Hershey, PA: America’s Sweet Spot

by TheSpot

Before there was Disney World, there was Hershey, PA..  We’re not about to compare apples and oranges, but we will stake our claim on the world created by one man’s vision…and love of chocolate.

Hershey, Pennsylvania is a town that eats and breathes chocolate and, in some cases, quite literally.  Aside from the multitude of candy that is available for purchase, the aroma of chocolate disperses high in the clouds across farm fields.  Some of your favorite candy bars worth mentioning, Pay Day, York Peppermint Patties, Kit Kat and naturally Hershey Kisses are made right in this town.  If you love chocolate…well this could very well be chocolate heaven on earth.

It all starts with the vision of one Milton Snavely Hershey.  Milton Hershey was born in Derry Church, PA in 1857.   At the young age of fourteen, he began an apprenticeship to a printer.  The apprenticeship did not last very long as this was not Hershey’s calling.  He did however receive another apprenticeship to a confectioner in nearby Lancaster.  He learned how to make caramel then went on to Colorado to perfect his skill.  After some failed business ventures, Milton continued to improve upon the right recipe for making caramels.  One learned aspect was adding fresh milk to his caramels.  He landed in New York and opened up a candy company there.  Yet again, his business did not succeed but that did not stop Milton from trying again.  This time he returned home to Lancaster, PA in 1883.  It was there he founded the Lancaster Caramel Company and found great success.  Milton was interested in other food items and traveled to Switzerland to learn how to make cheese.  It was there he discovered milk chocolate.  Upon his return, he began to experiment in making his own milk chocolate.   Hilton formed the Hershey Chocolate Company. 


So what is there to do in the town of Hershey?   It turns out, quite a lot for anytime of the year. For all things chocolate, Hershey’s Chocolate World is the place.  Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the middle of a giant candy store.  Except it’s for real.  You’ll find designated stations for many of their brands.  Reese’s, Hershey Kisses, Kit Kat, and many others.  Choose your own mix and match candy, or various boxes and bags in various sizes.  Don’t forget to take a ride on the Hershey Chocolate Factory Tour.  The tour is on a slow moving coaster ride that is entertaining as well educational.  Learn a thing or two on how the chocolate is made and of course sample the end result.  What is not to love?

In another part of town, you will find luxury and pampering.  The Hershey Hotel, among everything else in the town, was a dream realized by Milton S. Hershey.  Hershey and his wife Catherine, loved to travel and often took notes.  Hershey then set to build an elegant upscale grand hotel right in the town of Hershey.  It first opened in 1933 and today is a 5 star hotel.  Stroll in the Hershey gardens surrounded by ponds and gazebos.  Indulge in the ultimate luxury of its’ world famous spa.  The spa also earned the moniker “chocolate spa” for the famed chocolate infused treatments. 


The jewel of the summer season, is of course Hersheypark.  Hersheypark has the claim of being the larges amusement park in PA.  This year, Hersheypark will be open each weekend from April until the end of the year. Roller coasters, water rides, and all the amusement park fun can all be found at this haven.   In recent years, Hershey Stadium, located directly across the park, has been home to some of the world’s largest acts.   Lady Gaga, Zac Brown Band, and Def Leppard have all performed here.  Hersheypark Stadium is one of the main summer attractions in all of Pennsylvania. 


Although there are many dining options in and outside of the park, one favorite among locals and outsiders is the Old Mill.  A large red brick building gives the impression of an old Pennsylvania farmhouse.  Inside you’ll find a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.  The dinner menu rivals premiere establishments with porterhouse pork chops, filet mignon, and salmon.    The brunch menu is first rate.  The burgers are tender and filling.  Our waitress Amy recommended the ricotta donut holes which were a sweet ending to our delicious meal. 

Hershey, Pennsylvania is a top-notch destination for all seasons.  What was once a dream of a candy maker evolved to one of the country’s prime destinations to discover history, amusement, relaxation, and pampering.  How lucky are we that can enjoy all of this and more right at home!  Now that is a sweet deal!