Alaska November 01, 2017
6 Fantastic Factories You Can Visit In Alaska
At these Alaskan factories you can see how some of our own Alaska-made products are created. These unique factory tours are great for visitors, excursions with the family or class, or for finding gifts with an Alaskan flair. Check out these factory tours and the next time you see these products, you’ll know all the secrets of how they were made.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Ulu Factory,
211 West Ship Creek Avenue, Anchorage.
In Alaska, you will see ulus everywhere. The knives are a classic Alaskan tool with a curved blade and a handle over the top, traditionally a single-edged knife for skinning. Found throughout all of Alaska and Canada, the earliest ulus are made of stone and dated
3000-5000 years ago. At this functioning factory, they make the ulus on site and show you how it's done. They have a collection of historic ulus and a full factory creating the knives, open year-round. Head there on weekdays between 9-4 to see the ulu makers at work.
2. Great Alaskan Bowl Company, 4630 Old Airport Road, Fairbanks.
Watch huge birch trees become beautiful bowls before your eyes at this wonderful factory. One of the last fully operating bowl mills left in America, the company has been going strong for 20 years. The 22-step manufacturing process creates solid birch bowls that will last for generations of use; from making bread dough to serving salads and holding fruit or popcorn. Watch the process, check out the bowls and enjoy this fun factory in Fairbanks.
3. Alaskan Brewing Company, 5429 Shaune Drive, Juneau.
Since 1986, the Alaskan Brewing Co. has been making excellent beer in Juneau. Head to their brewery for a guided factory tour and a tasting. You can try all their delicious beers with an expert guiding you through the flavors. A wonderful day trip for a beer lover.
4. Musk Ox Farm, 12850 E. Archie Road, Palmer.
This farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and domestication of the musk ox (Ovibos moschatus). Head to the countryside to check out these unique arctic animals and take a 45 minute tour of the grounds. By appointment only in the winter and open May-September. The farm processes the soft under fur of the animals, called qiviut, and distributes it to skilled Alaskans to make clothing that is returned and sold at the farm. There is a museum on site where you can learn about the whole process of harvesting the qiviut and making the iconic item: "The Smoke Ring," an impossibly warm, soft scarf that goes around your face. Enjoy this magical day in the Alaskan country learning about a treasured Alaskan product and the process of it's creation.
5. The Alaska Mint, 429 West 4th Avenue, Anchorage.
The Northernmost Mint in the U.S. is right in downtown Anchorage. Open for self-guided tours daily where you can watch the minting process in progress along with giant gold nuggets, a scale for weighing gold, authentic assay furnace, and running sluice box. If you're lucky, you may see a miner bringing in his nuggets to be weighed and purchased, as they process raw gold from the many gold miners still mining their claims in Alaska.
6. Alaska Wild Berry Products, 5225 Juneau St, Anchorage.
This delectable place is a candy and chocolate factory with a viewable kitchen. You can watch the experts make a wide variety of confections at this shop in their hot kitchen for an outing that's family friendly and fun. Head here from 10 AM-3 PM, Monday through Friday to see the candy makers at work.
They also have the World's Largest Chocolate Waterfall!
Do you like tours? Try
This Covered Wagon Tour In Alaska Will Transport You Back In Time and This Haunted Brothel Museum In Alaska Is Not For The Faint Of Heart.
Have you been on these factory tours? Tell us about it in the comments below.