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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?

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.