Grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cheese pizza. Give your kids another reason to shout, cheese please, with a visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. You’ll see how cheese is made, sliced and shaped and then nosh on the cheesy goodness at the Factory’s cafe. Read on to discover the ins and outs of this Oregon institution.

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Cut The Cheese
The factory viewing is but a part of the tour -– albeit the most exciting. Climb into their cheese mobile, watch a movie on the history of cheese making, sample several cubes of yellow deliciousness, or read the abundant displays about Tillamook’s past and current products. Your fam can even record a video message (for a fee) and email it to a loved one. At this point, you’ve earned your way to a cheestastic mealtime adventure. So head on down to the café.

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Say Cheese!
In the Tillamook Cheese Factory café you can order not one but six different kinds of grilled cheese. If any in your party can’t handle dairy, their kids menu rocks chicken and hot dogs, plus PB&J, and grown ups can easily work around it as well.  Breakfast is served daily (sandwiches, omelets, smoothies and burritos to name but a few) and so is a hearty selection of fudge. Yep, fudge…as far as the eye can see.

After filing your bellies, head back up to the viewing deck or read more about the history of Tillamook, Lewis and Clark and Oregon’s heritage – after all it’s completely intertwined and then some.  Outside is Morning Star ship and inside photo opps and some very friendly cow statues beckon.

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Big Cheese
When everybody’s ready, head back down to the café area and hit the ice cream counter.  With so many choices, the ice cream counter is really the other reason you came. They’ve got kids size cones (or dishes) not to mention shakes, malts, sundaes and multi-scoop waffle cones.

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Things to Know: Ice Cream in Winter Has Never Tasted So Good
If your kiddos are little and not interested in listening to or reading the history on display, a visit here can be a quick outing. You can be out in 90 minutes or less including grabbing a bite to each and visiting the ice cream counter. This makes Tillamook Cheese Factory a fab pit stop during a Tillamook day-o-play. It may seem counterintuitive but going in the colder months is just easier to manage.  Go soon (in summer the lines are out the door) and relish in the quiet and cheesy…er…easy access.

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Need more activities to fill up your day? Check out our guide to the Tillamook Forestry Center or head to the always majestic coastal edge to run off any cheese or ice cream guilt. While there visit our shortest lighthouse or say hello to Big Spruce.

Tillamook Cheese Factory
4175 Highway 101 North
Tillamook, Or 97141
503-815-1300
800-542-7290
Online: tillamook.com/cheesefactory

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Tell us about your tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory in the comment section below. Do you have any other tips to add to our guide?

— Liz Overson

photo credits: Tillamook Cheese Factory and Liz Overson.