I'm seated outside the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory, doing some people watching. I just finished a self-guided tour that the Factory offers to visitors and I'm enjoying a slice of Smoked Medium Cheddar. Smoked cheese is one of my all-time favorites. The taste is exquisite.
If you get the chance to get up here, don't miss the Cheese Factory. It's a real treat and, if you have kiddies with you, they'll love it, too.
Every year, this place pumps out 78,000,000 pounds of it's cheese products to destinations all over the world. It's located at 4175 Highway 101 North and is open 8am to 6 pm from Labor Day through mid-June and 8am to 8pm from mid-June through Labor Day.
Spring has just hit and the sun is peeking out from the clouds today. I've never been much for really warm weather, so this is actually very pleasant for me.
Here in Tillamook, Oregon just for the day, I'm updating this page on my web site so that I can share some of the great things about this northern Oregon Coast city with you. I tend to spend a good majority of my time along the Central portion of the coastline, but decided it was time that I took a couple days up here.
The Tillamook County area has around 4,675 residents, according to a 2006 census, and the city itself is the county seat. One of their main economic resources come from the abundance of dairy farms here. Well taken care of cows = mighty good cheese!
I heard that there are more cows here than people. hehe. Just sitting and watching them graze in the lush, green fields is a quiet and enjoyable time to spend. I love doing it.
The city is not overrun with a lot of tourism, so it's a great place to relax, park your RV at one of the local campgrounds or RV parks, pitch a tent and break out the fishing gear. Although kicked back, there are terrific things to see and do. Many hotels, vacation rentals and Bed & Breakfasts exist here and the proprietors are thrilled to have out-of-town guests grace their doorsteps.
If you take a jaunt over just south of the city, you'll find the Air Museum. Here you'll discover some amazing vintage aircraft within the World War II blimp hangar. This huge hangar is actually the largest wooden structure in the world. Among the wonderful airplanes you'll view inside is the TBM Avenger, F4U Corsair, J2F-6 Duck, SBD Dauntless, Bf-109 Messerschmitt, A-26 Invader, T-6 Texan, PBY-5A Catalina, P-51 Mustang, Mk-8 Spitfire and many more. Any war or aircraft buff would find themselves in Heaven here. Other museums of interest in the city of Tillamook are the Pioneer Museum and the Garibaldi Museum.
For a romantic drive within county, head toward 3 Capes Scenic Loop, Cape Meares, Oceanside and Netarts. All of them offer fantastic views of the beaches and coastlines and invite some great snuggle time. Venture up to Cape Meares Lighthouse. The stubby little lighthouse is open to the public and offers a great camera opportunity. Hiking is also a popular past time for those who enjoy nature and the outdoors. You'll find an abundance of paths and trails throughout the area. The sea, the farmland and the forest areas make for some wonderful times of solitude and quality conversation. You won't want to forget your camera.
Take a train ride on the vintage diesel, Oregon Coast Explorer and allow it to take you around the area. It will even travel out to Bay City, Garibaldi, Rockaway, and Wheeler, stopping at the Nehalem Bay Winery where you can do some taste testing. Watch yourself if you're driving anywhere. ;)
Seafood-wise, the city is notoriously good for clamming and you can make a good catch of Dungeness crab as well in any of the three bays: Tillamook Bay, Netarts Bay or Nehalem Bay. Consider grabbing a charter boat out to catch your fill of fish or just enjoy the surrounding waters.
Tillamook holds some really fun events all year round, some of the more famous being the Dairy Festival & Parade and the County Rodeo in June and the the County Fair and the Bay Run in August.
This farming community is a great place to explore and bed down for a while. Take advantage of everything the city has to offer. With that, I'm shutting down the laptop, taking the afternoon off and heading back into the Cheese Factory's Visitor's Center for some more cheese and maybe a shake. Yummy!