TripAdvisor recently published its list of the top ten “sweetest attractions” in the U.S. The list was picked by TripAdvisor editors who got it all wrong. As always happens when anonymous “editors” make critical decisions on ranking, the safe pick always wins while fans are left to powerlessly gnash their teeth over the injustice that pervades our world.
In this case the number one spot went to a perennial favorite: Hershey’s Chocolate World, in Hershey, PA.
OK, so it’s unclear if this list (or even one like it) has ever existed before, but if it had, you’ve got to believe the folks at Hershey would be on it given how long they have been at it and the fact that they have an amusement park and even a spa you can work into your visit to Hershey’s. So they will be a perennial favorite in future years assuming TripAdvisor keeps it up. And will probably hold the number one spot except when there is a political statement to be made or when the reporting on this ranking starts getting complacent.
Coming up in second place was the Jelly Belly Factory Tour, in Fairfield, CA. Personally I still get a bit queasy thinking about the time I over-ate their product. This was back at the height of Jelly Belly mania during the Reagan years. I had actually thought they had gone under when Clinton anointed the cheeseburger as the official Presidential Food, but apparently not. And while still not for me personally, perhaps through their strong showing they will attraction the attention and subsequent support of the Obama administration (either through stimulus money and/or by a triumphant return to the Oval Office desk).
Rounding out the top three is New York City’s own Food on Foot Tours with their Sweet Tooth Tour. This tour lets you spend a solid three hours hitting some of New York City’s best locations for sweets (for the health conscious, never fear: there is a bit of walking involved, so it’s all good). And if you want to start with something other than desert, the folks at Food on Foot also offer an International Express Tour, a Food Fast Tour, Midtown Mix Tour, East Village Variety Tour, and a NY Over Noodles Tour.
Personally, Food on Foot should have won. I am not saying that just because this is a New York City focused blog (OK, so that a big part of it). But I am saying it also because of my belief that if you asked them nicely, the Food on Foot guys would make sure you got some Hershey’s and some Jelly Bellies on the tour. So you could check those boxes without having to schlep to Fairfield, CT or Hershey, PA. Two perfectly nice towns. But Frank Sinatra never sang about either of them. So enough said.
Other notables on the list include “M&M’s World” in Las Vegas (FOUR stories or retail space dedicated to selling M&M’s?), Eli’s Cheesecake World in Chicago, and the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont.
And for the record, you can get Eli’s (at ShopRite no less), a la mode it with a little Chunky Monkey, and cover it with M&M’s. All with out leaving the Big Apple.
For some reason TripAdvisor doesn’t appear to have put the list on their own site, but here’s a link to the press release where you can read up on all 10 sweetest attractions. Rumor has it that a list of “top 10 Medical Tourist Destinations: the Dental Edition” is in the works.