I don’t know about you, but seeing how things are made generally gives me a greater appreciation for them. Luckily, a number of companies let you take behind-the-scenes looks at how their products are put together. Check out these 12 Factory Tours That Show You How Cars, Planes, Trains and More With Wheels Are Made.
Before we get started, here are three things to keep in mind
Call ahead and reserve spots on the tour well before you arrive whenever possible. Some tours fill up very quickly and it would be a bummer to travel a long way only to be turned away.
Some tours are free, but many do require you to purchase tickets. The costs are reasonable for the behind-the-scenes access that you get in return.
These transportation factory tours are generally not suitable for young children and most companies have minimum age requirements. Be sure and consult the individual manufacturer’s tour information before you book a tour so that you can plan ahead if somebody needs to stay at the hotel pool or campground with the little ones.
Now on to the good stuff.
Get a first hand look at how these iconic travel trailers are made.
Jackson Center, Ohio (About 50 miles from Dayton Ohio)
Tours available during weekdays. No charge indicated.
Take an awe-inspiring tour of the plant where large airplanes such as the 747, 767, 777, and 787 are being built. The plant is the world’s largest building by volume according to Boeing.
Everett, Washington (25 miles from Seattle)
Tours available weekdays and weekends. Cost to purchase tickets.
See the world’s longest running, continuously produced passenger car (and a sweet looking one to boot) being put together.
Bowling Green, KY
Tours available weekdays. No children under 10 allowed. Cost to purchase tickets and can combine for discount on Corvette Museum entry.
Witness Ford Trucks being built, see the plant’s awesome living roof spanning 10.4 acres, and get two theater experiences focusing on the history, present, and future of Ford Motors.
Dearborn, Michigan (Part of Detroit Metropolitan Area)
Tours available Monday-Saturday. Cost to purchase tickets.
Unique options to tour any of three facilities that produce different lines of these iconic motorcycles.
York, Pennsylvania (More than 15 Other Factory Tours Available in Area As Well), Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin (Great Milwaukee Area), and Kansas City, Missouri
Tours available weekdays. Free and paid tours are available.
Get an up close look (riding a tram) at several Hyundai auto models being constructed by humans along with robots.
Tours available weekdays. Free tours to age 6 and above.
Check out operations via 4 distinct factory tours.
East Moline, IL (Combine Building facility), Waterloo, Iowa (Tractor Cabs and Assembly) and (Engine Works), and Ankeny, Iowa (Des Moines metro site of self-propelled sprayer, cotton picker, tillage equipment, and grain drills).
Tours available weekdays. No cost indicated and participants must be 13 years and older.
This multi-use plant building both railcars and other consumer products such as ATVs and Mules.
Tours available one day a week. No cost indicated and participants must be 12 years or older.
First-hand tour of the manufacturing facility that produces Sports Utility Vehicles, Sedans, and Coupes synonymous with luxury. Also, the company’s museum is on site.
Vance, Alabama (Between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, AL)
Tours are available on two weekdays. Cost to purchase tickets and tours for 10 years and older.
Tour the largest Toyota plant outside of Japan producing approximately 500,000 vehicles a year. State of the art visitor’s center also on site.
Georgetown, KY (near Lexington)
No cost indicated. Youth must be 4th grade or older. Also, tours available of body weld, engine, and production areas at Toyota Plant in Princeton, Indiana (Greater Evansville).
Get a bird’s eye view of the Bailey Yard, one of the largest railroad classification yard’s in the world. Bailey Yard has 17 receiving and 16 departure tracks handling 14,000 rail cars every 24 hour. The Golden Spike Tower offers panoramic views of the rail yard, as well as, a look at Union Pacific Memorabilia.
Come check out the largest motorhome manufacturing facility in the world. A fun look at this classic way to travel in style.
Forest City, Iowa
Tours are available on weekdays. No cost is indicated.
For more Travel Fun and Tips: