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Loving chocolate, having fun in Hershey, Pa.

My family and I recently visited Hershey, Pa., for a bit of chocolate fun. During our time there, we discovered that while this adorable little town has plenty to offer in the way of chocolate, it also has a variety of attractions and food stops that are completely unrelated to the sugary sweet treat, but are equally as fun.

Everyone should pay a visit to Hershey at some point. From an amazing amusement park to some fascinating museums, tasty food, and a super cute zoo, this is a town that truly has something for everyone. Next time you find yourself in the area, why not make an extra stop in Hershey to put some of the gems we enjoyed to the test?

The Hershey Story

The Hershey Story museum takes guests on a journey through the history of the Hershey Company, as well as Milton Hershey himself. It is filled with fascinating information about chocolate making and the history of chocolate, and offers plenty of interactive opportunities to keep kids engaged.

For an additional fee, visitors can choose to attend one of the chocolate making classes or take part in a chocolate tasting session. Admission is $12.50 for adults, $11.50 for seniors, and $9.00 for kids ages 3 to 12.

Discounts are available through combo passes as well as the occasional voucher through Groupon. For more information, visit http://hersheystory.org.

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Hershey’s Chocolate World

The ultimate destination for any chocolate lover, Hershey’s Chocolate World is a fun stop no matter how old you happen to be. The space includes an enormous candy and souvenir shop, several eateries (including a tasty ice cream place), an option to build your own chocolate bar, and a fun “factory tour” ride that explains the chocolate-making process, which we enjoyed and rode a few times.

Admission is free! There is a charge to make your own chocolate bar, but there is no fee for the ride or to look around the incredible shop. www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld

Hersheypark

No trip to Hershey would be complete without a visit to Hersheypark. This exciting amusement park is the perfect place for families to make some wonderful memories together.

From kiddie rides to scary coasters, Hersheypark has something for everyone. The character meet-and-greets with your favorite chocolate bar pals are the perfect addition to the amazing collection of rides, and the live entertainment completes the package.

Admission for one day starts at $64.95 for adults or $41.95 for kids and seniors. Discounts are almost always available on the Hersheypark website at www.hersheypark.com.

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(Photo courtesy of Antique Automobile Club of America Museum)

Antique Automobile Club of America Museum

Sure, it isn’t chocolate, but sometimes even the biggest fans of chocolate need something to break up the sweetness.

The AACA Museum does just that, and doesn’t allow itself to be overshadowed by the various chocolatey attractions in the area. This museum offers guests the opportunity to be transported back in time as they explore automobiles of the past.

Additionally, this must-see sightseeing spot has an ongoing series of temporary exhibits, meaning a returning visitor is likely to have something new to look at.

Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $9 for kids. For more information, visit www.aacamuseum.org.

Zoo America

If you enjoy checking out some awesome wildlife while strolling along well-kept pathways, you will enjoy ZooAmerica in Hershey. This cute little zoo shows visitors just how wonderful the wildlife of North America is with displays focused only on the native animals of the United States.

It is a nice way to spend an afternoon as a family, and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Hersheypark for anyone who may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Admission is $11.50 for adults and $9.50 for kids ages 3–8 as well as seniors.

The reciprocal program with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums lets members receive free or discounted admission. Additionally, those visiting Hersheypark will be allowed free admission to ZooAmerica on the day of their park visit. For more information, visit www.zooamerica.com.

Other notable attractions

●    Hershey Derry Township Historical Society (www.hersheyhistory.org) — A museum focused on the history of the Hershey community.
●    Hershey Gardens (www.hersheygardens.org) — A lovely garden owned and maintained by the Hershey Company.
●    The Pennsylvania State Police Museum (www.psp-hemc.org) — An interesting look at the history of the PA police force.

Where to Eat

Perking Point Coffee

This local coffee shop is the place to go if you are looking for an excellent cup of Joe in the Hershey area. The shop is connected to a church, which is a bit unusual, but doesn’t take away from the charm of the place. The coffee is superb, the staff is friendly, and the free Wi-Fi and laid-back vibe make this a great place to get some work done. www.perkingpoint.com

Troeg’s Brewing Company

If you are a beer drinker, you will definitely want to make a stop at Troeg’s Brewing Company. This local brewery offers guided behind-the-scenes tours, tastings, and of course, a restaurant. The restaurant menu features a number of innovative items, and every beer on tap is excellent.  www.troegs.com

Phillip Arthur’s Ice Cream, Pizza, and Subs

This casual, old-fashioned ice cream parlor is the perfect place to go for a quick bite to eat and a delicious dessert. The hand-scooped ice cream is tasty, and the variety of concoctions they have to choose from is awesome. Phillip Arthur’s is sure to have something to please the taste buds of everyone in your family. www.philliparthursic.com

Hershey Pantry

Breakfast lovers will be thrilled to find Hershey Pantry, where the muffins are touted as the best around by many locals, and the omelettes are huge, filling, and delicious. Be sure to add some home fries on the side to complete your incredible breakfast.

This local food stop also serves up some pretty tasty lunch and dinner grub, so if you don’t make it for breakfast, be sure to stop in later in the day. Burgers, salads, and sandwiches are all good bets at Hershey Pantry. www.hersheypantry.com

Piazza Sorrento

Serving up fresh, house-made pasta dishes, Piazza Sorrento is the place to go for delicious Italian food in Hershey. This restaurant is a favorite with Hershey residents, and it isn’t hard to see why.

Besides serving up fresh, traditional Italian food, this eatery also offers an enormous selection of gluten-free options for the gluten-sensitive crowd. www.piazzasorrento.com

Where to Stay

PA Dutch Country RV Resort

This is where we stayed. We quite enjoyed our stay, and found the campground to be well taken care of and very peaceful. Our son enjoyed the playground and pool, and we all put the clubhouse to good use for a family movie night.

The resort offers full hook-ups, clean showers, and is about 25 minutes from Hershey. At around $46 a night, it is pricey for folks who are not members of Thousand Trails, but members pay only the small fee they pay at any Thousand Trails park. For more information, click here.

Thousand Trails Hershey RV and Camping Resort

The closer option for Thousand Trails members, Hershey RV and Camping Resort is an awesome place to stay. It is fairly modern and well-kept.

This resort offers full hook-ups for about $59 for non-members. Members, of course, pay only the small fee specified in their contract. This RV park is located about 15 minutes away from Hershey. For more information, visit www.rvonthego.com/pennsylvania/hershey-rv-camping-resort.

Hershey Conewago Campground

Offering full hook-ups at $53 a night and no hook-ups at $39 a night, Hershey Conewago Campground is a decent option for those looking to stay outside of the Thousand Trails system and near Hershey. This resort is about 17 minutes from Hersheypark. www.hersheyconewago.com

Hersheypark Camping Resort

This resort is the official Hersheypark campground and has all the amenities you could ask for. The prices aren’t half bad either! Full hook-ups start at just $59 a night (prices vary based on season), and the campground is only 4 minutes from Hersheypark.  www.hersheyparkcampingresort.com.

Let’s RV Editor Greg Gerber did a review of a Hersheypark Campground which you can read by clicking here.

Pinch Pond Family Campground

A great, family-oriented campground, Pinch Pond is a great option for those looking to stay a bit further from Hershey and save a few bucks in the process. This park offers guests full hook-ups starting at $45 a night. It is about 30 minutes from Hersheypark. pinchpond.com

About Chelsea Gonzales

Chelsea enjoys full time RV living and traveling — and trying new coffee shops wherever she goes — with her husband and 4 year old son. Her other hobbies include riding bikes, singing, dancing, acting, and reading. Her personal blog can be found at gonzalesonthego.wordpress.com.

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