Gettysburg is forever stamped in history — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
The Battle of Gettysburg was barely won in three days - why expect any less from your visit there? Give yourself at least that much time to take in all that the small town of Gettysburg has to offer.
Morning: To get your bearings, stop at the National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Spend the morning here getting oriented to the Battle of Gettysburg. There are twelve museum galleries, a bookstore, theater, restaurant and the Gettysburg Cyclorama.
A scene from Gettysburg Cyclorama — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
After you’ve watched "A New Birth of Freedom," viewed the largest painting in the U.S. and grabbed lunch, head to the Eisenhower historic home. You can purchase your tickets and catch the shuttle bus at the Visitor Center.
Afternoon: Head back to town to see a couple of tributes to the Union men who gave their lives at Gettysburg. Stop into the Soldier’s National Cemetery, where 3,500 Union soldiers are buried and where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. Pop your head into the Soldier’s National Museum and the The Hall of Presidents before heading to One Lincoln for dinner.
Ghost tours in Gettysburg — Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
Evening: Put your brave face on and your walking shoes, while you head to Gettysburg Ghost Tours. You’ll hear stories and may meet some new “friends” along the way.
Morning: Start your day off early and take a trip to the Battlefield for a tour. There are several ways to experience the Battlefield: horseback, Segway, bus, bike or car. Allow yourself three to four hours to cover the miles of landscape and information.
Virginia Memorial on the Battlefield — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Afternoon/Evening: Touring the Battlefield can take a lot out of you, especially if you’ve biked or Segwayed, so you’ll want to do something low-key for the rest of the day. How about a little shopping?
After grabbing some lunch at The Pub and Restaurant in Lincoln Square, head in any direction south, east or west. Gettysburg has dozens of small and specialty shops. Popular shops Codori’s and Gallery 30 sell unique global goods and local hand-crafted wares, respectively.
If you want to do a little more mainstream shopping, the Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg are tax-free and located just 15 minutes from downtown Gettysburg. There are plenty of restaurants to eat at in the Outlet Shoppes, so there’s no need to wait unit you get back downtown to find a place.
Shopping in Gettysburg. — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Morning: Today is your day to take a tour of some historic homes throughout town. Gettysburg has dozens of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Start off in the westernmost part of town at the Seminary Ridge Museum. Learn where the first day of the battle began. Depending on what day of the week or time of year that you visit (An April - October Saturday is your best bet.), you may find a reenactment camp on the front lawn.
Enjoy a hearty lunch at Dunlap’s Restaurant, as you make your way to the town’s concentration of historic homes.
Afternoon: Head down Baltimore Street and stop at the Shriver House Museum to learn about the civilian experience at Gettysburg. Across the street is Reid’s Winery at Jennie’s House. This was the house that Jennie Wade was said to have been born in. The family that helps run the place is exceptionally warm and will grace you with a smile.
Bottles at Reid's Winery — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Make your way to the home where Jennie Wade was killed - the Jennie Wade House Museum. This is further down the road on Baltimore Pike near the Battlefield.
Evening: Dine at Dobbin House Tavern for dinner. This house was built in 1776, and it is the oldest building in Gettysburg.
All day: By now, you may have had your fill of history and tales of the war. Let’s bring you back to the present. Enjoy the agricultural side of Gettysburg and the surrounding area.
West of town, you’ll find several farms, fruit markets, orchards and wineries. Take your pick or stop at every one. Adams County Winery & Wine Shop is the closest to downtown, but just a few minutes away (north of here), you can stop at Hauser Estate Winery and Reid’s Orchard and Winery.
If you didn’t want to drive out of the historic area to do a tasting, each of these wineries also has satellite stores in town - two in the Lincoln Square area and one on Baltimore Street. However, a day out near the farms of the area may do well to round out your Gettysburg experience.