After starting and failing at a few other candy ventures, Milton S. Hershey was originally-known as the founder of the Lancaster Caramel Company. A trip to the 1893 World’s Fair changed all that and shortly thereafter, Hershey developed a formula for making milk chocolate. By 1900, the Hershey Chocolate Company was booming and he was looking for a place to not only set up a larger factory, but created a community for his workers.
Hershey returned to the the area where he had been born, picking Derry Township for his new location. In 1906 Derry Church, PA turned into Hershey, PA. It now proudly proclaims itself “the sweetest place on Earth” and the location has become world-famous as the home of the Hershey Company. However for visitors, there’s much more to this town than just chocolate.
The entire town celebrates the cocoa creation, including the streetlights shaped like the well-known Hershey’s Kisses and there’s literally the smell of chocolate in the air. Hershey’s Chocolate World provides the history behind the company and factory as well as a chocolate tour. This explains the entire process for making chocolate from bean to the chocolate bar. The visitor center is open year-round.
The nearby Hershey Gardens offer many outdoor delights. A variety of gardens showcase different styles of gardening (rose, rock, Japanese, herbs) as well as a comprehensive butterfly garden with over 300 species featured. Hersheypark was originally created to entertain the employees but was later opened to the public. It’s now a major theme park with dozens of rides and attractions including ten roller coasters. If the kids need to get out and work off some of that sugar, this is the place!
For more sedate entertainment, try the Chocolate Spa. A variety of signature treatments have been created. Curious about bathing in a tub of foaming chocolate milk? Interested in a cocoa bean scrub? Perhaps the Chocolate Fondue Wrap, where your skin is covered in luscious chocolate fondue is more to your taste. The list of ways to enjoy chocolate without eating a bite are plentiful.
Hershey is located in the southern part of Pennsylvania, four hours driving time from Pittsburgh, two and a half hours from New York and two hours from Washington, DC. For those flying in or taking the train, your destination is Harrisburg, located just a fifteen minute drive from Hershey. The Harrisburg International Airport and the Harrisburg Train Station both have free shuttle service from those locations to the Hershey Resort.