Located on Tillamook Bay, Garibaldi, Oregon is the gateway to the Pacific Ocean. This small port town of about 1,000 residents is the only commercial port on the bay, and the closest ocean harbor to Portland.
Five rivers flow into the Tillamook Bay, producing some of the best bay fishing, clam digging, crabbing and kayaking in the northwest. Garibaldi is also home to great ocean fishing for salmon, rockfish, halibut and albacore tuna. Whale watching, ocean crabbing and sunset cruises are also popular.
Just to the north is Rockaway Beach, with seven miles of spectacular, sandy ocean beach. A few miles further north is Nehalem Bay. Just to the south is Tillamook, Cape Meares and the Three Capes scenic loop. Netarts Bay and Nestucca Bay are a few miles further south. Many consider this area to be the jewel of the Oregon coast, and Garibaldi is centrally located to take advantage of it all.
Bays In Tillamook County
Other Area Attractions:
For more great ideas on what to do in Garibaldi’s Tillamook County, visit www.visitgaribaldi.com.
Tillamook County is blessed with four productive bays for crabbing, clamming, fishing, kayaking and birding.
Nehalem Bay is at the north end of the county. It is a short drive north from Garibaldi. This is the fourth largest ocean bay in Oregon and it sports excellent clamming, crabbing and fishing. One of the best soft shell clam beds is located across from Wheeler, only about three miles up from the mouth of the bay.
Since the bay has only one river (Nehalem) flowing into it, and it has good saltwater flow, it provides good crabbing year around with the best being late summer and fall.
The Nehalem Bay and River also have good Salmon and Steelhead runs.
Jim at Wheeler Marina rents boats, fishing equipment, crab rings, clam shovels and nets. He also rents a great selection of kayaks. Call Jim at (503) 368-5780, or visit his web site at www.wheelermarina.net.
Tillamook Bay is Oregon’s second largest estuary. The Garibaldi House overlooks the Port of Garibaldi, the commercial port for Tillamook Bay.
Five varieties of clams are routinely taken in the bay, and local advice on where, when and how is plentiful—if sometimes contradicting.
Crabbing in Tillamook bay runs from good to great, but when the five major rivers flowing into the bay are running high, the crab move out toward the mouth of the bay. These same rivers, however, provide unmatched salmon and steelhead fishing during certain times of the year.
Jeff and Val at Garibaldi Marina (503) 322-3312, 302 Mooring Basin Road, Garibaldi, Oregon 97118 rent boats and crab gear and offers lots of good advice. Bait, clam shovels, film, tackle and ice are also available. It is also located within walking distance of The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites. Visit their web site at www.garibaldimarina.com.
Tillamook Bay is famous for its fall Chinook fishery with a chance to land a record fish at any moment, but there is also good Salmon fishing in the summer months. Don’t pass up a chance to fish the Ghost Hole. Tillamook Bay is also the home to a productive Sturgeon fishery.
Netarts Bay, a midsized Oregon Bay, is due west of Tillamook. Only a few small creeks feed it, so it is essentially a salt-water bay, making it a productive crabbing site year around. Clam digging is good for all species of bay clams. Boats, bait and crabbing gear can be rented or purchased at the Netarts Bay Marina. Contact Glenda at (503) 842-7774 or go on line at www.netartsbay.com.
Nestucca Bay is a small bay in southern Tillamook County offering fair to great crabbing, depending on the time of year, and reasonable soft shell clam beds without a lot of competition.
Tillamook Bay offers virtually year around fishing activity, at least for those hearty enough to brave the often cold and damp winter weather. The heart and soul of Tillamook Bay fishing is for Salmon. The Spring Chinook run begins as early as April inside the bar between the jetties. These are bright fish with some approaching 50 lbs. The spring run peaks in early June with some of the best fishing found in the famed Ghost Hole, or near the mouths of the Trask and Wilson rivers.
From mid summer on Chinook and sometimes Coho are available inside between the jetties. This sometimes continues on through mid October. But you haven’t really fished Tillamook Bay until you fish the famous Ghost Hole in mid autumn for record Kings (Chinook)!
Tillamook Bay also offers good action fishing for perch, greenling and rockfish from boats, piers or even the north jetty, which provides good access and good fishing most times of the year.
Boat rental, bait, equipment and information on current conditions for Tillamook Bay can be obtained from Jeff and Val at Garibaldi Marina (503) 322-3312, www.garibaldimarina.com. Garibaldi Marina is located just a short walk from The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
Boat rental, bait, equipment and information on current conditions for Nehalem Bay can be obtained from Jim at Wheeler Marina (503) 368-5780, www.wheelermarina.net.
With the Nehalem River flowing into Nehalem Bay, and five rivers, the Miami, Kilchis, Wilson, Trask and Tillamook flowing into Tillamook Bay, Tillamook County offers some great river fishing, whether from the bank, a jet sled in the lower river, or a drift boat trip further up river from the bay. Whether you are fishing for Chinook in the fall, Winter Steelhead during the cold winter months or Summer Steelhead from mid April through July, prepare yourself for a memorable experience.
Many Tillamook County bays and rivers are open for fishing for some species year around. Visit www.dfw.state.or.us for up to date fishing regulations by location and by specie.
For more information, contact any of these professional licensed and insured fishing guides who have discount contracts with The Garibaldi House, allowing you to earn a significant discount on your lodging cost the night before your guided fishing trip:
Chinook Guide Service
Mulkeys Guide Service
Chip Welty “Flatlander” FV Master
M&M Guide Service
Enjoy a leisurely walk on one of the many sand beaches in Tillamook County. An endless array of natural treasures awaits you including driftwood, shinning agates or stones and an array of small shells.
One on the many popular Tillamook County beaches, Rockaway, featuring seven miles of uninterrupted sand beach with a view of the famous Twin Rocks, is accessible less than four miles from The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
Other noted beaches in Tillamook County include Agate Beach (there are at least three other “Agate Beaches” in Oregon), Kiwanda Beach, Manhattan Beach, Manzanita Beach, Neskowin Beach, Short Beach, Short Sand Beach and Sunset Beach.
Birding is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the country, and Tillamook is rich with sighting opportunities with more than 356 species recorded in the county checklist.
The Oregon Coast Birding Trail lists 173 birding hot spots, and close to 20 of those are in Tillamook county, including the Barview Jetty Park, on the north end of Garibaldi, and the Garibaldi Boat Basin, just a short walk from The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
See www.oregoncoastbirding.com and examine hotspots 26 through 43. Be sure not to miss the Cape Meares Lighthouse and Cape Mears Scenic Viewpoint www.capemeareslighthouse.org. When you are on the Cape Meares website, click on the bird list tab for a list of nearly 50 birds that can be sighted at various times in the Cape Meares Lighthouse Wildlife Refuge. At the bottom of that list, click on the tab to see the 356 species on the Birds of Tillamook county Checklist. Also don’t miss the nearby Bayocean Spit (Hotspot #35 on the Oregon Coast Birding Trail).
Some of the local fishing guides will also provide birding and estuary tours exploring flora and fauna of the area, along with natural history about farming, logging and flooding of the Tillamook area. One such guide is Paul Welle of Coastal Hook-R’s Guide service. Check him out at www.freewebs.com/coastalhook. Also consider a kayaking trip www.kayaktillamook.com.
Clamming is a great family activity, and Tillamook County’s four bays provide good opportunity for success. The five species of bay clams most often dug in Oregon estuaries include Gaper (also known as the Blue or Blueneck), Butter (also known as the Martha Washington, Coney Island, Quahog and Beef Steak Clam), Cockle (also known as the Cockerel), Littleneck (also known as Steamers, Butter and Rock clams) and Softshell (also known as the Steamer or Mud clam).
Nehalem and Nestucca Bays provide opportunity for Softshell clams, while Tillamook and Netarts provide good opportunity for all five common bay clams. Tillamook Bay also provides opportunity for a few Razor clams (this famous clam is generally harvested on ocean sand beaches rather than bays, with the best concentration in Oregon found between the Columbia River and Seaside on the most northern portion of the Oregon coast).
Clamming is best at low or minus tides, so a tide chart is essential in planning your clam outing.
A good guidebook for clamming and crabbing in Oregon is entitled just that “Clamming and Crabbing in Oregon”, by John A. Johnson. You can pick up a copy at Tillamook Sporting Goods and 2207 Main Avenue North (Hwy 101), Tillamook, Oregon 97141, or at many local marinas.
Boat rental, if desired, equipment and information on current conditions can be obtained from Jeff and Val at Garibaldi Marina (503) 322-3312, www.garibaldimarina.com. It is located just a short walk from The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
All four Tillamook County bays provide an excellent opportunity for year around crabbing. Again, John Johnson’s book “Clamming and Crabbing in Oregon”, referenced above under Clamming provides good explanations on where to go, and what equipment you will need. You can pick up a copy at Tillamook Sporting Goods at 2207 Main Avenue North (Hwy 101), Tillamook, Oregon 97141, or at many local marinas.
Nehalem bay, Tillamook Bay and Netarts Bay all have local marinas where boats and equipment can be rented and bait can be purchased. For Nestucca Bay, equipment and supplies are available in Pacific City.
Jeff and Val of Garibaldi Marina (503) 322-3312, www.garibaldimarina.com, located a short walk from the Garibaldi House Inn-Suites, rent boats and all of the necessary equipment for a safe and rewarding crabbing adventure for the family. They will also boil your crab for you for a modest fee.
Jim at Wheeler Marina will give you the same type of service and and advice on Nehalem Bay. You can reach Jim at (503) 368-5780, or visit his website at www.wheelermarina.net.
Glenda at Netarts Bay Marina has equipment for rent and for sale on Netarts Bay. You can reach Glenda at (503) 842-7774 or visit her website at www.netartsbay.com.
Some of the deep-sea ocean charters/guides also offer crabbing trips and/or combination trips. See their contact information under Ocean Fishing.
Three golf courses are found within a short drive of The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
Alderbrook Golf Course is a public course of 5,692 yards and a par of 69. It is a picturesque course with some breathtaking views of the Tillamook Valley. Alderbrook Golf Course is located at 7300 Alderbrook Rd., Tillamook, Oregon. It is about 8 miles from The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
Bay Breeze Golf Course is a public 9-hole course of 1.061 yards with a par of 31. Bay Breeze is located at 2325 Latimer Rd N, Tillamook, Oregon 97141. It is 8 miles south of The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
Manzanita Golf Course is a public 9-hole course of 2192 yards with a par of 32. The course is located at 908 Lakeview Drive, Manzanita, Oregon 97130. (503) 368-5744. It is a scenic 18-mile drive from The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites.
Make your stay at the beach truly memorable. Sign up for a training and instruction that prepares you for a tandem flight, where you are a passenger along with an experienced pilot. It all takes place at Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City, just south of the Three Cape loop. For information contact: www.oregonhanggliding.com. Take the whole family—they say children make some of the best hang-gliding students.
Of course there is hiking near The Garibaldi House Inn-Suites. This is Oregon!
Some of the hiking favorites in Tillamook County include:
Cape Lookout www.oregon.com/Hike_Cape_Lookout, (several hiking options including a 4.8 mile round trip to the cape’s tip);
Neahkahnie Mountain www.oregon.com/Hike_Neahkahnie_Mountain, (1 ½ mile hike up to an elevation of 900 ft.);
Munson Creek www.oregonstateparks.org/park_245.php, (a short hike to the highest waterfall in the coast range—266 ft); and
Kings Mountain www.cooltrails.com/kingsmtn.htm (the summit at Kings Mountain offers stunning views of the Tillamook forest and the Pacific ocean—about 5 miles round trip with a 2,400 ft. elevation gain).
Tillamook County provides a full range of paddling experiences, full of a variety of sights, scenes and sounds. Kayak Tillamook, an Oregon coast guide and tour service can help you experience it all. Contact them at www.kayaktillamook.com.
Wheeler Marina rents kayaks and is conveniently located at 278 Marine Drive, Wheeler, Oregon, on nearby Nehalem Bay, a great place to kayak and only a few miles north of The Garibaldi House. They also rent boats and crabbing gear. Call Jim at (503) 368-5780, or check him out on line at www.wheelermarina.net.
Located just a short walk from the Garibaldi House Inn-Suites, the Garibaldi Marina has moorage for over three hundred vessels! Some serious ocean fishing begins and ends here. Light tackle bottom fishing, deep reef bottom fishing, Coho salmon fishing, Chinook salmon fishing, halibut fishing, albacore tuna fishing and some crabbing along the way is the everyday menu of activity depending on the season.
If you are the captain of your own ship, the friendly staff at Garibaldi Marina (503) 322-3312, 302 Mooring Basin Road, Garibaldi, Oregon 97118 can provide you with information, gear, equipment and supplies.
If you are looking for an ocean charter service, see the list of primary charter companies working out of Garibaldi Harbor.
The following charter/guide companies have discount contracts with The Garibaldi house. You can earn significant savings on your lodging charge at The Garibaldi House for the night before your fishing adventure if you book with one of these licensed and insured charter/guide companies.
Kerri Lin Charters
Jon and Linda Brown
Linda Sue III Charters Inc.
Siggi-G Ocean Charters
Carol Brown and Joe Ockenfels
North Marion Charters LLC
Bay and River Guides who are also licensed and qualified to do ocean trips:
Whale watching has become a popular year around activity on the Oregon Coast. In addition to the migrating whales, an estimate 200-400 gray whales do not go as far north as Alaska to feed in the summer, choosing instead to remain on the Oregon Coast from July through October. These whales are very close into shore while feeding and can often be seen from many of the viewpoints along the coast.
From mid December to mid January, about 18,000 gray whales will pass by the Oregon coast on their way south to the Baha lagoons of Mexico. Those whales will pass by again in March, April, May and June on their way to Alaska’s Bering Sea.
Many of these whales come close to shore feeding on Oregon’s great food supply. In April and May you may be able to see mothers and calves resting in protected coves close to shore.
For more information on whale watching in Oregon, go to www.whalespoken.org.
There are many good whale-watching viewpoints along the Tillamook County coast. At least one ocean charter services also runs whale-watching charters, especially during the spring migration. For information contact:
Another whale-watching option is to take to the air with Tillamook Air Tours:
6030 Hangar Road
Tillamook, OR 97141-9641
The Garibaldi Museum features 18th century sailors’ life, and the story of Captain Robert Gray and his historical vessels, the Lady Washington and the Columbia Rediviva. In addition a gallery, dedicated to Garibaldi, Oregon, exhibits early life in the small fishing town through a historic photo collection and artifacts of logging, the lumber mill, salmon trollers, commercial fishing trawlers, clam digging, and U.S. Life Saving Service.
With over 8,000 square feet of space, the museum displays interactive exhibits, artifacts, photo collections, and videos for people of all ages. The museum is children friendly. Groups are welcome. Handicapped access. Open May through October, Thursday—Monday, 12 to 4 pm.
The park is open daily, throughout the year, from 7am to dusk with no day use fee. The trailhead to the Big Spruce, Oregon’s largest Sitka spruce, is located near the park entrance. Features within the park include Cape Meares Lighthouse, an informational kiosk, interesting viewpoints where visitors can view off-shore rocks for native birds and the annual whale migration, the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, nature trails, and the octopus Tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree.
Admittance to Cape Meares Lighthouse is free. An Interpretive Gift Shop is located in the previous workroom of the lighthouse and features items related to lighthouses, the sea, wildlife, wild flowers and souvenirs to remember your visit to Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Donations and proceeds from the Interpretive Shop are used to enhance the park.
Over 30 magnificently restored vintage flying aircraft on display. Relive some of the most incredible moments in the history of aviation by being up close and personal with the amazing machines that saved our nation. The museum is housed in one of the few remaining World War II blimp hangars in the nation…the largest wooden structures in the world. The huge hangar is handicap accessible and plenty of parking is available. The museum is located two miles south of Tillamook on Hwy 101 and adjacent to the Tillamook airport. Open daily 9am to 5pm.
The Tillamook County pioneer Museum preserves the rich history of Tillamook County and serves as a reminder of the diverse people who have called it home. From the Tillamook Indians to Captain Gray’s 1788 voyage into Tillamook Bay, this stretch of the north Oregon coast is a living memorial to those who came before. This collection boosts 35,000 items and an additional 10,000 photographs. The current collection ranges from prehistoric specimens to modern day. It is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10am to 4pm and is close Sundays, Mondays and major holidays.
The Latimer Quilt and Textile Center offers exhibits of antique and contemporary quilts, weaving and spinning demonstrations, and instruction in various textile arts. There is a research library for on site use, a climate controlled textile repository, and a gift shop with hand-made items, quilt patterns, books and vintage and hand-dyed fabric.
Summer hours (April—October) Monday – Saturday 10 – 5 and Sundays 10 – 4 Winter hours (November—March) Monday – Saturday 10 – 4 and closed Sundays Closed the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
Request information about the Tillamook County Quilt Trail!
Coast excursions run from Garibaldi to Rockaway Beach, and are an hour and a half round trip, this includes a layover in the town opposite from where you board. This is a great time to disembark and explore the town, play on the beach, get an ice cream cone, or shop in the variety of boutiques.
Dinner Trains are a three hour round-trip from Garibaldi to Wheeler with views of Tillamook Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and Nehalem Bay. Visit their website for schedules, charter information and special events. www.ocsr.net
Over one million people visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory Visitor Center each year! It is open 8 AM to 6 PM (Labor Day through mid-June) and 8 AM to 8PM (mid-June through Labor Day), offering self-guided tours, flavorful samples of its international award winning products, a gift shop, fudge counter, ice cream counter and its famous Farmhouse Café. A visit here will exceed your expectations. www.tillamookcheese.com
Blue Heron’s historic 40-acre farm is a vacation destination. Originally, the land was home to a showcase Grade A Jersey farm, and the Pastega family bought it in 1978 to make its famous brie cheese. The 1930’s Dutch Colonial barn that now houses Blue Heron’s tasting room, deli and specialty foods store has a distinctively old world feel, making it the perfect place to showcase fine cheeses from around the world.
Kids love feeding the gentle animals and chasing chickens, while visitors of all ages enjoy exploring the vintage tractors and farm equipment from a bygone era. Every year the family hosts a variety of special events, including a Fourth of July celebration and the popular Old Iron Show. www.blueheronoregon.com
Nehalem Bay Winery
34965 Highway 53
Nehalem, OR 97131
Check out their events list, including their Juneteenth Reggae Festival and their Independence day celebration with free BBQ and music.
302 Mooring Basin Rd.
Garibaldi, OR 97118
278 Marina Drive
Wheeler, OR 97147
Netarts Bay Marina
P.O. Box 218
Netarts, OR 97143