One of the mandatory side trips from San Francisco, is a tour of wine country : specifically Napa Valley and Sonoma County. If you’re spending a day going to Napa, you’re going to pass through a town called Fairfield. You can stop off at the following address …
Claim to fame??
The attraction to the Jelly Belly Factory is five fold
- You get to see the production line for Jelly Bellies, along with cheesy videos and samples
- You get to buy a bunch of Belly Flops … BTW kids go bonkers in this place. True Story!
- You get to eat Jelly Bean shaped burgers and pizza!
- You get to see your loved one in a stupid hat (They’re mandatory for the tour)
- It’s FREE to do the tour … everything else you’re going to pay for 😛
Once you walk into the factory, you’re hit with the Factory Store and the first image of Ronald Reagan (made out of Jelly Belly beans)
The owners loved Ronald Reagan. He has a couple Jelly Belly portraits, a stop on the video tour and a little display honoring him … so if you’re a Reagan fan … this is definitely a highlight for you.
As for the tour …
- I thought it was cool, nothing spectacular but kids would love this stuff.
- The no video/pics thing sucked but it’s free, so what can you complain about?
- The Jelly Belly art work is cool to look at, but not enough information given on it (either by pamphlet or website)
- Watching the production line and mechanization of the factory is definitely a good thing on the tour.
After the tour it was back to sampling, buying and eating …
After you sample, then you’re hooked and you’re gonna buy gifts …
Then after that, you’re going to have some lunch … or late breakfast …
With your bean shaped meal
And you get to buy Belly Flops
How to get a better experience :
- Get there early.
- The place opens at 9am.
- We got there are 9:45am on a regular Thursday morning and we sailed through with no problems, when we came out the tour, there was a huge line up of cranky kids and people waiting to get in. I don’t envy the staff over there at all.
- Check out the overstock sale by the restaurant
- The temptation is to run amok in the regular store. We did … but if you’re more price point sensitive, and want the best value for your buck, then the overstock sale is your best bet.
- Call ahead and ensure that the production line is running
- It would suck to drive out and stop there, if the line wasn’t running
- They don’t run the line on Fridays
- Know that all cameras and video are not allowed on the production line tour. (It sets the right expectation)