Free Factory Tours

Looking for something fun (and affordable) to do on vacation? Give free factory tours a try. You'll get to go behind the scenes of some really cool places, and you may even score a few freebies along the way. Here are some free factory tours that you won't want to miss.

Airstream

Air Stream Factory
Air Stream Factory. Photo © Flickr user Matthew Simoneau

Location: Jackson Center, OK

Hours: Monday-Friday at 2 p.m.

Details: Take a 3/4-mile walk through the Airstream factory, and see how they're made start to finish. Schedule a tour, or just show up. No sandals or open-toed shoes allowed.

For More Information: http://www.airstream.com/company/tours/

Anheuser-Bush Brewer Tours

Busch Brewery Tour
Busch Brewery Tour. Photo © Flickr user Rian Castillo

Locations: St. Louis, MO; Fairfield, CA; Ft. Collins, CO; Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Merrimack, New Hampshire

Hours: Varies by location and time of year. Check their website for the current schedule.

Details: See the brewing process up close, and get to sample beers. Guests 21 and older, get a free sample at the start of the tour and can sample more beers in the Tap Room after the tour concludes.

For More Information: http://www.budweisertours.com/  

Bob's Red Mill

Bob's Red Mill
Bob's Red Mill. Photo © Flickr user John Fladd

Location: Milwaukie, OR

Hours: Monday-Thursday at 10:30 a.m. (a second tour is offered in the summer at 11:30 a.m. Closed on major holidays

Details: Take a guided one-and-a-half hour tour of the Bob's Red Mill factory, and see how their products are made. You'll receive a free product sample at the end of the tour.

For More Information: http://www.bobsredmill.com/tour-our-world-headquarters.html/

Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory

Cape Cod Chips
Cape Cod Chips. Photo © Flickr user Mike Mozart

Location: Hyannis, MA

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Closed holidays.

Details: Take a self-guided tour, and see how Cape Cod Potato Chips are made. 

For More Information: http://www.capecodchips.com/about-us/factory-tour.html​

Celestial Seasonings

Celestial Seasonings Factory Tour
Celestial Seasonings Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr F Delventhal

Location: Boulder, CO

Hours: Monday- Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Tours start at the beginning of the hour.

Details: Take a 45-minute tour of the Celestial Seasonings tea factory, and see tea being made. Includes a 10-minute video and a 30-minute walking tour of the factory, plus free tea samples at the end. Children under 5 can't go on the factory tour, but there are other activities for them. Closed most major holidays.

For More Information: http://www.celestialseasonings.com/tours

Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head Brewery
Dogfish Head Brewery. Photo © Flickr user fabulousfabs

Location: Miltion, DE

Hours: See website for daily tour times.

Details: Tour the craft brewery, and enjoy four free samples. Open to all ages. No open-toed shoes.

Hammond's Candies

Hammond's Candy Factory
Hammond's Candy Factory. Photo © Flickr user Sarah Page

Location: Denver, CO

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.Closed on major holidays. Tours start every half hour.

Details: Take a 30-minute tour, and see how candy canes, ribbon candy, and other Hammond's favorites have been made since 1920.

For More Information: http://www.hammondscandies.com/factory-tours-parties

Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson Factory Tour
Harley Davidson Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user Klaus Nahr

Locations: York, PA; Menomonee Falls, WI; Kansas City, MO

Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Monday - Friday and occasional Saturdays. (Tours at the Kansas City factory end at 1:30 p.m.)

Details: Get a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the Harley Davidson factories. Free tour tickets are offered on a first come, first served basis, until they run out, so it's best to arrive early.Children under 12 aren't allowed on the tour, but there is a Kids' Corner in the tour center just for them. Holidays and changes to the production schedule can affect the tour schedule, so check the website for current tour info before you go. Also know is that bikes aren't made on Fridays, so if you want to see the factory in all its glory, go earlier in the week.

For More Information: http://www.harley-davidson.com/content/h-d/en_US/home/events/factory-tours.html

Herr's Snack Factory Tour

Herr's Snack Factory Tour
Herr's Snack Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user Jim, The Photographer

Location: Nottingham, PA

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Extended hours in the summer and around Christmas

Details: Schedule a one-hour tour to see how chips and pretzels are made. Thursday and Friday are not typically production days, so if you want to see the machines churning out snacks, plan your trip for the first part of the week.

For More Information: http://herrs.com/SnackFactoryTours.html​

Hershey's Chocolate Factory Tour

Hershey's Chocolate Factory Tour
Hershey's Chocolate Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user Jack Miller

Location: Hershey, PA

Hours:

Details: Take a ride through a mock Hershey's chocolate factory to learn how chocolate is made. This 30-minute tour ends with free chocolate. Note: Other attractions at Hershey's Chocolate Factory require you to purchase a ticket, but this tour is free.

For More Information: http://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/chocolate-tour​

Huy Fong Sriracha Factory

Sriracha Factory
Sriracha Factory. Photo © Flickr user Paul Narvaez

Location: Irwindale, CA

Hours: Monday-Friday. Reservations are required.

Details: Spend 30-minutes touring Huy Fong's factory, and learn how Sriracha is made. Open to all ages.

For More Information: http://www.huyfong.com/tours/​

Hyundai

Hyundai Factory
Hyundai Factory. Photo © Flickr user Nestor Correa Mayo

Location: Montgomery, Alabama

Hours: Tours run Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m, and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. (evening tours not offered December-February). Reservations required.

Details: Jump on a tram, and spend an hour and a half exploring the Hyundai plant where the Sonata and Elantra are currently made. Ages 6 and up.

For More Information: http://www.hmmausa.com/?page_id=151 

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly Factory Tour
Jelly Belly Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user Mark Baylor

Location: Fairfield, CA

Hours: Tours run daily from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (except on major holidays), and start every 10-15 minutes.

Details: See how jelly beans are made on a 40-minute guided tour of the Jelly Belly factory. Candy isn't made on the weekend, so if you want to see the machines and workers in action, go on a weekday. Production schedules can change, so check their event calendar before you go.

For More Information: http://www.jellybelly.com/california-factory-tours​

Jiffy Mix

Jiffy Mix Factory
Jiffy Mix Factory. Photo © Flickr user a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/4724294030/in/photolist-8cteXj-8ctf2m">Michigan Municipal League

Location: Chelsea, MI

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Closed on major holidays. Reservations required.

Details: Spend an hour at the Jiffy Mix factory. Learn how their products are made, and enjoy a free product sample. Tour is available to first graders and up.

For More Information: https://www.jiffymix.com/index.php/tours/​

John Deere Factory Tour

John Deere
John Deere. Photo © Flickr user Jon Nelson

Locations: East Moline, IL; Waterloo, IA; Ankeny, IA

Hours: See their website for times.

Details: Tour one of John Deere's four factories to see how their products are made. Each tour lasts 1.5 hours. Ages 13 and up. No open-toed shoes.

For More Information: https://www.deere.com/en_US/corporate/our_company/fans_visitors/tours_attractions/factorytours.page

Kohler

Kohler Tour
Google Images

Location: Kohler, WI

Hours: Tour start at 8:30 a.m., Monday-Friday. Advanced registration required.

Details: See how Kohler products are made, everything from bathtubs to faucets. Tour lasts three hours. No opened-toed shoes.

For More Information: http://www.us.kohler.com/us/Industry-in-Action-Factory-Tours/content/CNT400040.htm

Martin Guitar

Martin Guitar Factory
Martin Guitar Factory. Photo © Flickr user Alex Harden

Location: Nazareth, PA

Hours: Monday-Friday at 11:00 am and 2:30 pm

Details: Spend an hour learning how guitars are made from start to finish.

Miller Brewing

Miller Brewing Co. Tour
Miller Brewing Co. Tour. Photo &cop; Flickr user Christopher Webb

Locations: Milwaukee, WI and Golden, CO

Hours: Check their website for daily tour times.

Details: Take a guided tour at the Milwaukee brewery or a self-guided tour at the Golden brewery to learn how Miller beer is brewed and bottled.  Tour ends with beer samples (if you're 21 or older).

For More Information: http://www.millercoors.com/Brewery-Tours

Pendelton Woolen Mills

Pendelton Woolen Mills
Pendelton Woolen Mills. Photo © Flicks user Amy Meredith

Locations: Washougal, WA and Pendelton, OR

Hours: Monday-Friday. Tours start at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Details: Tour one of Pendelton's mills, and see how their famous woolens are woven.

For More Information: https://www.pendleton-usa.com/custserv/custserv.jsp?pageName=MillTours&parentName=Heritage

Regal Boats

Regal Boats Factory Tour
Regal Boats Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user John M. P. Knox

Location: Orlando, FL

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. Need to sign up ahead of time.

Details: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Regal factory, and watch boats being built. 

For More Informations: http://www.regalboats.com/tour-regal/​

Samuel Adams Brewery

Samuel Adams Brewery Tour
Samuel Adams Brewery Tour. Photo © Flickr user Mark Baylor

Location: Boston, MA

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (last tour starts at 3:00 p.m.). Friday 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (last tour starts at 5:30 p.m.). Saturday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (last tour starts at 3:00 p.m.) Closed major holidays.

Details: See how Sam Adams beer is brewed, and sample a few of their award-winners. Tours start every 45 minutes, and last an hour.

For More Information: http://www.samueladams.com/boston-brewery/brewery-tours​

Snyder's of Hanover

Snyder's of Hanover Factory Tour
Snyder's of Hanover Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user Alan Levine

Location: Hanover, PA

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Reservations required.

Details: Take a 30-minute tour, and see how pretzels are made. Includes a free bag of pretzels at the end of the tour. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Must be able to climb stairs.

For More Information: http://www.snydersofhanover.com/our-story/bakery-tour.html  

Stuffington Bear

Stuffington Bear Factory
Stuffington Bear Factory. Photo © Flickr user Ms. Phoenix

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Hours: Free Drop-In at 1:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday

Details: Take a 15-20 minute tour to see how stuffed animals are made.

For More Information:  http://www.stuffingtonbear.com/drop-in-visit-us.asp

Tabasco

Tabasco Factory
Tabasco Factory. Photo © Flickr user Paul Arps

Location: Avery, Island, LA

Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Details: Go on a tour of the Tabasco factory, and see how the spicy sauce is made and bottled. Tours are available daily, but the sauce is only bottled Monday-Thursday, so plan your trip accordingly. Also, note that there's a $1 toll to enter the island.

For More Information: http://www.tabasco.com/avery-island/visitor-information/#targ​

Tillamook Creamery

Tillamook Creamery Tour
Tillamook Creamery Tour. Photo © Flickr user edkohler

Location: Tillamook, OR

Hours: Open daily (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas) Mid-June to Labor Day: 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Labor Day to mid-June: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Details: Go on a self-guided tour of the cheese factory, and learn how Tillamook cheese is made. Includes cheese samples at the end.

For More Information: https://www.tillamook.com/cheese-factory/index.html​

Toyota

Toyota Venza
Toyota Venza. Photo © Flickr user Steve Lyon

Location: Georgetown, KY

Hours: Tours are available Monday- Friday, at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.

Details: Board an electric tram to tour the 7.5 million square foot plant where the Camry, Avalon, and Venza models are currently manufactured. Reservations are recommended. Open to children in first grade and up (with accompanying parent).

For More Information: http://toyotaky.com/tour.asp

U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing

U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Photo © Flickr user Ken Lund

Locations: Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, TX

Hours: View their website for current hours.

Details: Watch paper money being printed from an observation deck suspended over the production floor. Security is tight (no surprise there), so it'll take a while to get in, and you won't be able to bring anything in with you (not even a purse or cell phone). Children have to clear security, too.

For More Information: http://www.moneyfactory.gov/services/takeatour.html

UTZ

UTZ Factory Tour
UTZ Factory Tour. Photo © Flickr user John Lloyd

Location: Hanover, PA

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Details: Take a self-guided tour of the 600,000 square foot UTZ potato chip factory.You'll be on a glass-enclosed observation deck, where you can see the whole process.

For More Information:  http://utzsnacks.com/?heritage=1#slide106​

Winnebago

Winnebago
Winnebago. Photo © Flickr user dwstucke

Location: Forest City, IA

Hours: Motorized tour offered Monday-Friday at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (April-October), and at 1:00 p.m. (November 1-22). Towables tour offered Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. (April through October). View website for latest schedule.

Details: Tour the largest motor home manufacturing facility in the world. No opened-toed shoes allowed.

For More Information: http://winnebagoind.com/company/visit

U.S. Mint

Denver Mint
Denver Mint. Photo © Flickr user Ken Lund

Locations: Philadelphia, PA and Denver, CO

Hours: Visit their website for current hours of operation.

Details: See how coins are made, starting with the design process and ending with a newly minted coin. 

For More Information: http://www.usmint.gov/mint_tours/​

Before You Go ...

Verify tour times and details by calling ahead or visiting each companies website. Production schedules can change suddenly. Many factory tours have age and/or safety requirements. Go over them carefully, so nothing spoils your fun.

If you know of other free factory tours that are worth checking out. I'd love to here about them.