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Tiny Garibaldi is Gargantuan on Oregon Coast Distractions and Attractions

Published 07/19/22 at 8:15 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tiny Garibaldi is Gargantuan on Oregon Coast Distractions and Attractions

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(Garibaldi, Oregon) – Coming in towards this tiny north Oregon coast town from the south, one thing soon begins to flood your field of vision: that gigantic G overlooking the sleepy fishing village of Garibaldi. That and the massive smokestack towering high. However, there's way more to the town than that G, "sleepy” may not be the most correct of descriptions. Garibaldi is deceptively quiet: there's actually quite a bit of bustling going on. (All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Nooks and crannies abound here, filled with landmarks, sights and stuff going on that you can't often see from the highway as you whiz through. A few miles from the actual beaches, there's a surprising number of attractions and distractions on this otherwise tranquil bay.

When it comes to stuff to look at around here, Garibaldi's tacet motto seems to be "Go Big or Go Home."

In the photo at top, this is Tillamook Bay as you often first encounter if coming from the north. Always a placid place in many ways, even on a chilly winter day it can be much more so, as a light fog envelops the southern end and the big pier of Garibaldi stretches towards it.

That little house? That's the Garibaldi Boat House, or Garibaldi Pier's End, once a Coast Guard base, and now rather cleverly converted into an arts center.

In summer, however, the bay here really lights up. The various boats – commercial and recreational – sit silently and patiently in the calm conditions, awaiting their owners to come and take them out for a watery spin and perhaps some adventure.

In springtime, that same bay lights up in a different way. Those puffy clouds so typical of this time of year on the Oregon coast make for dramatic backgrounds.

Of course, what exploration of Garibaldi would be complete without a good look at the great smokestack of the ancient town? It was built in the 1920's by an industrialist named Hammond as part of the Hammond Mill, which he had recently purchased from a group that had gone under. Known for his caring attitude towards the workers and the townfolk, the great smokestack was built by Hammond to keep the fumes of the sawmill from choking residents of Garibaldi.

While the old mill is gone now, the smokestack has remained, thanks to the efforts of locals over the decades. This is what the stark oddity looks like at night.

Also a glimpse of Garibaldi at night: the famed Three Graces rocks that grace this northern chunk of the bay, seen after dark. Interesting reflections from traffic light up the rocks in places, creating some unusual squiggly lines.


Another major attraction in Garibaldi is the antique train rides – the Oregon Coast Railroad. These ancient beauties ride the rails most every day in the summer and on a fairly busy schedule of specialized rides over the course of the rest of the year.

You'll find Garibaldi at the northern tip of Tillamook Bay, just a stone's throw from Barview, and a few miles north of Bay City. Hotels in Tillamook Bay - Where to eat - Tillamook Maps and Virtual Tours


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

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