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Spotlight: Hershey

Explore the many flavors of America’s chocolate capital

Hershey, Pennsylvania, is associated with candy bars, Kisses and all things chocolate. But look inside the wrapper of this delightful town and you’ll discover a lot more than confections.

Indeed, although Milton Hershey built much of the town—and the company that bears his name—with sweets and profits in mind, he also envisioned a community that supported the arts and contributed to American culture.

Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau

Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau

Sweet Diversions

A great place to start is Hersheypark. This confectionery-themed amusement destination pays homage to the town’s biggest business success—Hershey Chocolate. Rollercoasters and exhibits will awaken the candy-loving kid inside.

For more on the history of Milton Hershey’s candy empire, tour Hershey’s Chocolate World and Founders Hall at the Milton Hershey School. Adventure Sports in Hershey keeps the good times going for families with extra energy to burn. Go-kart tracks, miniature golf and an arcade keep everyone busy.

Get wild with the residents of ZooAmerica, Hershey’s wildlife park that’s home to more than 200 animals from five regions of North America. Well-known and well-loved residents include the mountain lion, black bear and American alligator—but other lesser-known creatures that are just as fascinating live here too. Meet a coati—a relative of the raccoon—an American marten or a long-eared owl. The zoo offers regular programs and behind-the-scenes tours for guests, as well.

Milton Hershey supported the arts and helped ensure his community would be able to enjoy great performances for years. Take in a show at the Hershey Area Playhouse, or enjoy a night of classical and pop performances courtesy of Hershey Symphony Orchestra. The home of the orchestra, Hershey Theatre, was built during the Great Depression for Hershey as part of his Great Building Campaign.

History Beyond Hershey

Hershey isn’t only about the sweets. Stop in at Hershey Derry Township Historical Society to view exhibits dedicated to the state police, early town life and architectural styles distinctive to the area. Native son and World War II hero Major Dick Winters is celebrated with a collection of wartime memorabilia and a scale reproduction of his den.

Indian Echo Caverns takes visitors underground to see ancient geological wonders. The limestone cave is a cool 52 degrees year-round, and its walls encompass water-worn formations and crystal pools. Tours through the caverns teach guests about the cave’s importance to native inhabitants of the region. Nearby is Gem Mill Junction, where young explorers can pan for gemstones and dig for fossils. Additional outdoor attractions include a petting zoo and playground.

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts

Quench an adult-size thirst at Tröegs Brewing Company, where guided tasting tours provide insights into the production of the company’s tastiest creations. Samples are available for lovers of craft beers. At Cullari Vineyards and Winery, sip some of Hershey’s distinctive varietals, including chocolate wines. Cassel Vineyards in nearby Hummelstown tempts taste buds with its own locally crafted wines made from six varieties of grapes.

Take your bicycles out for a spin on the fabulous trails that run through Hershey; the Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail winds more than 13 miles through the township. Float down Swatara Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River, and see if you can spot a limestone cave or two along the banks. According to local legends, horse thieves established hideouts here. If fishing is your preferred pastime, dip a line in the creek and snag some bass, catfish, sunfish or muskie.

Hershey’s Sporting Life

Get out your best clubs and play a round of golf at Spring Creek Golf Course, a public course with a par of 33. If you’ve got a sharp eye and a penchant for patience, the Milton Hershey School manages game lands for recreational hunting, and white-tail deer culling is a popular draw for hunters from all over the region.

Roll the dice on a day trip to Hollywood Casino in Grantville and if you’re lucky you’ll come up a winner. Located at Penn National Race Course, the casino offers slot play, table games and a museum filled with memorabilia and props from popular Hollywood films. Live music has a starring role, too, as do the horses. If racing revs you up, stick around for a race or two and see if you can pick a winner.

Chrome fenders, whitewall tires and peppy little scooters bring visitors from far and wide to the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum. The AACA Museum is more than a mere collection; the curators strive for a fresh experience with each visit. Each permanent and featured exhibit focuses on a detailed, nostalgic aspect of automotive history. From individual automakers to famous owners and their beloved rides, the museum has something for every kind of car, motorcycle and truck lover imaginable.

For More Information

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
Pennsylvania Tourism