Day Trip: Hershey, Pennsylvania

*scroll past the pictures below to see the itinerary*

Most people who have heard of Hershey, Pennsylvania know that they have a world-famous chocolate factory. There are also a ton of other activities, including:

  1. Hershey Museum / Chocolate Lab
  2. HersheyPark
  3. ZooAmerica
  4. Concerts at Giant Stadium, Hersheypark Stadium, or Hershey Theatre (I’ve been to FarmAid and SummerMixtape here)
  5. Golf at Hotel Hershey
  6. Chocolate Spa at Hotel Hershey
  7. Antique Auto Museum
  8. Troegs Brewery

But my favorite activity of all during the warm summer months is visiting Hershey Gardens. When we first moved to Pennsylvania, the weather was wonderful (after coming from a summer of 115 degrees in Arizona, the 85 degree weather was blissful). We wanted to spend as much time as possible outside, and we both have a weak spot for gardens / arboretums.


When we were in college, our school had acres and acres of beautiful plantations. Each area had a different theme – grasslands, woodland wildflowers, manicured flower beds, experimental agriculture… it was pretty interesting! We spent a lot of time walking around the plantations during the summer – you could walk it every week and see something different each time. One of my fondest memories was one summer before graduation, when my husband (then boyfriend!) picked me up from work and wouldn’t tell me where we were going. He drove us up to the plantations, parked the car near an open meadow, and pulled out a cooler. We had an impromptu picnic right there – complete with wine, sandwiches, and even slices of cheesecake! I can still remember it clearly – if I were to visit campus right now I would still be able to find that picnic spot!

So yeah, we love outdoor gardens. 🙂

Our visit to the Hershey Botanical gardens was almost as magical. The flowers were in perfect bloom, the sun was shining, a light breeze was blowing – it was a great ‘welcome to Pennsylvania’ kind of day.

(if you use any of my pictures, please link back to my blog! thanks!)

Hershey, PA Daytrip Itinerary

(full disclosure: I have done all of the recommended activities listed below except for Hotel Hershey, but I didn’t complete them all in one day)

10:00am: antiqueing at Crossroads Antique Mall, Hershey, Pennsylvania

– they have everything from small knicknacks to gorgeous old furniture – we bought an antique pedestal desk there for $100!

11:00am: shopping at Hershey Outlets, Hershey, Pennsylvania

– with a wide variety of shops for men, women, children, and kitchens, I’ve never walked away empty handed!

12:30pm: lunch/brunch at Hershey Grill, Hershey, Pennsylvania

– during warmer months, sit outside on the patio and order the seasonal pasta

– during peak tourist seasons, make reservations on

– there are also chain restaurants around if you want something more casual, or nice restaurants at Hotel Hershey, which is across the street from the Hershey Gardens

03:00pm: tour the Hershey Gardens, Hershey, Pennsylvania

– check out their tickets page for discounts and combo packages

– highlights include the rose garden (in bloom in early summer), butterfly house, and views of the rest of Hershey, PA

06:00pm: dinner at The Forebay, Hershey, Pennsylvania

– don’t fill up on the warm, toasty, fresh pretzel rolls that come before the meal! try the goat cheese and leek stuffed chicken breast as an entree, it was delicious

Categories: Day Trips, Itinerary, Pennsylvania, Summary

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. I have enjoyed skipping through your travels with you. I too grew up traveling the US with my family. When I came to your day trip to Hershey PA it made me smile. I just wrote a post about pictures being time machines and your picture was that machine for me tonight. I remember all about touring the chocolate factory (Yes I loved “Willy Wonka” as a child!!) but until I saw your pictures of the botanical gardens I had forgotten all about the picnic we had there. So thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • That’s wonderful! I’m glad I could help trigger happy memories with your family. It’s true that sometimes pictures are time machines – for me it’s more about the scent of a place, but I know exactly what you mean!


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