

Pack your bags and head to Tillamook – an unforgettable adventure awaits!

Things To Do In Tillamook Oregon FAQs

1. What are the must-visit attractions when visiting Tillamook, Oregon?

When visiting Tillamook, don’t miss the Tillamook Air Museum and the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory. These spots offer unique experiences… from aviation history to delicious dairy treats. The air museum, housed in a massive World War II blimp hangar, showcases vintage aircraft. Meanwhile, the cheese factory lets you watch – and taste – the cheese-making process.

2. Is there more to Tillamook than just cheese?

Absolutely! While the cheese factory is a big draw, Tillamook offers plenty more. The Tillamook Air Museum is a hidden gem, packed with fascinating exhibits. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby beaches, forests, and hiking trails. The town’s rich history and friendly locals add charm to your visit.

3. How long should I plan to stay in Tillamook?

A weekend is ideal for exploring Tillamook’s main attractions. This gives you time to tour the cheese factory, visit the air museum, and soak in the local atmosphere. If you’re into outdoor activities, consider extending your stay. The surrounding Oregon coast and forests offer endless adventures.

4. What’s the best time of year to visit Tillamook?

Summer is peak tourist season in Tillamook, with warm weather and clear skies. However, spring and fall offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds. Winter can be rainy, but it’s perfect for storm watching on the coast. No matter when you visit, the cheese factory and air museum are open year-round – providing indoor options for any weather.

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