Trends Best Destinations for Chocolate Lovers by Nicole Quasté © Erik De Graaf | Dreamstime.comWith Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re feeling the love … for chocolate. Whether you’re a dark or milk chocolate fan (white chocolate doesn’t count), these are the best destinations in the world to visit if you can’t get enough of the sweet treat, from South America, where it originated, to Europe, where gourmet shops line the streets. © Sergio Delle Vedove | Dreamstime.comNicknamed the “Chocolate Capital of the World,” Brussels, Belgium, is home to the largest chocolate companies in the world, Godiva and Leonidas, and filled to the brim with chocolate shops. It’s also home to the Musee du Cocao et du Chocolate, a small museum featuring live demonstrations by a master chocolatier. © Eric Cote | Dreamstime.comNo one does chocolate quite like Paris. As one of the world’s gourmet hubs, it’s likely no surprise there are more than 300 chocolate shops in the city. Dark chocolate is a local specialty, found in candy shops on nearly every street and in baked goods and crepes at every boulangerie. © Hua3000 | Dreamstime.comIt’s likely wine that first comes to mind when you think of Tuscany, but don’t write it off your list if you’re a chocolate lover. In addition to its vineyards, the Tuscan region is home to what’s known as The Chocolate Valley, a picturesque countryside dotted with gourmet shops and small factories dedicated to the craft of chocolate making. © ZHI QI | Dreamstime.comOne of the best destinations for chocolate is in our own backyard. Originally called Derry Church, Hershey was renamed in 1906 due to the popularity of its produced delicacy. Today it’s aptly nicknamed "The Sweetest Place on Earth." Visitors can tour, taste and experience all things chocolate at Hershey’s Chocolate World, Museum and Hersheypark. © Denis Linine | Dreamstime.comThere is more chocolate consumed in Switzerland than anywhere else in the world, and Zürich, especially, is a dreamy destination for milk chocolate lovers. The city is home to Lindt, Treuscher and Sprungli factories, and on the Bahnofstrasse you’ll find some of the world’s best chocolate makers. We recommend Teuscher, an old-fashioned shop offering more than 100 different specialties. © Senatorjoanna | Dreamstime.comDue to its colonial settlement history in South America, the Spanish were the first Europeans to experience the wonder that is chocolate. To experience the oldest and best producers, visit Barcelona and Villajoyosa, both started importing cocoa beans from Venezuela and Ecuador in the 18th century. Villajoyosa is home to the oldest chocolate factory in Spain, Valor Chocolate, built in 1881. © Rebeca Zumarraga Asanza | Dreamstime.comIt all started here. Home to the world’s finest cacao fruit trees, South America is the true birthplace of high-quality chocolate. While other destinations like Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana have become leading producers, Ecuador still offers some of the finest products in the world — most notably Pacari, a line of multi-award-winning premium organic chocolate made entirely in Ecuador.