Hilmar Cheese Co.
Founded in 1984, Hilmar annually produces more cheese and whey from one site than any other manufacturer in the world, and employs more than 1,200 people. The company produces more than 21 million pounds of milk (9.5 million liters) of milk each day and receives milk from more than 230 dairies, producing more than 2.4 million pounds of cheese each day. Much of their cheese is found in stores under other name brands.
This is a great example of a large facility. The site is full of educational opportunities from viewing the cheesemaking to agricultural and processing educational. Great for groups and also individuals just stopping by.
Season: Year Round
Free Cheese Tours Learn how cheese is made. Tour the Visitor Center (4 miles off Highway 99 in Turlock), and explore interactive, hands-on exhibits about cows, dairies and cheesemaking. Watch Daisy's moooovie. See employees package the "big cheese" - 640-pound crates of cheese.
Admission and Hours
Open 7am to 6pm Monday - Friday, and Saturday 10am-2pm. Closed on Sunday.
A fun family adventure. The upstairs exhibit area may be closed Saturday or Sunday after 11:30 a.m. for private events.
There are several tour options:
Free Self-Guided Tours
Self-guided tours of the California Visitor Center are available anytime.
Free Guided Visitor Center Tours
1. Weekend Tours start at 11 a.m. The upstairs viewing windows and exhibits are subject to closure for special events after 11:30 a.m. until closing.
2. Summer Weekday Tours - June - August at 11am and 1pm
Family Fun Ice Cream Activity Come create (and eat) your own ice cream. Take the tour followed by the ice cream activity. Join the fun as you "shake, rattle and roll" to create your own homemade individual frozen dairy dessert. Fun for all ages, especially those "young at heart."
Dates for this special tour all take place at 11am:
June-August, Monday-Friday at 11am (except for July 4)
Thanksgiving holiday - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday before Thanksgiving and on Black Friday afterward.
Holiday tours - the week of Christmas and week of New Year's Day.
$3.00 per participant
Sign in at the Peet's Espresso counter at 10:45 a.m.
Tour begins at 11 a.m. followed by ice cream activity
Reservations recommended for groups of 10 or more, please call 209.656.1196
Holiday Extravaganza - Enjoy shopping in a beautiful winter wonderland filled with delightful gifts, cheese baskets and packages for everyone. Special events are planned during this time. Check Hilmar's calendar of events for the schedule.