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A theme park, a magnificent rose garden and a grand hotel are a few of the features of the model city planned by the father of the Hershey Chocolate empire.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find something not built by famed chocolate maker Milton Hershey in the town of Hershey, Pennsylvania. He developed the town around his original Hershey chocolate factory in the early 20th century. Discover his fascinating vision for a model factory town, which includes an amusement park originally intended to entertain his employees, a grand hotel built to employ the town’s construction workers and a philanthropic grade school.

Start your tour of the town by learning about Milton Hershey’s life at The Hershey Story. This six-exhibit museum presents his entire biography, from his birth to a family of modest means in nearby Derry Church to his worldwide success. See machines from the original factory, including a highly specialized appliance for wrapping chocolate.

Explore the compact town center to see the variety of buildings Hershey commissioned to provide entertainment and services for his workers. The Hotel Hershey, which rests on a hill north of town, was built in 1933 to employ the town’s skilled workers during the Great Depression. Stay in the luxury hotel to access the spa and enjoy chocolate-themed treatments, including a whipped-cocoa bath. Visit the Milton Hershey School in the south of town to see Hershey’s school for orphans.  Find the visitor center in the grand Founders Hall.

Spend a day at Hersheypark, the park Hershey established for his employees, which is now a regionally popular amusement park. Reach speeds of 75 miles (120 kilometer s) per hour on the Skyrush roller coaster or look out  over the town from the soaring heights of the Kissing Tower‘s rotating observation booth. Afterward, visit the nearby sprawling Hershey Gardens. See the original rose garden and almost 5,600 roses in the park’s center.

Hershey is a 25-minute drive from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and a 2-hour drive from Philadelphia. Don’t miss the home of one of America’s most famous creations in “Chocolate Town, U.S.A.”

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