Okay, this is your warning. This post might make you hungry and you may start craving chocolate after reading.
Alright, now that that is out of the way let’s get to talking about the “sweetest place on Earth” … Hershey, Pennsylvania! This sweet little town, once known as Derry Church was hand-picked by Milton Hershey to become the site of his chocolate factory. The surrounding farms allowed for a fresh supply of milk for his chocolate and a steady labor force. Milton Hershey set out not only to build a chocolate factory but an entire community surrounding his factory. Hershey’s town had everything from homes, transportation, a school system and even recreational opportunities.
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Places to Visit in Hershey
Hershey Park opened in 1906 and was a perfect spot for picnicking, boating, and canoeing. Over the years the park has expanded and today boasts 15 rollercoasters with the newest, Candymonium, opening this year (2020). This park was our favorite thing we did while visiting Hershey, and is a must visit, especially for amusement park lovers like ourselves. Our favorite rides were Fahrenheit and Skyrush. Candymonium was pretty great too but is essentially a smaller version of Orion that opened at King’s Island this year as well, still a fun ride regardless. Because of covid, masks were required, and we had our temperatures taken upon entry to the park. We didn’t really mind as this made for smaller crowds and hardly any lines to wait in. Your admission to the park includes 3 parks at one price: Hersheypark, Boardwalk (waterpark), and ZooAmerica.
Cost: Tickets are normally $74 a day but were on sale for $44 per person when we visited. Parking is an additional $20. Make sure to check online to find the best ticket prices before visiting! We also each got a souvenir cup with an all-day drink pass because of a deal we found online!
Hershey’s Chocolate World is right next door to Hershey Park. It’s basically a giant candy store/giftshop, but it’s still worth the visit especially if you’re already next door at Hershey Park. We actually walked right over after we left the amusement park. Admission is free (Woohoo!) and also includes the Hershey’s Chocolate Tour where you learn how cocoa beans get turned into chocolate (you get a tasty sample at the end). For additional costs you can make your own candy bar, go on a trolley tour around the town, or even watch a 4D Chocolate Movie. This was probably the most chocolate/candy I’ve ever seen in one place at a time!
Cost: Free!!! There are other things to do as I mentioned. You can purchase different bundles depending on what activities you’d like to do. We just stuck to the free stuff!
Tips: If you’re able to, try to go after visiting the amusement park. The AC will feel nice after a long hot day outside + any chocolate you buy won’t be melting in a hot vehicle all day. If not, bring a cooler for any goodies you decide to purchase at Chocolate World (seriously you can’t leave this place without getting some sort of sweet treat). Chocolate World is offering free timed entry passes currently to help with social distancing. This is required for entry.
We didn’t get to it this time but we’ve heard great things about this museum. The museum tells the about Milton Hershey’s life, company, his legacy and the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania. We were told we needed to try the chocolate tasting (sampling flights of warm drinking chocolates from around the world? Count me in!).
Cost: Museum $13.50 (Junior $9.50), Chocolate lab class $13.50 (or both for $22 for an adult ticket). Tastings are $11 for a full flight or $6.50 for half a flight.
Another place we missed this time around. Hershey Gardens started as a small garden of roses in 1937 and has transformed into 23 acres featuring assortments of flowers, trees, themed gardens, and even a butterfly atrium.
Cost: $13.50 Adult, Junior (ages 3-12) $9.50
Tip: If you want to visit both Hershey Gardens and the Hershey Story Museum you can save by getting a combo pass! Adult tickets are $22 and Juniors are $16 and that gets you entry into 2 museums!
Places to Stay
We took a day trip from our campground. We stayed at Appalachian RV Campground with our Thousand Trails Membership and took about 45 minutes to drive from the campground to Hershey. This definitely wasn’t our favorite campground we’ve been to (got stuck in a buddy site) but also wasn’t the worst. What I’m trying to say is it was just ok haha!
There are plenty of campgrounds and hotels near Hershey, PA. Hershey Park actually even has it’s own campground. Options for camping include:
For the non-RVers/campers out there options include:
Hershey, Pennsylvania should be on your must do list when visiting PA! There is so much to do you could spend several days exploring the town and parks. Have you visited Hershey?! What tips do you have for having a sweet day? Was there something we missed or something we should do next time we’re in town? Let us know down in the comments.