A Chocolate Experience
After learning about Hershey’s legacy, your group will be interested in firsthand experiences with his products. In 1973, Hershey’s opened Chocolate World, an official visitors center that teaches travelers about chocolate-making and the Hershey’s process.
“You learn about the process of how they make chocolate in the factories, and in the end you get to taste a piece,” Dinbokowitz said. “There are chocolate tastings there, where you can learn about different chocolates and taste them. Chocolate World also has opportunities to create your own candy bar.”
Just steps away from Chocolate World, groups will find Hersheypark, the community park Hershey established for his workers in 1907. Now a 110-acre theme park, it has more than 65 rides and attractions, including 12 roller coasters. The park is a great place to turn groups of young travelers loose; older visitors will enjoy the daily live entertainment, food and shopping.
In addition to the traditional midway rides, the park features the Boardwalk at Hersheypark, an area with nine water-based attractions.
A Historic Hotel
For a complete Hershey experience, the Hotel Hershey gives groups a combination of historic experiences and AAA Four-Diamond hospitality.
“The hotel was built in 1933, when Milton Hershey wanted to create something that would bring people to the town and create work during the Great Depression,” Dinbokowitz said. “It has a lot of Mediterranean feel; Hershey was a world traveler, so he picked up a lot of things that he liked from the Mediterranean.”
The hotel has numerous resort amenities, including a 40,000-square-foot spa, an outdoor aquatic complex, year-round outdoor skating, bicycle rentals, formal gardens and 63 holes of golf in the Hershey Golf Collection. An outfitter at the hotel can take groups out for geocaching, paintball, ropes courses and other adventure experiences.
Groups that don’t want to stay overnight at the hotel can still experience some of its luxury by having brunch in the Circular, a new modern restaurant opening in April in a notable part of the hotel.
“Milton Hershey created a circular dining room because he wanted a room where you could dine without anything obstructing your view,” Dinbokowitz said. “The room is completely circular, and the windows lining the outside allow you to see the formal gardens.”
A more affordable accommodations alternative is Hershey Lodge, a popular family and group destination. This 665-room property is built to re-create the feel of a mountain lodge complete with post-and-beam ceilings and exposed stonework, and it features a Hershey Kiss decoration motif.
The lodge also plays host to a holiday event that has become popular with groups.
“One of the things that groups like to do during the Christmas season is the ‘Christmas in Chocolate Town’ dinner musical,” Dinbokowitz said. “You start with caroling, and then do a sit-down lunch or dinner with a Christmas-style meal and a delicious dessert. This year, the show will be a new Christmas music revue.”
— 800-437-7439 —
— www.hersheypa.com —