- Mon: 10am-10pm
- Tue: 10am-10pm
- Wed: 10am-10pm
- Thu: 10am-10pm
- Fri: 10am-10pm
- Sat: 10am-11pm
- Sun: 10am-10pm
Hersheypark, an amusement park nestled in the farm country of Lancaster County, PA, offers thrilling attractions and some decadent snacks for the whole family. Created in 1906 by Hershey Chocolate's Milton S. Hershey, the park that was once meant as a recreational escape for Hershey employees has become a huge tourist destination in the region, boasting over 70 attractions including a water park and a zoo. Nearby is the well-regarded Hotel Hershey and the Hershey Stadium.
How to get to Hersheypark
Hersheypark, located in the appropriately-named Hershey, PA, is 2 hours west via I-76 from Philadelphia.
Best and worst time to go to Hersheypark
As with any amusement park, weekends and the summer months are generally very busy. As of 2015, if you purchase day passes, you can enter the park the day prior starting 2 1/12 hours before park closing. A great time of the year to visit is around Halloween, when Hersheypark becomes Hersheypark In The Dark, with re-themed rides and holiday entertainment.
Admission to Hersheypark
Hersheypark offers a variety of ticket options, including single- and multi-day passes as well as different tiers of season passes; prices vary depending on the time of year you're visiting. An insider tip: visit a local grocery store like Giant to buy your tickets, where you can often find a significant discount.
Must see/do at Hersheypark
Hersheypark is home to 13 top-notch coasters, with fan-favorites including Great Bear, Skyrush and the Cocoa Cruiser. If water parks are your thing, the nicely-themed Boardwalk area, included in the price of admission, is worth checking out. A perennial Hershey favorite actually doesn't cost anything at all: at Hershey's Chocolate World, which sits next door to Hersheypark and doesn't require admission, visitors can experience the Great American Chocolate Tour, an omnimover where guests ride through the experience of how Hershey's candies are made--there are even singing cow animatronics and free chocolate samples at the end!
Other places to visit near Hersheypark
If you're looking for an upscale meal or swanky lodging, don't pass up The Hotel Hershey, with its chocolate spa and gorgeous grounds. Across the street from Hersheypark is a nice outlet mall. Local Troegs Brewery Company also hosts daily tasting tours.
Insider tips for visiting Hersheypark
Take advantage of the "prior evening access" your single-day ticket gives you to maximize your time. A few chain eateries like Dunkin' Donuts, Subway and Rita's exist within the park but are significant more expensive than a regular location, which is to be expected. At Hersheypark, if you want something sweet and decadent, you'll actually want to head over to the food court area of Hershey's Chocolate World, where you can get Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cakes, Hershey's hot cocoa and chocolate milk, and the incredibly rich Hershey's milkshake.
About the author: Jeff Birou is an education administrator by day, travel and freelance writer by night. Check him out on Twitter at @lanceandjeff or his blog Lance+Jeff.