Hidden Adventures: Hilmar Cheese Company

HILMAR, Calif. (KFSN) -- The calming sounds and stone facade of the Hilmar Cheese Visitor's Center attracts cheese lovers from all over the world to stop by, and grab a bite. The cheese plant sits in the small city of Hilmar-- about half an hour north of Merced-- a hidden gem for travelers along Highway 99.

Tours are a big part of the visitor's center, guests, both big and small, start by learning how the plant works then, the real fun starts. Visitors not only learn about how dairy treats are made they get to make some themselves.

"Just seeing the look on their faces of them making it, and tasting it-- it's really exciting," said Jamie Nascimento, parent.

Making a visit both a tasty and educational experience.

"This is a good opportunity to come out here and see how cheese and milk is made and get that education," said Jason Silz, parent.

Of course, the cheese has been the star of the center since they opened back in the late 90's. The unique part of the center, on the second floor, toward the back, you can look through the window and into the plant and see the cheese get packaged.

"You can look in and see a 640 pound crate of cheese being packaged. It's the only place in the world where you can see that," said Denise Skidmore, Hilmar Cheese Spokesperson.

The menu is filled with unique cheese recipes, while ice cream is ready to fulfill sweet tooth cravings you can even enjoy a picnic on site.

Visitors on the go can grab some items from the shop, or even some wine and cheese to enjoy at home.

"I think it's important for people to understand about agriculture, and it's neat they can take a piece of California with them when they come by and stop," said Skidmore.

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