Famous Museums of Chocolate, Part V

In addition to the ever-popular Hershey, the U.S. has several chocolate museums to visit

When last we left you, we were at the end of our travels to museums of chocolate in Canada. Come meander with us south of the Canadian border, and discover a handful of famous U.S. chocolate museums that you shouldn't miss.

Hershey

The Hershey Story in Hershey, Pennsylvania is easily the largest chocolate museum in the United States. Hershey grew from humble beginnings to encompass the museum, an amusement park, a spa, and an entire town -- a vacation destination.

The museum features five permanent "Chocolate Experience" exhibits highlighting different parts of Milton Hershey's rise to "Chocolate King" fame.

There is also a Chocolate Lab where participants take classes such as making chocolate, chocolate molding, and dipping chocolate. Chocolate Lab tickets are available at the museum admissions desk on the day of the class, on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are separate prices for the Chocolate Experience. The classes are available to adults and children older than four. Additionally, participate in the "Countries of Origin Chocolate Tasting" featuring warm chocolate drinking samples from all over the world.

Wilbur's

Venturing a little further south in Pennsylvania, you find Wilbur's Candy Americana chocolate museum in an unassuming brownstone in Lititz, Pennsylvania. The museum was created in 1972, and features an extensive collection of vintage chocolate memorabilia, such as 150 antique, hand painted porcelain chocolate pots and hundreds of molds and tins.

In the kitchen, watch chocolates being made; and in the store savor free samples of chocolate Wilbur buds. Wilbur Chocolate Company has been around, albeit with different names, since the 1880s.

Nestle

Nestle opened a plant in Burlington, Wisconsin in 1965. The town calls itself "Chocolate City USA". A small museum located at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce features Nestle products, the usual history of chocolate exhibits, and chocolate samples.

Make it your destination in conjunction with the town's annual ChocolateFest, which takes place this year from May 28-31, 2010. Nestle doesn't provide public factory tours in Burlington, or in any of its factories worldwide.

Traveling Chocolate

The Field Museum in Chicago features an interactive traveling Chocolate Tour exhibition, supported in part by the National Science Foundation. The exhibition takes the usual topics of chocolate's origins, history, and preparation, and adds an in-depth perspective aided by science, economy, the environment and culture. See if this traveling chocolate museum will be near you in the coming year!

We've only been to two continents so far, visiting so many wonderful chocolate museums. I don't know about you, but I'm way overdue for a big glass of milk to wash down all that chocolate!

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