The United States is home to many iconic brands, from tasty foods to modern marvels. Many factories open their doors to the public, offering tours at little to no cost. Some even have extra fun stuff like museums and themed cafes, so a tour can become a full day out. Keep reading to see if one of your favorite things is on the list, so you can go see how it’s made on a fun factory tour. These are the best factory tours in the United States.
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Harley-Davidson Tour - York, Pennsylvania
In York, Pennsylvania enthusiasts can marvel over the production of Softail, Touring, Trike and CVO models, while in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin you can see engines and transmissions being assembled piece by piece. Visitors get to see it all. No worries, you’ll be provided with steel protective wear, because making motorcycles is risky business.
Airstream Factory Tour - Jackson Center, Ohio
Airstream style campers originated in the 1930s, and their glistening charm has rerooted itself in the nostalgic hearts of America. Today, replicas are produced in Jackson Center, Ohio, to imitate the timeless design. If you’re an all out fanatic for these beautiful babies, come watch the full assembly process, from the shaping of the shell to the articulate crafting of the interior.
Jelly Belly Factory Tour - Fairfield, California
Jelly Belly lovers rejoice and enjoy tasting the 50 beloved flavors at the gift shop, after touring the extensive bean making process from a platform that hovers above the spot where the magic happens. The museum features some pretty cool art, made of Jelly Belly of course. Get this, there’s a Jelly Belly wine tasting experience and fudge shop onsite, too. At the cafe there’s even bean shaped burgers and pizza! Fairfield California is home to this delicious candy filled attraction, but is just an hour away from the family-friendly attractions in San Francisco.
Boeing Tour - Seattle, Washington
The only commercial jet manufacturing plant that the public can explore is the Boeing factory, not too far outside of Seattle. If you think a motorcycle manufacturing process is impressive, wait until you see the massive wings and central vessel of a 777 being put together. Not just for aviation geeks, anyone who knows anything about planes, or has even just flown on one, would appreciate this mammoth sized experience. Conveniently, Seattle is a pretty awesome city with tons of exciting things to do, so you could plan an entire vacation around visiting the Boeing Future of Flight tour.
Sriracha Tour - Irwindale, California
Huy Fong Foods in Irwindale, California is responsible for producing what may quite possibly be America’s favorite hot sauce. Not just a condiment for a bowl of tasty noodles or chicken dishes, you’ll find at the facility the tantalizing sauce has been put on just about everything, by someone at some point—sriracha ice cream is available at the on-site shop if you’re brave enough. T-shirts and loads of other branded gear can be purchased as well.
Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour - Waterbury, Vermont
Ben and Jerry’s is an essential part of ice cream culture. So why not head to the scoop shop, and take an outlandish tour of Ben and Jerry’s production process and history? The 30-minute tour ends with a classic scoop, while visitors can head to the scoop shop for more selections and freshly baked waffle cones. We can’t think of many better things to incorporate into your summer vacation in Vermont.
Tabasco Pepper Sauce Tour - Avery Island, Louisiana
Surprise, another hot sauce factory tour! Avery Island, Louisiana, a tiny 3 mile stretch of land, is where the popular hot sauce is made. Tours of the facility leave enthusiasts even more impressed, as the process is more reminiscent of crafting a fine spirit rather than a kitchen condiment. You’ll get to see the pepper mash get dumped into bourbon barrels (yum!), which then gets shelved for a whopping three years to age! This makes a bit of Tabasco sound pretty darn good about right now. Vinegar is later added before a shorter aging process. The next best part is tasting fiery sauces at the end and the chance to visit the on-site Cajun restaurant with dishes seasoned with Tabasco of course.
Cabot Creamery - Cabot, Vermont
Food tours are the best because they really create a deep appreciation for that specific food. So much care goes into creating tasty old fashioned cheese, and there couldn’t be a more appropriate place than this beautiful slice of green Vermont pasture for the creamery to reside. Cabot’s cheeses are undoubtedly some of the best on grocery store shelves, and you’ll certainly get your fill of samples at the visitors center. For food safety reasons, the experience doesn’t actually take guests to the cheese making areas, but a video allows everyone to see the process.
Crayola Factory Tour - Easton, Pennsylvania
Time to bring out the kid in yourself. The tour highlights the process, via exhibits, throughout a football field sized area, while visitors don’t actually go into the part of the facility making the crayons. Expect to do lots of coloring and interactive computer experiences, while getting to wrap your own personalized crayon. The cafe has delicious gluten free options too! While this one is in Easton, Pennsylvania, there are four other sites in Texas, Florida, Arizona and Minnesota.