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Garibaldi on the Water's Edge: Sights and Sites on N. Oregon Coast's Tillamook Bay

Published 05/30/23 at 7:22 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

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(Garibaldi, Oregon) – It's a place with three “Graces,” seemingly miles of shoreline, numerous marvel-filled lookout spots and dozens of wonders hiding in plain sight. Garibaldi, on the north Oregon coast, is often one of those “just passing through” kind of spots on Highway 101, and not always a destination on its own. However, it is well known for boating adventures, getting your seafood straight from vessels, crabbing, clamming and some intriguing historical landmarks. (All photos Oregon coast Beach Connection)

Yet there's one thing it really should have spotlighted on its resume: just chillin' on the bay. Tillamook Bay, that is. Sightseeing here is just as kick-back as on the nearby sands of Rockaway Beach or Bayocean – just with firmer ground (unless, of course, you're out on the water.)

Garibaldi almost appears to be trying to get your attention, waving and gesturing towards you with big landmarks and bayside views, but often motorists are doing just and that only that: motoring through.


One of the iconic sights in this tiny Oregon coast fishing village is the Three Graces, those three chunks of sandstone jutting up from the water. They are the big signal you're about to pop into Gariabldi.

If you're coming from the north and you blink – you may miss it. There's a comely little park on the town's outer edge rather simply called Captain Gray Historical Marker. That history lesson and another plaque or two are just the beginnings here: the view is what one would these days call “totally fire.” The edges of the Tillamook Bay and its wildlife are on display as long as there's light to see it. Think of it as the streaming show you just discovered and didn't know was around this whole time.

Another of its iconic sights is the US Coast Guard Boathouse and that inimitable, even irresistible walkway.

Garibaldi's portion of Tillamook Bay can be especially colorful, such as the boat docks.

When summer comes, because the place is just a tad inland along the Tillamook Coast, that pesky cloud cover that often plagues summer days may burn off the closer you get. Then, skies can be brilliant, almost a searing kind of blue. See the shot at the top.

Before summer there's spring, however, and that can mean exceptionally awesome puffy clouds. They make great models for photogs, adding much depth to the scenery, especially when they're swollen with dampness and lit from behind the camera.

These docks are chock full of fishing possibilities, including charter tours, along with a market or two that will bring the catch of the fishing fleet straight to you. Fish People Seafood is a good example.

If you're wanting to crab or clam from here, this part of Tillamook Bay rules. There is, of course, a crabbing pier. Oregon coast officials suggest hitting the area in winter for the best crustacean catch. For clamming, the mudflats around here are prime, providing gapers, butter clams and cockles in many areas. Some closer to the bay mouth feature razor clams, but you have to use a boat to get to these flats.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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