Trust us — reading this list will make you feel like a kid in, well, a candy store.
Walking into a candy store can make anyone feel like a kid again. This magical feeling is why we included candy stores as one of our data points in our 2018 Best Places to Raise a Family list (because really, who wants to grow up in a town without a great spot for sweets?!).
Whether you’re one for chocolate, have a sweet tooth for gummies, or want to hunt down your favorite candy from the past, we’ve rounded up some of the oldest, sweetest, most iconic candy stores in America. These shops not only offer up delectable treats, but also have impressive histories and unique interiors that can only be described as eye candy.
Trust us – reading this list will make you feel like a kid in, well, a candy store.
1. Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan, MN
You could spend all day in Jim’s Apple Farm, AKA Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. The family-owned store has been around since the 1930’s and is sustained by local apple farms. Open seasonally from Mid-May through November, this giant store based in Jordan sells it all, including one of the largest soda selections in the world. The magic all unfolds as visitors drive up to the huge yellow dome-shaped store.
Wind through aisles upon aisles of rare, unique, and just plain wacky candies, displayed amongst larger-than-life superhero statues, pop culture memorabilia, and even a mechanical fruit band that rivals that of Chuck E. Cheese. Even the restrooms are fun here: They advertise “Minnesota’s Largest Port-a-Potty,â€ a facade that leads you to the regular stalls.
2. Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, PA
How could a list of iconic candy spots be complete without a shoutout to the city of chocolate: Hershey, PA? The birthplace of – you guessed it – Hershey’s chocolate, kids of all ages flock to Hershey to enjoy the theme park and attractions, but the real draw is Hershey’s Chocolate World, a sprawling candy store and interactive experience for chocolate lovers. Perhaps the closest thing to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory you can find in real life, Hershey’s Chocolate World draws on the brand’s 100+ year history as well as cutting-edge candy technology to give guests one-of-a-kind experiences like a Create Your Own Candy Bar station.
It’s hard not to get swept up in a sugar rush when you’re surrounded by whimsical, larger-than-life displays of Kisses (in wild flavors like … pineapple?!), candy bars and peanut butter cups.
3. Schimpff’s Confectionery in Jeffersonville, IN
If you’re looking for that old fashioned candy shop vibe, look no further than Schimpff’s. A Jeffersonville institution founded in 1891, this vintage store is often cited as one of America’s oldest, continuously-running candy shops. Shoppers are whisked into the past upon seeing the store’s original tin ceilings and functioning 1950’s soda fountain, while old-fashioned candy jars candy cases are filled to the brim of homemade delights. The store’s crown jewel is its one-of-a-kind Candy Museum, and a free tour of it is only a phone call away.
After wandering this retro gem, it’s easy to see why Schimpff’s is considered one of Indiana’s seven “Hidden Treasures.”
4. Chutters in Littleton, NH
While admittedly homier than some other shops on our list, Chutters lands a spot for its world record-winning candy counter and hometown charm. An impressive 112 feet of glass jars filled of more than 500 types of candy adorn the wall of this Littleton shop. The historic store was founded in the late 1800’s by the well-loved Frederick George Chutter, and has retained its charm for more than 100 years. Don’t miss out on the homemade fudge!
5. Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie in Salem, MA
Like Schimpff’s,Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie in Salem, MA gets its sweetness from its history. This confectionary is known for selling the very first candy in America more than 200 years ago. These candies were a far cry from the mass-produced sweets of today. Salem Gibralters, a chunk of hard candy in lemon or peppermint flavors, and Black Jacks, or molasses stick candies, were on their menu. The inside of this little shop is charming and quaint, and a sign advertising “America’s Oldest Candy Companieâ€ adorns its exterior. It’s everything you could ever want from a historic candy shop.
6. True Treats Historic Candy in Harpers Ferry, WV
Have you ever wondered what the ancient Greeks noshed on when they had a sweet tooth? Did you know the Egyptians were the first to make marshmallow candy? True Treats Historic Candy in Harpers Ferry, WV is the place to be for all things historic candy! As the nation’s only research-based historic candy shop, True Treats offers visitors a chance to taste the sweet, sweet past. Food Network has raved about this shop, and lists it in its top 50 candy destinations in America, so you know it’s worth checking out. Here you will find ancient candies like chocolate covered figs, cherry tree bark, and honey sesame brittle, alongside more up-to-date caramels and bubblegums. It’s truly something to behold.