One of the highlights of our trip to the Bay Area last summer was a visit to the Scharffen Berger chocolate factory in Berkeley. We were treated to a very interesting overview of chocolate making, culminating in a tour of the factory and their equipment, like this red Sirocco roaster.
Scharffen Berger isn't the only factory of interest to cooks and foodies, however. We recently discovered Factory Tours USA - a website with listings of many factories across the country that offer tours.
Many of these would be wonderful to visit; next time we're with family in Ohio we plan on visiting the KitchenAid factory (and outlet store!) in Greenville. Check out the list for interesting tours near you - from Maker's Mark bourbon to artisan cheeses and commercial bakeries, there are some fascinating trip opportunities.