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To understand a product, see how it's made. To know the significance of a building, discover its nooks and crannies. A behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood experience is one that can’t be told in passing. Our region offers a variety of indoor and outdoor tours in Hershey and Harrisburg for visitors to discover.
There’s a lot to uncover about our region year-round on an indoor tour where you can learn how things are made or what life was like centuries ago.
Some of you may remember a time when you could tour the actual Hershey’s Chocolate factory. Today, all generations can enjoy a free simulated factory tour ride inside Hershey’s Chocolate World. You’ll learn how the sweet stuff is made, from cocoa bean to candy bar wrapper. If your idea of a treat comes in a pint glass, you’ve got to take a guided or self-guided production tour at Tröegs Independent Brewing. From fermentation to bottling, you’ll discover what makes their processes unique and sip a few samples along the way.
The Pennsylvania State Capitol offers free guided tours daily filled with fascinating facts about this palace of art and a building President Teddy Roosevelt observed as “the handsomest building I ever saw.” See inside the House and Senate Chambers as well as the Supreme Court, the highest court in Pennsylvania. Turn the clocks back a few decades when you visit two of Harrisburg’s mansions-turned-museums: Fort Hunter Mansion & Park and John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion. These historic homes housed several prominent Pennsylvanians and played pivotal parts in shaping Harrisburg’s history. Mansion tours are offered seasonally.
When we said indoors, we also meant underground! Echo Dell – Indian Echo Caverns is a natural geologic wonder millions of years in the making. The Caverns’ “wow” factor comes from their impressive rock formations, echoing rooms, an underground lake, fascinating history, and consistent 52-degree temperature year-round! Head underground on a guided tour to uncover what attracts millions of visitors all over the East Coast.
Where else can you explore underground caverns, ride a vintage trolley, or feed a bear? These unique experiences, plus a few hidden gems, will leave you saying, “I didn’t know they offered that!”
Think of Hershey, Pennsylvania. You’re thinking of chocolate and coasters, right? Indeed, many visitors don’t make time to explore the rest of Hershey! The town of Hershey has a sweet history, and the knowledgeable and witty tour guides of Hershey Trolley Works are eager to share it with you. Climb aboard for fun facts, jokes, audience participation, and chocolate samples! In addition to browsing the sweet vintage rides at AACA Museum, Inc., gearheads can upgrade their visit with a Behind-the-Scenes tour of the Museum’s 15,000-square-foot collection storage garage. Tours are offered daily Memorial Day to Labor Day plus some spring/fall weekends and feature 50-70 additional cars not currently on display.
Most visitors and even locals don’t know you can go behind the scenes at ZooAmerica® North American Wildlife Park on an exclusive guided tour. Set your alarm for the Early Bird tour or stay late After Hours to get up close to the bears, give an otter a snack, hold a bird of prey, or stroke a reptile! Bonus: ZooAmerica is open daily, year-round and accessible from Downtown Hershey.
Do a little fresh air sight-cycling in Harrisburg along the 20-mile Capital Area Greenbelt. It’s free to schedule a guided tour (four-rider minimum) that highlights nature, trail history, local history, and more! Not sure where to eat in Harrisburg? Harrisburg Food Tours, new to the region, offers weekly, 3-hour walking tours of Midtown Harrisburg, stopping by some of the best places to eat, grabbing samples, and learning a little bit of history in between. Go ahead and indulge because you’ll be working off the calories along the way!
There are lots of ways to tour the Hershey Harrisburg Region – by bus, by boat– just to name a few!
Enjoy 360-degree views of Harrisburg aboard The Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat on a daily sightseeing cruise. The Pride is one of the last remaining authentic paddlewheel vessels left in the country, and it’s so uniquely constructed that they couldn’t rebuild it even if they tried. The Pride sails daily in the summer and weekends in the spring and fall.
Take a walk, or ride, on the wild side on a safari tour of Lake Tobias Wildlife Park. Their fleet of open-air buses gets you up close and personal to more than 500 freely roaming elk, bison, deer, antelope, and exotic animals. Listen in as your tour guide shares fun facts about the animals’ habitats and behaviors. Lake Tobias is open May through October.
Animal lovers can hop on a guided tour of the Wolf Sanctuary of PA, an 80-acre refuge for gray wolves and wolf-dogs. Their tours are even more impressive on a full moon evening or just after a fresh snowfall. See the Hershey Harrisburg Region from a new perspective during a 20-50 minute helicopter tour by Updraft Aviation. Choose one of their tours, such as the Capital City Tour, Sweetest Place On Earth Tour, and Mighty Susquehanna River Tour, or chart a custom flight!
Walk in the boots of our nation’s soldiers while gaining a humbling appreciation for America’s military past. It’s free to walk the mile-long Army Heritage Trail at the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center in Carlisle and explore their exhibits and artifacts that story the Army’s history and soldier experience from the Spanish-American War to the War on Terror. The Hershey Harrisburg Region sits northeast of Gettysburg, the site of the pivotal battle that turned the tide of the American Civil War. Take a battlefield tour, see the world-famous Cyclorama painting, or even seek out a spooky ghost tour!