Hershey, PA is a small, unincorporated community of only 14.4 square miles, located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It may not be a very big area, but it is worth your time to visit.
The main attraction of Hershey, PA is, of course, all of the activities associated with the Hershey chocolate company, which was founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey. As his chocolate company grew, Mr. Hershey provided well for the town – a community building,
department store, convention hall, swimming pool, several schools, and of course the famous amusement park. He wanted to take excellent care of his employees, as his philosophy recognized that workers who live in a safe, comfortable environment and are treated fairly by their employer will thrive and excel.
Today, visitors to Hershey can experience “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” which is also affectionately called “Chocolatetown, USA.” All the local attractions, including the main factory tour facility of Chocolate World, Hersheypark, Hershey Gardens, Hersheypark Stadium, and ZooAmerica, are all owned and operated by the Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company. Other places of interest within Hershey include several museums, a fancy spa inside of the big hotel, and four world-class golf courses. The downtown area and surrounding parts of the Derry township include several good restaurants and an antique mall.
Our visit to Hershey, PA was brief, as our main reason for traveling to the area was to see family nearby in Harrisburg. Since it was winter and the temperatures were in the 20s-40 (*F.), the rides in Hersheypark were closed. We were able to drive and walk by the outskirts, and I can tell you that, when it’s open, there are plenty of rides for those of you who are into roller coasters! We focused on touring Chocolate World, and decided to take the free tour this time, without adding on any additional package options for a price.
Chocolate World has an extensive gift shop, with both edible and wearable merchandise at various prices. We mostly browsed, as we didn’t have $32 for sweatshirts in our budget. I did find a reusable bag for $2.07 (with tax) that I can use for my art and journaling supplies on the go. I love both the vintage vibe of the bag’s design and the fact that the purchase didn’t break the bank!
The short tour was set up to -look- like the real chocolate factory, but was all staged in an entirely different building from where they actually make the chocolate bars which is a short distance down the road, but not open to the public). Attendants help you onto a slowly moving platform and into little cars on a moving track, that takes you through the chocolate bar creation process. It was free and a lot of fun…and another attendant even gave us a free miniature Kit-Kat bar as we excited the little ride. (Hey, I don’t know about you, but this girl loves chocolate, particularly if it’s free!) More extensive tour and tasting options are available for purchase, including the opportunity to design your own custom chocolate bar – perhaps something we will try another time, when we have a day or two longer to spend in that area.
We enjoyed the opportunity to visit the lovely little area of Hershey, PA. To me, it felt like being live inside the Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory movie, without any unfortunate accidents! I think both adults and children will enjoy the various activities, and those who love rides should go to Hersheypark during the warmer months. If you have the time, check out the rest of the little town, too – it’s kept clean and has recently been renovated a good deal, but of course the original Hershey smokestacks remain as iconic figures in the landscape!