Tired of the usual tours offered by groups? Try a different kind of tour this time—factory tours.
If you are someone who likes to take a peek behind the production lines, then this tour would be perfect for you. A huge fan of motorcycling or motorcycles themselves? Give yourself the chance to see how they are made.
Visiting the factory of the famous sauce Tabasco is a must for fans of the hot sauce. The best part? Have a taste of Tabasco-flavored ice cream, a treat only served in their factory. Even if it’s not as strange as this, getting a taste of your favorite beer for example can only get as fresh as this.
From free tastes to souvenirs, visiting these factories will give you a different look at your favorite products. Here are some interesting factories you can visit from around the world:
Anchor Brewing in San Francisco
From brewing to fermenting, cellaring to bottling, you will be taken to a tour of the brewery, down to the packaging operations. The tour is completely free, and you can go every day of the week, when there are two tours a day. Added bonuses are a beautiful view of San Francisco outside, and the free taste at the end of the tour.
Fragonard in Grasse, France
In France, perfume-making is a noble profession. With perfumes known all over the world, it would be interesting to see what goes in the product you daily use on yourself. In this place, you get to learn about the flowers, trees, and plants which are used in the perfumes, and how they are turned into essential oils. From the very beginning—distillation—to the last part of the process—bottling, visitors will see the transformation from plants to perfume. Free of charge, tours happen daily.
Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations in York, PA
Fans of this motorcycle brand would go crazy inside their huge production facility. Get to see how they are created and assembled. Fans will be treated especially during the roller test, when the motorcycles are placed and ridden on rollers to be tested. Visitors can also pose and sit on motorcycles that are currently being produced in the tour area. Tours are available all year round during weekdays, and Saturdays are free during summer.
Louisville Slugger in Louisville, KY
Baseball fanatics are in for a treat in this cool factory. See how the famous sluggers are done. Close-up shots are shown to enhance the viewing experience. Daily tours are available for $10 (adults) and $5 for kids ages 6 to 12. Probably the best part of the tour is the eighteen inch mini bat that visitors get as a souvenir. Get to see as well the world’s largest bat—120 feet long, 68, 000 pounds heavy—in front of the factory.
Tabasco in Avery Island, LA
First you get to view a short film about the history of the company, and then you get to see how this world-famous sauce is created, bottled and packaged. Invented after the Civil War, you can get a whiff of the smell of this hot favorite as soon as you enter the island. Every day, tours are offered, and though it is free, a dollar is charged for toll upon entering the island.
At the end of the tour is a store where all kinds of Tabasco products and souvenirs are being sold. Be brave enough to try the Tabasco-flavored ice cream. To complete the experience, visit the Jungle Gardens in the island where egrets and alligators that were saved from extinction are, saved by a member of the McIlhenny family, who are the owners of Tabasco.
Volkswagen factory at Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany
Riding a transparent train, visitors get to see the whole production process of this famous German car. More focus is given to the creation of Golf. Make sure to book your reservations a week in advance; at 12:45pm on weekdays, English tours start. Adults pay $22, while children ages 6 to 17 only pay a fee of $9. If you’re wondering about the steep price, it’s because it includes admission to the theme park Autostadt, which is said to be the world’s most-visited museum. A treat for participants is the chance to test the cars and take part in an off-road driving program.
Gibson Guitars in Memphis
Musicians will go crazy over this factory. Get to see every stage of the production and learn how to create a perfect guitar masterpiece, something which the musician Jimmy Page is a great fan of. For ten dollars, get to see the lively and fun-loving workers dance while painting the new guitars, and see how strict they can be as they give close inspection to practically every inch of the new guitars.
Riedel in Kufstein, Austria
Glassmaking is perhaps one of the most fascinating things to look at, as perfect, fragile-looking glasses that slowly come into shape are a wonder to behold. Riedel is world-famous for its glasses, and watching the glassmakers blow these fine glasses will make you appreciate their product even more. Tour starts by getting to know the company’s history—it is owned by a family and has been around for centuries. Weekday tours are $7.50 for adults and $4.50 for young visitors ages 2 to 16. For an extra $7.50, get to drink wine from glasses with different shapes, to see how the shapes actually affect the taste of the wine.
Caves de la Veuve Clicquot in Reims, France
No factory tour will be complete without getting to know how champagne is made. In this place you will start your tour by getting to watch the history of champagne and how it is made, and then you will go down into the caves where champagne is preserved until the yeast sediment is completely removed, or degorgement. Tours are available every weekday, but from April to October, it is also open during Saturdays. $14 is the adult fee, while children under 16 are free of charge. Make sure you bring a jacket as the caves can get quite cold, and don’t forget as well to reserve for your trip. All visitors are given a glass of champagne at the end of the tour, and all kinds of champagne sold by Veuve Clicquot are available at the gift shop.
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