Alabama: Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
1800 Honda Drive, Lincoln, AL
This 80-minute tour doesn’t cover the whole 3.7-million ft² plant, Honda's largest production site for light trucks, but it will show you how the assembly line wraps around like a paper clip and how female ostrich feathers dust the bodies prior to painting. Free. 12 & Up. T, W: 8:45 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Must fill out request form at least 10 days in advance.
Alaska: The ULU Factory
211 West Ship Creek Avenue, Anchorage, AK
Take a trolley from downtown Anchorage to check out the 12,000 ft² facility that still makes one of the Eskimo culture's most versatile tools, the ulu. The curved blade is affixed to the side of the handle, and for at least 3,000 has been used to slice through salmon flanks or walrus blubber to prepare dinner or a new pair of boots. Free. Trolley runs from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during June, July and August.
Arizona: Good Enough Mine Tour
5th & Toughnut Street, Tombstone, AZ
Tombstone was made famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, though it was silver mines like this one that brought prospectors and cattle rustlers alike to the Wild West boomtown. It's a brief mosey from the touristy epicenter and a way to get out of the dessert heat for a spell and descend into America's industrial past. $5-15; Under 7 free. Tours start on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Arkansas: Ranger Boat Factory
927 AR-178, Flippin, AR
Arkansas is rich with lakes and rivers, and this boat factory on the state's north end shows how all those fiberglass speedsters zipping around them are made. Free. M-F: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., & 1:30 p.m. https://www.rangerboats.com/factory-tour.html
California: Jelly Belly
1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA
This factory makes 37 million lb. of the distinctive miniature jelly beans a year, and you can see how they are made and taste test dozens of different flavors. Personal guided tours and a manufacturing experience are also available. Free. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Colorado: Coors Brewery
13th St & Ford Street, Golden, CO
The largest single brewery in the world sits on the same site just outside of Denver that Adolph Coors set up as a brewery in 1873 largest single-site brewery in the world. In 30 minutes, soak in the whole process, from the malting to brewing to packaging to of course, tasting. $10 ($5 for CO residents; free for active duty and vets). M-Sat: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sun: Noon-4 p.m.
35 Prindle Hill Rd, Orange, CT
From the sweet little candy capsules to the diverse cast of pop culture dispensers, who doesn’t love Pez? If you're in the New Haven area, swing by and check out the colorful visitor center that covers the history of Pez since 1927, and take a look through the production window to view the manufacturing process (closed July 1-14). Special candy making demos are also run throughout the afternoon. $4-5. M-Sat: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun: Noon-5 p.m.
Delaware: Hagley Museum
200 Hagley Creek Rd, Wilmington, DE
This gorgeous swath of land settled by E.I. duPont to manufacture gunpowder is still in operation and open for demonstrations. You can also walk the verdant trails of the 235-acre estate or hunker down in the library and study the 5,000 patents and various models. $6-15. Open daily: 10 a.m. https://www.hagley.org/
Florida: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images
Georgia: World of Coca Cola
121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA
Take a look at a scaled-down version of Coca-Cola's more prodigious Bottling Works. The automation is slowed down so visitors can get a better idea of how the machinery works.
And remember New Coke? They are rereleasing the frightfully received replacement as a tie-in to the new season of 1980s-set Netflix sci-fi-horror series Stranger Things. You can try it, and 100 more various drinks, while you're there. $13-17. M-F 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. -7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Hawaii: Kamaka Ukulele
550 S. St. Honolulu, HI
A family-owned and operated business for over 100 years, Kamaka Ukulele produces some of the world's finest ukuleles. Experience the art of making a ukulele which includes design, redesign, and experimentation to produce instruments with outstanding tonal and playing characteristics. Free. M-F 10:30 am. Groups more than five must schedule in advance.
Idaho: Buck Knives Factory
660 S. Lochsa St. Post Falls, Idaho
These ain't like that wimpy butter knife you just used to butter your baked potato. These are some of the sharpest, sturdiest knives on the planet. Tour the production facility, check out the peddle-powered whetstone, and get a brief history of this old-school weapon. Free. M-Th. 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Illinois: Stern Pinball
Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images
2001 Lunt Ave., Elk Grove Village, IL
Minutes from Chicago O’Hare Airport, Stern Pinball is the oldest and largest designer of pinball machines. Get a look inside at arcade games and get insight into their mechanics, design, and assembly. Free. Contact company to schedule.
Indiana: Subaru of Indiana Automotive
5500 IN-38, Lafayette, IN
Observe award-winning automotive assembly in action. This guided tour will give you the chance to witness Subaru vehicle production from start to finish. Tours of SIA highlight Stamping, welding painting, and assembly processes. See what makes a Subaru a Subaru. Free.. M, W, F 11 a.m. By reservation only.
Iowa: Kendrick Forest Products
601 S. Washington St., Edgewood, IA 52042
From the forest to the kitchen – this tour leads you through the entire process. First take a walk through the sawmill followed by a second warehouse that assembles Kendrick cabinets. Free. M-F 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Kansas: Strataca (Kansas Underground Salt Museum)
3650 E. Ave. G, Hutchinson, KS 67501
The Kansas Underground Salt Museum is 650 ft. below the surface in the largest salt formation in the United States. The tour is via an underground tram which tours a still working salt mine. It will also tour excavated areas of the mine that are used as storage areas. $12.50-19. T-Sat 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sun. 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
Kentucky: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
800 W. Main St., Louisville, KY
About as American as it can get, this world-famous tour takes an immersive look at how Louisville Slugger bats are made as well as offering a rich museum experience of the history of baseball. M-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Louisiana: Tabasco Factory & Museum
32 Wisteria Rd., Avery Island, LA
Spice up your Cajun vacation with a stop to the Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce Factory, located on Avery Island (in between New Orleans and Houston). The compound, started five generations ago by the McIlhenny family, is built on a salt dome smack dab in the bayou. You can enjoy the wildlife outside before hitting the 10-stop self-guided tour, which includes the Tabasco Museum, Pepper Greenhouse, Barrel Warehouse, and Blending and Bottling. $5.50; 4 and under are free. Mon-Sun 9am-4pm
360 Main St. Suite 101, Gaithersburg, MD
Extremely educational about the origins of cacao, growing regions, and farming practices, this factory tour of handcrafted chocolates allows visitors to experience the entire manufacturing process, from roasting to refining. During the tour, gain knowledge on the art of making chocolate bars, truffles, and bonbons. Free. Saturday.
Maine: Allagash Brewing Company
50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME
Learn about the high-efficiency Allagash brewhouse, enjoy a beer from the pilot system, and end up in the wild & sour barrel room. Each tour includes four samples of beer and takes about one hour. $5. M-Sun.
Massachusetts: Fritz Glass
36 Upper County Road, Dennis Port, MA
On vacation near Cape Cod and afraid to go into the water (on account of it being just lousy with Great White sharks)? Might as well check out the local master glass in glass blowing put on by artisan Fritz Lauenstein, who started blowing 45 years ago. Contact to schedule visit and ensure availability.
Michigan: Ford Rouge Factory Tour
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI
Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the F-150 is made and take note of the latest in advanced manufacturing tech and sustainable materials. Might inspire some ideas for your own plant. $13.50-18
M - Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Minnesota: Polaris Experience Center
301 5th Ave. SW Roseau, MN
In a tiny town straddling America's northern border, Polaris Industries has innovated snowmobile ATV’s, and motorcycles since the 1950s. You can visit the history-laden experience center before heading to the plant (only available at 2 p.m. weekdays) to watch the manufacturing process. Free. M-Th. 11 a.m. -6 p.m., F 11 a.m.-7p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Missouri: Anheuser-Busch Brewery
12th and Lynch St, St. Louis,MO
Anheuser-Busch's oldest and largest brewery includes a stroll past the massive mash tanks and some time with the ginormous Clydesdales. Pro tip: Tour guides and other visitors will love it if you say "Dilly, Dilly" at every stop. Free. (Special tasting tours are also available: $10-35). 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Mississippi: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi
1200 Magnolia Way, Blue Springs, MS
When the retooling period ends and tours recommence in the late summer, visitors will again be able to see the famed Toyota Production System live at the factory that is now churning out the 12th generation of Corollas. A brand new training and visitor center, which will bring the plant investment to $1.2 billlion, is set to open in 2020. It's also only about 20 minutes from Elvis Presley's birthplace, so start planning your trip now.
Montana: R.L. Winston Rod Company
500 South Main Street, Twin Bridges, MT
Up in Big Sky Country, the speed limit is non-existent but sometimes slowing down, sliding into some waders and fly-fishing for trout is the best route to take. You can drop by this 90-year-old rod manufacturer to check out how they are made and afterwards visit the casting lawn to work on your technique before hitting the river. Free. M-F 11 a.m.
Nebraska: Hornady Bullet Factory
3625 W Old Potash Hwy, Grand Island, NE 68803
Hornady makes more than 300 types of bullets, and each step of the bullet-making process is shown here, and if the Zombie Apocalypse does happen, you'll want to know how it's done. You can also check out several wall mounts, presumably taken down by this factory's wares. 13 and up. https://www.hornady.com/corporate/factory-tours
Nevada: Hoover Dam Power Plant
81 Hoover Dam Access Rd, Boulder City, NV 89005
Big doesn’t begin to describe this architectural wonder of the modern world. The two-hour tour features a ride 530 feet down into the Black Canyon, past pipes 30 feet in diameter and up to the balcony to take in the vista and several of the hydroelectric plant's generators. $12-15. 9:00 a.m. until 3:45 p.m.
New Hampshire: Moonlight Meadery
23 Londonderry Road. Londonderry, NH
Mead, or honey wine, is one of civilization's oldest libations, and you can sample 80 variations 80 after learning the history and walking the production line.
New Jersey: Wiess-Aug
220 Merry Ln, East Hanover, NJ
This contract manufacturer specializes in precision stamping and laser welding among other advanced manufacturing methods for the medical and automotive sectors. Call ahead to schedule (973-887-7600).
New Mexico: Los Alamos
1350 Central Ave, Los Alamos
The city that once spawned the atomic bomb is rich with history and modern advances. In the morning you can take a walking tour of Bathtubs Row, where all the Manhattan Project uppity ups lived, then visit the Project Bradbury Science Museum to check out more recent research from the Los Alamos National Lab, such as turning algae into biofuel. 19+: $15; 18 and under Free. Guided tours: M- Sat. 11 a.m.
New York: New Lab
141 Flushing Avenue Unit 801 Unit 801, Brooklyn, NY
About 40 of the Brooklyn Navy Yard tenants are housed within the shipyard's old machine shop, which now serves as a manufacturing innovation startup called New Lab. Usually closed to the public, special tours come through once a month so you can wander the old yard made new and check out the latest in emerging tech such as Ultimaker's industrial 3D printers. Children: $10, $Adult: 20. Veterans get more discounts.
North Carolina: Moog Music
2124, 160 Broadway St, Asheville, NC
Take a free tour of a historical electronic musical instrument factory that produced the Moog synthesizer, which gave songs such as "Wish You Were Here" and "Funkytown" their signature sound. Get a quick history of synthesis, check out a Theremin and then walk the floor, where everything is still made by hand. Contact to arrange a tour. Free. M-F: 10:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Ohio: Wilson Football Factory
217 N. Liberty St., Ada, OH
Professional football kicked off 99 years ago in Canton, Ohio, and the NFL's pigskins are still handmade a few hours away in Ada, which has made 700,000 a year since the 1950s. The treated leather comes from a Chicago factory, which Ada workers cut, sew, steam and mold before inflating the balls to 13 PSI. $5. Book tours in advance (216-431-7373).
Oklahoma: Ditch Witch Factory
1959 W Fir Perry, OK
Explore this 30-acre manufacturing plant and training, testing, research and product development facilities and learn about the equipment manufacturer's history. By appointment (Call 580-336-4402 or e-mail [email protected])
Oregon: Adelsheim Vineyards
16800 NE Calkins Ln, Newberg
You could merely stop by this particular sustainable winery for a swig of one of the region's world famous Pinot varietals, but the true beauty of the Willamette Valley is best experienced hiking over the volcanic soil that gives the grapes their distinctive flavor. Tasting: $15-25. Hiking tour and tasting: $75 (M-F 10 a.m.; requires 48-hour advance reservation)
Pennsylvania: Hershey's Chocolate World
251 Park Blvd, Hershey, PA 17033
It's the next best thing to Willie Wonka's and anyone can visit even without a Golden Ticket (except for Slugworth, that fiend). The tour involves the chocolate process from bean to bar, and then belly, as a free sample is given at the end. Free. For $26.95, you can even make your own candy bar (pre-reserve recommended). 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Rhode Island: Hasbro
1027 Newport Ave, Pawtucket, RI
This is the HQ for the popular toy maker and a good spot for a selfie with Mr. Potato Head. They occasionally do tours. Call 401-431-8697 for more info.
South Dakota: Black Hills Gold Factory
2707 Mt. Rushmore Rd. Rapid City, SD
Contrary to National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Mt. Rushmore is in fact not full of gold, though the granite monument was carved by 360 goldminers. That golden pedigree is carried on by artisans at this fine jewelry maker, who cut diamonds, create investment casts and concoct new alloys from gold and other precious metals. Free. M-F 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
South Carolina: BMW Spartanburg
1400 Highway 101 South, Greer
BMW Manufacturing produces more than 1,400 X model vehicles (X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 ) each day at the 7 million-ft² Spartanburg plant, and is investing an additional $600 million. Tours range from one to tour hours and show off the new body shop and robot assembly operations. $5-15. 12 and older. Register ahead.
Tennessee: Jack Daniels Distillery
280 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN
Even if you're relationship with this iconic spirit is on the rocks, you could still get to know it a little better through one of many tasting tours, that range from learning about the distilling process to stealing a sip of the angel's share in the Barrelhouse 1-14. $15-30. 9 a.m.-4:30 pm.
Texas: The Bureau of Engraving & Printing
9000 Blue Mound Road, Fort Worth
When you bring your crew of ne'er-do-wells in to case the joint out, take a moment and appreciate that unmistakable aroma of fresh moola. Billions of dollars are printed here (half America's currency) and it could be all yours once you could find a way to slip past the guards, descend the enclosed walkway and onto the production floor. The it's only a matter of transporting tons of cash out without being detected. On second thought, just marvel at the minting process, play with the interactive displays and go home with your boring family. Free. Tu.-F 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Utah: Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates & Ice Cream
835 Northpointe Circle North Salt Lake City, UT
Work up an appetite in the lower half of the state exploring Zion and Bryce National Parks and head north to Salt Lake and this locally loved chocolatier. $1. M-F 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Appointment required (801-677-8888).
Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
1281 Waterbury-Stowe Rd, Waterbury, VT
This quick 30-minute tour, which may or may not explain the addictive nature of Cherry Garcia, ends with a "Flavor of the Day" sample and walk by the Flavor Graveyard. In the summer, you can even visit the dairy's cows, and for a scant $125, your kid could enjoy the Flavor Fanatic Experience ($125), which tacks on a visit to the Flavor Lab to help with production. $4; 12 and under free. 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Kean Collection/Getty Images
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA
The estate of America's architect, Thomas Jefferson, holds wonders and whimsy inside, such as Mastodon bones and inventive contraptions. The grounds also don't shy away from America's most shameful industry: slavery. Special tours take you through the plantation and slave dwellings. $10-26.96 (online). Under 5 Free. https://www.monticello.org
Washington: Boeing Everett Factory
8415 Paine Field Blvd, Mukilteo, WA
A city unto itself, this facility is the largest building by volume in the world and houses 30,000 employees working on the 787 Dreamliner, 777, 767 and 747. The tour features a lot of walking and a few steep sets of stairs, though Boeing can accommodate special needs. Reserve in advance; children must be 4 ft.+. $10-25. Daily: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
West Virginia: Entsorga
870 Grapevine Road, Martinsburg, WV
Opened in March 2019, this innovative treatment plant a few hours from coal country turns garbage into an alternate source of fuel. Technically, the high-efficiency biological treatment "recover[s] bio-mass, plastics and other carbon based materials from the mixed municipal solid waste (MSW) stream and convert them into a safe alternative fuel source," the company explains. It has already helped replace coal at a nearby cement plant. Call 845-262-1081 to arrange a tour.
Wisconsin: Foamation Cheesehead Factory
1120 S Barclay St, Milwaukee, WI
This 30-minute factory tour won’t explain the udder madness that makes Green Bay Packer fans wear foam hunks of cheese on their melons, but it will show you how the iconic headwear is made. You can even shred your own to take home for a little extra cheddar. $15-25. Call ahead or book online.
Wyoming: Laramie River Station
244 Grayrocks Rd, Wheatland, WY
Located east of Wheatland, Wyoming sits the Laramie River Station - one of the largest, coal-fired electric generating station in the US. The electricity produced at Laramie River is sent to Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado, where it is then delivered to Missouri Basin Power Project participants. Tours of the station are available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.