Can you guess where I got this sweet treat?
If you guessed Hershey's Chocolate World, you'd be correct. I followed in Milton Hershey's steps for the journey, starting out in Philadelphia, which just so happens to be where he opened his first store:
...but then, unlike Milton, who probably had a different mode of transport in his time, I hopped in a car with a friend and headed westward to Hershey.
On the way, I couldn't help but stop for a store called Dutch Haven:
This is a magical place where, upon walking in, they give you a small slice of complimentary Shoofly Pie:
...and then we continued on to the Hershey attractions. When you get there, the first thing you'll notice is that the streetlights are capped with decorative Hershey's Kisses on them.
And the streets have names like "Chocolate Avenue". Forget Electric Avenue, this is the street I wanna rock down to. That's the Hershey factory in the back, by the way.
Now, it's time to walk into the Welcome Center. You'll see a big desk where you can sign up for activities such as "Create Your own Candy Bar", "Chocolate Tasting Adventure", and "Dessert Creation Studio". Most of the activities, you have to pay for.
While deciding which activities to do, we hit the gift shop. There, you'll find an amazing array of Hershey's products, with dramatic displays. It's very special to have a chance to walk around a land so laden with candy.
We decided on the (free) intro tour, officially called "Hershey's Great American Chocolate Tour" followed by the (pay for it) trolley tour.
The intro tour was sweetly hokey, and very fun. I mean...singing cows. I love it!
Oh, and they give you candy at the end!
Between the tour and the trolley ride, we hit the bake shop in the welcome center, where you can get sweets made using various Hershey products, such as cookies, parfaits, and more. Mental note: let's come back here after the trolley tour.
And on to the Trolley Tour it was. Unfortunately, the museum (a more historical attraction) wasn't open on the date of our visit, but we were able to take the Trolley tour, which is a kind of song-and-dance tour around town wherein actors perform and between songs and gags, explain some of the history of the town and show you some of the sights, including the school Milton Hershey founded, his private house, his birthplace, and of course the factory.
Off the trolley with our ears ringing from all that singing, we decided it was time for a sweet treat before heading back home. We settled on a cookie and a frozen hot chocolate. The dark chocolate cookie, which the employee informed me was made with Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, was a pleasant cookie. Fueled with sugar, we were ready to head back to Philadelphia.
Have fun--go visit Hershey! Find out more here.