Are you looking for places to visit while sight seeing along the Oregon Coast? Well, I want to talk to you about why you SHOULD stop and visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory while you are out and about!
Last summer we took our family on a long vacation through the Pacific Northwest, Canada and down the coast through Oregon. The sights were incredible…and that word does not describe adequately how incredible it was. From Vancouver Island to Coos Bay Oregon…we were delighted with the most gorgeous scenery ever…in my opinion.
I will discuss our travels through Seattle, PNW, and Vancouver Island in separate posts…today is all about why I think Tillamook Cheese Factory is a destination.
As we traveled down the coast of Oregon, we were delighted with so many amazingly striking beaches, forests, and quaint little towns. Cannon Beach, in particular was breathtaking, with its mammoth rock islands hanging out near the beach and the quaint little town full of character. I told my husband this is where we were moving.
You have to understand though…I say this whenever we visit any town that I immediately fall in love with. This certainly was one of them.
As we continued down the Oregon coast…we knew we wanted to stop at the Tillamook Creamery or Cheese Factory as many call it…..you know, just to say you did and grab a few pieces of cheese. I am a big fan of Tillamook cheese, and often purchase it in my little town in Utah.
So, the idea of stopping to see where it came from was a fun idea. It would be a good break for the kids, to stretch their legs on a long driving day down the Oregon coast. I thought we would stop by a small building, where we could buy some cheese and such. I have been to cheese factories before and they are never that glamorous. It was going to be a potty break for the kids and a chance to stretch our legs.
If you are unfamiliar with the Tillamook Cheese Factory or Creamery, it is a co-op creamery made of over 100 farmer families. It resides in Tillamook, Oregon. Duh….
One would never think that a cheese factory/ creamery/dairy would be a go to when you are out on a fun sightseeing trip through the Oregon coast. Well, I am here to tell you that it is well worth the stop.
First of all, they have recently undergone major renovations and its as if Joanna Gaines herself had a hand in the design and overall flow of the new buildings.
As someone who eats up beautiful designs this was not only a feast for the tummy, but it was a feast for the eyes!
As we came around the bend, ready to stop at a small cheese factory, I was flabbergasted! I was completely shocked that the building was so stately, and so very stylish!
The exterior has a somewhat modern flare, with metal beams, contrasting against a blond vertical wood siding in some parts. Black, beige, white and wood seemed to be the theme and I was all about that! It was clear that the company was wanting to create an experience not just a place to stop and buy a package of cheese.
There was a huge outdoor space with a giant lawn and wood tables. Apparently they needed all the seating they could get…and boy is that true. I could not believe how busy it was.
As you ready to walk through the front doors you are greeted with the most friendly of faces.
Who can complain about that?
As you enter the Tillamook Cheese Factory, you are greeted by a giant set of stairs separating the large building into two main spaces.
To the right, is the retail side…where you can purchase shirts, souvenirs and cheese…lots and lots of cheese and other products that they make including ice cream.
To the left takes you to their “restaurant” space. I had no idea that they served food here…or that they had a giant serving line for ice cream. I tell you, I could have stayed for hours! We decided to hop in line and order some food. The kids were hungry and I am a foodie. I have to try out the food wherever I am!
We ordered fried cheese curds, Caesar salads, pizza, and their famous mac n cheese. I was thinking it would be a mediocre meal..seeing how many people they feed. Boy was I wrong!
It was a cafeteria style eating area, but do not let that fool you, they have styled it to perfection. With long raw wooden tables, black and wood accents in the lighting and signage, you felt as if you were thought of just a bit in the planning of this space.
The food was divine…and those fried cheese curds? Oh my gosh, they were so good and had the yummiest dip! So far I was happy with the decision to stop here on our long trip down the Oregon coast.
Once we had eaten we decided to check out the upstairs. You can take the stairs up to the cheese sampling area and museum/factory tour of sorts. A few of us waited in line (since it was quite busy) to get some cheese samples while the others wandered around through the rest of the upstairs which was a factory tour of sorts. It had large windows and you could see below the processes in making cheese, etc.
The cheese sampling was my favorite place…haha! Well, not really but it was pretty cool. You got to go through and sample a ton of cheeses! As a cheese lover, this is where its at.
Throughout all these spaces, the design remained consistent. The use of exposed black steel beams, modern farmhouse touches were all around in their lights, wall treatments, and flooring. I was in heaven.
Here are a few candid pics from around the Tillamook cheese factory:
My niece came with us and had so much fun!
Historical pictures dotted the walls….
Even their signage was spot on!
After we spent some time upstairs we decided to dare the ice cream line. The ice cream line is insane. We almost did not attempt to get any, but we thought…”we are here, we might as well!”
They have an endless supply of ice cream and they always have special sundaes that they make. It just so happened that they had a vanilla ice cream with strawberries and balsalmic reduction, which is my most favorite ever!
My kids had an absolute party eating their giant cones of ice cream.
We took pictures by the cool cow photos that are all throughout the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
We were actually in a bit of a time crunch since we were heading way down the Oregon coast that day…so we had to cut a few things out. They also have some red barns, which I believe show more of the cheese making/dairy processes. We did not have time to check these out, but I have heard they are fun.
With all the amazingness at the Tillamook creamery, I do want to give you a few tips:
- it will probably be busy! Make sure to prepare yourself for that.
- parking was slightly difficult. I do not think they anticipated as much business and their parking lot is always full~
- Have someone wait in line if you plan to get ice cream or food, and tour around. This way you aren’t creating more congestion in the lines.
- Make sure to go upstairs to test out all the cheeses! Its FREE!
- Tour the factory to see a behind the scenes.
- Snatch up a cute mug or t shirt. Their branding is on point!
As someone that focuses on branding and consistency with my own business and website, I love it when I see a company nail their branding while keeping true to themselves and providing a great experience.
There is something about a company going the extra mile to improve a visitors experience that makes it so much more worth going.
I never thought that the Tillamook Creamery would be such a big highlight on my trip down the Oregon coast. It was so much more than we expected.
We all left pretty shocked, totally full and extremely happy that we had made the effort to go!
If you are considering or planning a trip to the Oregon coast, I would highly recommend you stopping by the Tillamook cheese factory. It was a stop that we never thought would be at the top of our list of places we love!
I know for a fact that we will return to the Tillamook Creamery sometimes soon…hopefully!
Now, many of you know that I am a DIY/Home Decor blogger. I decided a few weeks ago to start posting some travel blog posts since we do quite a bit of travelling. I want to provide information that might be helpful in either choosing a destination to visit or choosing what to do when you are there! If you found me because of this post…I hope you will stay around and see what else I have going on here at Twelve On Main.
Check out my most recent travel post here:
Maybe check out some of my artwork:
And last, how about some room remodels: