When we lived in Maryland, we were about 2 hours from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Ever since I was a kid, I knew that Gettysburg was a place I had to visit. Now that I have children of my own, one of whom is a huge history buff, I knew we had to visit.
We not only visited once but several times while being stationed in Maryland. My only regret was not staying the night or weekend. The amount of history that has been preserved is just phenomenal. History, however, isn’t the only thing you will find, as modern life and history collide.
Gettysburg has a small town culture and is a great place for families or even the solo traveler to visit.
History at Gettysburg
Our first destination landed us at Gettysburg National Military Park, home of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and also where President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous speech. Entry to the park and visitors center is FREE, however, there is a fee for the film experience, cyclorama program and access to the museum.
We chose to do the self-guided auto tour which is a 26-mile driving tour. Maps are available at the Visitor Center and you should plan on spending a minimum of at least 3 hours at the park. There are several points of interest along the route which I encourage you to stop at!
If you’d rather have a navigator while you tour the park, there are licensed battlefield guides that will join you in your car for a two-hour tour. Not comfortable having a stranger in your car? You can buy an audio tour as well instead.
For those that do not have a vehicle, bus tours are also available.
Here are some other fun historical facts about Gettysburg:
- It’s the location of the only home President & Mamie Eisenhower ever owned
- The Studebaker family, famous for the car, started their business here as wagon makers
Long before the Battle of Gettysburg, Adams County was known for its vibrant farming community, which is still just as active today. Did you know that you can experience their farms, vineyards, and orchards first hand? You can even experience life on a farm!
Did you know that Gettysburg is the top producer of apples in Pennsylvania also ranking #4 in the USA? Me either! Farm fresh apples are the absolute best! Make sure to stop at one of the many farmer’s markets that are located along the roads and through the community!
Experience Farm to Table Dining
Gettysburg also has an emerging food scene with farm to table dining; craft beverages (spirits, hard cider, and wine), food tours, desert tours, and dining for every budget and taste bud. Many of their restaurants work to incorporate as many ingredients from local growers as possible into their menus and seasonal dishes. How is that for fresh!?
Vast Assortment of Accommodations
Whether you like quiet little inns, bed and breakfasts, or camping under the stars Gettysburg offers a wide range of accommodations for visitors. Many of the campgrounds also offer rustic cabins or cottages for those that would rather be indoors.
For those that prefer inns or bed and breakfasts, you will find that the innkeepers will not only welcome you and treat you as family, but you will also discover that they are experts on what to do and where to go while in the Gettysburg area.
Oh man, the shopping! Even for those that don’t care to shop (like my husband), it’s almost impossible to walk past the stores without going in. Gettysburg offers so many antique, boutique, tasting rooms, and other shops that you could spend the entire day shopping.
Gettysburg receives major bonus points for having most of their shopping in one central location. Add that to the beautifully decorated streets and old-town square feel and you have a shoppers paradise. Even non-shoppers will appreciate it. My non-shopping husband appreciated it so much, he spent way more than I did during our shopping trip!
Other than the vast history, shopping, and dining that Gettysburg has to offer, the fact that it is a budget friendly destination is one of the main reasons I love Gettysburg. There were many times where we could, as a family of 5, spend the entire day at Gettysburg and spend less than $100 and that included gas, dining, and souvenirs!
Whether you are traveling solo or as a family, you will find the quiet little town of Gettysburg as a budget-friendly experience waiting to happen.
You can walk around the town at night without the fear of crime and as a sometimes solo traveling female, that is a major perk. I suggest experiencing Gettysburg both during the daytime and at night.
Plan Your Visit
If you are ready to plan your visit or take a peek at all that Gettysburg has to offer, visit Destination Gettysburg where you can not only check out the latest festivals but also book your trip and plan your itinerary!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Destination Gettysburg, however, all opinions are my own.