How could I not be happy in a place where streets have names like “Chocolate Avenue” and “Cocoa Avenue”, and the street lights look like unwrapped Hershey Kisses? (Every other one is foil wrapped complete with its “Hershey” pull tab.)
Now, I must admit I’m a bit of a chocolate snob and no longer prefer to eat Hershey’s Chocolate or other American mass-produced candy (however; I will also admit that I have taken on the self-appointed task of keeping my boss’s candy dish stocked with M&M’s, and I am the cause of having to restock them).
Still, this is Hershey, Pennsylvania. As a chocoholic, it makes me smile, and it makes me feel like a kid again. After all, summertime S’mores I grew up savoring were made with Hershey Chocolate bars. (What else???)
After we arrived yesterday and checked into our motel, we got our first glimpse of Hershey’s charm as we made our way to the Hershey Recreation Center for a swim workout. How cuuute!
Not all of Hershey is this cute, but the center of town is lined with Hershey Kiss-topped street lamps and banners.
We began today with a stroll around Hershey Gardens admiring the astounding collection of interesting trees and beautiful flowers. Gorgeous!
The afternoon continued with learning all about Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey Chocolates. “The Hershey Story” captured it all in a well layed-out museum that tells the story of his life, the creation of Hershey Chocolate, and the town he built around the factory for his employees.
Quite the philanthropist, we learned how Hershey gave back to the community in a most generous way. Milton Hershey was an admirable man, and an icon in the world of chocolate.
We concluded our visit at The Hershey Story museum with a tasting flight of six single origin chocolate drinks from around the world. The 72% cacao drink from Venezuela was our favorite, but we enjoyed them all.
Before wrapping up the day, we cruised over to Hershey’s Chocolate World to take the free “tour”; a 15 minute Disneyland-type ride that takes you through the process of how chocolate is made. It was cheesey and geared for small kids, but isn’t that what Hershey’s is all about? It brings out the kid in all of us.
Hershey’s sure knows a thing or two about marketing, though, as was made evident by the most massive “gift shop” I have ever seen. It was HUGE! The Hershey Kisses section alone was larger and offered more products than most product gift shops at other factories. It was amazing to see the variety of products– and, the amount of merchandise being snatched up by those shopping for gifts to bring back home!
Me? I just left with two Dagoba chocolate bars (yes, they own that brand along with Scharffen Berger and many others) they were selling out at $1.50 due to a July 2015 expiration date. That, and a bunch of photos like this one: