Fall Weekends 2009: Hotel Hershey

The Mood
This resort town’s vibe ranges widely, from the elegance of Hotel Hershey to the theme-park kitsch of characters dressed like Hershey candies.

What’s Special
Formal gardens, some with a classical-music soundtrack; chocolate tasting at downtown’s Cafe Zooka; interactive Hershey Story; two new pools with water features such as a crazy slide and gurgling foundations as well as optional $200-a-day cabanas and free wi-fi; three good golf courses (Hotel Hershey has been named in the past by Golfweek as one of the top 100 golf resorts in the country).

Most Unusual Activities

Outdoor ice-skating year-round; chocolate treatments at the spa (think fondue wraps); the Odyssey, a jungle gym for grownups and kids.

For Kids
Hersheypark, with 11 roller coasters and a water park with wave pool and tubing; Cocoa Kids Club; candy-making and chocolate-sculpting classes; ZooAmerica (adjacent to Hersheypark and included in admission).

The Food
Farm-to-table Harvest, in the new luxe cottage complex at the hotel, and Devon Seafood Grill, in downtown Hershey, have added luster to the dining scene.

What’s Nearby
Hershey outlets; Pennsylvania Dutch Country; the Susquehanna River for canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.

Drive Time
2½ hours.

The Price
$179 and up for rooms at rustic Hershey Lodge; $269 and up for Hotel Hershey; $449 and up for luxe cottages that include porch rockers, great rooms, and mini-fridges.

Bottom Line
Go for a low-key getaway—spa, golf, dining, lounging by the pool—or embrace the chocolate-centric/theme-park fun.