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Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

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posts: 33
reviews: 20
Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

We are driving in from Atlanta to visit Hershey and Lancaster for about a week in the summer. Question is do we drive through Hershey first to get to Lancaster or vice versa. If so, I will stay 2-3 days in Hershey first then completely move on to Lancaster 2-3 days. I don't want to drive past or through it only to have to turn around the next day to go back to the theme park. Can't tell according to my mapquest directions which one we hit first :-) Thanks

Edited: 9:35 am, November 07, 2012
Harrisburg, PA
posts: 434
reviews: 41
1. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

Hershey and Lancaster are relatively close. About 30 minutes drive time. Which is first depends on how you get here. If you come up I-95 around Washington and Baltimore, then you'll take I-83 to York and then head east on US-30 in which case you'll get to Lancaster first. If you come the popular route which takes you over I-85 to I-81, then you'll actually come a bit further north to Harrisburg in which case Hershey is closer.

With that said, I would not necessarily stay in Hershey itself. It's a nice town, but you'll find the hotel rates are substantially higher because of the tourist factor. Stay on the east side of Harrisburg near I-283 and I-83 or just off I-81 near US-39 or 743. These are short 10-15 minutes drives into Hershey, but substantially cheaper.

For Lancaster, I assume you will be seeing the Amish tourist attractions in which case you should be focusing on the portion of US-30 east of Lancaster.

Either way, it's 30 minutes from Lancaster to Hershey, so if Hershey is only a one-day event for you, staying the entire time in Lancaster and just driving up for the day is easily doable.

I live in Harrisburg and have family in Lancaster and regularly drive between the two.

Central PA
posts: 3,842
reviews: 59
2. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

Coming from the south, you would hit Lancaster first, but they are only 45 minutes apart. Many people opt to stay somewhere in the middle as a base to travel to both area, as well as to avoid the high costs of hotels in the Hershey area.

posts: 33
reviews: 20
3. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

Thanks. We are stopping in Lynchburg VA to visit family for a day and then I think the map has us coming 81, which it sounds like we come through Harrisburg. I will try looking in between the 2 locations. We normally use VRBO so I am looking for a house of some sort since we are a large family of 8 to 9 that will be traveling. We will be attending sights in both areas (theme park hershey and also sight and sound theater in Lancaster maybe staying between the 2 will work best.

Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
posts: 1,797
reviews: 103
4. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

I agree that possibly staying somewhere in the middle of Hershey - Lancaster makes sense. If you are going to use a VRBO type rental site, I noticed www.homeaway.com also has a lot of properties in the Hershey - Lancaster area. (I have used this site and was very pleased with the rental.) The Elizabethtown/Rheems area would be ideal; however, I'm not seeing anything there. You might want to consider Mount Gretna. It is a quaint resort area. You would be closer to Hershey than Lancaster and I will admit the route to Lancaster (route 72) can be congested; however, not the worst drive.

posts: 900
reviews: 29
5. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

Look for rental properties in areas like Mount Joy, Landisville, Manheim as well as those mentioned above. Lititz might not be a terrible location either. Google maps is your friend, study it carefully when deciding on a home.

Harrisburg, PA
posts: 434
reviews: 41
6. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

I agree with the previous poster ... anything in the Mount Joy, Landisville, Manheim, Elizabethtown, Mount Gretna, and Lititz areas would serve well. Lititz seems to be quite popular as a destination for travelers.

Just keep in mind that any of these will put you 15-30 minutes for both Lancaster and Hershey attractions. That's not an unreasonable drive, but you aren't "right in the middle of things" either.

However, I would vote for a spot at one of these and wouldn't bother with moving mid-trip. Again, any of these spots as well as Hershey and Lancaster themselves would be fine as the distance between the two is not far.

posts: 4
reviews: 20
7. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

Save yourself some money and don't stay in Hershey. There are two hotels in Elizabethtown, which is about 10 minutes south of Hershey on 743, the red rose motel and a holiday inn express, I would recommend the latter. I live in Hershey and travel often to Lancaster. Those hotels are only about 30 minutes from Lancaster. You can easily eat up two days doing the Hershey thing, the park, hotel, gardens, eateries, and shopping. Elizabethtown is far enough away that it will be easy enough to go other places after that. If you need a place to take the kids to just run there is a park with a large play area on south mount joy street, between the college campus and high street.

Gloucester, Virginia
posts: 2
8. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

I heard to stay away from Harrisburg.. that it wasn't a nice safe area to stay .. where is a nice town between Lancaster & Hershey to stay this summer .. thank you

lehigh valley
posts: 1,589
reviews: 9
9. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

1. Suburban Harrisburg (which is where almost all the hotels are located) is perfectly safe. It would however be even further from Lancaster than Hershey.

2. The posts above give you plenty of towns between Lancaster and Hershey -Elizabethtown, Mount Joy and Lititz.. Lititz is in my opinion the most attractive town, with historic builings, quaint shops and restaurants and even a couple minor tourist attactions (JuliussSturgis pretzel shop and Wilbur Chocolate Factory)

3 Another possibility would be to stay north of Lancaster, off of the Route 30 bypass, between the tourist areas east of town and Hershey. Eden Resort is in this location and gets very high reviews.

Central PA
posts: 3,842
reviews: 59
10. Re: Which is first Hershey or Lancaster coming from ATL

Litiz! Coolest Small Town in America!