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Hershey-how far to stay away is reasonable and best days


tbirdman
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I was considering going to Hershey this October and was wondering how far away could I stay for the night. I was going to combine the trip with some visiting as I grew up about 2 houirs from Hershey. I have friends who live in West Chester which by Mapquest shows to be about 1 hour 20 minute drive. Once I reach Hershey, will I be stuck in traffic for another hour?

Also if I was going for only a few days, what would be the best days to attend (besides the dry days smirk.gif)? Since I have never been there, what are the not to be missed events?

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The one hour and 20 minute drive could take longer if you get stuck in morning traffic. It really depends on when you are leaving. Yes traffic around Hershey can get heavy but nothing is unbearable.

As far as activities go Friday and Saturday are a must. Friday you will have the race cars on the track and the high-wheeler event and Saturday of course is the car show. Now if you are desperately searching to buy cars or parts then the earlier the better.

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It would be best to try to get to Hershey by about 7:00 am. That way you won't be involved in a major back up of traffic. As Steve said if you are looking for parts you may want to be there on Wednesday (vendor set up day) or Thursday. No matter what day(s) you attend this is the greatest car show of them all!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">....you may want to be there on Wednesday (vendor set up day) or Thursday. </div></div>

Actually, setup day for the swap meet was moved to Tuesday several years ago. We always arrive about 11:00am on Tuesday morning and are set up in time for an early dinner. The first official day open to buyers is Wednesday. On Wednesday, you don't have the big crowds and long lines to mess with that are common on Thursday and especially Friday.. but we often do quite well in sales on that first day.

There are always a number of buyers wandering around even before the vendors are set up on Tuesday but they don't get to see everything so I don't think it would be worth it. Wait until at least Wednesday. Then there are thre activities on Friday and Saturday that Steve mentioned.

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If you are dead seroius about finding/buying parts, get there Tuesday, mid day. The gates open around 10:00-12:00, the process of which is at best a mystery. Vendors can, and will make sales on tuesday. Wed. for sure--you've got a lot of ground to cover, and there's no telling if the weather will cut it short (like last Hershey). If you are looking for lodging, I would suggest going EAST of Hershey, along 322-422, there are more motels and hotels west of Hershey, between Harrisburg and H, but that makes the morning commute murder. We stay in Lebonon, and it's about 25 minutes in the AM, no bumper-to-bumper traffic. Get to the field around 7:00AM to get a good parking spot and to get shopping.

For that week, that hollowed ground is "the happiest place on earth"

Leave folks who aren't dyed-in-the-wool buffs at home. It's an expierence best left to the true believers.

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Many years ago, my dad and I used to come down just on Saturday, then it was Friday & Saturday, then it was Thursday thru Saturday, then Wednesday thru Saturday, and now we've been showing up on Tuesdays, and leaving for home on Sunday mornings.

Do yourself a favor, plan on spending the five days at Hershey. Even with that, you still won't see everything, but you won't cut yourself short. If you get there on Tuesday and the weather turns lousy, at least you've given yourself the time to be there. Last year Tuesday thru Thursday were nice, and Friday and Saturday turned lousy.

Bring comfortable shoes, and clothing for every type of weather. Buy yourself a program on the first day, and then the night after you get out of there on the first day, look through the program to find where the vendors that you are interested in, and where they'll be, so you can make sure that you at least see them.

Before you decide which days you want to go to Hershey, think about what you want to do. If you are looking for parts in the swap meet, a lot of the vendors pack up on Saturday and you stand to miss some of them. On the other hand, not everyone gets there on Tuesday, so on Tuesday you also stand a chance of missing vendors. If you want to see the race car and high wheeler demonstration, that is Friday morning, so if you want to see that, then Friday is the one day that you don't want to miss. If you want to go to only see the show cars, then Saturday is a must. With the volume of cars entered in Hershey every year, you stand a chance of spending a good portion of Saturday just looking at the show cars.

If you can spare the time to do Tuesday through Saturday, I highly doubt that you'll leave empty handed, and you'll be glad that you took the time. We started at one day, found it wasn't enough, kept giving ourselves an additional day, and didn't stop until we were there for everything. At this point, I don't think we could handle only doing one day.

If you've never been to Hershey before, you will without a doubt see more stuff than you'd ever imagine seeing. If you are looking for parts, it isn't too far fetched to say that you can easily spend an entire day just on one flea market field. With four fields there, it doesn't take much to figure out that it could take you four days to see everything. If you're looking for parts for a rare vehicle, my father and I have learned that if you need it, and you see it, BUY IT!! There have been times where we thought we'd find a better deal, passed something up, kept walking, didn't find another one, and then went back and either the first guy sold it, he packed up and left, or we couldn't remember where we found the item.

I'm sure a lot of people here on the forum who have searched for restoration parts could tell you the same thing about Hershey. As you get involved with the forum, and bring cars to shows, you'll get to meet and know a lot of people, and when you see them, that takes time out of the day too smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif.

Hershey at times can be a circus, and like the Ringling Brothers, it too is definately "The Greatest Show on Earth." You'll be glad you went.

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All of the above is well said and EXACTLY right to the point. Staying in Hershey will cost about $200- $250 per room a night (typically with a three or four night minimum), 10-20 miles away (Harrisburg/Grantville/Lebanon, etc.) $100-150 a night and over 20 miles away (west shore of Harrisburg/Mechanicsburg/Carlisle/York/Lancaster etc.) will typically run from $40-100 a night - the farther away the cheaper the room. Rooms can be had in Carlisle, about 30 miles west and 45-60 minutes away (depending upon traffic) in the $50-70 range during Hershey week. In fact, I know some "bargain hunters" who stay near Hershey during the Carlisle show and then relocate to Carlisle during Hershey week and reverse commute for a week and a half. Once you come to Hershey, you'll come back year after year, if you're a TRUE OLD CAR GUY. Like Lays Potato Chips, ya can't eat (or attend) just one!!! I should know as I've been attending Hershey EACH YEAR since I was a little boy (yes I was little once!!!)in the early '60's and my Dad has never missed a Hershey - this year will be his 53RD, God Willing. And btw, I'd guess West Chester is probably closer to a two hour drive from Hershey, depending upon the day and hour. And the Penna. Turnpike has to be the WORST major highway (mostly four lanes - two each way - and designed and built in the '30's) in the northeast and perhaps the country.

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There are a lot of the smaller mom and pop places and many get filled quickly. I typically get a few calls every year from friends who need a room at the last minute and have been able to help them out just by contacting a few of the unknown places. Here is what I found last year but there were many more I didn't even call as these were ok with them. Now I have a house full starting on Tuesday.

Radisson 717-763-7117, $165, 25 minutes

Ramada Limited 717-790-1520, $109, 30 minutes

Hampton Inn (Private owned and small), $44, 717-737-6711, 25 minutes

Red Roof , 717-939-1331, $92, 20 minutes

Check the rates on the back of the door as they have a maximum and minium room rate and are not supposed to charge differently then what is posted as per PA law. Plus it is hard for them to change all those room cards just for a week though I am sure some have it figured out.

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Just checked with the Hampton Inn you listed as the $44 rate seemed too good to be true(I've never seen ANY Hampton lower than the mid to high $50's in the last few years, and they're usually A LOT higher - typically $89-109 with AAA or AARP and WITHOUT a major event in the area. $144 would sound more like it, but I never found out as that Hampton in Camp Hill on the west shore of the Susquehanna had no availability for the Tuesday through Friday nights of Hershey. Didn't try any of the others as we're all set, but that $44 rate intrigued me!!! BTW, how much is a double queen room (suite???) (shared bath or private???) at Hotel Green??? Or is that NOTELL Green???..............lol!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Well I made my travel plans based on all of your advice. I'm arriving on Saturday 9/30 and leaving on the next weeks Sunday 10/8. Staying at friends and relatives. Most likely going Weds morning or maybe mid-day Tuesday to start. Nothing like the excitement of being there the first day of a swap meet even if I don't buy anything.

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Looks like $135 a night now during hershey week. I remeber my first few hershey we stayed in the top floor of house accross the street from the old blue field for $10 a night, army bunk style, and Jaine pickup us up at the airport, so car rental either. 1989-1993

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....I remember sleeping in sleeping bags in the back of the pickup. Now that we've gotten older and smarter, my dad and I use our military status to rent a room at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA for $10 a night. It is an old World War II barracks, the latrine (bathroom for you civillians, and head for you old navy guys) is down the hall, but you have your own room, it's cheap, it's clean, and it's close.

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I can relate to the $200/night at Hershey. Never will stay in Town again

at those rates. Especially when the hotel for $200 is a flea bag.

Geez, what a great way to turn off the hobbyist. I know we are a free enterprise country, but $200/night for a room similar to a Motel 6. Complete turn off for me.

Look at the hotel we just enjoyed at Virginia Beach for $85/night. Will stay up near I80 from now on if this continues and just bring in the trailer and car day of the show. Sure the AACA can arrange "set" rack rates for just the registered car entries. Can they???? Would they???? Will they???? The general public, who we help bring in, can pay the absorbinet room rates. Give the guys showing their cars a break.

Steven

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