See it Made: Visit a Factory on Your Next Tour

Factory tours immerse guests with behind-the-scenes experiences to learn how a product is made. Often with samples pre-or post tour, this wraps into a great experience for tour members.

On a tour of the factory on El Cajon, visitors will see numerous examples of the sophisticated, innovative technology, combined with traditional hand-craftsmanship, that has made Taylor Guitars a leader in guitar firsts. The tour will look at the process from creation to finishing.

Taylor offers factory tours of their facilities Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. There is a lot of walking involved and comfortable shoes are suggested. The tour lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. 619-258-1207.

Jelly Belly is the creator of the original gourmet jelly bean, offers a tour of the Fairfield facilities where visitors can witness the creation of the gourmet Jelly Belly jellybeans first hand from an elevated walkway. Video monitors enhance the experience by giving a close-up view of the process. Each tour lasts about 40 minutes and visitors receive a free sample of Jelly Belly jelly beans at the end of the tour.

There is no cost for the tour and reservations are not required. 800-953- 5592.

Chicago is home to one of the best cheesecake producers in the country, Eli’s Cheesecake. The factory offers their normal factory tour with a wide variety of additional options. Factory tour packages range from $3-$38 per person depending on the option selected. They also offer factory tours with lunch options at Eli’s Cheesecake World Dessert Café or dinner options at Elis the Place for Steak. The Be A Star tour includes a tour of the factory and a sampling of Eli’s products to help Eli’s Quality Star Team evaluate their products.

The Sail and Dine tour option includes a sightseeing tour down one of Chicago waterways followed by a lunch at Eli’s the Place for Steak. After lunch, the tour heads to Eli’s Cheesecake World for dessert and a tour of Eli’s bakery. Sail and Dine on Mercury Cruise Line is available May 11, September 30. Chicago Architectural Foundation Tour on First Lady cruise line is available May 12, October 28. For a complete listing of available tours, visit or call 773-205-3800.

Long Grove Confectionery is a wonderful stop for any chocolate lover. The company, previously based in Long Grove, outgrew their facilities and moved their company to Buffalo Grove. The tour starts with a history of the cacao bean, which is used to make chocolate, and a brief history of the company.

The production hallway showcases the history of candy making machines and has five windows to view the production of candies. After the production room, the tour continues with a sampling of chocolate from the factory. The tour concludes in the gigantic outlet store, which offers discounts up to 75% off retail prices.

Reservations are required and the cost is $2 per person. Group packages for day trips are offered and include the chocolate factory tour, lunch and shopping in nearby historic Long Grove and a how-to or hands-on workshop. Call 847-459-3100 or 888-459-3100.