California factories to visit and tour
California has factories to visit and tour. Below, first are the active, working factories. The next section has historical operations which often have demonstrations or renactments. These incluse both large and small operations, from several person chocolate factories and cheesemakers to large manufacturers making paper towels, wood products, beverage cans and bottles, are open to the public with real tours, exhibitions and fun education.
In some cases, such as a manufacturing process that is no longer in use, the only way to see it and learn about it is a museum or living history center. So, we also provide information about engineering facilities and museums, dinosaur digs, even government facilities, like NASA, astronomy oberservatories and more that are open to the public on certain days and times. And if there is some place that is just plain fun to visit, we add that, too!
These are perfect for homeschooling, for STEM and for fun! Kids love visiting these places! They're learning and getting an education without even realizing it. And most of these are either free or under $10! What's better then fun, entertaining, good for children and families, educational and free?
Here are some of the top factory tours in California and contact information and tips about visiting them.
Factories, Engineering, Museums and other fun demonstrations and exhibits to visit in California
- Amazon Fulfillment Center - tour of the facility
OAK4: Amazon Fulfillment Center, 1555 South Chrisman Road, Tracy, CA 95376.
LGB3: Amazon Fulfillment Center Tours, 4950 Goodman Road, Eastvale, CA 91752.
BOOK ON THEIR WEBSITE. Each tour is approximately 60-90 minutes long. On the tour you may walk up and down at least one flight of stairs and walk approximately 1 mile. Amazon says "Ever wondered what happens when you shop on Amazon? Book a free walking tour of an Amazon warehouse and see how our people and technology deliver for customers." The also have the following recommendations and requirements:
Arrive Early - arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour.
Attire - All guests must wear flat, closed-toed, and closed-heeled shoes (no sandals, clogs or high heels). We recommend wearing comfortable shoes or sneakers. Additionally, long hair must be pulled at or above shoulder length. Loose fitting clothing (long-hanging jewelry, scarves, or ties) are not permitted. Headscarves worn for religious reasons are permitted but must be tucked in securely.
Identification - Upon your arrival, your tour leader will ask for a government issued photo ID. Please ensure that guest information submitted during sign-up matches the guest ID.
- Jelly Belly Visitor Center & Factory -
1 Jelly Belly Lane, Fairfield, CA. Map Phone: 800-522-3267. Open: Factory tours are offered daily, 9:15am to 4:00pm. Directions: located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento off I-80 and Highway 12. JELLY BELLY SELF-GUIDED FACTORY TOURS: For a small entrance fee, you can join us for a self guided tour! Reservations are not required.
HD/4K quality videos to give you an up-close-and-personal look at our candy manufacturing
A self-guided walk along the elevated, ¼ mile long tour lane to give you a bird’s-eye view of the entire operation.
Tour Pricing, when last checked: All ages are welcome to take our factory tour! Prices are $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. Ages 2 & under are free. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Active military receive 20% off their ticket price by showing military ID.
ADA Accessibility: All areas of the Visitor Center and public factory tour are fully ADA accessible. (Strollers and wheelchairs are not provided.)
Paramount Pictures Studio Tour - Movie Studio Tour
5515 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Phone: (323) 956-1777. Open: see their website, as conditions are constantly changing. Paramount Pictures Studio Tour provides a glimpse into Hollywood's history and present. Explore the studio's iconic backlot, soundstages, and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where many legendary stars are buried.
- See a TV show being recorded live -
Sony Pictures Studios, Stage 10, Culver City, CA. Directions: Google Maps. You should request tickets as far in advance as possible. The show is recorded twice a day for a week or two. You can even register for the chance to be on Jeopardy
Let's Make a Deal -
Haven Studio, Glendale, California. Directions: Google Map You can apply for general admission or a priority ticket. The show is recorded several times a day, at 9 AM, 11 AM, and 1 PM. They even have a costume shop where you can rent ($10-$35 to rent) or purchase costumes to wear on the show.
The Price Is Right -
CBS Television City, corner of N Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, Hollywood, CA. Tickets are free and you can obtain them online. Click here to find a ticket. The show is usually taped 5-10 days out of every month. Directions: Google maps.
Wheel Of Fortune -
Sony Pictures Studios, Stage 11, Culver City, CA. Directions: Stage 11 is located off Culver Boulevard, across the street from Calley Park. Google Maps. Tickets are free, you can also apply to be a contestant.
There are other shows, including the late night talk shows, like Jimmy Kimmel, Follow the link for more about those.
- Sony Pictures Studio Tour - Movie Studio Tour
10202 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232. Phone: (310) 244-8687. Open: see their website, as conditions are constantly changing. The Sony Pictures Studio Tour offers a guided walking tour through a historic studio lot. You can see soundstages, sets, and props used in popular films and TV shows.
- Sunset Las Palmas Studios - Movie Studio Tour
1040 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Phone: (323) 860-0000. Open: see their website, as conditions are constantly changing. Hollywood Center Studios offers group tours for those interested in behind-the-scenes looks at a working studio lot. Note that availability may vary. Sunset Las Palmas Studios, formerly General Service Studios and Hollywood Center Studios, is an American independent entertainment production lot
Phone: (323) 860-0000
- Taylor Guitars - guitar maker
1980 Gillespie Way, El Cajon, CA 92020. Phone: 800-943-6782. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, Pacific Standard Time, except for national holidays and company vacations. Despite what other websites are saying, as of late 2023, Taylor Guitars is currently not offering public tours of our factory. But they do have a Visitor Center. The Taylor Visitor Center and guitar showroom are open to the public Monday through Friday (excluding certain holidays and company closures), from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There, you can see a wide selection of Taylor models, more than 100 on display! Guitars and TaylorWare apparel and accessories are available for purchase.
- Universal Studios Hollywood - Movie Studio Tour
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608. Phone: (800) 864-8377. Open: see their website, as conditions are constantly changing. Universal Studios Hollywood offers the Studio Tour, which takes you behind the scenes of a real working movie studio. You can explore iconic sets, visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and enjoy thrilling rides and attractions. It's both movie studio and amusement park. The tour is a ride at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in Universal City, California near Los Angeles. Studio Tour is the theme park's signature attraction. It travels through a working film studio, with various film sets on the Universal Studios Lot. Duration: 45–60 minutes. Admission is included with a Theme Park Ticket or Annual Pass purchase. (blackout dates apply)
- Walt Disney Studios - Movie Studio Tour
500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521. Phone: (855) 458-4212. Open: see their website, as conditions are constantly changing. Walt Disney Studios does not offer public tours, but you can visit the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank. While not a traditional tour, you can explore the lobby and view a gallery of Disney animation history.
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour -
3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818) 977-8687. Email: email@example.com. Open: Studio Tour hours are daily 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM, WB Studio Store hours are daily 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour offers an immersive experience on a working studio lot. You can see famous sets, costumes, and props from your favorite movies and TV shows, including the DC Universe and Harry Potter. The tour route may vary daily based on the studio’s production needs. Your tour begins at the Storytelling Showcase at our welcome center where you will learn about the nearly 100-year history of the studio. After you watch a brief introductory film, you will meet one of our expert tour guides who will take you on to the back lot in one of our custom tour carts. You will explore back-lot sets and other production areas and learn how we bring stories to life on the big and small screen. The midway point of the tour is Stage 48: Script to Screen, where you will start the self-guided portion of the tour and explore the actual Central Perk set from Friends, the Big Bang Theory sets, Classic Costumes and explore the Art of Sound in our Post Production Area. Dining is available at our newly expanded Central Perk Café where you can enjoy our New York deli-inspired menu in recreations of your favorite Friends sets. Once you finish at Stage 48, you will make your way to our grand finale, Action and Magic Made Here, where you can explore recreated sets, props and costumes from the DC Universe and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Your tour concludes in our Celebration of Awards Season, where you get your red-carpet moment. Shop in the all-new studio store for exclusive merch from your favorite films and TV shows.
Last checked in 2023, prices were $70 for adults, $58 for ages 5 to 10, and prices can go up to $300/per person for deluxe tours.
California Historical Forts and Sites, Famous buildings, Active Federal facilities to tour, Geology: like fossils and volcanic areas
- Alcatraz Island - San Francisco, CA. Alcatraz reveals stories of American incarceration, justice, and our common humanity. This small island was once a fort, a military prison, and a maximum security federal penitentiary. In 1969, the Indians of All Tribes occupied Alcatraz for 19 months in the name of freedom and Native American civil rights. We invite you to explore Alcatraz's complex history and natural beauty.
- Eugene O'Neill - Danville, CA. America's only Nobel Prize winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill, chose to live in Northern California at the height of his writing career. Isolated from the world and within the walls of his home, O'Neill wrote his final and most memorable plays; The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten.
- Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco Maritime - San Francisco, CA. Located in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers visitors the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history. The Park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, a Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District.
- Fort Point - Presidio of San Francisco, CA. From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay following California's Gold Rush through World War II. Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of 3rd system brick masonry and interacts gracefully with the Golden Gate Bridge.
- La Brea Tar Pits - Famous for the prehistoric animals like Mastodons that are preserved in the natural tar, La Brea Tar Pits are in Hancock Park in Los Angeles, US. Natural asphalt has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years.
- Manzanar - Independence, CA. In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where the US government incarcerated Japanese immigrants ineligible for citizenship and Japanese American citizens during World War II.
- Pony Express - Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY. It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
- Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front - Richmond, CA. Explore and honor the efforts and sacrifices of American civilians on the World War II home front. Find out how they lived, worked and got along. Many faces, many stories, many truths weave a complex tapestry of myths and realities from this time of opportunity and loss.
California State historic sites and parks
These are state-run parks, museums and historic sites that present the history of some manufacturing process, industry, or living settlement
- Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
- California Citrus State Historic Park
- California State Mining and Mineral Museum Park Property
- California State Railroad Museum Point of Interest
- Cambria State Marine Park
- Governor's Mansion State Historic Park
- Hearst San Simeon State Park
- Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument
- Heber Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
- Lighthouse Field State Beach
- Limekiln State Park
- Palomar Mountain State Park
- Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park
- Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
- Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
- Ames Monument State Historic Site
California Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Located in the Rockies and at the edge of the plains, Wyoming has both landscapes. In the summer, it tends to be semi-arid, hot during day and cool at night. Winters can be brutally cold. Many roads are closed or impassible in the winter.
Bugs are thankfully few!
Camping in California
If you're looking to save money on your trip, camping may be a fun alternative to hotels and motels, especially, if you already have the gear, or are looking to get some. BTW, this websites ( https://RoadTrippingAndCamping.com ) explains everything you need to know about camping gear and where to the best gear at the lowest prices.
If you're not from California, you may not realize that