Little bits at a time
Little bits at a time
Head east from Chicago, Illinois to Hershey, Pennsylvania, on a 669-mile road trip. From your starting point at the “Windy City” take Interstate 90/Ohio Turnpike east. Interstate 90 becomes Interstate 80. Continue east to Interstate 76/Pennsylvania Turnpike, then take Highway 15, Route 581, Interstate 83, and Routes 322 and 422 to Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Enjoy endless recreational activities, attractions, and sites while visiting Chicago, Illinois. Take in Chicago White Sox events, or sample the food and craft beers the city is famous for. One of a kind attractions in the city include “The Bean”, a huge public artwork in the downtown area, one of the largest public artworks in the world. This reflective subculture is a big draw for visitors and an iconic Chicago landmark. Or take a ride on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
Chicago is situated right on the shores of Lake Michigan where watersports and swim beaches abound! If you're not afraid of heights, check out the Skydeck in Chicago which is situated over 100 stories high, at the Willis Tower. The Skydeck features “The Ledge '' a glass exterior balcony, four feet outside the tower's wall, and 1350 feet above the ground! Enjoy shopping, dining, museums, historic sites, parks, and attractions during your city stay. RV campers will find excellent RV camping at Kankakee KOA and Chicago Northwest KOA or can venture out of the city to Indian Dunes State Park where a campground with 140, spacious, 50-amp electrical sites, accommodates RVs up to 55 feet in length.
Sync up your trip to Chicago to coincide with the cities Taste of Chicago event in July and partake in the culinary pleasures the “Windy City” has to offer. The event takes place over five days, and features food vendors and artists, which set up for this foodie festival at Grant Park on the shores of Lake Michigan. As many as 80 restaurants, food trucks, and vendors participate annually. Delight your taste buds with everything from hot dogs to deep fried-spaghetti!
The festival features food from a variety of cultures. Visitors purchase tickets, sold in strips, that can be redeemed for full-size meals or samplings, and there are beverage tents as well to wet your whistle! Hundreds of picnic tables that dot the park make ideal spots for fabulous picnics. In addition to the food, the festival provides free concerts at several outdoor stages, and an outdoor silent disco, utilizing headphones, which happens daily at the park’s fountain. Kids will enjoy the playground which has inflatables and a Ferris wheel. It is free to enter the festival, but you will have to purchase tickets to eat and drink.
You will need to park your RV at a local campground or parking lot and use public transportation or park and ride options to get to the festival grounds.
As you head east to Hershey, on Interstate 90, consider a stop in Toledo ,Ohio, just north of the Interstate, on Lake Erie, to visit the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium. This zoo is home to over 10000 individual animals, representing 720 species. Discover wildlife from around the world here with animals that inhabit the icy landscape of Greenland, to coastal, desert, aerial, and rainforest species. The zoo holds special events throughout the year including interactive events like the Animal Egg Hunt, Party of the Planet, Cinco De Mayo, and Kidsapallooza. Be sure to check out their schedule for upcoming events so you can coordinate them with your trip.
The zoo also features regular interactive experiences including “Tower Ridge”, which allows visitors to hand feed the giraffes, a zip line adventure, and a 178000-gallon aquarium with over 3000 aquatic creatures. The aquarium allows you to delve into the deeps, from the forest wetlands of the Amazon to the briny ocean depths, and discover the fascinating wildlife that lives in these aquatic ecosystems.
As you pass south of Cleveland, Ohio, on Interstate 80, take a quick side trip into the city to visit the fascinating International Women's Air & Space Museum. The museum has free admission, and is open daily, but closed on holidays and during the Cleveland Browns home games. This museum exhibits an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, artwork, and clothing associated with the history of women in space and aviation. The museum's mission is to preserve the history of women in aviation and space and provide a record of their contributions on an ongoing basis.
During your visit, learn about the aviation career of Ruby Wine Sheldon, view the Ruth Nichols Photography Collection, and Margot DeCarie Collection of Amelia Earhart Photography, and learn about the over 1000 Women Service Pilots in the Air Force between 1942 and 1944. If you need a place to camp and leave your RV unit, or holiday trailer, before venturing into the city, you will find excellent amenities and convenient sites south of the city at Streetsboro/Cleveland KOA.
Take Interstate 376 off of Interstate 76 to visit the Raccoon Creek State Park west of Pittsburg. It's a little south of your route, but provides great outdoor recreation and RV camping, making it well worth the detour. The park contains 7752 acres of beautiful natural wilderness terrain and is one of the largest Pennsylvania state parks. The park also contains interesting historical sites with educational programs, including 142 tombstones at the Kings Creek Cemetery, belonging to war veterans dating between 1810 and 1906.
During the summer, enjoy hiking and cycling on plentiful trails, or swimming, boating, and fishing, on the 100 acre Raccoon Lake. In the winter you can ice skate, or ice fish on the lake, or cross country ski and snowshoe on trails. The campground here is open from April to October, and there are additional cabins and lodges that are available during the winter months.
The RV campground has 172 sites and has an RV dump station and five shower houses with flush toilets. Some sites have electric hookups and all have fire rings and picnic tables. Pets are only permitted at two of the campground loops, Loop “C” and “F”. Sites are reservable. RVs up to 50 feet in length can be accommodated here. Primitive camping is available at Sioux Rustic Campground, on a first-come, first-serve basis, and this campground is also open during the winter months. The park has good paved access roads and is accessible for larger RV units.
A trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, would not be complete without a visit to Hershey's Chocolate World. The entertainment complex here is the original Hershey Chocolate World, though there are several more located in various US cities, and includes the Hershey Park, Hershey Museum, an arena, the Giant Center, and a stadium. Hershey's Chocolate World is the perfect spot for chocolate lovers with interactive activities.
On the free Chocolate Making Tour, visitors can see how cocoa beans are transformed into Hershey's world-famous chocolate, and enjoy a free sample to boot. The tour takes about 30 miles and runs continuously during operating hours. The 4D Chocolate Mystery Movie features digital animation and special effects that make you feel like you're part of the action, helping solve the Hershey Mystery. There are 100 different variations of this show, so it's always a different experience. The movie takes about 30 minutes.
Visitors can also take part in the “Create Your Own Candy Bar” activity where they can choose ingredients and design their own candy bar wrapper, to make up their own personal treat! Participate in the “Hershey's Unwrapped” chocolate tasting experience, sort of a historical, theatrical, experience where you can taste your way through the attraction!
During your visit, you can shop, dine, and participate in special chocolate-themed events. Additional activities associated with Hershey's Chocolate World include the trolley tour which takes you to various Hershey Chocolate sites and the Hershey Chocolate Museum which tells the history of founder Milton Hershey and his chocolate empire. The museum includes tasting opportunities and a “Chocolate Lab”.
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During your visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania, be sure to visit the Hershey Chocolate World sites, from which the city got its name, as well as other city attractions. The Hershey's Garden is an 80-year-old “botanical masterpiece” on 23 acres, with colorful flowers and majestic trees. Families will love the children's garden and butterfly atrium located here. Ride roller coasters and thrill rides at Hershey Park, a fun family theme park. You can also walk around the 11-acre ZooAmerica, a North American wildlife park with 200 animals from five different regions of North America. If you visit the Hershey Park, your admission covers ZooAmerica as well.
More fun activities for families can be found at Adventure Sports which has go-karts, laser tag, mini-golf, batting cages, and an escape room. Transportation enthusiasts will enjoy the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, with 100 classic cars on display, or the Museum of Bus Transportation. Get around Hershey using the Hershey Trolley Works. The trolley loop begins and ends at Hershey's Chocolate World, and takes you to great attractions and historical sites, a fabulous way to tour the city! While staying in the Hershey area camp South of Hershey at the Elizabethtown/Hershey KOA.