Whether you crave salty or sweet, a Northeast snack factory road trip is sure to please every palate. Each of the destinations on this list offers a delicious blend of entertainment and education – and you won’t leave hungry.
Vermont’s famed Ben & Jerry’s factory was built in 1985 and produces upward of 350,000 pints per day. The tour starts with a short movie about how founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started their ice cream kingdom, followed by a sneak peek at the ice cream-making process and how it gets packaged in those legendary pint containers. Of course, you’ll be able to indulge in ice cream samples along the way. After the tour, visit the Scoop Shop for a treat and peruse the Flavor Graveyard of retired flavors.
Remember making chocolate milk with Hershey’s syrup or s’mores by the fire with a Hershey’s chocolate bar? Share those sweet memories with your children at Hershey’s Chocolate World. The massive establishment offers a full day’s worth of chocolate-themed activities, including a chance to design your own candy bar. And while not an actual chocolate factory, the factory tour ride is a fun (and free) journey of the entire chocolate-making process.
Herr’s is a genuine snack empire with 340 types of delightfully salty treats, from cheese balls and potato chips to caramel popcorn and peanut butter-filled pretzels. The factory tour is an informative (and tasty) glimpse into the brand. Afterward, hit the museum and gift shop for some road trip snacks. Herr’s variety pack, anyone?
PEZ has been supplying its iconic interactive candy to the world since 1927. The family-friendly company offers tours through the colorful world of PEZ dispensers at its visitor center in Connecticut. Here, you’ll learn about the storied history of PEZ, work your way through interactive games and exhibits, and see the world’s largest PEZ dispenser and vintage dispenser museum. Guests can even design their own PEZ dispenser.
Take a tour of the original Julies Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, founded in 1861, to discover the origins of the pretzel-making tradition and see the pretzel production. Kids can even try their hand at pretzel twisting with a hands-on lesson with pro bakers. Enjoy samples and make a pit stop in the gift shop for some delicious treats to go.
About 20 minutes outside of Boston, the Taza Chocolate factory is handmaking stone-ground chocolate daily. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to see how cacao beans are transformed into artisanal chocolate bars, participate in a chocolate sampling or try a chocolate-making workshop. On weekends, kids under 10 years old can join in a chocolate-themed scavenger hunt.
Known for its potato chips and pretzels, Utz produces over 3 million pounds of snacks per week. Witness the potato chip-making process on a self-guided tour, featuring an observation gallery overlooking the production line.
Need a ride? AAA members can get up to 20% off on Hertz rentals.
Which of these Northeast snack factories is on your list to visit next? Tell us in the comments.