Chocolate is the gift of love on Mother’s Day. When I am craving chocolate I head to Hershey, PA and immerse myself in chocolate. I have been several times and always find something new to see and do, plus I get to eat more chocolate.
1. The Hershey Story: Milton Hershey is an amazing story of “poor boy makes good” and then uses his money to enrich the lives of others. He started out making caramels which gave him his first million but it was chocolate that made a fortune for him. Hershey, PA was a company town but the people “didn’t owe their soul to the company store” as they did in some similar towns. The tree-lined community provided for all the resident’s needs with banks, hotels, schools, churches, parks, golf courses, a zoo and more.
2. Trolley Works: I never miss a chance to take the Hershey Trolley. The journey begins in front of the Hershey’s Chocolate World. Don’t be surprised if your conductor breaks into song and stops to pick up some “characters.” It is old-fashioned fun and an informative trip through the town built on chocolate. Even the streetlights look like Hershey Kisses. The driver and conductors dressed in period costumes are excellent entertainers. The tour of Hershey hits all the high spots while weaving in an amusing story. And, I get a Kiss at the end.
3. Chocolate World: Chocolate ... chocolate ... and more chocolate! This is the place to learn about chocolate making on a ride that follows the cocoa bean’s trip from the rainforest to Hershey’s plant. I even created my own chocolate bar by choosing the ingredients, toppings, and even designing my own label. And, I now have a Master’s Degree in Chocolate Tasting where I learned to taste chocolate much like connoisseurs experience wine. The class starts with looking at the each of the five varieties of chocolate, then enjoying the aroma, and after savoring a small bite the “flavor notes” are discussed.
4. Hotel Hershey Spa: Hershey Resorts include The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, and Hershey Highmeadow Campground. The Hotel Hershey is the luxury accommodation and home to the Hershey Spa featuring chocolate pampering where you can soak in a chocolate bath, get a chocolate scrub, followed by a chocolate wrap, and top it off with lunch in the Spa’s Oasis possibly with a chocolate martini. Personally I opted for the chocolate scrub. Chocolate is not only good in the tummy but also on the tummy.
5. Milton Hershey School: The Milton Hershey School is another of Mr. Hershey's legacies. He and his wife opened the school in 1909 to care for orphan boys. Now qualified underprivileged boys and girls receive a free education along with housing, clothing and more all completely funded by the sale of Hershey bars. So, I never feel guilty about eating Hershey bars because I know it goes to a good cause. Free tours start at Founders Hall with an impressive marble rotunda that soars to an interior height of 74 feet making it the second largest in the world. The daily tours include an informative video and continue to the 2700 seat state-of-the-art auditorium, the cafeteria and other aspects of the complex.