Tillamook is the county seat of Tillamook County, near the Northern Oregon Coast. It is the gateway to the Three Capes Scenic Area which is the coastline between the mouth of Tillamook Bay in the north, down to Cape Lookout in the south.
This article contains information about both Tillamook proper and the surrounding Three Capes Scenic Area.
Tillamook is a dairy town located inland from the coast near the shores of Tillamook Bay. It is the largest city in the area, and most famously home to the TIllamook County Creamery Association who make Tillamook Cheese. Although the area's dairy farms established themselves as far back as the 1850's the TCCA was founded in 1909 and built the first cheese factory (still located at the current site) in 1949. While only a fraction of Tillamook brand products are still produced at this facility as the TCCA has grown over the years, it remains at the core of the city and regional economy.
Outside of Tillamook, outdoor recreational opportunities abound, both in the bays and the sea. The coastal communities of Oceanside, Netarts, and Cape Meares become hotspots for summer getaways, although off-season visits can be enjoyable with a different (chilly and wet) vibe.
- Tillamook Chamber of Commerce/ Visitor Center, 208 Main Ave, ☏ .
U.S. Route 101, Oregon's coastal highway, enters Tillamook from the north and south. Oregon Route 6 comes to Tillamook from the east, crossing the Coast Range from the Portland metro area.
The best route to Tillamook from Interstate 5 is to take I-405 in downtown Portland to U.S. Highway 26, which connects to Oregon Route 6 about 20 miles (33 km) west. I-5 traffic from the south can also take Oregon Route 217 at Tigard to Highway 26.
The Tillamook County Transportation District (TCTD) Route 5 connects Tillamook to Portland (at Union Station and the Greyhound depot) twice in each direction per day. One-way fare is $15, and round-trip fare is $20. Route 3 comes to Tillamook from as far north as Manzanita and Cannon Beach, and Route 4 comes from as far south as Lincoln City.
It is possible to get to some areas using the bus, but it would be impossible to tap into the full potential of the area without a car.
TCTD's Route 1, the Tillamook Town Loop, makes 12 trips around town per day, leaving the 2nd & Laurel Transit Center hourly at quarter past the hour from 7:15AM to 6:15PM. Fare is $1.50.
- 1 Tillamook Creamery, 4165 Highway 101 N, ☏ . 10AM-6PM daily. The Tillamook Creamery Visitor's Center is the center of the prime dairy area of Oregon. Interactive exhibits describe the cheesemaking process, and visitors can see the process unfold through the glass windows. Samples of their various products are available, including cheddar cheese curds. And of course, there's ice cream... forty flavors of them. Free.
- 2 Tillamook Air Museum, 6030 Hangar Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Su 10AM-4PM. An aircraft collection and aviation museum focused on World War II. Located in one of the few remaining World War II blimp hangars. The massive building is the largest clear-span wooden structure in the world, and was designed to hold 8 blimps! $10 adults.
- 3 Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, 2106 2nd Street, ☏ . Tu-Su 10AM-4PM. Adults $4; seniors (62) $3; children 10-17 $1; under 10 free.
- 4 Latimer Quilt and Textile Center, 2105 Wilson River Loop, ☏ . Adults $4; 62+ $3; children 12 and under free.
- 5 Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site, ☏ . Dawn-dusk. A short, easy trail to the tallest waterfall in the Coast Range. Free.
- 6 Cape Meares Lighthouse. Open May-Sep., Mo-Th 11AM-4PM, Fr-Su 11AM-6PM. This uniquely short lighthouse is perched on a cliff overlooking the waves that crash against the rocky Pacific coastline. The lighthouse is a 1/3rd mile walk along a paved pathway from the parking lot. Excellent site for whale and seabird watching on a clear day. The site is open year-round, but the lighthouse tour and gift shop are only open in the summer months. Free.
- Kilchis Point Reserve, Spruce St, Bay City, OR, ☏ .
- Three Arch Rocks
- 1 Alderbrook Golf Course, 7300 Alderbrook Rd., ☏ (pro shop); +1 503-842-6413(Koko's Restaurant & Bar), ✉ email@example.com. 18 holes $30-32, juniors $15, Cart fee $20.
- 2 Cape Lookout State Park, 13000 Whiskey Creek Rd (17 minutes west of town via OR-131 (follow signs)), ☏ . Cape Lookout offers 5 miles of beach access along Netarts Spit, as well as a campground and hiking along Cape Lookout itself which juts 1.6 miles out into the ocean providing sweeping views of the coastline on a clear day. day-use parking $5, camping: $21 tent/$37 full/$52 yurt.
- 3 Bayocean Peninsula (Take OR-131 West, then turn right on Bayocean Rd. just past the bridge over the Tillamook River, 10 minutes from town). Bayocean was once a planned luxury resort town that fell into the sea in the 1920's due to erosion when the Tillamook Bay Jetty was completed. What remains is a pristine 5 mile beachfront along the spit that encloses Tillamoook Bay. Directly adjacent to the village of Cape Meares (although the shortcut to Oceanside over the Cape itself has been closed due to storm damage). Parking $10.
- 4 Oceanside Beach (Follow OR-131 West 15 minutes to Oceanside, beach parking is in the middle of the village), ☏ . A popular beach when the weather is warm offers chances to explore the nearby cliffs and take a tunnel to a rocky area of the beach. It's common for creatures like starfish, sea urchins, and anemone to be visible at low tide. Free.
- 5 Short Beach (also known locally as Agate Beach or Hundred Step Beach) (Limited dirt parking on either side of highway. 1/2 mi hike to beach).
Many Oregonians enjoy crabbing, fishing and clamming in both Tillamook and Netarts Bays as well as the local rivers. The Wilson River is renowned for salmon and steelhead fishing, and other nearby coastal rivers like the Trask, Tillamook and Kilchis rivers have plenty to offer as well. The Barview Jetty on the north side of the Tillamook Bay inlet is known to have consistent surf fishing. Deep sea charters and guide services are readily available in both Tillamook and Garibaldi.
Crabbing and fishing can be done from shore, but it is also possible to rent a boat and any other gear you need on site to increase your opportunities in either of the bays. It is recommended to ask about the local conditions at a sporting goods store or somewhere similar. They can offer some advice about whether any money or time invested would be well spent, and point you toward rental boats and equipment if needed.
Kayaking around Netarts and Tillamook Bays is common, and allows for opportunities to explore areas that are difficult to access otherwise. Keep track of the tides, and be cautious near the inlets of the bays, as swift currents can easily pull you out to sea.
Warm weather often brings paragliders and hang gliders out to Oceanside, which has a spectacular view from its launch point. Watch them soar above and land on the beach front, or drive up to the launch point high above and see how it's done. If you have equipment (and training) of your own, it's a great place to soar.
Even within the beachside villages, Tillamook and the surrounding area don't have a whole lot to offer in the way of touristy trinkets. Tillamook has a Fred Meyer and Safeway for any routine purchases and groceries, but visitors should take note of the seafood and meat options that are available. Of course, Tillamook's dairy products can be purchased at thousands of grocery stores in the U.S., but other quality food products of the region don't have quite the same reach.
- 1 Tilamook Country Smoker Factory Outlet, 8335 N Hwy 101, Bay City, ☏ . 8AM-7PM. A beef jerky lovers' paradise, you can get the best price on your favorite snack right at the factory. 10 2-foot sticks are only $10!
- 2 Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks, 2807 3rd St, Tillamook, toll-free: . 8AM-5PM. Another regional favorite for jerky is also based in Tillamook. Their shop has a different variety of products also at factory prices. You can buy fresh beef as well.
- 3 Nevør Shellfish Farm, 6060 Whiskey Creek Rd, Netarts, ☏ . 12-5PM, Closed Tu. Fresh oysters and other seafood from the pristine Netarts Bay are sold farm direct either To-Go or Dine-In 1 dozen oysters for $11, 5 dozen for $40.
- 4 Jacobsen Salt Co., 9820 Whiskey Creek Rd., Netarts, ☏ . Fri-Mon 10AM-5PM. Boutique shop selling Netarts Bay harvested salt and salt products factory direct.
- 5 The Fish Peddler at Pacific Oyster, 5150 Hayes Oyster Dr, Bay City, ☏ . 10AM-6PM. Outlet to buy fresh seafood caught and harvested from the Washington and Oregon coasts.
As with the rest of the Oregon Coast, the Tillamook area has a focus on fresh seafood at many establishments. Tilamook proper has fast-food options along U.S. Route 101 if you just need a quick bite.
- 1 Blue Heron French Cheese Company, 2001 Blue Heron Dr, ☏ . 8AM-6PM. The Blue Heron has a rustic atmosphere with a petting zoo out front. Inside you can find samples of cheese, wine, mustard, and jam. The deli counter makes delicious sandwiches, soups and salads at a reasonable price.
- 2 Garibaldi Portside Bistro, 307 Mooring Basin Dr. Garibaldi, ☏ . 11:30AM-7PM most days. Small, cozy bistro located right along the bay focuses on high quality food with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
- 3 Roseanna's Cafe, 1490 Pacific Ave. Oceanside, ☏ . Th-Su 3-8PM. Long-stand rustic cafe in Oceanside with seafood mains and homemade desserts.
- 4 Tacos La Provedencia, 540 N Main Ave. Tillamook, ☏ . 9AM-8PM. A local favorite food truck that serves authentic (Tex-)Mexican favorites. around $10 for a combo plate.
- 1 De Garde Brewing, 114 Ivy Ave, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tasting room: Th-Sa noon-7PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Bottles to go also available M-W by appointment. Brewed with spontaneous fermentation in a coolship: the beer takes in wild yeast abundant in the air here. Minors and well-behaved pets allowed on patio.
- 2 Pelican Brewing, 1708 1st St. Tillamook, ☏ . Th-Mo 12-6PM. The award winning Pelican Brewery was founded 45 minutes to the south in Pacific City, but has recently expanded to other locations along the coast. Try their Cream Ale!
- 3 The Schooner Restaraunt and Lounge, 2065 NW Boat Basin Rd, Netarts, ☏ . 12-9PM. A bayside spot with excellent open patio seating for mild weather. Both the food and drinks are generally top notch, though occasionally inconsistent. The service tends to be at what some would call a "beachy pace", but as long as nobody is coming in with a completely empty stomach, the atmosphere makes for a pleasant wait. $15-25 per entree.
Tilamook has a couple of hotel options, but most visitors would probably prefer to stay in the beach villages of Netarts, Oceanside, or Cape Meares. Each of which have their own selection of inns and rental cabins available to suit your needs.
Camping is available at Cape Lookout State Park (see above).
- 1 Ashley Inn of Tillamook (formerly Best Western), 1722 Makinster Rd, ☏ .
- Sheltered Nook On Tillamook Bay, 7882 Warren St, Bay City, OR, toll-free: . Six tiny homes with individual themes and full kitchens. Dog friendly.
- Tillamook Bay City RV Park & Yurts, 7805 Alderbrook Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 1PM (RV sites), 4PM (yurts).
- Tillamook State Forest, with hiking trails and a visitor center with a footbridge over the Wilson River.
- Manzanita and Seaside have a bit more of a typical beach town vibe just 1-2 hours northbound on U.S. Route 101.
- Pacific City and Lincoln City are the next stops southbound on U.S. Route 101 on your way to the Central Oregon Coast.
|Routes through Tillamook|
|Astoria ← Garibaldi ←||N S||→ Pacific City → Coos Bay|