The first in a series of short day trips you can take around the Yakima Valley that won't totally destroy your gas budget.

After dealing with a bit of cabin fever this winter, you and your family may want to get out and about this spring. The Darigold Dairy Fair and Cheese Factory Tours in Sunnyside may fit the bill.

The factory is easily accessable off of I-82 at 400 Alexander Road. While it's not quite on the same level as the gold standard of Northwest cheese tours, the Tillamook factory in Oregon, it is interesting.

After viewing a short video about Darigold plants and products, you head upstairs to view the cheesemaking floor through large windows. You get to see the huge tanks where milk is turned into curds and whey, with easy to read signage about the cheese making process. You maybe surprised to find out this factory is responsible for 5% of all cheese made in the United States!

After the free, self-guided tour, you can sample cheeses made in the factory and cheese curds, also known as "squeeky cheese". Their deli has a  selection of soups and sandwiches, ice cream, and a huge selection of dairy products for sale. They have ample indoor and outdoor seating. They also carry quite a few Northwest gourmet food products and souvenirs.

One note: If you have small children, the gift shop's loaded with toys. Be prepared.

The tour did hold my hold my five year old's attention, as it doesn't take long.

Darigold Dairy Fair
400 Alexander Rd.
Sunnyside, WA  98944
Open Daily