In about seven and a half hours, you can drive from the Queen City to a chocolate-coated wonderland, otherwise known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. Often referred to as “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hershey has plenty of opportunities to make your vacation as rich as the chocolate the city is known for.
After trying and failing three times to get into the candy-making business, founder Milton Hershey finally found success in 1883 with the Lancaster Caramel Company based in his Lancaster, Pennsylvania, hometown. After selling the company for $1 million, Hershey completed what was, at the time, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing plant in 1905, near Derry Church, then built an entire community around the factory. He even built a park nearby in 1907, and the rest is history.
To experience a piece of this history, stay at the 1825 Inn Bed and Breakfast, a charming farmhouse just outside of town that’s nearly two centuries old. Touted as a perfect space for outdoor lovers, the Mallard Room has a standard TV setup as well as a king-sized bed and an all-season fireplace. Once you’ve settled in, head over to Hershey’s Chocolate World, where you can learn about the company’s chocolate-making process on a free 30-minute tour. Chocoholics might want to try the Chocolate Tasting Experience or even create your own custom candy bar, complete with custom wrapper. Hershey Trolley Works can shuttle you around town to Highpoint Mansion, Milton’s birthplace, or Chocolate Avenue and its Kiss-shaped streetlights. Finally, stop by the Hershey Pantry, a restaurant that boasts “the best breakfast in Central Pennsylvania,” which includes Italian-stuffed French toast, buttermilk pancakes, and crab Florentine eggs.
The 1825 Inn Bed and Breakfast, $144–$279/night, 1825inn.com
The Hershey Pantry, breakfast entrées $4.75–$14.50, hersheypantry.com
Hershey’s Chocolate World, free tours; Trolley Works, adults $15.95, children 3–12 $12.95; Tasting Experience, adults $10.95, children 3–12 $7.95; Create Your Own Candy Bar, $19.95 per person. Package discounts also available. hersheys.com/chocolateworld