Buy “The Trout” and I’ll donate 10% of the proceeds to two well-known and deserving organizations.
Friends and acquaintances who know me well understand why I love to fly-fish but they’re also aware I’m an advocate for responsible fishing, land and water preservation, and the healing effects nature provides. Much of my time on the road is spent fly fishing and appreciating our waterways that Trout Unlimited (TU) has worked so hard to preserve. TU and Casting for Recovery (CfR) will each receive 5 percent of the proceeds from the sale of “The Trout” prints.
TU is a national organization that’s at the forefront of fisheries restoration work at the local, state and national levels. Its 300,000 members and supporters are organized into 400 chapters and councils from Maine to Montana to Alaska with approximately 30 offices nationwide. Over the years, I’ve assisted with TU fly fishing education programs and I’m one of the founding members of my local TU Women’s Initiative.
Casting for Recovery (CfR) is a non-profit organization that provides phenomenal healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer and at no cost to the participants. Their retreats offer inspiration, connections with other women and of course, one of the greatest healing powers known to mankind, nature. CfR retreats are open to women with breast cancer of all ages and in all stages of treatment and recovery. Women from all walks of life have benefited from CfR’s inspiring program model for more than 20 years with 60 retreats across the country that serve 800+ women each year. CfR partners with volunteers in Canada, UK/Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Italy and its volunteer teams are made up of medical and psychosocial professionals, fly fishing instructors and alumnae. Click here to learn more about CfR.
“The Trout” original was a commissioned piece I created around the same time I took my first fly fishing lesson with my local Trout Unlimited chapter and the PA Fish and Boat Commission. The original trout collage was used to create trail art at a neighborhood community park and I donated the original to the park as an auction item.
If you’re not familiar with Chigirie, the Japanese art of tearing paper to create a collage (or painting with paper), glance at The Trout and you’ll see 50 or more tiny pieces of pre-dyed torn paper I blended (without paint) to create a layered effect.
The Trout is my one and only fishing-related art project and I’m thrilled to be able to offer prints and support TU and CfR.
Geotab Study Ranks America’s Most Breathtaking Views
Travel to One or All: 2019 U.S. Must-See Vistas
Information provided by Geotab
Toronto, ON – November 27, 2018 – Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, has launched a new study analyzing U.S. road data to identify the highest paved road in every state in America. Treat yourself and your family to America’s scenic wonders.
At 4,757 feet, the highest point of Alaska’s Dalton Highway (in the Atigun Pass on the Continental Divide) was identified as having the most stunning view in America. Taking second place is Colorado’s Mount Evans Scenic Byway. At 14,132 feet at its peak, it is the highest paved road in North America and one of the highest in the world.
The interactive piece, which also ranks the top ten most breathtaking views can be accessed in full here. By analyzing the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Elevation Dataset, Geotab was able to determine the highest road coordinates in each state. Aside from identifying the highest, reachable peaks, Geotab also leveraged the expertise of renowned outdoor photographer, Tony Bynum, to help determine the ranking of the ten most breathtaking views in America that can be accessed by hitting the open road.
“I’ve visited all of the roads on this list and there is simply nothing like Alaska for solitude and breadth of views,” says Tony Bynum, outdoor photographer, and conservationist. “In general, Western U.S. scenery is the ‘best’, with a tendency to offer better visibility up to 100 miles on clear days. However, most of the higher elevations in the west are closed in winter, whereas the central and eastern roads are often available all year round.”
The full ranking of America’s 10 most breathtaking views is below: Rank Height State Road
4,757ft Alaska Dalton Highway, in the Atigun Pass
14,132ft Colorado Mount Evans Scenic Byway
10,953ft Wyoming Beartooth Highway
7,419ft Washington National Forest Development Road 5400 to Slate
Peak Radar Site
9,714ft Oregon Steens Mountain Loop Road
13,781ft Hawaii Mauna Kea Access Road
6,265ft New Hampshire Mount Washington Auto Road
5,740ft Tennessee Clingmans Dome Road
4,850ft West Virginia Forest Road 104 to peak of Spruce Knob
4,765ft Georgia State Route 180 Spur to Brasstown Bald
“This piece serves as a useful reminder of the sheer beauty that can be seen across America’s world-leading road network,” said Maria Sotra, VP of Marketing at Geotab. “Thanks to the nation’s ever-growing infrastructure system, you no longer have to embark on a grueling hike or commit to climbing a mountain in order to take in an awe-inspiring view. Instead, breathtaking views can often be seen from behind the wheel of a car.”
Explore the full findings and view the stunning landscape photography here:
About the data
U.S. Census TIGER/Line® Shapefiles were used to build a set of coordinates representing segments of every road in the United States, then the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Elevation Dataset was applied to establish the height of each segment. Google Maps and OpenStreetMap data was used to exclude roads that were not clearly accessible via an ordinary road vehicle. Roads were analyzed in October 2018. Main background image of Mount Evans supplied by Airphoto. All photo credits and licenses. About Geotab Geotab is advancing security, connecting commercial vehicles to the internet and providing web-based analytics to help customers better manage their fleets. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offering hundreds of third-party solution options, allows both small and large businesses to automate operations by integrating vehicle data with their other data assets. As an IoT hub, the in-vehicle device provides additional functionality through IOX Add-Ons. Processing billions of data points a day, Geotab leverages data analytics and machine learning to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets through the reduction of fuel consumption, enhance driver safety, and achieve strong compliance to regulatory changes. Geotab’s products are represented and sold worldwide through Authorized Geotab Resellers. To learn more, please visit www.geotab.com and follow us @GEOTAB and on LinkedIn.
Do you have travel plans that include Pennsylvania’s state capital?
When you’re looking for outstanding lodging in Pennsylvania’s historic capital city, the Hilton Harrisburg is at the center of “downtown” activity, making it the perfect setting for a business trip, getaway, and sight-seeing adventure. You’ll find all the services you’ll ever need to make the most of your visit and the Hilton is in close proximity to many historical sites, shopping, dining, and a plethora of other attractions.
Travel Tip: Wallow in city life and plan your day around a visit to the State Capitol Complex, only three minutes by car or a whopping eight minutes by foot. Take advantage of the Hilton’s valet parking and begin your stay with lunch. Plot your route using this map courtesy of Google. Who knows? Is a leisurely stroll in order?
Hilton Brand = Exemplary Service
The Hilton over-delivers in every way – from location and hospitality to the decor and business services. Use my suggestions below to make the most of your stay.
Don’t Skip Breakfast!
The motto is “old favorites ‘turned on their side.”
Are you an early-riser breakfast-type who can’t wait to rise and shine to a full breakfast? AD LIB was my first stop on my second and third day in Harrisburg. You should allow time for the buffet, which is lovingly prepared and attended to by the staff to be sure the breakfast items are piping hot. Special requests for eggs cooked your way are honored by the gracious staff.
While you’re enjoying your breakfast, schedule some FREE outdoor time. Explore fresh- air options at Wildwood Park where you’ll find a Nature Center (perfect for families with children) and plenty of trails and boardwalks geared for exercise and nature enthusiasts.
The Hilton’s fashionable decor is also home to The 1700 Steakhouse open daily for dinner. Small plate options, 30 varieties of wines by the glass, and more than 60 selections of beer, and “edible cocktails” will round out your meal. Hours of operation and other details are available by following this link.
Many thanks to Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, my sponsor, for the opportunity to spend three glorious days exploring Harrisburg during my second media trip. This week, I’ll return to Harrisburg to cover the PA Farm Show, an annual event that focuses on education and family fun.
You would recognize Skytop Lodge today if you were to compare the grand opening day photo in Claire Gierwatowski’s “Images of America: Skytop Lodge” with the lodge and grounds you see today. Additions and modifications since opening day on June 16, 1928, have only enhanced Skytop’s magnificent, stately appeal.
Images of America: Skytop Lodge covers more than 90 years of lodge history from the Roaring Twenties through The Great Depression, World War II, and other significant world events that could have led to its demise. The truth is Skytop has continued to grow and thrive through those ups and downs.
Whether you’ve visited Skytop Lodge, you’re planning a visit, or you want to learn more about Skytop’s history, Gierwatowski spent years researching and compiling the information and photographs contained in Images of America in order to preserve the memories and moments that have shaped the Skytop we know today.
The Dutch Colonial Revival lodge is surrounded by natural beauty with exceptional gardens, lakes, streams, and cascading waterfalls and set on 5,500 pristine acres in the heart of the Poconos that has beckoned guests to return year after year to relax and play. Images of America: Skytop Lodge is a must-see historical overview available at Arcadia Publishing and The History Press.
Primi (first course): Risotto Quattro Formaggio Aquarella rice, sautéed greens, taleggio, parmigiano, romana and leonora cheeses, fried baby artichoke
Want to try the most uncomplicated, melt-in-your-mouth risotto you’ll find anywhere on our planet?
I’m certain there’s only one perfect risotto and I found it at Mangia Qui, an immensely popular Harrisburg Italian restaurant across the street from the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Don’t be alarmed by the green tint. The sauteed greens were harmoniously balanced with perfectly cooked (al dente) arborio rice, artichokes, and a medley of cheese and garnished with pansies and flower foliage from co-owner Staci Basore’s garden.
Before I tell you more about my experience at Mangia Qui, you should know I was raised in a predominately Italian family. My father was of mostly German lineage but he couldn’t have cared less about German food. My maternal grandmother’s meals (i.e. homemade pasta and meatballs, roast chicken, and pork butt layered between a crusty cornmeal “sandwich”) set the tone for most gatherings. She labeled many of her native Southern Italian dishes as “peasant food.” What exactly is peasant food? Simply stated, they’re dishes that are specific to a particular culture or region and made from accessible and inexpensive ingredients. Sadly, Risotto was not in her repertoire but years later after she died, I tried my hand at preparing Arborio with a variety of seasonings and aged cheeses. The result was a gooey and lumpy blob and probably the reason my youngest son turns his nose up when I mention “Risotto.”
When Rick Dunlap, Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, and I set up my travel itinerary, he asked if I’d like to dine at Mangia Qui on day two of my three-day solo media trip. I said, “Of course.” I arrived at the restaurant around 5 p.m. after a jam-packed day filled with outdoor activities. Throughout the afternoon, my stomach growled non stop and perhaps because (as many Italians do) immediately after one meal (lunch, for example) my thoughts shift to dinner. By 1 p.m., I had already begun to contemplate what I’d find on the menu.
Not long after I arrived, I was in the process of unpacking my gear when my server brought to my table a small stainless steel bowl brimming with olives, a bottle of water, a water goblet, and the menu.
He discussed the daily specials as I perused the menu a second time. Half-way down the page, the words Risotto Quattro Formaggio popped out. I would have been satisfied with my appetizers and Risotto but my server asked what I’d like for my entree. Do you mean there’s more (food), I thought. The Branzino Seared a la plancha, olive oil poached sweet onion, Kentucky flats, Yukons and squash, and lemon caper brown butter was one of the “Secondi” that appealed to me so I ordered it. Sadly, I had no room or need for dessert afterward.
Basore is part of the team that owns and operates Mangia Qui and two sister restaurants, Rubicon and Suba. Mangia Qui offers a fresh, locally sourced, and artisanal approach to dining that’s as much about meeting friends and family for a relaxed dining experience as it “the food,” which was superb. Without hesitation, I recommend Mangia Qui to anyone who is seeking a first-rate Italian restaurant for a date night, family gathering, friends’ night-out, special occasion, or business-related dinner.
Mangia Qui: Casual dining and phenomenal Italian cuisine.
272 North Street Harrisburg, PA — 17102 717.233.7358
Complimentary valet parking on Friday and Saturday evenings, 5 -11 p,m.
My most recent Philadelphia media trip began at Le Pain Quotidien, (translated from French to English, “the daily bread”), a Belgium bakery and restaurant at The Granary, 1937 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA. Le Pain Quotidien is a franchised eatery founded by Alain Coumont. I chose Le Pain because I was in Philadelphia to cover The Barnes Foundation and the online menu reflected my hankerings that day.
An eatery that features gluten-free, vegetarian-style fare is consistently my first choice for lunch and Le Pain Quotidien Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai was outstanding. The menu and decor are ideal for the diner who is looking for French-inspired pastries, soups, and savory lunch options and an assortment of healthy, plant-based selections.
Le Pain emanates European culture with the comforting aroma of bread baking in the kitchen and a casual French-country charm. It’s a perfect prelude to an afternoon at The Barnes.
Call ahead to be sure seating is available during peak times.1 215 789 9870
AFTERNOON WITH THE MASTERS
Why are we so fascinated with museums?
I’ll tell you why I can’t stay away from them or better yet, I’ll show you why you should set aside time to visit The Barnes Foundation. (See my gallery below). Photos by Joan Mead-Matsui unless otherwise noted.
Museums are my go-to place for inspiration for my own art (https://chigirie.com) and an opportunity to tune into my creative side and tune out the noise and chatter around me. Too much time had passed since my last visit to a metropolitan museum and upon reading more about The Barnes (as it’s often called), I knew I had to set aside an afternoon to experience this Philadelphia treasure. The Barnes Foundation houses a must-see collection of art by the world’s greatest master painters, sculptors, and designers.
As I made my way around the first-floor galleries, I came across paintings by my all-time favorite Impressionist painters: Renoir and Monet. And then, gallery upon gallery, the genre expanded to Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, Seurat, and Modigliani.
I was so enthralled by the selection of paintings that I didn’t allow enough time to visit the second-floor exhibits but that’s all the reason I’ll need to plan a follow-up trip to Philadelphia.
The Barnes, (as it’s known to many) is a non-profit Philadelphia cultural and educational institution recognized for its exceptional art collections, programming, and special exhibitions.
Thanks to Dr. Albert C. Barnes for his vision and the foundation that honors his name for maintaining this collection of priceless treasures by impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist artists.
TIP: Allow ample time (three to four hours) to explore the galleries. African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork are arranged throughout the galleries in a manner that encourages time to view, study, and reflect on each object in the ensembles.
The ensembles, each one meticulously crafted by Dr. Barnes himself, are meant to draw out visual similarities between objects we don’t normally think of together. Created as teaching tools, they were essential to the educational program Dr. Barnes developed back in the 1920s.
Directions: The Barnes Foundation is conveniently located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA. No need to worry about parking. Visitors are invited to park in the lot adjacent to the foundation.
For additional information, call 215.278.7000.
My visit to The Barnes Foundation was comped but my opinions are my own.
Plan a visit to Harrisburg and add this National Historic Landmark to your itinerary.
Imagine you’re standing in front of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building around the time of its dedication on Oct. 4, 1906. Close your eyes and envision you’re looking skyward at what was considered to be the tallest structure between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The capitol building held that record for 80 years. That must have been quite a sight to behold.
As a life-long Pennsylvania resident, I’m sorry to note I had only seen my state’s capitol building from a distance until earlier this year on a sunny late September day. As the traffic whizzed by me, I took a moment to admire the dome from the sidewalk in front of the complex. I realized I had no idea what entrance to use. As I walked up and down two flights of exterior steps twice, I checked my watch and realized I was five minutes late for my scheduled tour. I stopped briefly to ask a bystander to point to the main entrance that would lead me to the main lobby and the man directed me to two sets of double doors. A security guard mapped out my trek to the lobby where I found the information desk surrounded by several large groups of visitors who were ready to embark on their tours. There, I met my tour guide.
Visit Hershey-Harrisburg arranged my tour as part of a three-day media trip to Hershey and Harrisburg. I left Central Pennsylvania with a significantly greater understanding of why Harrisburg has remained Pennsylvania’s capital since October 1812 thanks to my tour guide, Jill Fetter. She’s the Capitol Visitor Services director and The Pennsylvania Capitol Shop manager in the Main Rotunda and an expert in both the building’s history and design.
Philadelphia architect Joseph Huston (1866-1940), designed the massive capital structure based on his vision of a “Palace of Art” and that’s exactly what you’ll find. The building and furnishings cost $13 billion.
Aside from its obvious grandeur and size, the exterior of the building is a gateway to the splendor you’ll find inside – classic American Renaissance style architecture that’s combined with artistic details that are unspeakably magnificent and illuminated by approximately 4,000 lights and 48 portholes in the dome.
Suffice to say, the building lives up to its reputation as the most beautiful capitol building in our nation. In fact, history has it that President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the capital as “the handsomest building” he ever saw when he attended the dedication of the building.
The interior focal point is the grand staircase – an ideal vantage point for visitors to view eight large murals by Philadelphia artists, Edwin Austin Abbey, and the famous Barnard Statues by George Grey Barnard, and 17-foot bronze doors that each weighs a ton. Keeping your eyes fixed on one element at a time might be difficult for even the most disciplined spectator as your tour guide describes each of the massive installations of stained glass, murals, and paintings crafted by the most talented artisans of that era.
Some of the largest rooms feature a European influence with distinctive Renaissance elements – Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber, and English in the Governor’s Reception Room. Add to that mix Greek, Roman and Victorian installations of exquisite art and ornamentation displayed throughout the building.
Historians, politicians, teachers, students, architects, travelers, and anyone with an appreciation for history and art and a fascination with politics and lawmaking, should visit the Pennsylvania State Capitol complex. Architectural students will want to study how Huston, the architect-of-record, incorporated motifs that embody Pennsylvania’s achievements in history, animals, industries, occupations, and modes of transportation into his design. Whether your glance is towards the dome, straight ahead, or under your feet, you’ll find examples of Huston’s affinity for art. One example is the Moravian tiles you’ll see intermingled on the lobby floor. They were designed and manufactured by Henry Chapman Mercer of Doylestown, PA as a way to illustrate and incorporate the talents and wares of local craftsman.
There’s so much to see and take in at the State Capitol Building. Take the time to download the PA Capitol Self-Guided Tour Mobile app to learn about the self-guided tour stops, how a bill becomes law in PA, and research additional information in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German.
Tours are free and offered every half hour Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on weekends and most holidays at 9 and 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. You won’t be able to tour the capitol building on New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas day but you’ll have plenty of other options before or after those holidays. I encourage you to register for a tour so won’t miss a detail along the way. A Capitol Tour Guide will fill your head with architectural, artistic, and political highlights that will make this building’s incomparable beauty come alive for you. If you decide to wait to schedule your tour until you arrive in Harrisburg, be sure to check the schedule before arriving at the capitol complex.
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My goal for my mini-courses (with additional course offerings in the works) is to teach you the tips and techniques I’ve learned as a journalist and travel writer while covering a myriad of destinations and events on more than 50 media trips. Throughout my careers in journalism and travel writing, I learned we all need a coach now and them to help us achieve our dreams.
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I didn’t have demanding editors pressuring me to take on additional assignments and I rarely turned down assignments but I knew I couldn’t pass on an offer to cover services and amenities at lodging destinations in a popular Northeastern Pennsylvania resort region. With more than 1,300 published features’ stories to my credit and eight years writing for the same publications, I accepted my first freelance travel writing position with a tourism website.
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Six emerging, talented artists from around the world gathered at the vernissage (a private viewing of paintings before a public exhibition begins) on an idyllic rural farm near Dusseldorf following their three-week residency.
ARTPIQ’s Summerhouse Dusseldorf was an artist-in-residence camp for international up-and-coming artists that culminated in the Vernissage at Hof Lindenbeck on September 1, 2018. Brazil, South Korea, Italy, and England were some of the artists’ countries of origin. The budding masters’ assignment was to dedicate every day completely to art and find inspiration to create art in for their surroundings. Visits to local art institutions, prearranged sessions with a life coach, and an opportunity to connect with artists (at the art academy) and collectors added to their overall learning experience.
The art created during the project was presented to a curious audience at the vernissage. For this purpose, the organizing art company, ARTPIQ, worked closely with the newspapers, Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche. The event was also sponsored by start-ups such as Harvest Moon, Little Lunch, a pharmaceutical company, Gerstaecker and Kremer Pigmente.
ARTPIQ, an online art-funding platform was founded in March 2017 and is based in Düsseldorf. ARTPIQ offers artists a means to represent their vision so that they can sell their works and raise necessary funds. The company believes that every single artist is unique and has a story to tell and aims to democratize the art market by connecting collectors and investors with emerging artists.
Katharina Wenzel-Vollenbroich, CEO of ARTPIQ, answers below offers additional insight into the ARTPIQ platform and its role in assisting artists.
Why is art so important to our world?
Art is important for many reasons. Ultimately, it’s about the intimate experience of connecting with another’s emotions, views, and vision. But art can also reflect the world around us, offering new perspectives on political, social and psychological issues. It provokes curiosity, incites new questions, and in certain cases, can inspire us into action.
How were the artists selected?
The artists for the Summerhouse project were selected after we asked artists to submit work based around the theme of water — something that relates to both the local area, and the climate issues we’re currently seeing. The quality of work submitted for entry was way beyond our expectations. This made choosing which artists to select an extremely difficult process. Both I and Janine sat down and spent many grueling hours debating which ones we felt offered the best balance of talent, technique, and vision. We eventually came to a decision, but it was far from easy.
How would you describe the farm?
The farm is a protected house just outside of Dusseldorf and is surrounded by beautiful nature, where horses and chickens once lived. There is a small river which crosses the plot of land; there are also large trees surrounding the house, both of which have a calming effect. The house itself is a cozy space with up to 7 bedrooms — suitable for a group of people wanting to independently live together — or in the case of the ARTPIQ summerhouse, talented emerging artists.
What were the students’ living conditions? Did they have full access to studios, Plein Air, models, etc?
Throughout their stay, we made sure the artists lived in comfort so that they could focus on creating new and exciting works. Food, accommodation, and materials were all provided. We also took some trips out as a group to experience the area around the farm, and the city of Dusseldorf itself.
What were some of the mediums the students used? Did they have specific criteria or instructions they were required to follow?
No, we didn’t have any specific criteria or instructions. We gave artists complete freedom. We understand that shifting between mediums happens, and is not only necessary, but it’s also where the magic often happens, especially as collaboration starts to occur. So we provided everything we could in order to facilitate the artists’ creativity. I think the art produced is an amazing reflection of what can happen when artists can really focus on what they’re good at.
How did you prepare the next generation of artists for what lies ahead i.e. earning a living?
As a platform, our goal is to support emerging artists journeys into earning a living from their craft. We help to sell their works online, using a number of digital marketing techniques, including social media and email marketing. We also have an investment model were collectors can invest not only in an artwork but an artist themselves. This can give artists the capital to invest in long-term artistic projects. Without that cash flow, it can often be difficult for emerging artists to express themselves, especially if they have to take on full-time jobs to support their practice. What we do is try to make sure this doesn’t have to happen.
What are a few of the important lessons the students learned during ARTPIQ?
I wouldn’t go so far as to call them lessons, but the collaborative element of the ARTPIQ summerhouse project certainly showed that sharing ideas can develop greater works of art. I guess you could say that being able to focus solely on creative output helped them to understand that you sometimes need time solely devoted to creation to really get to grips with what you want to achieve as an artist.
Please list the sponsors’ names.
Gerstaecker, Kremer Pigmente, a pharmaceuticals’ company, private person sponsors, Harvest Moon, Little Lunch – furthermore we had a collaboration with Handelsblatt and the Wirtschaftswoche.
We’ve all heard of extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs and we can’t help but wonder how they rose above the day-to-day challenges associated with running a business. Milton S. Hershey is an individual we can admire for his dream and vision but he wasn’t an instant success.
Where can you learn more about Milton S. Hershey and his legacy?
At the Hershey Story Museum, The Hershey Company’s most recent building endeavor.
The Hershey museum opened in January 2009 in the heart of downtown Hershey, a magical town where the streetlights are modeled after Hershey Kisses and the aroma within each building is a reminder of why chocolate is a good as gold. More than 160,000 people visit the museum every year.
The story goes that around the turn of the century, chocolate was a booming business and Milton Hershey was so inspired, he sold his caramel business and broke ground for a new chocolate factory in nearby Derry Township, his hometown. For as long as I can remember, the Hershey bar has been a symbol of chocolatey sweetness and the iconic chocolate-colored wrapper that has evolved over the years is also a reminder of days gone by. But it’s more than the chocolate that’s represented in the museum. It’s Milton Hershey’s rag to riches’ story. Walk into a grocery store or anywhere that food is sold and you’ll likely find a product manufactured by the Hershey Company. More than a century after Hershey built his factory, Hershey products are manufactured and savored around the world.
My recent media trip to Hershey was a fascinating mix of chocolate culture. The Hershey Story Museum, 63 West Chocolate Ave., Hershey, Pennsylvania, helps to tie together the entire Hershey experience with a mix of exhibits and archives that will ignite your curiosity about the art of chocolate making and demystify the man who started the company from scratch. Where are the ingredients sourced? Where does Hershey find such large quantities of cocoa beans to mass produce chocolate? Where do the sugar and dairy that are key ingredients in many of products originate? The exhibits answer those questions through visuals and hands-on experimentation that every child and adult should experience at least once.
The “Failures to Fortunes” exhibit is one that particularly illustrates how determination can result in ultimate success. Milton S. Hershey found success while at the Lancaster Caramel Company and grew his company from there into a booming chocolate business. Each piece in the exhibits is presented so they appeal to adults and children.
Visitors can watch candy-making equipment in action or a virtual Hershey Kisses’ wrapping line. The goal is to honor Milton Hershey and preserve the immeasurable impact he had on the town of Hershey and the world. ArchiText LSC design and world-renown exhibit designers Gallagher and associates partnered with the MS Hershey Foundation to create The Hershey Story Museum.
The museum took approximately three years to build after a year-and-a-half in the planning stage, with an impressive attention to details that’s obvious from the moment you step into the museum. Allow two to three hours for a walk-through or longer if you and your family want to investigate each exhibit and take part in the hands-on Chocolate Lab where you’ll learn how chocolate is made in a fun hands-on workshop. Do YOU want to make your own chocolate treat? You’ll leave with a better appreciation for the chocolate-making process after you’ve made your own sweet treat.
Don’t leave the museum without stopping at The Pantry Cafe for coffee, sweets and confections, a smoothie, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and salads and other treats to round out your museum experience.
Come to the museum as a family or plan a school field or scout trip to the museum. Winter can be long and boring. Check out the calendar of events here and beat the January and February blues at The Hershey Story Museum.
Hershey Chocolate World
The Hershey Story Museum is only a few Hershey Kiss miles away (nine minutes) from Hershey’s Chocolate World, another extraordinarily popular attraction. This one is free. You can board the chocolate making tour and find and smell the outrageous chocolate aroma throughout your tour. Hershey’s famous characters tell the story of chocolate making that begins with cocoa beans and ends with the wrapping process.
Find your seat on the indoor tour tram. Tours run continuously throughout the day every 30 minutes (during business hours) and it’s WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE. After you’ve learned everything you should know about chocolate making, head to the 3D Chocolate Mystery Show and by that time, oh, you’ll be ready to create your own candy bar. The fun continues with the Hershey Trolley Tour, a seasonal way to view the incredible array of attractions Hershey offers its visitors. Book your tickets in advance online for the Holly Jolly Trolley that’ll delight your children. Or stop at the Central Ticketing office to purchase tickets. Caroling, stories, and a visit from a special guest will keep you entertained and set you in a holiday mode.
I visited Hershey in late summer and early fall and arrived to find flowers in bloom and meticulously manicured grounds and a flurry of activity. Each season brings something new in this old-fashioned town. Put down your electronic devices so you can appreciate the farmlands and rolling hills that lead to Hershey. Play a game about what you see, or count the number of cows along the way to prepare your family for the attractions that will greet them at Hershey.