From citrus fruits to decadent chocolates, companies from around Florida have opened up their facilities so that curious customers can get a peek at what happens behind the finished product. Spend an afternoon taking a tour, watching a live demonstration and tasting complimentary samples. From a chance to learn about the history of Disney World to sampling freshly brewed beers, get behind-the-scenes secrets from some of the most fun factory tours in Florida.
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Al's Family Farms, Fort Pierce
Located in Fort Pierce, Al’s Family Farms is the perfect place for juice lovers to get a peek at how Florida citrus is processed, washed, sanitized and packed to be sent around the country. Take a tour of the wash line, packing house, and entrance into their OJ Corral agricultural exhibit. Walk through the vegetable patch and race oranges down the chute with old fashioned farm style pumps. The expert guides will walk you through the facility and share some unique Florida Citrus Facts, while the real highlight of your visit will be when you can sample a refreshing glass of their freshly squeezed orange juice.
Hoffman's Chocolates, Greenacres
Just 20 minutes away from West Palm Beach, Hoffman’s Chocolates opened its original location in 1975, at the time it was a small chocolate shop in Lake Worth. Now, this Greenacres shop creates award-winning confections. For a glimpse into these time-honored traditions of candy making, visitors can come and take a guided tour, where you can watch the entire chocolate-making process from large glass windows overlooking the work-floor of this chocolate haven. The best part of the tour, you’ll also get a delicious chocolate sample at the end, and have a chance to browse over 70 varieties of confections to take home.
Davidson of Dundee, Dundee
An insider’s look at how citrus candles, chocolates, and jellies are made, visit the Davidson of Dundee factory in Dundee just one hour drive from Orlando. Watch the candymakers behind the glass create their delicious concoctions, as the facility serves as a candy factory, marmalade factory, and fruit packing house all in one. Growing and shipping fruit since 1967, this historic attraction has been featured on Food Network, featured as the perfect place to sample delicious all-natural candy products. Now expanded to sell a wide variety of products, candy and marmalade are still made the old-fashioned way, slowly cooked in a copper kettle and hand-stirred with wooden paddles one batch at a time.
Sally Dark Rides, Jacksonville
Inspiring over 35 years of creativity, the Sally Dark Rides in Jacksonville is a unique attraction that has hosted thousands of visitors. An experience like no other, here you can take a tour of Sally’s robot factory, where you learn all about how they are the oldest and largest designers and fabricators of animatronic entertainment in the world. You’ll see a behind-the-scenes look at how they create anything from animatronic animals, museum-quality dinosaurs, or a replica of a historic figure. After gazing at these magnificent creations, you can learn about the magic of character and show design, sets and scenery and special effects.
Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory, Daytona Beach
A paradise for those who crave sweets, Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona Beach has been delighting candy lovers since 1925. Free for the public, take the tour of this facility to experience how they make candy the old-fashioned way. Created by two women, Riddel Angell and Cora Phelps, the company started with humble beginnings even before the invention of air-conditioning. Their passion led to a successful brand nearly 80 years later, where they have maintained their commitment to quality and still make candy with traditional methods. Come visit for a short tour where you can sample just how good these handmade treats really are.
Florida's Natural Growers Grove House Visitor Center, Lake Wales
If you really want to see how Florida’s Natural Brand juices are squeezed in order to make that perfect glass of orange juice, head to Florida’s Natural Growers Grove House Visitor’s Center in Lake Wales. Surrounded by beautiful orange groves, here you can take a tour to see interesting exhibits and learn all about the citrus industry, including information on horticulture, nutrition, and packaging. The on-site Juice Bar is where you can sample the variety of juices before it hits the grocery store, and when you’re ready to head home, make sure to visit the gift shop to purchase unique citrus themed products, such as orange-flavored popcorn. You’ll also find that this facility hosts weekly citrus themed events, tastings, and workshops with guest speakers.
Whetstone Chocolate Factory, St. Augustine
St. Augustine’s “Original Chocolate Tour”, visit the Whetstone Chocolate Factory in St. Augustine for an immersion into the chocolate-making process, led by Whetstone Chocolatiers. You’ll learn the history of the company and get a 4-tiered tasting to distinguish the different characteristics of dark, milk and white chocolate, cocoa nibs and more. Indulge in freshly made confections as you walk through the factory and smell the roasting nuts as you see over 500 pieces of candy made per minute in the Molding Plant and watch as they are carefully hand-packed in the Packing Room.
Tabanero Cigars, Tampa
Located in the heart of the Ybor district near Tampa, Tabanero Cigars focuses on providing its visitors quality made cigars. Providing insight into the cigar-making industry, you can come and visit their factory to experience the rebirth of handmade cigars by passionate Cuban-born artisans. The tour teaches you the role Tampa had in the cigar industry, the process of manufacturing the cigars and a first-hand look at the cigar rollers at work. You can go in the walk-in humidor and learn about the aging process, where they’ll show you how to cut, punch, light and set off the hand-made cigars the correct way.
Yuengling Brewery, Tampa
One of America’s oldest beers, you can tour this historic Yuengling Brewery in Tampa to see an up-close look at the different facets of the production process and sample a few of the finished products in the end. A perfect retreat from the hot Florida sun, here you’ll learn about the history of the brewery and the time-honored tradition of how it brews its beers with modern technology. Cool off with the crisp taste of the products at the brewery’s Biergarten, where you can soak in the ambiance of “America’s Oldest Brewery”.
Sweet Petes Candy, Jacksonville
Creating the “Sweetest Destination on Earth”, Sweet Petes Candy in Jacksonville has a fully functioning factory with an interactive gallery, two large retail areas, a rooftop patio, and a dessert bar. Take a tour with a candy expert and learn about the candy and chocolates and hear about the fascinating features of the facility’s 100-year-old candy mansion. Next, you’ll be able to see the live production facility and the packaging room and caramel wrapping machine. You can even design your own chocolate bar.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
A perfect day trip for wine lovers, the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards in Clermont offers complimentary tours throughout the week. You’ll first see a video presentation of how the Florida grapes grow to the wine process and how they bottle and label their wine creations. Then you’ll be able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the production area and take a romantic stroll through the lush vineyards where the delectable grapes are grown and harvested. Last not but least, you can taste some of their best wine varieties, from a selection of award-winning wines that range from dry to sweet or sparkling.