Welcome to the Local Adventurer Link Up. The purpose of this weekly link up is to foster gratitude for the place you live, show others great local experiences that they might never find as a tourist, and to inspire others to explore and be present wherever they are. Our local adventure this week was the Ethel M Chocolate Factory Tour.
DISCOVERY CONSISTS NOT OF SEEKING NEW LANDS BUT SEEING WITH NEW EYES.
Whether it’s Snickers, Dove, Twix, or M&M’s, we’ve all had Mars chocolate before. But did you know that after Forrest E. Mars, Sr retired, he created Ethel M Chocolates? It opened in 1980 as a project to cure his boredom. This boutique chocolate shop is located in Henderson, NV and focuses on producing gourmet premium chocolates.
Named after his mother, Ethel M Chocolate factory has a free self-guided tour where you can learn more about chocolate making and the traditions of Mars Inc. Until we went on this tour, we had no idea how Mars Inc was affiliated to Ethel M Chocolates. Learned something new! :)
The tour is along one hallway where you can see chocolate making in action! There are also videos you can watch to learn the history of Mars and Ethel M. As a bonus, you get a free sample at the end of the tour, but we decided to also pick up a couple extras at the store to taste.
Outside the building, there is a four acre botanical cactus garden which features over 300 species of desert plants. It’s one of the world’s largest collections of its kind.
Below were some of my favorites, mainly because they were the most photogenic: ;)
The Saguaro Cactus “Giant of the Desert” lives up to 150-200 years.
The saguaro skeleton is a rare sight and takes decades to be completely exposed. Due to their unique appearance, they are often used as household decor and is the essence of the southwestern look.
The prickly pear! Every time I hear “prickly pear” it makes me think of “now when you pick a pawpaw or a prickly pear and you prick a raw paw”… Anyone know where this is from? ;)
Desert Bird of Paradise on the left, Purple Pancake Cactus in the middle, and Red Barrel Cactus on the right:
Baby bunny!! We kept chasing him down for photos. SO CUTE!
Tips for Visiting the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Gardens:
- A small branch of M&M’s World is attached to the factory.
- If you plan on buying chocolate to take home, be sure to check out the garden first so they don’t melt while you’re walking around. Ours did, so we ate them!
- Avoid going early afternoon since they change shifts. Otherwise you’ll miss all the action of running the line.
See our other Las Vegas local adventures here.
Do you have a sweet tooth? What’s your absolute favorite chocolate?
LOCAL ADVENTURER LINK UP RULES
1. Share your most recent post about a local adventure (i.e., a new area of town or a new food spot you checked out) either in your own hometown or within driving distance. Doesn’t have to be a Thursday post, but mine just happens to be. Unrelated entries or ones linked to your homepage will be deleted.
2. Link back to this site so that others can join in on the fun! Feel free to use the button below if you like!
<div align="center"><a href="http://estherandjacob.com/tag/local-adventures" title="Local Adventurer" target="_blank"><img src="http://localadventurer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Local-Adventurer_1x.jpg" width="250" alt="Local Adventurer" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
3. MOST IMPORTANTLY you MUST visit the person’s blog linked up directly before you and leave them a comment on their blog post.
4. If you tweet out your local adventure post with #localadventurer, I will retweet your link!
[inlinkz_linkup id=419957 mode=1]