The playground-like Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, about an hour’s drive from San Francisco along I-80, is a candy mecca. It offers free quarter-mile-long, self-guided tours on an elevated viewing platform that lets you see the candy making in action. You also get to play with interactive exhibits and nosh on free traditional and funky-flavored samples, from fruity-sour-apple and birthday-cake, and also flavors from such “flavor collections” as Harry Potter Bertie Bott’s (candy floss, earthworm), BeanBoozled (dirty dishwater, stinky socks) Krispy Kreme (original glazed, chocolate with sprinkles) and Cocktail Classics (mojito, pomegranate cosmo). And don’t miss the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Art Gallery, which features portraits and recreations of famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa to Van Gogh’s Starry Night using just jelly beans. Afterward, head to the Jelly Belly Café for bean-shape pizzas, bean-shape burgers, garlic fries, and more.
For a master’s class in candy making, you can, for an extra charge, take the Jelly Belly University Tour, led by a Dean of the Bean. You’ll suit up in a white lab coat, hairnet, and gloves—no sandals, flip-flops, or high heels allowed—to go behind the scenes and watch master confectioners at work. If chocolate is more your speed when it comes to sugary indulgences, you’re in for a treat: Chocolate & Wine Experiences are offered daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering six local vintner wines and chocolate confections from the Jelly Belly Chocolate Shoppe. (Non-alcoholic versions of the tastings are also available).