Without a doubt, any trip to Hershey is going to be inundated with chocolate-even the streetlights are shaped like Hershey Kisses! But just because the main reason for your trip is a chocolate pilgrimage, don't let that stop you from also exploring the area outside its tourist center.
Commonly known as Chocolatetown, USA, Hershey is packed with things to do and see. Two of the most popular attractions are Hersheypark, a destination in and of itself that offers rides, food, entertainment, and more, and ZooAmerica, where visitors can see 75 species of animals that represent five distinct regions of the North American landscape. But for those who want to get right down to business, Hershey's Chocolate World is sure to give even the most avid chocoholic their fill. Featuring a factory tour, marketplace shops, 3-D show, and restaurants, you'll be inundated with the sweet scent of chocolate by the time you leave. Still haven't had enough? Then stay right in the heart of this cocoa paradise at the elegant Hotel Hershey. Home to the Chocolate Spa, which offers such delicious luxuries as a whipped cocoa bath and chocolate fondue wrap, you'll never want to check-out.
Chocolate is great, of course, but if you want to get away from the tourists, take a day off with a trip of Harrisburg. The capital of Pennsylvania, the city of Harrisburg is the closest metropolitan area to Hershey, located just 14 miles west. Highlights here include a revitalized downtown area with many great drinking and dining options like Tröegs Brewing Company and the Fire House Restaurant, as well as a vibrant nightlife at hot spots like Dragonfly Club. For those craving something more naturalistic, Harrisburg also offers a wealth of green space, including the Capital Area Greenbelt, a 20 mile stretch of parks and recreational space that rings much of the city, and accommodates such activities as hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching and much more. To the north, the Greenbelt extends all the way to the popular Wildwood Lake Park, an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors, and home to the Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center.
Due to its location just four miles to the west, Hummelstown is one of the most popular places to stay during a visit to Hershey at places like the Cocoa Flats luxury condos; however, this little borough of Dauphin County has more than just hotels to offer. Among the most popular area attractions is the Indian Echo Caverns, whose almost mystical 440 million-year-old limestone formations are a must see. Or consider taking a ride on the historic Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad, which takes guests on an 11 mile scenic tour along the Swatara Creek in a vintage 1920s coach. And speaking of historic, Hummelstown was established in 1762, meaning it's rife with history, so be sure to visit the Hummelstown Area Historical Society.