There are over 250,000 small factories in America and almost 25,000 larger factories which have 100 employees or more. If you like learning about how your favorite products are made, you have ample opportunities to do so by taking a factory tour.
However, not all factories allow tours and not all factory tours are worth your time. Luckily, there are quite a few options that are both educational and fun.
Do you want to know what they are? Keep reading to discover the 8 coolest factory tours available in America.
1. The U.S. Mint
You use them every day or at least let them pile up in your home. If you’ve ever wanted to know how coins were made, be sure to plan a trip to either Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Denver, Colorado.
In both locations, you’ll find the U.S. Mint. During your tour, you’ll watch as tens of millions of coins are produced each and every day. You can get a great view from the 40-foot observation deck and watch every step of the process. You’re sure to have a new appreciation for those pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters after your tour!
2. Jelly Belly
Remember waking up Easter morning and finding your basket filled with chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, and jelly beans? While they’re an iconic part of Easter baskets, Jelly Belly jelly beans are a great treat all year long.
And you can watch these colorful sweets being made at the Jelly Belly factory tour in Fairfield, California. Tours are free, which is great because you’re sure to splurge at the candy store before leaving.
But it doesn’t just stop at jelly beans. The candy store also sells Jelly Belly confections like Jordan Almonds and Dutch Mints. The chocolate counter and fudge center are great additions to get your chocolate fix while the Jelly Belly Café sells lunch foods, like burgers and pizza in the shape of a jelly bean.
3. Coors Brewing
The next time to crack open a nice cold beer, take a minute to think about how it was made. Or you could tour the Coors Brewing factory in Golden, Colorado, to see for yourself!
The self-guided tour takes you through every stage of the brewing process and explains all the ingredients that go into Coors beer. Of course, at the end of the tour, those over 21 years of age can pick up a free sample.
There’s one child’s toy that will never go out of style—crayons! Not only is Crayola the king of crayons, but they also produce other amazing toys that probably fill your home.
This child-friendly activity is a bit different from other tours on the list. Instead of touring a real manufacturing plant, the Crayola Experience is an interactive museum that lets kids learn about Crayola’s history and how their crayons are made. There’s even a live show where employees demonstrate the crayon-making process.
5. Hershey’s Chocolate
Just an hour and a half away from the Crayola Experience is Hershey’s Chocolate World. Nestled in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this immersive ride takes you through each step of the chocolate-making process.
Similar to the Crayola Experience, Hershey’s chocolate tour doesn’t go through the actual factory. Instead, it simulates a factory tour to create an educational and child-friendly experience. However, you’ll definitely still smell the chocolatey-goodness!
You’ll also find numerous activities here, including a 4-D chocolate movie and the chance to make your very own custom Hershey’s chocolate bar! Right across the street is Hershey Park, a theme park with thrill rides, child-friendly rides, and photo ops with Hershey characters.
Have you ever wondered how such a large plane manages to stay in the air? A tour of the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington will answer this question and more.
You’ll get the chance to see several different types of planes while they’re still being built. Of course, the building is absolutely huge and quite loud, so only guided tours are allowed.
7. Gibson Guitar
What do Slash, Bob Marley, Joan Jett, Jimi Hendrix, and Billie Joe Armstrong all have in common? They all played Gibson guitars!
Gibson is one of the most popular guitar brands for celebrity guitarists and hobbyists alike. And you can tour the factory in Memphis, Tennessee.
Watch as luthiers (people who make and repair string instruments) create these masterpieces right before your eyes and learn more about what goes into each and every guitar.
8. Ben and Jerry’s
It doesn’t matter if you want a cool summer treat or a little pick-me-up after a bad day—Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is the perfect go-to. If you’re ever in Waterbury, Vermont, be sure to spend an afternoon touring their factory.
During the guided tour, you’ll learn about Ben and Jerry’s history as well as see the manufacturing process first-hand. Of course, you’ll also get to sample the flavor of the day for free! And if you want more, there’s a whole ice cream parlor where you can indulge in various flavors.
If you run an interesting factory, like Ben and Jerry’s, you may be able to make a nice chunk of change by offering tours. By investing in the best wireless tour guide system for corporate tours, your visitors can even go on self-guided tours and take as much time as they want to see your factory.
Your Guide to the Best Factory Tours
Don’t spend your summer in front of the TV. Instead, check out one of these awesome factory tours! Whether you want to learn more about coins at the U.S. Mint or cool off with some refreshing ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s, there’s a factory tour for everyone.
Do you want more ideas to keep yourself busy this summer? Then check out our hobbies and leisure blog page today!