The last time I visited the Tillamook Creamery was back in 2015. But, since then, the place underwent a significant revamp. So, revisiting the Tillamook Creamery with my family was a top priority – especially since they like cheese and ice cream!
We started our second day in Portland under gray skies and a light sprinkle, so typical weather for the PNW. Our primary goal for the day was to pay a visit to the Tillamook Creamery out on the Oregon Coast. But you don’t make the trek out here without paying a visit to Cannon Beach. So that’s precisely what we did. And, despite being in their late 80’s, my grandparents took the cold wind and rain in stride to look in awe at the giant haystacks sitting just offshore. The site impressed the hell out of them.
The Old Tillamook Creamery
Last time I was here, the Tillamook Creamery had a vaguely industrial motif to it. It wasn’t an attractive design, in my opinion, and contrasted pretty harshly with its otherwise lush and rustic surroundings. So, when I heard they were giving the place a complete makeover, I wasn’t too concerned.
The New Tillamook Creamery
After leaving Cannon Beach, we made the roughly one-hour trek out to the Creamery. And when we pulled up, I was stunned by the transformation! The place looks nothing like its former self – it’s more rustic and blends better with its surroundings. But there’s no denying where you are, as cow greets you as you walk up to the building.
Inside, the theme continues. There are lots of earth tones and woods throughout the structure, but it never feels dark. Enormous windows let in an abundance of sunlight, especially in the new dining area. And that, by the way, was the first stop of our visit, since we had already spent nearly three hours on the road (we went driving throughout Cannon Beach) and spent some time looking around the beach itself.
Lunch at Tillamook Creamery
To order, you go through the line cafeteria-style, pay, and they give you a number. The food is brought out to you, but you’ll need to grab your own utensils from a communal counter. And, of course, when you’re done, you return your own dishes and discard your own trash.
We kept things simple at lunch – my mom got a grilled cheese with fries, my grandparents a veggie pizza, and I got an Oregon Bay Shrimp salad. An uncharacteristic move for me, I know. Too bad the salad was drenched in a heavy, creamy dressing – I had a hard time eating it. My mom, though, enjoyed her sandwich, while my grandparents seemed to like the pizza fine.
My mom even got a cup of ice cream, though I passed since my lactose intolerance is a little iffy these days – even with the pills!
Touring the Creamery
The new tour is quite similar to the old one. The primary difference, in my opinion, is the addition of a display showing how co-op owners raise and milk their cows. Then, you basically walk down a long hallway and look through windows down onto the factory floor.
At the end, you still get to sample Tillamook Creamery’s cheese for free! The area is bigger and nicer, now though. This, by the way, was my grandparents’ favorite part of the self-guided tour – which I’m sure it is for just about everyone else!
Shopping at the Creamery
Unsurprisingly, after the cheese tasting, the path leads you down to the gift shop. The area is much more open and airy than the old one, and better displays all of the Oregon-made products in there, in my opinion. Of course, the shop offers a plethora of Tillamook ice creams, cheeses, apparel, and more. But, now, they even have Tillamook Country Smokers jerkies, Marshall’s Haute Sauce, Rogue Brewery, Jacobsen Salt, and more.
Revisiting the Tillamook Creamery, Final Thoughts
It was nice to get back out to Tillamook Creamery to see the reimagined attraction. I love the new design and think it better represents the co-op, as well as the region as a whole. But, this visit reminded me how little time I’ve actually spent on the Oregon Coast, and how much I’d love to spend at least a few nights out here. It’s a gorgeous area that I can’t recommend enough rain or shine.
Touring the PNW with My Grandparents
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