From pristine apple orchards to world-famous Hershey's chocolate, Pennsylvania has a lot to offer when it comes to food. The entire state is known for its booming agribusiness industry and fine manufacturing establishments. Parts of Pennsylvania have even earned the title "Snack Food Capital of the World," attracting large numbers of visitors every year hoping to catch of glimpse (and a taste) of the famous treats straight from the source.
Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Lancaster County is the potato chip and pretzel capital of America. Here are the best places to sample the tasty PA products that fill your supermarket's shelves, see how your favorite snack foods are made, and experience some of the most delicious parts of Lancaster Country.
Products: Potato chips, pretzels, tortilla chips, cheese curls, popcorn
Address: Herr Foods Inc., 20 Herr Drive, Nottingham, PA 19362; (610) 932-9330
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fridays. The factory cannot guarantee production on Thursdays or Fridays. Reservations required.
Additional Info: All tours take approximately one hour. When scheduling, please indicate the time of day (on the hour) you wish to take your tour.
Products: Potato chips
Address: 5847 Lincoln Highway (US Route 30), Thomasville, PA 17364; 717-792-3565
9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. Tuesdays. Reservations required and suggested. Tours take 45 minutes and are free.
Additional Info: Reservations can be made by calling (800) 272-4477 Ext. 3351. A factory store is located on-site. Closed toed shoes are required on the tour. Cameras are permitted, and the tour is handicap accessible.
Products: Multiple varieties of sourdough hard pretzels
Address: 507 Baltimore St, Hanover, PA 17331; (717) 630-2883
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
Additional Info: Reservations are recommended.The length of the tour is 20 minutes, and there is no admission charge. Motor coaches are welcome, but please pre-schedule bus tours. Tours are handicap accessible.
Products: Chips, pretzels, tortilla chips
Address: 1350 York St, Hanover, PA 17331; (800) 233-7125 Ext. 28592
10 a.m., 10:30 a.m.,11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Reservations required at least 24 hours in advance.
Additional Info: The free walking tour allows you to look down upon their raw material warehouse, finished goods warehouse (where you will see robotics at work), their state-of-the-art complex packing room and oven room. You'll see how potato chips are made from beginning to end. Guests will receive a free bag of pretzels at the completion of the tour. The tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and everyone participating must be able to climb stairs. No photos can be taken on the tour.
Products: Soft and hard pretzels
Address: 219 East Main St. (Route 772), Lititz, PA 17543; (717) 626-4354
Monday - Saturday - 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday - Noon-4:00 p.m.
Mon. - Sat. Tour Hours - 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sunday Tour Hours - Noon-3:30 p.m.
Additional Info: Lasting around 25 minutes, these handicapped-accessible tours lead visitors through the original bakery, where each visitor is given their own piece of dough and taught how to twist a pretzel. Visitors will see the original ovens built by Julius Sturgis and learn the history of pretzel baking in America. For groups with more than 10 people, call ahead for reservations. Admission: $3.75 for adults and $2.75 for children.
Products: Potato chips, baked crisps, pretzels, tortilla chips, sunflower crisps, cheese curls, popcorn, pork rinds
Address: 900 High St, Hanover, PA 17331; (717) 637-6644
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays
Additional Info: The self-guided tour of Utz Quality Foods allows you to view the entire 30-minute process that transforms a raw spud into a crunchy chip. Utz has evolved into a large, regional snack food company that produces up to 14,000 pounds of award winning chips per hour. You can take the 30-45 minutes self-guided tour of Utz Quality Foods for free, and reservations are not required for parties smaller than 10. Additionally, cameras are not allowed, there are steps on the tour and there are no minimum age requirements. For reservations contact email@example.com or 1-800-367-7629.