When researching things to do in Humboldt County for our summer road trip through Crater Lake National Park, Redwood National and State Parks, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Avenue of the Giants, I always look for fun pit stops and roadside attractions along our route. This time I was shocked to discover a Humboldt County cheese factory!
The Loleta Cheese Factory produces small batch cheeses using traditional recipes to ensure old-fashioned flavor.
Located just across the Eel River from the Victorian Village of Ferndale, on the North Coast of California in Humboldt County, the Loleta Cheese Factory is famous not only for cheese, but its award winning garden and quaint country store. But speaking of cheese, they produce two brands of cheese:
- Loleta Original Cheeses: A gourmet base cheese made from milk that comes from California, pasture grazed, jersey cows that graze on lush clover and tall grass pastures.
- 1906 Artisan Cheeses: Ultra creamy, perfectly balanced small batch 1906 cheeses whose complex, smooth flavors have been developed and perfected over the last 30 years by a master cheese maker.
When I tell people we stopped at a cheese factory on our summer road trip, they’re a bit confused because I have a dairy allergy and Carter doesn’t eat cheese either. In fact, Brian thought we were nuts for wanting to visit the Artisan Cheese Factory in Loleta. But this was a family vacation, Natalie loves cheese, and who knows if or when we’ll ever be back in this part of the state!
When we stepped inside the Loleta Cheese Factory, Natalie’s eye bulged and her jaw dropped. There were seriously rows and rows of flavored Jack and Cheddar cheeses to sample and I think she actually sampled every single one.
We knew we were going to buy some cheese, meat, and crackers for picnicking on the rest of our road trip, but first we had to see what smelled so good… Around the corner, inside the store, we found The Queso Kings Grilled Cheese Bar.
Queso Kings serves up high quality savory and sweet grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course, Natalie and Brian had to try a grilled cheese sandwich. They chose a “Divine Order” with herb & spice Havarti and chicken on sliced rustic country bread and it was gooey and so delicious they both made audible noises of enjoyment upon first bite!
While Brian and Natalie ordered and ate their grilled cheese, Carter and I wandered the spectacular outdoor garden. With seating inside our outside on the patio, you can choose to watch cheese being made in the factory through a glass window or enjoy the stunning flowers in the garden.
Once the sandwich was devoured and we finished wandering the garden, we bought a few different cheese, some meats, and a big box of crackers to enjoy on our road trip picnic lunches. Then we were back in the adventure truck bound for our next adventure in Ferndale a Victorian Village.
Know Before You Go
About The Loleta Cheese Factory:
- The Loleta Cheese Factory is located at 252 Loleta Drive, Loleta, California 95551 in Humboldt County.
- You can watch the actual process of cheesemaking and sample all of Loleta’s artisan cheeses.
- Enjoy a picnic of cheese and crackers and delicious goodies from the store in the outdoor flower gardens.
About The Queso Kings:
- The Queso Kings Grilled Cheese Bar is located at 252 Loleta Drive , Loleta, California 95551 in Humboldt County inside the Loleta Cheese Factory . It is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- A second location can be found at 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, Sacramento, California 95815 inside Shift Coffee House. It is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.