Located one hour from Seaside is the town of Tillamook. It’s famous across the United States thanks to the fabulous cheese that’s produced there but the town of just under 5,000 offers so much more, Tillamook offers a wonderful coastal way of life that’s unrivaled by other coastal towns in the United States.
About Tillamook OR.
In 1861 visionary businessman Thomas Stillwell, aged 70, arrived with his family from Yamhill and purchased land here. The next year he laid out the town that would become Tillamook and opened the it’s store. In 1866 the first post office was opened and the town was permanently renamed Tillamook. An election in 1873 chose Tillamook as the county seat. The first public building was the jail built that same year.
The town was officially founded in 1891 and named after a local Native American tribe that spoke Tillamook, a combination of two dialects. Tillamook culture differed from that of the northern Coast Salish.
Thankfully, the town has remained a perfect example of an ideal small American town over the years and it’s flourished in the modern era as surfers, peddle borders, hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts have chosen the area for it’s outdoor beauty and wonderful beaches.
Things To Do In Tillamook OR
Are you interested in visiting Tillamook? If so, here are several things to do in the area:
Bay Breeze Golf Putting Course
Adjacent from the Tillamook Cheese Factory on Latimer Road North, Bay Breeze Golf features an eighteen-hole real grass putting course–something I have never seen in our many travels across the country. Duplicating the scenarios golfers encounter on traditional putting greens, Bay Breeze has added a few fun obstacles to keep kids engaged. While we did not personally visit this attraction, the grounds appear to be meticulously maintained; we spotted a multi-generational group out on the course and everyone appeared to be having a good time. Each golfer pays $8, rentals are included.
Naval Air Station / Tillamook Air Museum
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Tillamook-based Naval Air Station is the world’s largest wooden structure. One of a handful of remaining World War II blimp hangars scattered around the county, the Tillamook Air Museum easily fits inside the bunker that once held up to eight massive “K” Class Navy Blimps. We timed our visit to the Tillamook Air Museum with lunch, dining at the Air Base Cafe before entering the museum. Because much of the experience is “look don’t touch,” I didn’t think my kids would last long. However, one of the first exhibits is a row of fighter cockpits where smallish people can climb inside and get a feel for what it might be like to be a jet pilot.
Adding to the cockpit experience, we gained an appreciation for the magnitude of cargo transport inside the belly of the Mini Guppy (this giant aircraft is stationed outside the hanger). My favorite part of the tour was the helium room where you can see the giant engines that once filtered and pumped clean helium into the blimps. General admission is $9, and families of four (two kids, two adults) receive a price break at $25. Plan to spend more time here than you first anticipate.
Tillamook Forest Center
The Tillamook Forest Center was the most unexpected and pleasant surprise on our adventures in Tillamook County. Located off Highway 6 about twenty-or-so minutes East of downtown Tillamook, the Tillamook Forest Center is situated in the heart of the Tillamook Forest. If you are mapping out your trip, visit this destination on your way into or out of town (or on a rainy day). Maintained and operated by the Oregon Department of Forestry this “interpretive and educational center showcases the legacy of the historic Tillamook Burn and the public spirit behind a monumental reforestation effort that left a permanent imprint on Oregon history while also shaping sustainable forest management today.”
Learn More About Tillamook
To learn more about Tillamook visit the City of Tillamook website at http://tillamookor.gov or visit the town anytime during the year (especially during the winter) because it’s a great place to experience one of Oregon’s most beautiful towns.