Called the "The Sweetest Place on Earth," Hershey, Pennsylvania is the international headquarters of The Hershey Company, and was built by company founder Milton S. Hershey to provide a place for his employees to work, live and play.
Hershey, Pennsylvania began life as a model company town, but it's grown into one of the nation's top tourist attractions. Built by Hershey Chocolate founder Milton S. Hershey in 1907 as an idyllic place for his employees to enjoy their lives after working hours, it soon began to attract others because of its bucolic, small town charm. With a population of 14,257, it continues to be the international headquarters for Hershey Chocolate, but is also a thriving resort town with mega attractions for all ages. With all this going on, Hershey is still just a small town at heart, with an authentic Main Street USA vibe that cuts through all the tourist attractions. If you're longing for the bright lights of the big city, Harrisburg is only 15 miles away -- but then, Harrisburg doesn't have chocolate rides.
Moving to Hershey
If you're looking for places to rent in Hershey, it won't take you long to find something to suit your lifestyle. Hershey has a large number of property rentals, including apartments, homes and condos for rent. Long-term rental rates and availability stay pretty consistent throughout the year, but you might consider moving during warmer months so that you don't have to move your belongings through all that slushy Northeastern snow during the colder months.
You can expect to pay first month's rent down, plus a security deposit of a couple hundred dollars. Landlords are pretty easygoing here, so you can expect to find plenty of pet-friendly apartments, but be prepared to pay a deposit for the pleasure of Fido's company.
Neighborhoods in Hershey
Hershey is too small to have neighborhoods, but it does have some popular rental sections. Here are a few places to begin your search:
West Chocolate Avenue: This bike-friendly area has plenty of rental apartment complexes, and is close to stores such as Staples, Rite-Aid, Pronio's Market and Karns Foods. It's also conveniently close to Hershey's Chocolate World and Hershey's Museum.
Cherry Drive: If you're looking for an apartment to rent, this is a great place to start. It's also close to shops and restaurants, including Karns Foods, Giant Food and Mazzoli Ice Cream.
Briarcrest Gardens: This area is home to lovely rental apartments at a variety of sizes and prices, and is close to amenities on nearby West Chocolate Avenue.
Bromley Court: This area has a number of lovely townhouses for rent, and is close to several popular restaurants, including Jo Jo's Pizza and Bentley's Courtyard Caf.
Living in Hershey
Hershey has an easygoing climate, with July highs only in the mid-80s (presumably so all that chocolate won't melt) and January highs in the mid-30s. It gets around 25 inches of snow a year, just enough to provide pretty winter postcards for the tourists.
Thanks to Capital Area Transit (CAT), it's easy to get around Hershey by bus, which will take you all the way into Harrisburg. This town is fairly bike-friendly and scooter-safe, but it can get crowded, so be careful when you're out riding.
Hershey's Chocolate World
The biggest thing going here is Hershey's Chocolate World, a magnificent attraction that includes an impressive factory tour, interactive demonstrations, rides, digital shows, old-fashioned trolleys and lots and lots of chocolate for everyone. There's also The Hershey Story, the town's museum, which is a more serious attraction that tells the true history of the chocolate manufacturer and his dream city. To top it all off, there's Hersheypark, which you can liken to an edible amusement park where all roads lead to chocolate. It has rides, 12 roller coasters and a magnificent Boardwalk.
If you're longing for something a bit more tranquil, stop by Hershey Gardens, a beautiful oasis filled with themed gardens (including a breathtaking rose garden) and a butterfly house. For more outdoor adventures, drive next door to Hummelstown and visit the Indian Echo Caverns where you can trek through a limestone cave, enjoying rock formations and crystalline lakes.
Golfers come to Hershey to enjoy Hershey Country Club, which boasts championship east and west courses built by George Fazio and Maurice McCarthy, respectively. There's also a beginner-friendly, 18-hole course at Spring Creek Golf Course (450, E Chocolate Ave).
As you can imagine, Hershey isn't lacking in great restaurants, and Fenicci's has been a favorite since 1935, thanks to superb dishes such as beef marsala and tortellini pomodoro. Another favorite is the Chocolate Avenue Grill, where you can get delectables such as veal Oscar and steak Florentine.
Hershey hosts a variety of concerts and festivals throughout the year, all geared for the locals as well as the tourists. At Hershey Theatre you can enjoy famous recording artists and Broadway touring shows year round. There's also the Summer Mixtape Festival, which has become one of the region's biggest summer music festivals.
In spite of the tourism, Hershey still maintains its own small town identity. As proof of this civic pride, it has its own close-knit residential community of folks and chocoholics who simply wouldn't live anywhere else in the world. Besides, how can you resist living on a street called Chocolate Avenue?