Day Trip to Hershey, PA
Your trip to Lancaster has been pretty sweet, but while you’re there, why not visit the sweetest place on earth? Luckily, Hershey, PA is just a short drive away from Lancaster County!
This quaint town is known for being the place where Milton S. Hershey founded the empire now known worldwide as Hershey’s Chocolate. Whether you’re visiting with family, friends, or on business, there are plenty of fun and unique things to do in Hershey.
Start your day off with a hearty breakfast, as you’ll need energy to discover all that Hershey has to offer. Some great places to check out include The Hershey Pantry (voted by the readers of Harrisburg Magazine for over 20 years as the #1 breakfast in Central PA), Soda Jerk Diner & Dairy Bar (a 1950’s themed diner that serves traditional breakfast food), and Duck Donuts (delicious donuts, coffee, and breakfast sandwiches).
After you’ve fueled up on food, it’s time for the adventure! No matter who you’re with or what your interests are, Hershey has something for everyone.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie or even just love the vibrant atmosphere of an amusement park, HersheyPark is something we definitely recommend checking out. With over 70 rides, 13 of which are thrilling roller coasters, plus a huge water park, there is something for all ages at HersheyPark. This park also features an arcade, several restaurants and food stands, daily shows, and ZooAmerica, which features more than 200 animal species.
Right next to HersheyPark is Hershey’s Chocolate World, where guests of all ages can take a free leisurely ride discovering the complete process of how Hershey’s chocolate is made. You might even get a free sample of some sort of sweet treat at the end! While there, you can also create your own candy bar, taste test a bunch of chocolate, or be part of an interactive 4D Chocolate Mystery show.
If you’re looking for some pampering leisure time during your visit, you’re in luck; Hershey is home to some pretty great spas. A couple of our favorites include The Spa at the Hotel Hershey and MeltSpa. Chocolate may or may not be included in some of these spa treatments. Yum!
For those who are into shopping, Hershey has its own Tanger Outlets, featuring over 60 stores including Under Armour, Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Gap Outlet. There’s even a Starbucks there, too, if you need a little pick-me-up during your shopping excursion.
Botanical lovers who enjoy admiring nature’s diverse assortment of flowers and plants should check out the Hershey Gardens, which overlooks the town of Hershey and spreads across 23 acres of land. The rich colors and unique gardens exhibited here are great for picture-taking, and the tropical Butterfly Atrium is definitely a family favorite.
The Hershey Story is a museum for all the history-lovers who want to learn more about Hershey. Fun fact: Milton Hershey, the founder of the infamous chocolate brand, started a free private school for kids in prekindergarten-12th grade whose families couldn’t afford to provide them with a good education. This school still operates over 100 years later and provides year-long resources for more than 2,000 students. If you want to learn more about the history of Hershey and its founder, definitely give this museum a look!
Now that you’ve had a long day exploring, you’ll probably want to grab a bite to eat. Some great choices include Houlihan’s (a wide assortment of great American food), The Chocolate Avenue Grill (seafood, sandwiches, salads, pasta, etc), Troegs Independent Brewing (craft beer, small and large plates, sandwiches, etc), and Devon Seafood Grill (premium steaks, seafood, soups, and salads).
Finally, you’ll want to relax and unwind at your hotel! For the ultimate Ritz experience, stay at the Hotel Hershey, which not only offers premium-value hotel rooms, but also Woodside Cottages for larger groups. For those who are on more of a budget but still want a nice place to stay, the Hershey Lodge is another great option, and includes an indoor pool complex and an outdoor pool. If you’re looking for a unique lodging experience and love the outdoors, the HersheyPark Camping Resort might be a good match for you, which features both cabins and campgrounds for RVs/campers/tents. There is also a wide array of cheaper traditional hotel options for those who would like to save their money.
No matter your interests, there is plenty to see and do in Hershey! Be sure to stop by during your trip to Lancaster and check it out.