GETTING THERE: Hersheypark is in Hershey, Pa., just east of Harrisburg about two hours from Washington. Take I-270 to Route 15 north at Frederick, Md. At Camp Hill, Pa., pick up Route 581 east to Harrisburg, where it becomes I-83 north. At Exit 46B, take Route 322 east to Hershey and follow the signs.

HERSHEYPARK: The park is open from May to September, on most weekdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and most weekends until 11 p.m. Daily admission is $39.95 for adults, $22.95 for kids aged 3 to 8 and seniors 55 to 69; kids 2 and under are free. Two-day plans start at $56.50 for adults and seniors and $40.50 for seniors and kids 3 to 8. (Tip: You can get into the park free for a few evening hours when you buy your next day's ticket after 7:30 p.m.) Hershey's Chocolate World, just outside the main gate, replaces the factory tour as the place to see how chocolate is made. A ride through the chocolate-making process is free; a 3-D movie in an interactive theater tells Milton Hershey's story in a refreshingly irreverent way and is well worth the $5 ticket ($4 for kids). Info: 800-437-7439, www.hersheypa.com.

STAYING THERE: Hershey and his wife had a thing for fine hotels, so they built one. The Hotel Hershey is a Mobil four-star luxury hotel within sight of the Ferris wheel, with plush rooms, a stunning Mediterranean-style lobby and spa where the staff will rub all sorts of chocolate on your person for big bucks. At $369 a room in the high season (and with a jacket-required dining room), it's a lot of hotel for a theme park. But the spa, multiple golf courses and beautiful views make it a destination unto itself. For slightly less, the Hershey Lodge is a sprawling complex with comfortable motel-style rooms, three swimming pools and a sports bar. Rooms during summer are $249 a night. Hershey's Highmeadow Campground offers campsites beginning at $35 and rustic cabins from $74.50 a night. All Hershey resorts include free shuttles to the park and entry at 9 a.m., admission to the Hershey Gardens and Museum and access to golf courses. Use Hershey phone and Web site above for all lodgings. There are non-Hershey options: a Days Inn (350 W. Chocolate Ave., 717-534-2162) with rooms starting at $210 and a Comfort Inn (1200 Mae St., 717-566-2050), also at $210.

EATING THERE: The buffet lunch at Hershey Lodge's Lebbie Lebkicher's was bountiful and ended with chocolate fondue and free Mr. Goodbars. With a coupon book we got at check-in, the kids ate free and adults paid $15 each. At night, we splashed out on the lovely terrace of the Hotel Hershey's Fountain Cafe, with margaritas, grilled red snapper, fusion pizza and a long wine list. Dinner for four came to just under $100.

INFO: Pennsylvania Tourism Office, 800-847-4872, www.visitpa.com.