The Tillamook Coast covers a swath of the North Oregon coastline, from Manzanita in the north to Neskowin in the south. While the name Tillamook is deliciously associated with cheese, thanks to the Tillamook County Creamery Association—the farmerowned co-op that produces the line of dairy products bearing its name—there are a number of delightful villages in the area, each with its own tasty off erings for meeting and event planners.
At the northernmost point of the Tillamook Coast is the village of Manzanita. The downtown area has restaurants, wineries and the new MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar. “The town is just right there, and people walk everywhere,” says Nan Devlin, director of tourism for Tillamook Coast. “It has such a village feel to it.”
The historic Pine Grove Community House, built in 1933, can accommodate as many as 100 people. Featuring a full kitchen with two ovens, the venue is just blocks from the beach. “It’s just a beautiful place to hold an event,” says Jeff Yurka, booking agent for the property.
For larger groups, head to Tillamook, the county seat. There you’ll want to check out the grounds of the Tillamook Air Museum. Built during World War II as a naval air base to house blimps for anti-submarine patrols, the property now includes a remodeled Officers’ Mess, which can accommodate 225 people classroom-style or 120 seated. The space includes one large room and two small breakout rooms. Adjacent to the Officers’ Mess is the historic Air Museum, where Devlin says, “You can dine among the historic planes.” The museum can hold groups as large as 300. A kitchen and chef are on-site, but you are also welcome to bring in any caterer you like.
Whatever you do, don’t skip Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda. You don’t drive directly through it like most towns along Highway 101, so just follow the signs south of Tillamook, and when you reach the area, you’ll know it: Haystack Rock, sitting larger than life in the middle of the bay, is a big giveaway.
Here you’ll find the popular Pelican Brewing, as well as a variety of lodging options. “It’s like a complex,” says Devlin. “Pelican Brewing can hold 80 people for a sit-down meal in its beautiful banquet room overlooking the beach. You can stay at the inn, the hotel, the fun Airstream rentals at Hart’s Camp or in oceanfront cottage homes. They are all within just a few steps of each other.”
The brand-new Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa offers 33 oceanfront rooms, all featuring bike and surfboard racks. The on-site spa can treat your sore muscles after you enjoy local activities such as a hike to the top of a nearby 240-foot sand dune or biking, kayaking, surfing or riding quads. Fitness equipment and yoga and meditation classes are also available.
“[The venue] really is planned for inspiration,” says Jennifer Nelson, general manager for Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa. “Our goal is to deliver executive meetings and retreats that are inspiring from the minute you wake up.”
The nearby Kiawanda Community Center boasts a new 2,000-square-foot conference room that can accommodate 314 people standing or 144 sitting. There is also a 500-square-foot room and an on-site kitchen.
For an unusual team-building activity, the historic dory boat fishing fleet is based at Cape Kiwanda, as well. Even if you don’t go out fishing, the thrill of watching the boats race in and land right on the beach never gets old.
Self-identified as a fishing village, the town of Garibaldi offers much more than a chance to hook the big one. An event tent is set up in town from the end of April until the end of September. Overlooking Tillamook Bay and the marina, it can accommodate up to 600 people.
There are several hotels in the area, as well as a unique lodging experience: Sheltered Nook, a complex of tiny homes available for vacation rental in Bay City. Each home sleeps a minimum of four people and includes a full kitchen, bath and barbecue.
If families are attending your conference, a popular activity kids love is crabbing off the public docks. And then there’s the Oregon Coast Railriders, four-seat carts that riders pedal on the railroad track between Bay City and Tillamook.
Your group can also go out on fishing charters, cruises, eco-tours, or kayaking and hiking trips on the many coastal trails.
“There is a lot of history here,” says Claudia Maciel with the Port of Garibaldi. “Some families have been here for generations. It’s a beautiful place. When you come here, you come to spend time and to make memories. It’s something you won’t forget.”
With a multitude of large and small event venues, unique accommodations and oneof-a-kind team-building activities, the incomparable Tillamook Coast serves as the perfect backdrop for a memorable event.