Named after the chocolate company that was founded here in 1903, Hershey lies east of Pennsylvania’s capital, Harrisburg. Originally known as Derry Church, it expanded with the arrival of employees at the Hershey Chocolate Company. Many of its current attractions, including a theme park and ornamental gardens, were established for them.
Things to do in Hershey
Begin your visit at the Hershey Story, which chronicles the legacy of Milton S. Hershey and how the town came to bear his name. Through interactive exhibits, you can learn about his early years as a struggling entrepreneur before he revolutionised the process of making chocolate. Kids will love getting hands-on in the Chocolate Lab and the scavenger-style hunt of the Apprentice Program.
On the other side of Spring Creek lies Hersheypark, a family-friendly amusement park themed around chocolate. It was established in 1906 as a leisure space for company employees and has grown to include looping roller coasters, swimming pools and the ZooAmerica. Hersheypark is divided into themed areas that include Midway America, The Hollow and Founder’s Way, with each boasting its own rides and restaurants.
Perched atop a hill overlooking Hersheypark is the Hershey Gardens, which was established by Milton S. Hershey in honour of his wife, Catherine. In addition to thousands of roses, it features Japanese, herb and native gardens. Kids can let loose in the Children’s Garden and BugZone before being surrounded by butterflies in the atrium. The Garden Shop is well stocked with botanical-themed gifts and books.
Getting around Hershey
Hershey is a 30-minute drive from Harrisburg and 20 minutes from Harrisburg International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Long-distance buses connect to the Hershey Intermodal Station and many of the town’s attractions are a short walk from here.