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A Local's Guide to Hershey, The Sweetest Place on Earth

5 Insider Tips and Tricks to Enjoy The Sweetest Place On Earth


***This story is written from the viewpoint of a Hershey local now interning on the Communications team.***

Known for its iconic Kisses street lights and the alluring smell of chocolate, Hershey is the perfect destination for every member of the family. From an outsider’s point of view, it’s hard to believe that a town like Hershey, Pennsylvania exists. 

Well, I can confirm that it does. How do I know? I grew up here for the first 18 years of my life. 

From hearing the roar of the roller coasters at Hersheypark each day on my front porch to sitting on the hill outside of the Milton Hershey School to hearing (many) concerts at Hersheypark Stadium, I couldn’t have asked to grow up in a better town than Hershey, Pennsylvania. Having spent the entirety of my childhood and young adult life enjoying all of the attractions Hershey has to offer, I have picked up a few secrets and tips along the way to make my experience (and now yours) as enjoyable as possible! 

Tip 1: Buy a season pass. Just trust me.

To my avid amusement park-goers, this one's for you. 

Especially if you are thinking of visiting multiple times this year, buying a Hersheypark Season Pass is a convenient and cheaper way to enjoy everything the Park has to offer. 

With a Season Pass you don’t need to worry about purchasing 1 or 2-day admission tickets. In just three visits, the Season Pass pays for itself! 

By being a Season Pass Holder, you also have access to unlimited Hersheypark and ZooAmerica visits along with tons of fantastic discounts. You can choose from three season pass options: Bite Size, Full Size, and King Size. 

Check out our Season Pass options and pricing here

Tip 2: Have a strategic route around Hersheypark to lessen wait times. 

I have spent multiple 10-12 hour days at Hersheypark with my friends since I was in elementary school and, through some trial and error, have found a route around the Park that allows me to minimize my time waiting as much as possible. 

My best advice to you would be to start in the middle of the park. My go-to first rides are Great Bear or Storm Runner. That way, you can continue looping around the back of the park and make your way up to the front to end your visit. 

As you probably guessed, crowds and wait times vary depending on the day you visit the Park. The Hersheypark app is essential for staying updated on wait times, finding dining options and navigating through the Park with the GPS-enabled map. 

ZooAmerica is included with a Hersheypark ticket when accessing the zoo through the bridge inside Hersheypark during posted Park hours! If you need to get away from the lines for our Hersheypark  attractions for a bit, stop by the zoo to visit our fantastic animals. 

Tip 3: Visit popular dining locations on a weekday!

Being a resident of this tourist town, I can say with confidence and certainty that summer weekends in Hershey are the busiest time of year. That does not just include the park, but all other attractions and our dining locations. 

To ensure that you are able to enjoy some of our savory plates at some of our award-winning restaurants such as Devon Seafood + Steak and The Chocolatier Restaurant, Bar + Patio, I recommend visiting on a weekday. While summer weeks do still see some traffic at these locations, weekdays give guests the best opportunity to eat at one of our dining locations without long wait times. 

If you do decide to visit us on a weekend, I would recommend visiting a popular restaurant at a less common meal time. I had friends visit early this summer and we ate at The Chocolatier at 3 p.m. for a late lunch- it was the perfect time! Reservations for The Chocolatier are open for summer, so book now. Reservations can also be made at Devon here

Tip 4: In need of some much-needed relaxation? Look no further than our world-class spas. 

A staple for both residents and visitors, The Spa At The Hotel Hershey and MeltSpa by Hershey offer salon services, massages, and specialty chocolate services. The spas and their exceptional hospitality are perfect for anyone who is looking for a relaxing getaway experience. 

For summer 2022, The Spa at the Hotel Hershey features a variety of seasonal treatments for guests to enjoy, such as a Watermelon Basil Vodkatini Manicure or Pedicure, Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Immersion, Ocean Therapy Wrap, and even a Mojito Massage.

If you are in town for a concert at Hersheypark Stadium or visiting Hersheypark, be sure to schedule yourself a spa day before the end of your visit. Appointments are limited, so be sure to book as soon as possible!

Tip 5: Take advantage of the amazing performances at our local venues. 

One of the most unique experiences I have had growing up in Hershey is that I have been able to grow up with a small-town feel while also having access to world-class entertainment. I have had the opportunity to see musical acts such as Beyonce, Luke Bryan, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars just 20 minutes from my house. 

Performers such as Def Leppard and Motley Crue, Pitbull, Lady Gaga, and Chris Stapleton are scheduled to perform at Hersheypark Stadium this summer. Click this link to purchase tickets and learn more. 

Don’t forget about GIANT Center and Hershey Theatre! These venues also host many performances from a wide range of categories that you definitely need to check out. 

Hershey truly is The Sweetest Place On Earth. With these tips and tricks to conquer all of the key destination spots with ease, you will become a Chocolatetown expert in no time!