Commonly known as Chocolatetown, USA, Hershey is packed with things to do and see. Two of the most popular attractions are Hersheypark , a destination in and of itself that offers rides, food, entertainment, and more, and ZooAmerica , where visitors can see 75 species of animals that represent five distinct regions of the North American landscape. But for those who want to get right down to business, Hershey's Chocolate World is sure to give even the most avid chocoholic their fill. Featuring a factory tour, marketplace shops, 3-D show, and restaurants, you'll be inundated with the sweet scent of chocolate by the time you leave. Still haven't had enough? Then stay right in the heart of this cocoa paradise at the elegant Hotel Hershey . Home to the Chocolate Spa , which offers such delicious luxuries as a whipped cocoa bath and chocolate fondue wrap, you'll never want to check-out.
Chocolate is great, of course, but if you want to get away from the tourists, take a day off with a trip of Harrisburg. The capital of Pennsylvania, the city of Harrisburg is the closest metropolitan area to Hershey, located just 14 miles west. Highlights here include a revitalized downtown area with many great drinking and dining options like Tröegs Brewing Company and the Fire House Restaurant , as well as a vibrant nightlife at hot spots like Dragonfly Club . For those craving something more naturalistic, Harrisburg also offers a wealth of green space, including the Capital Area Greenbelt , a 20 mile stretch of parks and recreational space that rings much of the city, and accommodates such activities as hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching and much more. To the north, the Greenbelt extends all the way to the popular Wildwood Lake Park , an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors, and home to the Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center .
Due to its location just four miles to the west, Hummelstown is one of the most popular places to stay during a visit to Hershey at places like the Cocoa Flats luxury condos; however, this little borough of Dauphin County has more than just hotels to offer. Among the most popular area attractions is the Indian Echo Caverns , whose almost mystical 440 million-year-old limestone formations are a must see. Or consider taking a ride on the historic Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad , which takes guests on an 11 mile scenic tour along the Swatara Creek in a vintage 1920s coach. And speaking of historic, Hummelstown was established in 1762, meaning it's rife with history, so be sure to visit the Hummelstown Area Historical Society .
Perhaps the finest dining option in Hershey is the Circular Dining Room at the Hotel Hershey. With beautiful views of the hotel's gardens and reflecting ponds, the view is almost as good as the gourmet menu, which includes locally-sourced ingredients and, of course, exquisite desserts. For an extra special experience, dine on Friday nights when a six-course chef's tasting menu is available for only USD75. Or for a meal that is equally delicious but more relaxed, the Hershey Grill at the Hershey Lodge serves up a range of steaks, seafood and pasta in a modern setting that matches the gorgeous wood-trimmed design of the rest of the hotel. This is a great spot for comfort food, with such specialties as fried chicken salad and one-pot meals. Want to watch the game while enjoying casual, sport bar-inspired food? Then dine at the Bears' Den , filled with memorabilia from the hometown favorite Hershey Bears hockey team.
If you've been on your feet all day and are ready to sit back and relax with a cold drink, you can do no better than the tasting room at Tröegs Brewing Company , where a wealth of tasty brews, as well as a free guided tour can be had. For casual cuisine, The Fire House Restaurant is a local favorite, with such incredible and unique entrees like Stoned Chicken, prepared with a root beer glaze. Or for an evening of fine dining, great drinks and enjoyable entertainment, Stock's on 2nd prepares such delicacies as Confit of Duck Leg and Wild Boar Ravioli. Home to Harrisburg's first martini bar, Stock's also offers live entertainment nightly.
For a round of golf followed by simple, delicious food and a cold drink, the Highlands Grill at Hershey Links has a casual atmosphere and a sweeping view of the course. Another great option, located right on Main Street in Hummelstown, is Al Mediterraneo , which specializes in knowledgeable service and the light, fresh tastes of Southern Italian cuisine. A member of Slow Food International, you can be sure that no matter what you order here it will be fresh and amazing. Or for a truly casual experience with local flavor, try Boro Bar & Grill , where the chicken wings are top notch, the beer is affordable, and the atmosphere is friendly.