Roller coasters, family rides, water rides, delicious food and even a cozy place to stay, Hersheypark is a top attraction for Baltimore residents in the summertime. While some try to fit all of the fun into one jam-packed day, others opt to spread out the rides and enjoy the park for the weekend or longer. No matter your preference, this guide has all of the ups, downs, thrills and chills unraveled – so you won’t miss the rides that everyone is talking about. Additionally, check out these Best Amusement Parks near Baltimore that promise to liven up any summer day.
100 W. Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, Pa. 17033
Just a 90-minute drive away, Hersheypark is truly the tastiest amusement park near Baltimore. As if an amazing assortment of rides and games weren’t enough, there’s a long list of sweet treats available on carts throughout the park, plus a variety of meals and snacks at stops like the Mixed Grille, Midway Munchies, Tumbleweed’s Tacos and many more. There’s even a full-service dining restaurant located right outside the gates that offers just about any meal you might be craving.
Hersheypark is also the only park where your ride height category is represented by a candy. Measure yourself at the park entrance and don’t forget to take a picture, which serves as a great souvenir and memory for years to come. At each ride throughout the park, check to see that your candy brand is listed on the entrance side – if it is, you’re in luck as that ride is made for you.
Related: Best Budget Vacation Destinations
Twelve coasters to hit in a day or pick just a few of the best and keep coming back – no matter your game plan, be prepared for a thrilling treat. Get warmed up with the Trailblazer or Lightning Racer coasters, which will get your stomach ready for the more dramatic ups, downs, twists and turns to come. Then go all out with the rough, traditional wooden roller coaster Wildcat that jolts and bumps you over hills at 45 miles per hour (alternative wooden roller coaster is the Comet). For the high thrill seeker, don’t miss Great Bear, Fahrenheit or Skyrush, each of which offers spectacular speeds, heights and drops that are likely to make you forget about having lunch for a while. Meanwhile, young riders can try out the new ride, Cocoa Coaster, planned to debut in 2014.
Traveling with different age groups can make enjoying rides together tricky, but Hersheypark offers a number of quality family-style rides that everyone can enjoy. There are traditional theme park favorites like the Carrousel, Ferris Wheel, Kissing Tower and the Monorail, all of which offer mild thrills with the added bonus of some special views of the park. For a little more excitement, try rides like the Tea Cups, Scrambler or Pirate Ship. If all of these go well, perhaps then you can talk mom and dad into going on the Sooperdooperlooper, but just maybe.
On a hot summer day, there’s no better combination than a ride and water, and luckily Hersheypark has 15 water rides to soak you through and through. The Coastline Plunge has a number of high thrill tubes to slide down including favorites like Riptide, Vortex and Pipeline. Of course, don’t miss a ride on the no-turning-back Whirlwind tunnel where the bottom drops out from tubing riders. It is arguably one of the most exhilarating rides at the park. End the day on a more relaxing note by floating lazily down the Intercoastal Waterway in an inner tube or play water games with the kiddies in the wave pool at Bayside Pier. Hershey’s water park can easily be an all-day event and is a destination that’s fun (and cool) for all ages.
After a long day of rides, food and fun, there’s no need to drive back to Baltimore. Instead, stay at The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge or Hersheypark Camping Resort and take advantage of additional perks like discounted tickets, complimentary shuttles to the park, early admissions on select rides and attractions and more. There are special packages available regularly online that are worth checking out in advance so you can enjoy all of the conveniences and amenities offered for resort guests. Whether you’re relaxing at the renowned spa or staying cool in the pool, you’ll be thankful you’re not driving home in the car.
Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at beazellblog.com and Examiner.com.