Enjoy the Ultimate in Chocolate: A Chocolate Vacation!

Need a holiday? Why not take a chocolate vacation

No matter how much you love chocolate, you've probably never thought of a chocolate vacation before. After all, it's not like you can travel to the land of chocolate and gobble down sidewalks and lamp posts (oh, would that we could!). Still, there are actually many unique and creative ways to take your friends and family on the chocolate vacation of a lifetime!

1. Hershey, Pennsylvania

It's only natural that the biggest chocolate town in the United States, named for the most famous chocalatie maker in history, is the number one chocolate vacation destination! Hershey is a great place to visit all year round, when you can take advantage of its natural charm, the many historical chocolate attractions, and even a chocolate spa.

But if you really want the Hershey experience, hit the town in February. February? Makes sense, when you think about it: as Valentine's Day approaches, chocolate mania seizes everyone, especially the good folks in Chocolatetown, USA. Just a few of the activities to enjoy include:

-Hershey Park: It's not open during the winter, but if you're near Hershey in the summer months this theme park is a blast for the kids!

-Chocolate trivia, bingo, and playdough making (yes, chocolate playdough)

-Chocolate tasting

-Themed breakfasts with characters at the Hershey hotel

2. Torino Chocolate Festival

Hershey is a great, fun-filled, family event. This chocolate vacation, on the other hand is for the more mature chocolate connoisseur. Torino, located in the heart of Italy, was the first place to create and market solid chocolate hundreds of years ago. Before that, you could only drink chocolate -- in other words, cocoa. It was in Torino that someone finally discovered the trick to delicious chocolate treats.

More than 700,000 people visit the Torino Chocolate Festival every year, and between them, they eat 66,000 pounds of chocolate -- enough to satisfy even the most devout chocoholic. There are many other activities in Torino, too, so if you tire of your chocolate vacation, you can always shop, sightsee, or just enjoy the many architectural wonders of Italy.

3. Make Your Own Vacation!

There are chocolate factories and historical sites all around the world. Call ahead and most of them will let you visit -- some are open to the public on a regular basis. Wherever you're going, you're sure to be able to turn at least some of your holiday into a chocolate vacation.