The Great American Getaway Guide to Hershey

Hershey, the Sweetest Place on Earth® – where HERSHEY’S KISSES®-shaped streetlights line a street named Chocolate Avenue, a 122-acre theme park delivers thrills of a lifetime, and the aroma and deliciousness of the sweetest treats delight the senses, is the perfect Great American Getaway to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your sense of adventure. A visit to Hershey is a sweet escape that can have everything to do with chocolate or nothing at all. Here you’ll find world-class attractions, shopping, dining, breweries, and a museum dedicated to telling “The Hershey Story” among other fun things to do and see in “the town that Milt built.”

Located about 3 hours from New York City, about 2 hours from Baltimore and Philadelphia, and less than 1 hour from Gettysburg and Lancaster, we have put together a 48-hour getaway guide that maps out some of our favorite and top picks to see, do, and devour to help you pack the most into your trip to “Chocolatetown U.S.A..”

Please note, this itinerary is meant to serve as a general guide. Before you depart on The Great American Getaway to Hershey, we highly recommend you check the websites of our suggested places to visit for any seasonal hours of operation and available offerings.

Day One

Afternoon — Arrive in Hershey and plan for an early lunch at Tröegs Independent Brewing Co. The craft brewery features a huge taproom, outdoor biergarten, cool artwork, and an award-winning brewery tour. It’s the flagship craft brewery on the Hershey Harrisburg Brew Barons Beer Trail. (Yes, there’s a kid’s menu! In addition to nuggets and sandwiches, kids and grown-ups alike will love munching on popular sharables from the snack bar such as rosemary popcorn or a warm pretzel.)

Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World for all-things-HERSHEY’S Chocolate. Take the free and fun tour ride to learn how Milton Hershey’s sweet treats are made. Shop the world’s largest Hershey’s Candy Store and enjoy activities including making your own candy bar and exploring candy worlds through a cinematic adventure.

a family walking toward chocolate world
Hershey’s Chocolate World | Credit: Visit Hershey & Harrisburg

Evening — Check in to your accommodations (keep scrolling for our picks at the bottom of this page), then enjoy a classic or creative Italian dinner at Fenicci’s in Hershey’s downtown. Welcoming guests since 1935, be sure to try their meatballs and the upside-down pizza.

Wrap up the day with miniature golf, go carts, and arcade games at Adventure Sports. Afterwards, relax and recharge at your hotel. Tomorrow is a BIG day!

*Note: If you are planning to visit Hersheypark for Day Two, your admission includes preview hours on the night prior to full day entry. This is a great perk to help you get the lay of the land and make the most of your ticket.

Day Two

We have two suggested “tracks” for guests on Day Two! We have a track for a day at Hersheypark and a track for park alternatives. Whichever track you choose, start by grabbing breakfast at Englewood Roasting where you can fuel up with a specialty coffee and a breakfast sandwich or pastry to prepare for your day of adventure.

After your caffeine fix, check out one of Hershey's sweetest new additions - the Hershey Medical Trail System. SAMBA has partnered with Penn State University at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's Campus to develop 10 miles of biking trails with options for all skill levels. Those looking for a scenic cycle experience can explore the simpler rocky, rugged East side of the trail system. Up for an early morning challenge? Thrill-seekers can tackle the more technical West side.

*Track One: Hersheypark

Morning & Afternoon — To get the most from your Hersheypark day, fill your itinerary with everything the park has to offer. Admission includes access to the waterpark (summer season only) and ZooAmerica. The park features thrill rides, family rides, character photo ops, amazing foods, and the glorious sounds of roaring coasters and laughing riders. (And happy screams—of course!) The park is open daily in the summer season, with themed operations for spring, fall/Halloween, and Christmas. Please note: Hersheypark® is cashless but accepts all major credit cards, debit cards and Hersheypark gift cards, as well as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, or you can convert cash to prepaid debit cards at the Cash-to-Card kiosks.

There are tons of places to eat throughout the park, but we suggest making lunch or dinner reservations at The Chocolatier. The menu is infused with chocolate flavors, the seating is inspired by classic rides, and there’s an outdoor patio with a perfect view of the park.

*Track Two: Passing on the Park (Or visiting when the park is closed)

Morning — After breakfast, get the lay of the town with a Hershey Trolley Works Tour, complete with samples of Hershey’s delicious chocolate confections. You may have seen the green trolleys outside of Chocolate World when you visited the day before! The trolley tours offer the perfect way to explore the entire town of Hershey and learn even more about its founder.

Afternoon — Then, it’s time for lunch at The Chocolatier. Guests can enter the restaurant without admission to Hersheypark, and with year-round daily hours this Hershey-inspired eatery is a must try. Reservations are recommended, especially when the park is open. Just be aware that if visiting the restaurant during park or event hours, a parking fee applies for the park’s general parking lots.

Speaking of year-round operations, ZooAmerica is another attraction open daily during each season. While the zoo is included in the admission price for Hersheypark, you can opt for a ZooAmerica only ticket with its own separate parking area and entrance for zoo-only guests. Spend the afternoon exploring the habits and habitats of animals native to North America, such as bears, bobcats, gray wolves, and Gila monsters.

Evening — Enjoy dinner at the Hidden Still Spirits Restaurant & Distillery. Raise a toast to your great Hershey getaway with a cocktail prepared with the distillery’s flagship line of David E. PA Craft Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and enjoy a delicious meal crafted from its seasonally changing menu with most ingredients sourced from local farms and dairies. With expansive indoor dining, an enclosed patio, and dog-friendly outdoor patio and bar, a seat is always waiting! You’ll be dining with history all around you, as the building once served as the Hershey Company’s recycling facility.

Not ready to end the evening? Right next door to Hidden Still, have an axe-citing time at Stumpy’s Hatchet House. Book a throwing lane at this (BYOB) family entertainment facility. Kids 8+ are welcome daily except for Friday and Saturday nights after 5 p.m. when admission is 18+.

Day Three

Morning — Grab a free parking space at the lot next to The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue, then enjoy breakfast at Lisa’s Café before exploring the museum. While Milton Hershey is best known for creating the world’s best chocolate, his life story and legacy go far beyond the (Hershey) bar. The Hershey Story Museum is a timeline of Mr. Hershey’s endeavors and adventures, showcasing artifacts from the original factory as well as personal items from the home he shared with his wife, “Kitty.” Book a session in the Chocolate Lab to make your own treat, or sip on drinking chocolates from around the world.

The Hershey Story museum building
The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue | Credit: Visit Hershey & Harrisburg

Afternoon — Just a few steps down Chocolate Avenue is the Fresh Market at Hershey Towne Square where you’ll find dozens of vendors offering unique gifts, delicious food, and craft beverages that highlight the taste and creative spirit of the region. Open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, Thursday to Saturday, it’s a wonderful way to shop local with more than 40 vendors offering their finest fare and wares on two spacious floors of the beautifully restored and renovated building.

couple shopping at Fresh Market at hershey towne square
Fresh Market at Hershey Towne Square | Credit: Visit Hershey & Harrisburg

A stroll through Hershey Gardens is the perfect way to cap your getaway to Hershey. Discover more than 20 acres of botanical bliss, with entry to the tropical butterfly atrium and beautiful conservatory included in admission. Note: You can save on admission with a combo pass for The Hershey Story Museum and Hershey Gardens.

aerial view of hershey garden building
Hershey Gardens | Credit: Visit Hershey & Harrisburg

Add A Day

Not ready for your Great American Getaway to end? Extend your stay to explore even more fun in southcentral PA. Harrisburg, the state’s Capital City, is less than 15 miles west of Hershey. Spend a day in Harrisburg to experience historic locations, arts and culture, dining, nightlife, and outdoor spaces.

Start in the city’s Midtown neighborhood to explore part of the Harrisburg Arts District filled with theatres, museums, galleries, public art, and performance venues. From murals and museums to galleries and shops, you can find unique gifts, food, and entertainment. Follow the murals along 3rd Street using the PA Capitol dome as your compass. The Capitol offers free tours daily of a building described by President Teddy Roosevelt upon completion as the “handsomest” he had ever seen.

Places to Stay

The Hotel Hershey & Hershey Lodge — Staying at the iconic The Hotel Hershey or Hershey Lodge offers guests luxury resort-style accommodations with perks such as multiple on-site restaurants, savings on Hersheypark admission, park shuttles, and free admission to the Hershey Gardens and the Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue.

Full zoom out view of Hotel hershey
The Hotel Hershey | Credit Visit Hershey & Harrisburg

The Inn at Westwynd Farm — Enjoy a peaceful getaway at this enchanting bed and breakfast located on a picturesque farm estate just outside of Hershey. The Inn at Westwynd Farm offers luxury amenities including fireplaces, private patios, private balconies, and — of course — the personal details provided by your hosts during your getaway. Enjoy a fun-filled day of adventure or relax at the farm while you watch the horses graze.

Aerial view of Westwynd Inn
The Inn at Westwynd Farm | Credit: Visit Hershey & Harrisburg

Hampton Inn & Suites Hershey Near the Park — Located within 5 to 10 minutes of most Hershey-area attractions and dining, Hampton Inn & Suites Hershey Near the Park offers a great location and family-friendly accommodations with a variety of rooms and suites.

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