Hershey is one of the most popular places to visit in Pennsylvania and a wonderful road trip destinations for families! You’re not only certain to get your fill of chocolate treats, you’ll always find plenty of things to see and do for a fun vacation or weekend getaway. If you’re starting to plan your trip, here are 10 sweet things to do in Hershey.
10 Sweet Things To Do in Hershey
1. Chocolate World
Hershey’s Chocolate World is a natural first stop as you begin to explore the town of Hershey. It’s where you can check out one of the world’s largest Hershey gift shops and enjoy a free “factory tour”. Of course, Hershey no longer offers actual tours of its production facility, but this immersive experience is a fun alternative with all the information you’d want to know about how chocolate is made! There are other paid experiences at Chocolate World as well, some of which will pop up on our list later on.
Directly next door to Chocolate World is Hersheypark. (Yes, it’s one word!) This is a first class theme park with many incredible roller coasters and a water park as well. It does get pretty busy in the summer time with lines that get long. Early spring and fall are the best times to visit if you can as crowds are a bit more manageable.
3. Hershey Gardens
This is actually one of the most popular attractions in Hershey. Hershey Gardens opened in 1937 as a “nice little garden of roses” at the request of Milton Hershey. It’s now 23 acres and a wonderful place to spend a morning or late afternoon walking around and enjoying the beautiful plants and flowers.
There’s a cool trolley tour of Hershey that departs from Chocolate World and gives riders an easy to digest look at the life of Milton Hershey and the history of the town. While on the tour you’ll get a peek at Hershey’s home which is on private property and rarely available for tours. You’ll also get a kick out of costumed characters that do a great job at storytelling. The tour typically lasts about an hour and costs around $20.00.
5. Tour The Hotel Hershey
During the Great Depression, Milton Hershey kept his employees working by building the gorgeous Hotel Hershey. The hotel, which is now a historic landmark doesn’t have guided tours but it’s free to visit and meander around. It’s just up the street from Hershey Gardens.
6. The Hershey Story Museum
This is probably my favorite attraction in Hershey. The Hershey Story is such a cool museum with so many awesome artifacts! Exhibits showcase items from both Milton Hershey’s personal life and the company’s storied history. You’ll see things like the machine that makes Hershey Kisses and some of the earliest packaging used on chocolate bars. It’s really a neat collection of things that beautifully gives visitors a complete picture of the Hershey story.
7. The Great Candy Expedition
One of those additional activities available for purchase at Hershey’s Chocolate World is called The Great Candy Expedition. Geared toward younger visitors, this 4-D train themed experience debuted in 2023. Visitors get to vote on which direction the virtual train goes throughout the ride. (There are buttons on each chair!) You’ll possibly take a ride to Jolly Rancher Junction, Reeses’ Ridge or other chocolate and candy themed lands. The waiting area is decorated as an authentic train station!
8. Chocolatier Restaurant
I never thought I’d be recommending a theme park restaurant. However, that was before dining at the Chocolatier restaurant just outside of Hersheypark. This is definitely one of the sweet things to do in Hershey! Even if you don’t visit the theme park, you can dine here and the food is spectacular. There are lots of good options for all tastes, including “sweet” drinks and some chocolate themed entrees. And for being near a theme park, the prices were pretty reasonable. The staff was really great and the ambiance is really fun. Look at the photo of the bar below! Too cool!
9. Chocolate Lab Class
Another family friendly experience geared toward kids is the Chocolate Lab at The Hershey Story. This requires a separate ticket (a combo ticket is available) and lasts about an hour. You’ll dress in an apron and hairnet while answering trivia questions about Hersheys and the chocolate making process. Your family or group will then go through the motions of making a tasty treat. (Our group made a chocolate bar – which later melted in my hot car. Oops.)
10. Explore Downtown & See The Hershey Kisses on Light Poles!
You may notice them as you drive into downtown Hershey – the light poles all have big Hershey Kisses atop them! It’s such a fun way to let you know that you’ve made it to the sweetest place on Earth. Downtown Hershey has specialty shops and places to dine. You can walk over to the Hershey headquarters and pose for a cool photo. (You can’t go inside – just FYI!)
Want to know more? Hear my recent radio interview on the syndicated Travel Planners Radio Show where I talk about my visit to Hershey!