May 1, 2021
Looking for Things to Do in Hershey, PA? Hershey PA, most famous for its chocolate-themed attractions and ties to chocolatier and philanthropist Milton Hershey, is any easy 29 mile drive from the Historic Smithton Inn. That makes it a PERFECT day trip destination! I love helping my guests tailor their day trip itineraries to their specific interests because Hershey is not ONLY a “Chocolate” destination. As you can see from the list below, there is SO much more to see and do in Hershey and the surrounding area. To help you get the most out of your day in Hershey, here’s a list of just a few things to do and see while you’re there:
Whether you’re a history buff or chocolate lover or both, you won’t want to miss out on this Hershey attraction. With a tour/ride, 4D movie experience, hands-on attractions, food, and shopping, Hershey’s Chocolate world offers a lot of variety and a ton of fun. Visit their website for hours, ticket info, and other information. Note that admission to the Hershey Great American Tour Ride is free, but other attractions require purchase of a ticket.
With beautiful botanicals and even a butterfly garden, Hershey Gardens is a sight to behold. You’ll find 23 acres of roses, other flowers and shrubs, and a collection of rare trees. Plus, the gardens offer activities for visitors of all ages including a hands-on children’s garden. Visit their website for ticket information, what’s in bloom, and directions.
You’ve probably heard the line, “Hersheypark happy.” After you visit this amusement park, you’ll discover there’s no way to be anything but happy while you’re there! If you go to Hersheypark, anticipate spending your entire day there exploring roller coasters, water rides, kiddie rides, shows, food, and other attractions. The summer season starts in full swing on May 9 and continues through September 1. Days and hours in spring, fall, and winter are limited to select weekends. Check out their website for details about tickets, hours of operation, and more.
A must-see for all fans of classic cars, the AACA Museum has exhibits with vintage automobiles from eight decades of travel. Among the galleries are automobiles formerly owned by celebrities including Betty White and the late Whitney Houston. The museum displays a permanent collection and then also features limited-time special theme exhibits. Stop by their website for information about hours, tickets, and what’s new there.
Want the story of how the town synonymous with the “Great American Chocolate Bar” came to be? If yes, definitely make time to visit this attraction! It will guide you through the life of Milton S. Hershey. And it shares how this great American entrepreneur built a business and a community, and used the fruits of his labor to enrich the lives of others. It’s a fascinating story! For more information, visit their website.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, like delicious food and love a good brewery tour, then a visit to Tröegs Independent Brewing is definitely in order. They have indoor and outdoor dining, including a covered beer garden. They’re open from 11 am – 9 pm EVERY day. They haven’t re-started giving tours just yet, but our fingers are crossed that it’ll be coming back soon!
For visitors who’s preference tends toward wine rather than beer, there’s a wonderful collection of wineries in the area that you can make into a small tasting tour. If your tour is starting out at the Historic Smithton Inn, make The Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey your first stop. Next head over to Cassel Vineyards in Hummelstown and just a few minutes from that you’ll find CrossWinds Winery, also in Hummelstown. Your last stop will be Cullari Winery, right in Hershey, putting you in a perfect location to hit some of the other places on this list!
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Hershey also has some primo places to get some “retail therapy.” You’ll find the Tanger Outlets of Hershey right in the heart of all the other Hershey attractions. There are a also some unique shops in the downtown district, too. Whether your looking for a special gift or filling up your own closet (remember, PA has no sales tax on clothing!!), you’ll find great selection and even better pricing in Hershey.
There are several fantastic entertainment venues in Hershey where you can catch live theater, concerts, plays or sporting events. Click on the links on each venue to see what’s happening during your visit and buy your tickets online. Giant Center, Hershey Theater, Hershey Area Playhouse, Hershey Park Arena & Hershey Park Stadium.
Walking around a great zoo can be so much fun, and ZooAmerica qualifies as a great zoo! The zoo focuses their exhibits on animals native to 5 regions of North America including Canada, the United States and Mexico. Learn about species from dry deserts to expansive forest tundras. There are over 200 animals who call ZooAmerica home. For something really special, they even have a “Behind the Scenes Tour” where you can visit non-public spaces and get up close to the animals.
There are three (3) absolutely fantastic and unique experiences you can book through the Hershey Hotel. If you’re looking to return home with a story that will make you the envy of all your friends, you should consider one fo these special experiences:
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All these wonderful things to see and do in Hershey PA can work up an appetite. While there area number of chain restaurants or cafe’s to choose from within the Hershey Complex, there are also some wonderful privately owned restaurants nearby that we highly recommend. Of them, our top four favorite restaurants in and near Hershey are: The Mill in Hershey, Devon Seafood & Steak, Rising Sun Kitchen & Bar, and Smoked Bar & Grill
Indian Echo Cavern is a collection of limestone caves dating back over 440 MILLION years! Guests can tour the caves and witness nature’s dramatic underground beauty first hand. In addition to the cave tour there’s a petting zoo, panning for gold and even a place to make your own jewelry.
If your idea of an treasure hunt is Antique Shopping, then here’s where you can begin your quest in Hershey: Crossroads Antique Mall is a co-operative where dozens of antique dealers have come together to create a shopping experience that’s sure to please! Next, check out Black Swan Antiquities in Palmyra. And finally, head over to Olde Factory in Hummelstown & Simply Country in Hershey (not antiques, but cute stuff!).
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The Jonathan Eshenour Memorial Trail is a 13 mile trail that extends through the Hershey community. Along the trail you’ll find access to parks, neighborhoods and commercial properties. It’s a wonderful pathway to explore nature, get a bit of exercise and enjoy a picnic and outdoor games with friends and family. Here’s a map for a 4.2 mile nature trail loop near Hummelstown (no bikes allowed). And here’s a link to Bullfrog Valley Pond.
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Ready to book your getaway? The Historic Smithton Inn Bed and Breakfast in Ephrata, PA is just 29 miles from Hershey and serves as a perfect home-base for your vacation. Spend a few days in Amish Country and add on a few day trips to nearby towns and cities for the perfect vacation. Choose one of our King Suites with a Jacuzzi Tub for the ultimate in luxury during your trip. Add on some special touches like fresh flowers, a bottle of wine or a delicious meat & cheese platter. Book Direct for the best rates and specials!