SAN FRANCISCO/HERSHEY: September drew me back to San Francisco in search of redwoods, which I found in abundance just over the Golden Gate Bridge at Muir Woods National Park. For all of the times I’ve been to the city by the bay, it’s rather remarkable that I’d never made the short trip north to hike the primeval forest. Nor had I indulged, it turns out, in many of the touristy attractions the city is famous for like dim sum in Chinatown, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on foot, strolling the shelves of the City Lights bookstore and taking the boat to Alcatraz. I made sure to remedy that on this trip.
Another overlooked opportunity finally rectified this month was a visit to the historic Hotel Hershey and Hershey Park. Having spent four years passing it back and forth during college, I was eager to one day stop and smell the chocolate. It didn’t disappoint – especially when it came to designing my own chocolate bar and packaging. And the roller coasters were pretty good, too. Plus, the history of chocolate-pioneer Milton Hershey – and everything he did for the town founded to house his factory workers – satisfied my hunger for a real slice of Americana as all those faux patriots began their hysterical crusade toward the mid-term elections.