The Oregon coast city of Tillamook is about 65 miles from the Washington border when driving on Hwy-101. We normally make a stop at Tillamook when driving back from Depot Bay. If you stay in Long Beach, WA or Astoria, OR then Tillamook is roughly a 1+ hour drive. Tillamook is known for dairy products, especially cheese. My favorite places in Tillamook are the cheese factory, the Air Museum, and the lighthouse.
For a cheese-lover the Tillamook Creamery (factory) is almost like hallowed ground. They have self-guided tours and a large, well-documented viewing around above the factory floor. At each phase of the cheese-making process signs and videos explain what is going on. The tour covers everything from the raw materials to packing. On the first floor they have samples of a wide variety of cheeses. You can then order or purchase cheeses, gifts, preserved meats, mementos, and ice cream. There are several photo spots with different backdrops. Watching all of the equipment, workers, conveyors, and machinery fascinates me.
The Tillamook Air Museum is located on Hwy-101 near the cheese factory. The museum is located in a VERY large hanger and contains a wide variety of airplanes, exhibits, vehicles, and artifacts. Seeing this many planes and exhibits in a historic hanger building is really quite cool. If you like airplanes or have an interest in history then be sure to make a stop here.
One of my favorite places in the Tillamook area is the Capes Meares lighthouse. Built in 1890 this light house is only 38′ tall and used a first-order Fresnel lens. The gears for the light are open and visible on the first floor of the lighthouse.
This is part of the mechanism used to drive the light. The Cape Meares Lighthouse is not tall or imposing like Yaquina Head or North Head but this quaint and unique lighthouse has its own charm. From the parking area you walk down a long road to the lighthouse. As you walk towards the lighthouse this is the view that you see from the road.
North of the city of Tillamook is the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, or Terrible Tilly. This island lighthouse is difficult to photograph since I have not found any good vantage points to view it. This photo was taken at Ecola Park (if memory serves me correctly) and features a squirrel who seems to be longing to visit the distant lighthouse. The squirrel probably just wants food but the other explains sounds better.
In summary, if you driving on Hwy-101 on the Oregon coast be sure to make a stop in Tillamook. You could take a few minutes and stop at the cheese factory gift shop or take an entire day and see some of the sights.