Growing up in central California with a scuba diving dad, to me “garibaldi” has always meant a bright orange pacific coast fish. Although I don’t recall, I may have even seen one of these colorful specimens amongst the kelp forests of Catalina or near one of the Channel Islands while snorkeling as a child.
Since Garibaldi don’t range as far north as Oregon, I never suspected a relationship between the northern Oregon fishing town of Garibaldi and the Garibaldi damselfish. While researching the city, though, I discovered that both were named after the same popular Italian politician, Giuseppe Garibaldi.
Hugging the north edge of Tillamook Bay, the Port of Garibaldi is the center point for this fishing village. A picnic area and boardwalk border the marina, making it a great place to take a scenic stroll.
The Port of Garibaldi boardwalk is not long – about 175 steps – but does have its own singular charm. Wood box planters draped with flowers are dispersed along the walkway. The tree-covered hills to the south are a pretty backdrop to neat rows chock-a-block full of docked vessels.
Several metal benches line the walkway, each capped with sea-themed decorations, such as crabs, fish, and captain’s wheels. Painted regional fish and birds hang from the fencing along the water, and a unique whale-topped wind sculpture dances in the breeze. While not in the sphere of the Bandon boardwalk, the Port of Garibaldi boardwalk does have an artsy flair.
At the east edge of the Port of Garibaldi marina, a sidewalk runs along a strip of lawn dotted with waterfront picnic tables. Whether seated or strolling you can watch boats launch from the nearby ramp or embark from their slips in the marina, full of hopeful fisherman setting out to catch the swimming delicacies found in Pacific Northwest waters.
Longer than the boardwalk by about 50 steps, the sidewalk connects to the north side of the marina and eventually reaches the boardwalk. Seating is sparse after you pass the last table; it’s about 150 steps to another small picnic spot just prior to the boardwalk. Utilizing this option, though, allows you to lengthen your walk and enjoy both sections of the Port.