Candies have always been a part of our lives and what better way to express appreciation to these sweets than to visit the places that make them. If you have a sweet tooth, you should drop by one of these factories when given a chance to make sure they truly exist and to have a fun, memorable experience. If you are a candy lover, these candy tours of real candy companies are worth taking. Hershey’s Pennsylvania: this chocolate tour will offer you free chocolate samples and a free visit to their amusement park. At the Jelly Belly Candy tour in California, you will taste about fifty flavors and watch the candies being manufactured. Take another tour to Theo Factory in Washington and you will love the process of making chocolates and also attend chocolate making classes. Here’s the complete list ranked as per popular reviews – something that you will save until you visit all of them.
Hershey’s Chocolate Tour, Pennsylvania
The name ‘Hersey’s’ is one of the most popular names when it comes to anything sweet. A visit to the Hersey’s factory is an obvious choice when it comes to candy tours. Named after the candy itself, the city of Hersey offers more just than free samples and chocolate shops. Aside from the amusement park, this factory offers a 30-minute tour that includes a coaster car ride that travels through a cacao beans ‘rainforest,’ a dancing candy bar display, and a sweet treat at the end. If you’re craving the taste of chocolate bars, you can try this tour where you will satisfy your sweet tooth through a guided experience of chocolate tasting, a create-your-own-candy-bar activity, or even a choco body wrap at the spa. Best of all, these tours are completely free-of-charge. So, come and join the Hersey’s experience to have an amazing chocolate-filled day. It’s something you shouldn’t miss!
Jelly Belly Factory Tour, California
Founded by Gustav Goelitz in the year 1869 in Belleville, Illinois, his hometown, the Gustav Goelitz Candy is one of the best-known producers of jellybeans in the country. The founder never thought that his humble factory would become a jellybean empire that offers over 50 flavors to choose from. Today, the factory is better known as the Jelly Belly Candy Company, with its headquarters located in Fairfield, California. You don’t have to pay to visit the factory and the self-guided tours allow you to walk through the history of the company along with the candy manufacturing process. It even includes a lot of interactive exhibits. After the tour, you can drop by the Chocolate Shoppe to watch chocolates getting handcrafted. Aside from the jelly beans, you will also see fudge, truffles, and Harry Potter-inspired, “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.” Although the target customers of this factory are children, adults can have fun too.
Theo Factory Experience, Washington
The Seattle-based Theo Chocolate Factory is one of the first in the country’s artisan-chocolate, bean-to-bar movement. It’s open for 1-hour tours each week and if you love chocolate, this is one tour you don’t want to miss. The confectionery company got founded in the year 2006 and is one of the first fair-trade, artisanal chocolate manufacturers in the US. The tour includes details of the bean-to-bar process along with information about sustainability and environmental issues. The company also offers a wide range of chocolate-making classes available to kids and adults. Don’t forget to drop by the Theo Flagship Store after the tour, where you can buy bestsellers like the salted toffee dark chocolate bar or the Big Daddy Marshmallow. A great part of the tour, which is much anticipated, is the sampling of products. Then you can take your chocolate shopping to the max at the factory store to buy limited-edition treats that you won’t get anywhere else.
Boehm’s Candies & Chocolates Tour, Washington
Boehm’s Candies and Chocolates is also in the state of Washington. This Alpine Chalet-inspired chocolate shop is in Issaquah. The candy company got founded in 1942 by Julius Boehm, the Olympic runner. Originally found in Seattle, Julius moved the company to its present location because the new site reminded Boehm of his native Austrian home. If you want to visit, you can have a self-guided tour free of charge during the summer where you can watch the chocolatiers mold chocolates, make peanut brittle, and dip truffles. As an alternative, you can also attend a pre-book guided tour that includes a stop at Boehm’s original chalet to look at historic memorabilia and an onsite visit to the wedding chapel. Of course, you have to drop by their shop that stocks all of the Boehm bestsellers along with a few extras like lava cakes, frozen bananas, and even a 4-pound Santa made of 100% milk chocolate!
PEZ Candy Visitor Center, Connecticut
Do you still remember collecting PEZ candy dispensers? To a child, these are both tasty and magical. Now, you can relive your nostalgia by stopping by the PEX Candy Visitor Center to see the largest candy dispenser in the world! Although you aren’t allowed to enter the factory, you can still drop by the visitor’s center that offers special viewing windows of the factory’s production line along with videos that show the history of PEZ. The visitor center offers a wide range of memorabilia on display and this includes all of the PEZ dispensers ever made, lots of interactive displays, and a PEZ motorcycle. You can also choose to take the self-guided tour of the 4,000-square-foot factory, where you will see a lot of “eye candy.” PEZ got founded in the year 1927 in Vienna before moving to the US. It has an interesting history for you to discover with a visit to the factory now.
Ethel M Chocolates Tour, Nevada
Ethel M Chocolate company got founded in 1981. If you’re wondering what the letter “M” stands for, it stands for ‘Mars,’ as in Forrest Mars Sr., the famous inventor of M&M who also happens to be part of the Mars candy empire. Mr. Mars doesn’t include “retired” in his vocabulary, so he founded Ethel M Chocolates and named it after his late mother. The chocolate company offers chocolates that are completely free of preservatives and made from cocoa beans that are sustainably sourced. In line with sustainability, the production plant is in a desert outside of Las Vegas. It’s land-fill free and powered by a solar garden. The company offers a self-guided tour free-of-charge where you can view the chocolatiers at work or you can book a Tasting Room Experience with an option to try wine tasting. After the tour, take a walk at the cactus garden, the biggest of its kind, then grab a bite at the Cactus Garden Cafe.
Spangler Candy Factory Tour, Ohio
Some people might not recognize the Spangler name immediately, but they will recognize the candy creations including Necco Wafers, Smarties, Dum Dum lollipops, Sweethearts, Circus Peanuts, and other classics. Founded in Bryan, Ohio, in the year 1906, the Spangler Company started with laundry starch and baking products. Then one of the brothers suggested that the company branch out to making candies – and that’s what they did in the year 1908. That decision made history and by the year 1914, the Spanglers were already producing peanut clusters, cough drops, ice cream, and more. They changed the name of the company to Spangler Candy Company in the year 1920. Currently, Spangler makes 12 million Dum Dums each day! Visit the factory to learn more about it. Ride the Dum Dum Trolley that will take you through the warehouse and the room where they wrap lollipops. Also, visit the assembly line, the museum, and the store.
Hammond’s Candy Company, Colorado
The Hammond’s Candy Company got founded by Carl T. Hammond in the year 1920. It’s famous for products like candy canes, lollypops, and other popular treats that are either twisted, pulled, and shaped, then packed by hand. To view all of these, visit the company where they offer a tour every 30 minutes. There are no reservations required but you may call ahead before your visit. Children are most welcome. They offer wheelchairs for disabled or elderly individuals and strollers for tiny guests. The candies offered by Hammond have a vintage twist and these include peppermint pillows, hand-pulled lollypops, and ribbon candies. If you want to feel the ambiance, you can put a paper hat on your head. The factory tour is completely free-of-charge. After this, you can go and visit the gift shop to score some sweet treats. This is another memorable tour to add to your list of sweet factories in the US.
Sweet’s Candy Company, Utah
The state of Oregon was where the Sweet Candy Company started in the year 1892. It then moved to Salt Lake City in Utah in the 1900s, where it has stayed there until now. If you’re an avid learner of candy history, this is one place you should include in your itinerary. The Sweet Candy Company is well-known for its fruit sours, saltwater taffy, and the newer creations that include chocolate-covered fruit sticks and milk chocolate-coated cinnamon bears. The factory has remained family-owned and operated by the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations of the family. Aside from the classics, the company also produces over 250 other types of candies. The company offers free tours on weekdays where you can try some samples. Although the tours are completely free, making an appointment is necessary – you can choose to go from Monday to Friday. The guided tour includes fresh samples, interactive stations, and educational stations.
Cerreta Candy Company, Arizona
This candy factory got established in the year 1968 by Jim Cerreta Sr. It has become popular because of its signature French mint chocolate candies. This is closely followed by the chocolate creams and caramels. Jim Cerreta thanks his father-in-law for the art of candy production since he learned his skills from his father-in-law. Then, he passed these skills to his children and grandchildren. After four generations, the business is still as strong as ever. A visit to the factory showcases murals depicting different aspects of candy production. All of the characters displayed in these murals are real people who have worked at the company. Cerreta’s retail store and production area are in the same building. This means that you can view the staff at work while they make the sweet stuff. The 30-minute guided tour is free-of-charge and offered Monday to Friday from 10:00 in the morning and 1:00 in the afternoon.