There is a city that loves cheese so much that people come from all over to visit their factory. Tillamook Cheese is one of the most well-known cheese makers in the Pacific Northwest. Not only can you find their product in stories all over the region but you can visit their factory in Tillamook, OR as well. If you love cheese as much as I do then this place should be on your list if you’re traveling through Oregon. Find out why you should consider a stop at this amazing location. There’s nothing cheesy about it.
What to See?
When you first arrive at the Tillamook Cheese factory, head straight to where the factory tours start. This is the place to go if you were ever curious about cheese is made. Tillamook Cheese produces over 167,000 pounds a cheese a day in their factory. Before heading up the stairs to watch the assembly line in motion, try the free samples of cheese. (Don’t worry. If you get hungry after your tour you can buy company products in the gift shop.)
The tour will explain how cheese making works and how much effort the workers put into the process every day. As a child I always liked cheese but didn’t know a lot about the process until my first visit. The guides stationed throughout the experience are careful to explain the process to guests at a level that children can understand without belittling the adults. The viewing platform is above the assembly line, allowing you view workers going through the different steps of cheese making. Come back down to the café/gift shop area to pick up whatever you desire before heading out.
What to Eat?
The cafeteria on site carries a wide variety of sandwiches and ice cream (all using Tillamook products of course) for you purchase. I always enjoy eating here because the products they use here are as fresh as it comes. In any other circumstance the food wouldn’t be considered anything spectacular but when it’s a place that feels confident enough about to product to serve it on site, you know that something is going right.
You can also buy one of their many varieties of cheese to take home with you. Although you can find all of their products in the grocery store, they are sold significantly cheaper here. We always try to pick up at least two packages of cheese when we visit: One to use for our picnic stops and the other to take back home with us.
What’s the Cultural Value?
The Tillamook Cheese factory represents the best of American ingenuity. This operation is one of the main things keeping the city of Tillamook running. From the farmers who produce the milk to the workers who make the cheese, the city economy rests in the hands of this company. I consider this place to be an example of one of the best agricultural operations in the region.
Recommended Place to Stay
There are only a handful of hotels in town. The Ashley Inn is definitely the best of them. It is conveniently located in town and has amenities like Wi-Fi and DVD players. Pet owners will be glad to know that the hotel even allows your four legged friend to stay with you (As long as you arrange it in advance).
How Is the Overall Rating?
It’s a rare treat to get such an intimate view of how one your favorite products is made. As one of the main economic powers in Oregon, there’s no denying that the Tillamook Cheese factory is important to the community. With that said, there’s not a lot of interest for people who don’t like cheese. This is obviously not a place for the lactose intolerant or vegans. I give this place a 4/5 because it definitely targets a niche audience that may alienate some.