Tillamook Cheese Factory in Oregon

Tillamook Cheese Factory

If you’re visiting the Oregon Coast, a main attraction besides the ocean is the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  Daniel had been to the factory once before, so he already knew how awesome it was.  But I had never been, and it just so happened to be on the way to Rockaway Beach.  Clearly we had to make a stop!

Tillamook Cheese has a long history in Oregon, and the factory is the perfect place to learn more.  They have historical facts and videos all over the place, and you can also learn more about the cheese industry itself with a self-guided tour.  Plus, you can see how it’s made and packaged as there are multiple viewing areas.  Tip:  If you really want to see the full production in action, don’t go on a Sunday.  That’s when we went, and although it was nice that it was less busy, the production line was all but shut down.

Tillamook used to only be accessible by water, and this is the original ship that brought their cheese to Portland.

Tillamook Cheese Ship

While the history is incredibly fascinating, the real attraction is the cheese!  Here you can see Tillamook provides a bunch of cheese samples.

Tillamook Cheese Samples

This, of course, leads you into where the cheese for purchase is!  Here is just one small case of what they have to offer.

Tillamook Cheese Case

But they don’t stop with just cheese.  They also have fudge!  We came home with far too much cheese and a slice of pumpkin fudge.  So good!

Tillamook Fudge

And don’t forget to get a scoop (or two) of ice cream!

Tillamook Ice Cream

We saw a couple of fun photo opportunities throughout the factory, and this one was the best (we thought).  Be sure to get a picture in the Tillamook Van!

Daniel & Michele in Tillamook Van

This is dairy heaven, I tell you!  The Tillamook Cheese Factory is definitely worth a stop!

Fat Dog PizzaWhile we later found out that the cheese factory also serves food, we didn’t know that at the time, so we stopped for lunch in the main part of town.

We ate at a really small, but really amazing place called Fat Dog Pizza.  If you’re looking to explore more of the town, there are a variety of restaurants in the area.  If you’re in the mood for pizza, check this place out!

If you already read my Rockaway Beach post, then you know if you’re staying in town, there aren’t that many food and activity options there.  Luckily, Tillamook is only about a 20-minute drive from Rockaway, and can easily add variety to your getaway if you’re looking for more restaurants and excursions.


Wine Tasting in Forest Grove, OR

Daniel and I love wine tasting, and when we heard there were great vineyards in Oregon we definitely wanted to check them out.  If you saw my Rockaway Beach post, you know that we decided to stop at a few on our way to the Oregon coast.  We chose to do wine tasting in Forest Grove because it was the closest to our original route.  It’s only about 45 minutes outside of Portland, so it’s also doable as just a day trip.

Our first stop was the David Hill Winery and Vineyard!

Daniel & Michele at David Hill Vineyard

The wine tastings are in this adorable house below.

David Hill Vineyard & Winery

Wine Tasting at David HillThe David Hill Vineyard had really great reviews on Google, which was one of the reasons we stopped there first.  And no wonder!  The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable, and it wasn’t overly crowded, so we were able to ask as many questions as we wanted.

They had a nice variety of wine, and everything I tried was excellent.  Wine tasting is only $5 for 7 wines!  Pretty big difference from when we used to go tasting in Santa Barbara, CA!  While there were a number of wines I would have loved to take home, we decided on a bottle of their Estate Gewürztraminer.  Highly recommend if you like a refreshing white!

They also have a variety of other local products available for purchase in the tasting room.  Including cheese, crackers, and sausages.

Inside David Hill Vineyard

David Hill Vineyard Grounds

While it was a bit too cold when we went, during the nicer months it would be fun to by a bottle and snacks, and have a picnic!

They have a few picnic tables outside, as you can see from the picture.  Their grounds are really pretty, it would be a great atmosphere for a relaxing lunch outside.

But don’t take my word for it, take a look at the photos below!

David Hill Vineyard House

David Hill Vineyard

David Hill Vineyard Grapes

I think we’ll definitely be coming back here!

Sunny View of Shafer Vineyard Cellars

Our 2nd stop was Shafer Vineyard Cellars, which had one of the best views by far!

The draw to this vineyard was the complimentary cheese and crackers, which I’m a total sucker for.  They also had good reviews on Google.

This seemed like a smaller, more family run vineyard than the last.  In fact, the only person in the tasting room was the wife of the late owner.  She was so incredibly nice, and she even waived our tasting fee (which was only $5 to begin with)!

Shafer Vineyard also had a great variety of wines, and we decided to buy a bottle of their “Holiday Magic Wine,” which is a gluhwein.  Can’t wait to have it over the holidays!

The tasting room was a little small and a bit busier, but luckily they had a huge Christmas shop to explore in between tastings!

Christmas Shop

They seriously had any kind of ornament you could possibly think of!  It was also fun to see these huge tanks of wine!

Tanks of Wine

I would definitely recommend this vineyard.  Here are a few more pictures of the gorgeous grounds!

Pumpkins at Shafer Vineyard Cellars

Shafer Vineyard Cellar Grounds

Shafer Vineyard Cellars

Panorama Shafer Vineyard Cellars

A fountain was recently installed as a memorial for the late owner of the vineyard, Harvey Shafer.

Fountain at Shafer Wineyard Cellar

Another place we were hoping to check out was Bull Run Cider, but unfortunately they were closed when we were there on a Sunday.  We certainly have not even scratched the surface of vineyards in Oregon, but this was a great start.  If you are headed towards the Oregon Coast or looking for a day trip, definitely check these vineyards out!  And if you’re looking for more things to do on your way to the coast, don’t miss my full romantic getaway post!


Apple Picking in Hood River

Draper Girls Farm

A few weekends ago Daniel and I went apple picking!  I was excited to take Daniel because he had never been before, poor guy.  I was also stoked because while I have been before (grew up in Maine, after all), I hadn’t been in probably over 5 years (thanks to living in LA).

I did a little research and found three options:  Draper Girls Country Farm, Sherwood Orchards, and Mountain View Orchards.

Sherwood Orchards was tempting because it was only 30 minutes away, but it looked a little small.  Mountain View Orchards looked like it had a lot of activities in addition to apple picking, but it was the furthest and Daniel didn’t seem too keen on driving that far.

I ultimately chose Draper Girls because it had a beautiful view, they made their own fresh apple cider, and it was the 2nd closest to us. Read more »