Tips and Suggestions
Markets and Stores:
In Tillamook, you can get almost anything you need at Fred Meyers or the other stores there. However, roughly 60 miles south of Oceanside you'll come to Lincoln City which has the Lincoln City Factory Outlet stores. I am told that there are great deals to be had there. In Cannon Beach which is roughly 60 miles north of Oceanside, you'll find all sorts of artsy-crafty shops and galleries. One place there I particularly like is a glass-blowing studio. You can watch them make things. It also has a small theatre, and almost certainly a play or musical will be scheduled over the course of the week. (There is also a possibility that Tillamook's small theater will have a play or musical the week of your stay. If so, they're always great).
Tillamook also has a couple of "Business" stores where you can send and receive faxes. You can pay to use their Xerox machines there.
In Tillamook you'll find the typical fast food places like McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Hut, etc. Directly next to Safeway in Tillamook, next to the fruit market, you'll often find a truck that sells very authentic Mexican food. To give you a sense of how authentic it is, they sell goat tacos... and also more typical tacos and burritos as well. If you go north to Garibaldi, Manzanita, or Cannon Beach you'll find some nice places many overlooking the ocean or rivers. Cannon Beach has some fancy restaurants I gather. It also has the Pelican Micro-Brewery which has won first prize for its beers in worldwide competitions. I highly recommend their beer (the Tillamook Pizza Hut usually has some on tap). Nehalem has a great restaurant (I forget it's name, but it's obvious, you can't miss it) directly overlooking the Nehalem River as well as numerous antique stores.
If you travel south from Oceanside along the bay towards Cape Lookout, you'll come to Wee Willy's Pie House which has typical sandwiches and outrageously good pies that you can order whole if you wish. I adore their berry pies.
If you walk left (south) along the beach you'll pass pebbly areas which are prime for agate hunting, a favorite Oceanside pastime. And eventually, if you keep walking south you'll come to Netarts. Across the bay from Netarts you can usually see seals lolling on the beach.
People do swim in the water (and kayak, sail board, body surf, and surf) but it's fiendishly cold. I've seen people go in without wet suits (my son for example), but a wet suit's recommended.
You can make campfires at night on the beach and bbq. There are pits here and there near the beach entrance that are obviously for this purpose. You should buy your wood (in Tillamook or Netarts) and not use driftwood for this purpose.
You can rent little outboard motor boats to take out in Netarts Bay to catch crabs. It doesn't cost much. They'll give you all the equipment you need. And they'll even cook the crabs for you if you wish.
Now and then you can see whales breaching in the ocean and it's not uncommon to see golden eagles circling overhead.
Also, it's fun to walk or drive up to the top of Maxwell Mountain (the mountain upon which the town rests). From the top you will see an awe-inspiring view. It's particularly thrilling at sunset. Over the course of the week there's a very high probability that you'll see hang-gliders launch from there (to land on the beach in front of our classroom). Sometimes many launch at once and speckle the sky.
Just (north) of Oceanside is the Cape Meares lighthouse which is fun to tour. And past the lighthouse is Lake Meares, a fine place to pull out trout. (Five major rivers flow into nearby Tillamook Bay and it's a steelhead and salmon fishing paradise.)
In Tillamook itself you can visit the phenomenal Tillamook Air Museum, filled with vintage aircraft. Really an amazing place. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is a must-see tourist place. You can tour the cheese-making factory and buy all sorts of gew gaws. The Blue Heron, a gift-store tourist stop with petting zoo, is nearby and fun to see. You can also buy a sandwich there and it has a wonderful selection of Oregon wines and beers and, of course, tchachkas. They have wine tastings there. Across the street from the Blue Heron is Debbie D's Jerky Factory which sells a great selection of homemade jerky's and sausages. Also, right in the center of Tillamook is the Pioneer Museum, a fun small-town museum with displays of early life in the Tillamook area. Tillamook also has, in the judgment of my son, a top notch bowling alley.
Finally, I love Rainy Day Books in Tillamook. It's a second-hand bookstore. A cozy place to spend an hour. Some of its books are very reasonably priced. Tillamook also has a public library, though as non-residents it's probably not possible to take out books.
Further From Oceanside:
As you drive north and south you'll pass all sorts of little towns. There's a winery in Nehalem that's fun to visit. You can catch a sort of tourist train out of Tillamook (or sometimes out of Manzanita or Garibaldi) that sometimes goes up there. It's a fun ride. The number for the train, if you wish to get a schedule, is 1-800-685-1719.
I think it's Garibaldi where you can rent kayaks to take out in the bay. Kayaks used to be available to rent for Netarts and may still be. Heading south about 75 miles you'll come to Newport, home to the outstanding Newport Bay Aquarium where Keiko the killer whale used to reside. Keiko is no longer there, but you can now walk through transparent tunnels within his huge tank and see sharks and all sorts of other big fish that are probably on the verge of extinction. The aquarium is world-class, well well worth seeing if you're on the Oregon Coast. I highly recommend it. Newport also has its share of honky-tonk, including a Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum. You can also arrange to go whale watching or deep sea fishing out of Newport.
Were you to drive back towards Portland into the area around McMinville, there are quite a few wineries there, usually with free tastings, a lot of fun to tour. Oregon, particularly the area around McMinville, is considered the Pinot Noir capital of the world. If you like, I'll recommend a few. And, if you wish, I can recommend all sorts of restaurants in the McMinville area and the Portland area.
As you drive into Tillamook from Portland you will be coming up the Wilson River Highway which twines along the Wilson River. Many people raft, swim, fish in the river. And, about twenty miles or so before Tillamook, you can hike to the top of the coast range along the King Mountain Trail. It's very steep and tough, but at the top it is glorious beyond words, you look down on mountains in all directions and can see the ocean in the distance. This is an even more ultimate picnic spot than the end of Cape Lookout. It's ultimate plus. It's a very doable hike, but unquestionably tough, especially if you're out of shape. Be sure to take water because there is none on the trail.
Supplies/Equipment to bring to the course:
Contact Information for Workshop Director David Greenberg:
Dinner on Monday and Thursday Night:
Everyone in the class, along with their children, spouses, partners are invited to dinner (cooked by me, David Greenberg) on Thursday evening at 6:30 PM at my house in Oceanside. All of us had lots of fun at this last summer.
Inquiries about Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop