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Family Getaway – Garibaldi, Oregon
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Jeff Hunter – Manager, Harborview Inn

Jeff Hunter manages the Harborview Inn in Garibaldi, Oregon.  He was kind enough to send Portland Family Adventures an invitation to do some crabbing right off the local pier. Since I’ve never crabbed in my life, we decided to take the whole family for a quick day trip.  We spent a few hours in Garibaldi hoping to catch some crab, checking out the sights, and eating fish and chips at the highly recommended “Fisherman’s Korner.”  Jeff is enthusiastic about the area and all it has to offer families.  After visiting, I share his enthusiasm and want to pass along a quick interview.




Portland Family Adventures (PFA):  Who are you and what is your job in Garibaldi?

My name is Jeff. I grew up in Newberg but moved away from Oregon 30 years ago to pursue my dream of being a hospitality professional. I’ve run hotels, restaurants, country clubs, & catering companies.

I jumped at the chance to move back to Oregon and run the Harborview. I’ve been doing that for about 6 years now.

PFA:  Tell our readers a bit more about the Harborview Inn.

We are a clean, comfortable, affordable little family-run motel in a unique location. We are VERY pet-friendly. We give our guests’ best friends their very own comforter, and we charge just $25 for the length of your stay, not a per-night fee.

We’re a single level motor-court style motel with recently renovated rooms, each of which has a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, cable TV and free wi-fi. We also have a good selection of movies on DVD, many of the family films.

We’re right out on the Port of Garibaldi surrounded by Tillamook Bay.

PFA:  You’re on a mission to promote Garibaldi as a family-friendly destination.  In your opinion, what makes it a family-friendly stop?

Garibaldi is the closest Pacific port to both Portland and Salem; we’re less than 2 hours away from both.

There are SO many things around here that both parents and their kids would find interesting & fun. Within 10 miles of Garibaldi are a Pioneer Museum and an Air Museum that is the largest free-standing wooden structure in the world. There is also the Three Capes Scenic tour featuring whale-watching, lighthouses, the Octopus Tree, and incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.  Just 3 miles North is a seven mile stretch of beach right across the street from a kite shop!

And right here in Garibaldi we have a marine museum with an 18th century shipbuilding shop, you can go crabbing, clamming, hiking, biking, fishing, and tour a real working fishing village complete with two seafood shops that are just like buying it off the boat.

PFA:  Crabbing and clamming are fun for families.  Tell our readers what you offer and the prices?

We also do crabbing & clamming clinics. All equipment is included, I provide personal on-site instruction (I’m a licensed guide), and then we’ll take our catch back to the Harborview Clubhouse where I show everyone how to cook & clean their catch. And the clinics are FREE in the Winter when you stay with us! Harborview Shellfish Clinics

We have all the equipment and local knowledge you’ll need to catch, cook, & eat your own Dungeness crab or Bay clams. It doesn’t get any fresher or more fun that that! We even sell the shellfish license you’ll need for both crabbing & clamming. Anyone under 14 doesn’t even need a license.

We rent crab rings for just $5/day and sell bait for $1.50. There are two public crabbing piers within walking distance of the motel. A bucket and crab gauge for measuring your catch are also included.

We rent clam rakes with buckets for $5/day that you can take just 100 yards from the motel and dig your limit of cockles.

PFA:  Any other recommendations for families while traveling in the area?

Every Saturday night (weather permitting) we build a fire and break out the s’mores makings for our guests. We also do other fun events along with the s’mores like a crab feed, local legends & stories, Q & A with a real live charter boat captain, and many other events.

The last full weekend of July every year is our big shindig, Garibaldi Days. It’s a family-friendly affair with many activities for both young and older kids.

Right after that we have the Tillamook County Fair. Carnival rides, fair food, the Pig-n-Ford races, and live music every night.

Before that in June is the Tillamook June Dairy Parade through the streets of Tillamook followed by a weekend filled with the Annual Tillamook County Rodeo.

And the first weekend of June is Free Fishing Weekend in the state of Oregon. The Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife invites everyone to fish, crab, & clam anywhere in the state without requiring a license. There are 35 free fishing events across the state, including one at the hatchery just 25 minutes from the Harborview.

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  1. As an east coast crabber, I would love to head to Oregon some day to try and catch the Dungeness variety. Very cool.

    I recently posted a guide to beginner crabbing, for anyone interested:

  2. I just love this place. We grew up running around on the docks and the Morning Star while our parents trolled for Salmon. Thanks for the share.

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