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September 18, 2017

Sweet spot: A weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania

One hundred miles west of Philly is the land of ever-flowing chocolate – what have we been waiting for?

Travel Destinations
Hershey's Chocolate Tour Daniel Shanken/AP Images for HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD Attraction

Jerry Guest and his grandchildren Jaden and Addy from Harrisburg, Pa. interact with Reese and Hershey characters on Saturday, May 14, 2016 in Hershey, Pa. at the grand reopening of Hershey's Chocolate Tour.

Philadelphia’s central location on I-95 means that both New York and Baltimore are a quick, 100 mile trip. But within that very same 100-mile radius are plenty of weekend away-worthy escapes ideal for early fall vacationing. In the coming weeks, we’re going to be lining up the best mini getaways that will have you to romantic, off-season beach resorts, scenic wine countries and historical hideouts, all within a two-hour drive from Philadelphia proper. 

This week, we highlight Hershey, Pa., the Sweetest Place On Earth. 

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Drive Time: Hershey is a straight shot from Philly, just an hour and a half west on 76 followed by 30 quick minutes on PA-72.

Where to Stay: As one might expect from a town built upon a candy fortune, the chocolate magnate’s namesake hotel is both wonderful and a little bit weird. The historical property boasts Spanish-style architecture including a mosaic fountain in the lobby area and sprawling grounds. Chocolate is intrinsic to the Hershey experience, from cocoa massages and chocolate fondue wraps at the on-property spa to a full range of chocolate cocktails at all of the hotel’s bars and unlimited access to Kit Kats, Milk Duds and Mounds.

What to Do: Between a walk through the wildlife park, beautifully manicured gardens and a chocolate-themed amusement park and museum, there’s plenty of family fun to be had in Hershey proper. If you’re in the market for some 21 plus entertainment of the oenological ilk, a tour of central Pennsylvania wineries is a lovely way to spend a fall afternoon. Hershey Harrisburg wine country boasts 15 vineyards. Located just a mile from Hershey proper, Cassel is a relative newcomer to the scene specializing in cool cabernet francs along with lesser known varietals like chamborcin and vidal blanc.

Where to Eat: Philly folks are more than familiar with Hershey’s second most famous export, Tröegs beer. The brewery’s combination production space and tasting room opens at 11 a.m. seven days a week and serves year-round and seasonal beers straight through until close. The kitchen here puts out an impressive array of beer friendly fare like housemade charcuterie plates, Mad Elf fondue and beet-cured salmon on spent grain crackers.

Where’s the Nightlife: When it comes to keeping it classy, it doesn’t get better than the Iberian Lounge at Hotel Hershey. With overstuffed leather couches, a crackling fireplace and bartenders that know their way around a martini shaker, this moody lounge is intimate and timeless. Weekends see live jazz bands take the stage and serenade guests with standards.


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