Mention the City Tillamook in Oregon, and most people will immediately think of the Tillamook Creamery. While in the Portland area in February of 2022 we decided to take a drive out west to see the Pacific Ocean again, the Tillamook Air Museum, as well as the Tillamook Creamery, yum! This amazing factory and visitor center is about two miles north of the actual city of Tillamook on Route 101 and about 1hr to 1 ½ from the Portland area. It was definitely worth the drive to visit the area and their facility.
After we parked we made our way into the center and couldn’t help but notice the huge dairy cow picture above the entrance to the building. We definitely knew we were in the right place, lol. After walking in we also noticed the steps leading up to the second floor where you could start your own self-guided tour. We had a ticket for a regular tour and made our way to check-in. We were a little early so we walked around their little store and checked out some of their product. While I had only had their cheese and ice cream before, I was happily surprised by all the other different items they had available. I knew they had a few other things, but way more than I expected. The store even had clothes for sale, lol.
We made our way to the tour booth right before the tour and were led into a small room when we were given headsets and were able to leave coats, bags, etc. We went up to the observation deck I guess you would call it, and our tour guide shared a lot about the history of the Tillamook Creamery, how the cheese was made (as this was a cheese tour) and explained each step of the process, including packaging which I thought was quite interesting. If a block of cheese is not the exact weight they are looking for it gets shifted to the side. It’s amazing that these blocks can weigh up to 40 pounds.
One other interesting thing to note is that they get about 1.6 million pounds of milk a day and that milk is all made into cheese within 24 hours. The Tillamook Creamery actually produces more than 170,000 pounds of cheese each day and packages approximately one million pounds of cheese on-site each week. That is a LOT of milk and cheese, lol
After our tour, thankful for the headsets to hear our tour guide, we were led back to the room and were able to sample some of the different types of cheeses they have made at the facility. We tried four different types and they were all quite unique. I have to say I think I liked the 2016 sample the best of the four we tried. Apparently, they use to have a lot more samples that guests could try, but I guess that’s another thing stupid Xi Jinping and the china virus took away. 🙁 We also learned a little bit more about the company and the cooperative they joined in 1909 with other small creameries in the Tillamook Valley area.
One thing our tour guide said that really impressed me about the company was that while the building was closed to guests during 2020 the guides, store workers, etc were able to work on the processing floor. It was great that they were able to keep working instead of laying them off or letting them go. Once things opened back up, they were able to return to their previous jobs if they wished to do so. I guess it shows why they have been in business for over 100 years.
We weren’t ready to leave yet, so we walked around some more, took some “cheesy photos” and got some ice cream. How can you visit the Tillamook Creamery and NOT get some ice cream? Lol. While we wanted to try EVERY flavor, I had heard that the orange sherbet was only available at the facility. Thus I decided to try the sherbet, while Gene went for the basic chocolate. Needless to say, we were not disappointed and so happy we took the time to get a little treat before heading to our next adventure.
If you are in the Tillamook area, you really need to make time and stop in to do a short self-guided tour if you can. It is worth the time and is such a fun place to visit. Here is a link to their website if you want to plan your own visit. It is something the whole family will enjoy. You will need reservations if you want to do one of the tours below, otherwise, you can come and go anytime the visitor center is open.
Tillamook Creamery Visitor Information
4165 N Hwy 101, Tillamook, OR 97141
Daily 10 am – 6 pm
Self-Guided Tours – Free
Tour and Tasting – $10 (
Exclusive Ice Cream Experience – $35-$40 (75 Minutes)
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