Hershey is very close to both Lancaster and Harrisburg and about 50 miles away from Gettysburg. I recommend staying in one of those places and visiting Hershey as a day trip. Also in the area are caves, shopping outlets, Amish country, parks, museums, good nightlife, etc.
The Hershey Museum
The Hershey Museum chronicles the rise of Milton Hershey's chocolate business and includes original machinery from his factory and other related artifacts. The museum is free to guests staying at any affiliated hotel at Hershey Park. For those not staying at a lodging here, the cost is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors; $3 for children 3-15 and free for those under 3.
Hours of operation are Sept.-May 10 am-5 pm; May-Sept. 10 am-6 pm
Try out the Log Flume
Log flume rides are the best!! It's the last big hill that really grabs you--whoa!
We are definitely log flume enthusiasts--it's one of the rides that almost any of us can enjoy that isn't too scary or that spins you around until you feel like...well, uncomfortable. It's usually the first ride to which I gravitate--when available!! If it's a hot day--so much the better for cooling off.
Hershey Park has 8 water rides--I've listed them along with the ratings:
Canyon River Rapids--High Thrill; Coal Cracker--High Thrill; Paddleboats--Mild Thrill; Roller Soaker--Moderate Thrill; Tidal Force--High Thrill; Tiny Timbers (kiddie ride); Western Chute Out (Straight Shooters) Mild Thrill; Western Chute Out (Winding Rivers)--High Thrill.
One more spin for Jim
One more spin for Jim. This ride was wicked. It was a giant wheel that flew up into the air and swung from side to side while spinning you around. The swing I could enjoy. The spin was impossible. So I watched once more as Jim kept his hat firmly on his head and spun out of control.
Welcome to Hershey!
"What is Hershey?"
Hershey is a grand old master of making chocolate. There is the big plant building downtown, a number of other chocolate plant buildings scattered around, and there are chocolatiers in the community that make specialty chocolates and candies (look for signs on East Chocolate).
Chocolate World is an annex to the Hershey Amusement Park, which includes shows and a fun instructional ride about how chocolate is made. There is an opportunity to eat and to buy candies and other Hershey products, and Chocolate World has free parking (two hours' maximum when the amusement park is open).
Zoo America is a delightful zoo adjacent to the Hershey Amusement Park, which should be interesting for the whole family. There is a significant number of stairtreads up and down to see the entire zoo.
The Giant Center is an indoor pavilion, geared toward sporting events and stadium concerts. Outdoor concerts are held in the park's Hershey Stadium, as has been the Big 33 high school football game. Both venues have good accoustics, so seating anywhere promises a great concert.
We also have an excellent medical center, which is a Penn State University Campus and a training hospital.
The Hershey Theater is an opulent concert & performance hall. Especially in season, seats go fast, so plan far in advance if you wish to attend.
New this year is the Hershey Museum on Chocolate Avenue, which features the life of Mr. & Mrs. Hershey. These two clearly understood the meaning of giving back to their community. Hershey Park was originally built for the employees and their families. Behind the Museum is the US Post Office.
On the southeast corner of Hershey, farmland houses the Hershey School, which was started by Mr. & Mrs. Milton Hershey for orphaned boys, and has blossomed into a very fine home for all children.
And we have the Hershey Amusement Park. This is the most fun place in Hershey. Even in the middle of winter, the Park tries to keep things interesting with events and activities - check their schedule. But in the summer, it is hopping with tourists. Every two years, the management builds a new, big ride - typically a roller coaster.
The Hershey Outlet Mall is retail chain stores.
Most of Hershey, PA is homes for people who work in the candy factories, commute to Harrisburg, the state capital - less than fifteen miles away, or work at the medical center.
To you the visitor, Hershey is a place which is planned with your family in mind. There are motels and hotels that are within walking distance from the park. A number of very good restaurants are also within walking distance. Parking rules are enforced, and there is typically plenty of parking wherever you go. Speed limits are also enforced for your safety, so please take your time.
Look at your map:
Coming into Hershey from the south, west, or north, the first major street is Hershey Park Drive. From the southeast on PA Route 743, continue to go through town, following signs to Hershey Park Drive. To get to the Hershey Amusement Park and to Giant Stadium, you must first find your way to Hershey Park Drive.
Chocolate World can be reached from Hershey Park Drive or from Chocolate Avenue by following the signs.
Chocolate Avenue travels through the heart of Hershey and runs parallel to Hershey Park Drive. Many establishments are on Chocolate Avenue, which makes them easy to find - from drug stores to bars and pizza. At least once while here, please roll down the two or three miles of Chocolate Avenue to see it all.
If you are on Hershey Park Drive and reach a red light intersection where all you can see for half a mile if green fields, then you are at the boundary of Hershey: consider turning around.