Earlier this month I had the amazing privilege to visit Hershey, PA, “the sweetest place on earth.” With the exception of a Jimmy Buffet concert at Hersheypark Stadium that my bestie and I went to a couple summers back, it had been years since I visited Hershey. When I was offered the opportunity to explore everything that Hershey had to offer, I jumped at the chance! Luckily for me, The Sweetest Place on Earth is an easy 2 hour drive up from where I live in Annapolis, MD. What followed my journey up the highway was fun-filled adventures, perfect for the whole family.
Now I had such an awesome experience, I could never fit it all in one post! So over the next month, be sure to check back on the blog for more in depth posts on each of the activities during my experience. I will update this post with link backs to my other articles as I write them. For now though, let me highlight the family fun that awaits in Hershey, PA…
Back in 1907 Milton S. Hershey opened Hersheypark as picnic grounds for his employees. Today, the property serves a family friendly amusement park covering 121 acres, featuring 13 roller coasters, over 25 other rides, live entertainment, a water park, games, food, and shops.
While visiting the property, I loved how not only family-friendly it is, but how suited the park is for multi-generation families. Being a single mom, with my son’s dad based out of State, it is often that we take vacations with my parents. Hersheypark has entertainment and rides for my 5 year old, as well as for his grandparents!
While I visited the park, we were able to chat with the amusement park staff about this amazing property. I love that Hersheypark makes safety a priority, as well as accessibility so that they can appeal to not only multi-generations, but also families with disabilities, both visible and nonvisible. For more information, be sure to check out their Rider Safety and Park Accessibility section of their website.
Want to learn even more about Hersheypark? Check out my write up on my experience HERE!
Hershey Accommodations and Hospitality
During my visit, I stayed at The Hotel Hershey, a beautiful historic hotel that sits right across from the park. This gorgeous property sits on a hilltop, overlooking the town and park.
I should note that I was able to visit two other Official Hershey properties: The Hershey Lodge and the Hersheypark Camping Resort. Now I will have a future post with more details on each resort, but check out this Hotel Hershey room! Talk about luxury!
From the moment I entered the lobby, I was meet with top notch and friendly service. The Hotel Hershey is also home to The Spa At The Hotel Hershey, aka The Chocolate Spa! Such a relaxing atmosphere! I enjoyed a Sweet Feet pedicure treatment, and then had the ultimate relaxation experience in the Oasis Lounge. While many families come to The Hotel Hershey, I’d like to note that the hotel seems to be the perfection destination for a Romantic Getaway with your loved one, or a Girls Weekend Away.
So quick rewind to the other two other properties… I’d like to note that The Hershey Lodge is finishing up construction on Hershey’s Water Works, an indoor water complex which is opening Memorial Day weekend. I’ll have more in another post, as well as more details on the cabins we checked out at Hersheypark Camping Resort.
Keep in mind, if you stay at one of these three properties, you’ll receive transportation to the amusement park, one hour early access to the park during the summer, and many other perks. Definitely sounds like a great deal to stay at one of these properties!
As an animal lover, I was beyond excited when I saw the After Hours tour of ZooAmerica on our itinerary. ZooAmerica is a year-round zoo on 11 acres next to the amusement park. The zoo features over 200 animals from North America, like Rufus, an Eastern Screech-Owl!
Other animals include sea otters, American alligators, wolves, and black bears just to name a few… And speaking of bears… Check out this super quick video of me feeding Chief, a two year old black bear!
The Hershey Gardens was a short walk from my hotel. Currently under construction on the grounds is the Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory, which is slated to open in mid-summer of this year. The Conservatory will transform the Gardens into a year-round educational experience. We had a chance to take a sneak peek at the construction. As we entered the Welcome Pavilion, I was immediately blown away! Check out these amazing butterflies created by a local artist for the Conservatory…
And speaking of butterflies, we took a look at the Butterfly Atrium. No, the butterflies weren’t in there yet, but this Atrium will feature more than 600 butterflies in a tropical atmosphere. Even though the room has not been finalized, I can’t wait to show you what I saw! This room is going to be amazing.
The Town & Dining
Hershey offers a Trolley Works Tour of the town, and trust me, do yourself a favor and take the tour! The trolley presents as sightseeing tour of historic area that tells the story of Milton Hershey. While on the trolley, I saw the original chocolate factory, as well as Milton’s former home, and the Milton Hershey School (wow was the Rotunda at Founders Hall absolutely breathtaking!). Did I mention you might just get some free samples of chocolate goodies? Can’t go wrong with those type of treats!
As for dining, any food fan will find dining to enjoy in Hershey. There are more than a dozen restaurants with everything from family friendly to 4-star fine dining. I enjoyed breakfast at The Hershey Grill and the Circular, lunch at at the park, dinner at Houlihan’s, and my favorite? Probably the Signature Cocktails at the Iberian Lounge. (If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw me uploading images of all the delicious offerings available!) Check out the Twizzler Martini and Signature Special Dark Cocktail below…
Check out this video below to learn even more about ‘The Sweetest Place on Earth’!
What most excites you about Hershey, PA?
While I attended an expense paid trip by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, all opinions and thoughts expressed are 100% my own.