It's a fact: visitors to our oceanfront Manzanita vacation rentals, and friends and family visiting from out of town ALL want to take the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour.
Since I basically grew up coming to our family house at Manzanita Beach, spending the majority of weekends, summers and other school breaks in Manzanita Oregon, I've visited the Tillamook cheese factory many, many times.
Okay, so maybe there have been times I sigh, knowing it's time for another visit to the Cheese Factory. Don't get me wrong - I'm a #1 fan of Tillamook Cheese. A block of Tillamook Cheddar Aged Vintage White Sharp is my all time favorite.
NOTE: The Tillamook Cheese Factory is current open 11:00 am - 6:00 pm daily during the Coronavirus outbreak. You make take a self guided tour, pick up To Go orders from the Tillamook Cheese Factory restaurant and ice cream counter, or shop their gift shop.
But the question remains - what's special about a Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour?
Most visitors know the Tillamook Cheese Factory and tours of the factory are famous, nationwide. During my childhood, when visits meant wandering around, down on the factory floor, watching the Tillamook Cheesemakers work their magic. In my rose-colored memories, we stuffed ourselves on unlimited cheddar cheese samples all amongst the cheddar cheese vats.
Today's Tillamook Cheese Factory tours are much different, much to the delight Tillamook Cheese fans nationwide.
Remodeled in 2018, the Tillamook Cheese Factory of today is open, airy, modern and fun!
The Tillamook County Creamery Association, operating the factory, closed the original Tillamook Cheese Factory in March of 2018. The brand new Tillamook Cheese visitors center is now 50% larger and open and ready for visitors!
Guests enter under the watchful eye of one of the beloved Tillamook dairy cows into the new, modern Tillamook Cheese Factory visitors center.
And of course, our group loved our visit! Everyone should enjoy this experience at least once in their lifetime. Visitors love seeing how their favorite Tillamook cheese is made.
People are then guided to the upstairs tour area. Much of the Tillamook Cheese manufacturing process is now mechanized, and visitors are able to watch the process from behind a glass barrier. Much more sanitary than my childhood memories!
There is a fun, informational movie and more displays for visitors to enjoy.
After viewing the manufacturing fun, visitors come to one of our favorite parts of the tour - the sample area, a personal favorite!
Tasting all the creamy cheese samples always brings back the joy of my childhood love of Tillamook Cheese. Be sure to sample the cheese curds - they're a fun, yummy treat.
Somehow there's always magic in visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory and touring, bringing back memories of the favorite Oregon Coast cheese. Memories of grilled cheese sandwiches of our youth can't be forgotten, grating a Tillamook Jack Cheese loaf while preparing family tacos, or savoring our favorite Tillamook Ice Cream in the summer time. Oregon Strawberry Tillamook Ice Cream is a family favorite!
Visitors taking the tour are then guided to the Cheese Factory Store. Does anyone else remember the small Tillamook Cheese Factory shop of old?
Today's Tillamook Cheese Factory gift shop is a totally new experience with lots of terrific souvenirs. Colorful tees and sweatshirts, warm Pendleton blankets and hats, terrific Oregon Coast tour books are among the items on display at the shop.
And don't forget to stock up on wonderful Tillamook Cheeses and foodstuff, including a limited release artisan Tillamook Aged Cheddar.
After making very important Tillamook Cheese Factory purchases, guest may further sample luscious Tillamook products at the new Tillamook Cheese Factory restaurant.
The new visitor's center has devoted a larger area for your favorite Tillamook Ice Cream. There's lots to choose from, including cones, shakes, artisan sundaes.
They even have limited ice cream releases only available to Tillamook Cheese Factory visitors!
Opposite the Tillamook Ice Cream counter is a new breakfast and coffee bar, in addition to the regular restaurant menu offerings.
Don't worry - they haven't forgotten fan favorites such as grilled Tillamook Cheese sandwiches, creamy tomato soup with cheese curds. Happily, they've added a pizza oven and many more luscious menu items.
For those looking for something a bit healthier, they have may new delicious selections. For instance, pictured below is a small baby kale salad with Oregon hazelnuts, fresh apples, dried cranberries, sharp vintage cheddar with apple cider vinaigrette on the side.
Our visitors and family very much enjoyed the tour, and we were able to again experience the wonder of seeing the cheese made through fresh eyes.
We have to admit we were a bit sad to see the old Tillamook Cheese Factory go, but are excited about the new Tillamook Cheese Factory remodel.
How about you? What's your favorite Tillamook Cheese Factory tour memory?
Manzanita Beach Life Insider Tip: While you're in the area, be sure to stop by the Kilchis Point Reserve.
There's lots more fun to be had on the northern Oregon Coast!
Don't forget to check into Tillamook kayak tours
When is the best time for Oregon Coast whale watching?
Railrider cycling is a blast
Where are the best beaches in Oregon for kids?
Enjoy your Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour Everyone ~
(You know you're going to love it!)
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