Factory tours are becoming increasingly popular and are often a cheap or free way to have an interesting day out.
Nowadays there are lots of factory tours, many dealing with mainstream consumables such as beer, wine, food, or chocolate (some of the more unusual ones we have included on this list).
For everyone involved, they are a win/win situation; the factory owners get a chance to showcase their product and highlight its quality and other virtues. The visitor has the opportunity to get educated and entertained while learning about something new or something they have a strong loyalty to (like Coca-cola or Harley-Davidson).
So, we have compiled a list of U.S. factory tours that you’ll find a little bit unique. Here is a list of 25 Quirkiest Factory Tours You Can Visit in the U.S.
And always remember to visit their website ahead of time if you going to take one of these tours; many have limited hours and some have entrance fees.
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The Great Alaskan Bowl Company (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Trek to the remotest state of the United States and see how traditional wooden bowls are made from Alaskan Birch trees.
You’ll marvel at the range of sizes they come in and find yourself captivated as you learn about the versatility of these handcrafted wonders. Not only can they be used for serving food, but the larger ones can be used to create bread mixtures.
Be sure to stop off at the gift shop on the way out. There, you’ll be able to pick up conversation starters like the $179 five-piece applesauce set.
Official Website: https://www.woodbowl.com/
Alaskan Brewing Company (Juneau, Alaska)
If you are going to visit this brewery from out of state, you can only get there by plane or boat! This facility was founded over 30 years ago. It now produces 20 varieties of beers, one of which is based on an authentic beer recipe that dates back over a century to the time of the gold rush (the Alaskan Amber).
The tour itself includes a visit to the tasting room for some free samples, as well as a look around the brewing and bottling operation in action. You will also see their innovative boiler, which is powered by spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process. Talk about sustainability!
Official Website: https://alaskanbeer.com/visit/
Deering Banjo Company (Spring Valley, California)
Have you ever wondered about the how’s, why’s and when’s of the banjo? Do you even know what one is? It’s a stringed musical instrument with a long neck and a round base.
This fascinating tour guides you through the making of this captivating instrument. You’ll learn interesting facts like these: the neck of the banjo can be made of woods such as the maple, mahogany, or Brazilian rosewood; and, interestingly, the banjo’s inlay can consist of mother of pearl or even gold.
This company made the world’s first electric banjo back in the 1980s. On the tour, they’ll offer tips on how best to care for a banjo, as some of the finer models cost over $5,000.
Official Website: https://www.deeringbanjos.com/pages/contact-us
Heath Ceramics Tile Factory (San Francisco, California)
Heath Ceramics has been in business for over 70 years. Their tiles are often featured in the top and most prestigious design magazines.
On one of their factory tours, you will get a glimpse of how their high-quality ceramic titles are shaped, glazed, trimmed, and fired as well as learn about their ethical approach to producing the tiles in a sustainable way with an aim to become a zero-waste manufacturer in the next few years.
You will also get to see the many and varied tile collections that have helped to make Heath Ceramic tiles famous.
Official Website: https://www.heathceramics.com/pages/factory-tours
Al's Family Farms Citrus (Indian River, Florida)
At this citrus farm and processing plant, you can take a guided tour that will truly be an experience to cherish. The highlight of the tour is a chance to see the automated wash-line where you can view the fruit as it is cleaned, sanitized, and graded at high speed.
You’ll also receive free access to the vegetable patch where the owners provide you with a glass of the farm’s freshly-squeezed orange juice. The farm actively encourages you to take as many pictures as you like during the tour.
Official Website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di2ThVZeGV4