One of the best things about traveling is experiencing the local food scene. And in our book, candy counts as food.
That’s especially true when you’re traveling with kids. What better way to get them excited about a journey than by speaking their language. Whether it’s taking a scenic ride through the Swiss Countryside on The Chocolate Train or experiencing the thrill of heart-pounding roller coasters at Hersheypark, here are seven candy experiences worth traveling for.
Penny Candy Lane
A visit to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its famous candy alley, Kashiya Yokocho. Located in the Warehouse District of Kawagoe in the Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo, this sweet cobblestone alley is lined with about 30 candy shops, some more than a century old. The kids will love sampling the colorful penny candy as you stroll the bustling lane. Be sure to check out Tamariki Seika for a chance to watch their confectioners make sweets right before your eyes. japan.travel
Offering everything from character photo ops to heart-pounding roller coaster rides, Hersheypark in Pennsylvania is the ultimate playground for candy lovers young and old. Be sure to head next door to Chocolate World, where you can take a factory tour and even create your own candy bar, complete with personalized wrapper. If you’re feeling festive, check out their event page for extra special experiences to plan your trip around, like their Trick or Treat Trolley or Hershey Holiday House. hersheypark.com
Train du Chocolat
The Swiss are known for their world-class chocolate; what better way to experience it firsthand than with a ride aboard the Train du Chocolat? Your morning on the Montreux Oberland Bernois Railway Company (MOB) Belle Époque carriage begins in Montreux, where you’ll be treated to coffee and chocolate croissants as you set off for your chocolate- and cheese-filled adventure through the Swiss countryside. After a stop at La Maison du Gruyère, you’ll continue on to what is arguably the highlight of the trip: a visit to the Nestlé Cailler factory in Broc for a tour and tasting. (Pro tip: Stock up on chocolates at the gift shop for the ride home.) journey.mob
Jelly Belly Candy Palooza
Known as the “Original Gourmet Jelly Bean” and famous for their unique flavors like Buttered Popcorn and Tutti Frutti, Jelly Belly is practically synonymous with jelly beans in the U.S. Their annual Candy Palooza – featuring everything from live entertainment to carnival rides and factory tours – is a fun-filled fall weekend for the whole family. If you can’t make it to the event, you can still visit their factory in Fairfield, Calif., to observe the candy-making process in action. Hop aboard the Jelly Belly Express Train to the museum for a little interactive history lesson before grabbing lunch back at their café for a nice day trip. jellybelly.com
Turkish Delight, or lokum, as it’s known in Turkey, is a chewy candy made of starch and sugar. Whether you’re a connoisseur or you’re just curious to try, Haci Bekir is rumored to make the very best. Although the family-run company now has eight locations, their Bahçekapı shop in Istanbul is the original, dating back to 1777. Enjoy some of their world-famous Turkish Delight and experience a bit of history in action at their charming shop. hacibekir.com
Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt
With locations in Berlin and Waldenbuch, a visit to Ritter Sport’s Bunte Schokowelt is always a good idea for the chocolate lover. Head to their colorful Berlin spot for interactive exhibits and a Kreation bar, where chocolatiers help customize your bar with a choice of chocolate and fun mix-ins. For an even more immersive experience, check out the Choco Workshop, where visitors can put their creativity to the test by making their own Ritter Sport bar from scratch. ritter-sport.com
Pez Visitor Center
Pez began in 1927 in Vienna, Austria, but has a second headquarters in the U.S. Home to the world’s largest PEZ dispenser, the visitor center in Orange, Connecticut is a must-stop for nostalgia lovers. You can take a self-guided tour that includes a viewing area into the production facility as well as history exhibits and interactive games. Arguably the best part is the impressive collection of PEZ memorabilia, where you’ll find dispensers adorned with presidents, holiday decorations and favorite TV and movie characters like Bugs Bunny and Star Wars. Don’t forget to purchase one for your own collection. us.pez.com