A garden of roses that Milton Hershey founded in the 1930s is now a Hershey, Pennsylvania, destination that spans 23 acres.
The roots of Hershey Gardens stretch back to 1937 and chocolate-maker Milton Hershey’s desire to “create a nice garden of roses” in the town that bears his name. Starting at a relatively small size of 3 acres, the garden grew over the 80 years that followed to an attraction that today spans 23 acres and 11 themed gardens. Visitors can still take a walk among the rose bushes, while also enjoying a wide assortment of flowers, shrubs and trees.
The themed gardens are good for families looking to spend part of a day strolling among beautiful blooms. The Historic Hershey Rose Garden offers an assortment of 3,000 roses spanning 115 varieties, while The M.S. Hershey Tribute Garden celebrates its founder’s love of horticulture with a special seating area surrounded by the M.S. Hershey rose as well as colorful plants and shrubs. Youngsters will enjoy The Children’s Garden with its mix of secret hideaways, creatures and characters.
There’s also a Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, Perennial Garden and a Native Plant Garden as well as a shady grove of oaks and an arboretum featuring statues representing the four seasons and a collection of trees, ranging from beech and bald cypress to hemlock and flagrant snowbell.
Located in the Milton and Catherine Conservatory, the year-round Butterfly Atrium is one of just 25 indoor, tropical butterfly atriums in the United States. Step inside to see dozens of rare butterfly species from South and Central America as well as Africa and Asia. Hershey Gardens is less than 2 miles from Hersheypark, so families can opt for a morning or afternoon of solitude to accompany a day of amusement park thrills. 170 Hotel Rd., Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, 717/534-3492, hersheygardens.org