Take your vacation from ordinary to extraordinary! Tour a local factory for a one-of-a-kind experience. Many factories offer exciting and enlightening tours that can make great additions to your travel itinerary. You will be surprised at how many things are manufactured right here in America. From bourbon to baseball bats, we are still producing all kinds of goods in factories throughout the country. You will be amazed at what goes into making some of your favorite products
C.F. Martin Guitar
Musicians and music lovers alike will enjoy visiting the C.F. Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. A short drive from Bethlehem, Martin Guitars offers free tours Monday through Friday. Sure to please music enthusiasts of all ages, these fun and informative tours offer a unique opportunity to look behind the curtain at all that goes into making Martin Guitars. After the tour, visit the guitar museum and see guitars used by Elvis, John Lennon, Dolly Parton and others! Still not enough, check out the Pickin’ Parlor,” where you can actually play a Martin Guitars or Ukulele. Of course, if you are in the market for a guitar of your own, you can buy one at the factory or order one ahead of time using their Factory Delivery Program. The Factory Delivery Experience comes complete with a personal museum tour and VIP factory tour, after which you are presented with your purchased instrument. Tune into their website at https://www.martinguitar.com/about/visit-us/ for more information.
Ben & Jerry’s
Cherry Garcia! Phish Food! Chunky Monkey! What am I talking about? If you’re an ice cream lover, you know I’m talking about some of Ben & Jerry’s famous ice cream flavors. Located in Waterbury, Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s is open to visitors and offers 30 minute guided factory tours seven days a week. Learn the history behind this unique company and see how their delicious ice cream is made. Tours run $3-$4 for adults and are free for kids under 12. Your tour guide will take you through the production process as you watch firsthand how the ice cream is made. Of course no ice cream factory tour would be complete without a generous sample! If you are craving more flavors, there is a full-service Scoop Shop, plus a quirky little gift shop for Ben & Jerry’s souvenirs. Before you head out, don’t forget to visit the Flavor Graveyard and pay your respects to the flavors that are no longer with us (the headstones are quite amusing!). Get the scoop on Ben & Jerry’s here: http://www.benjerry.com/about-us/factory-tours.
Baseball fans won’t want to miss the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory in Louisville, Kentucky. Making baseball bats since 1884, Louisville Slugger produces approximately 1.8 million bats per year. On your visit, you can take a guided tour of the factory which runs about 30 min. You’ll see bats being made up close from start to finish. After the tour, you even receive a free miniature bat of your own. After the tour, explore the Louisville Slugger Museum, which is full of baseball memorabilia, a wall of player signatures, and baseball bats of yestyerdays legends and todays greats . Outside of the museum, don't miss the world’s largest baseball bat; standing 120 feet tall and weighing 68,000 pounds, the statue is an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth’s bat. To plan your trip to the Louisville Slugger factory, swing over to https://www.sluggermuseum.com/plan-your-visit.
If you are traveling to Seattle, Washington, there are a few factory tours in the area you could check out, but none of them top the Boeing Factory Tour. Located about 25 miles north of Seattle, Boeing’s Everett production facility is the largest building in the world by volume. On tours of this impressive facility, you will see Boeing’s 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliners being assembled and painted before they are sent off to airlines around the world. Tours are 90 minutes long and include admission to the Aerospace Gallery and Strato Deck. All personal items, including cameras and phones, are prohibited on the tour, but they do provide free lockers on site for storage. It may be a good idea to buy your tickets ahead of time because they do sell out quickly. Fly over to https://www.futureofflight.org/ for details.
If Earl Grey and Chamomile are more your style, head over to Celestial Seasonings Tea in Boulder, Colorado. Take a free tour of the factory and get a firsthand look at how tea is made. First, you are invited to sample different flavors of tea in the tasting room. Learn everything you need to know about the tea making process. Make sure to stop along the way to take in the delightful aromas around the factory (check out the mint room!). All in all, the tour takes about 45 minutes. During the tour, you will see the entire facility during the tour. Including where the tea is manufactured, sorted and packaged. Afterwards, grab lunch at the café and visit the Celestial Seasonings Tea Shop. Browse through a wide selection of teas, tea pots and more. To brew up your plans to visit Celestial Teas, visit http://www.celestialseasonings.com/visit-us.
There are hundreds of factory tours to explore from coast to coast right here is the USA. Some of our other favorites include Jelly Belly Candy Factory in California, one of three Harley-Davidson manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania, Missouri & Wisconsin, Cape Cod Potato Chip factory in Massachusetts, or the Jack Daniel Distillery in Tennessee. Next time you are looking for something fun to do, consider taking looking a little closer to home and enjoy a factory tour, where you can learn more about your favorite products being made right here in America.