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Gettysburg – A Visitors Guide to Gettysburg, PA

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© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Gettysburg is known for its three-day battle in 1863, but today the historic town is a year-round destination with a wide range of attractions and events. History lovers from around the world visit the Gettysburg Battlefield to learn about the Civil War and explore the Pennsylvania countryside. More than 165,000 soldiers fought in the Battle of Gettysburg and 51,000 soldiers became casualties in what remains the largest battle ever fought in North America.

Even if you are not a history buff, there is plenty to do in the Gettysburg area to keep you busy for a full weekend getaway. Gettysburg is a charming historic town with great antique shops, art galleries and restaurants. Adams County is apple country and home to the National Apple Museum and the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail. The Majestic Theatre offers live theatrical performances, concerts, and movies. Over the last few years, many new attractions and tours have been added to appeal to a wider range of visitors. A "must see" is the Gettysburg Cyclorama, a massive 360-degree oil painting of the Battle of Gettysburg that was first exhibited in 1884 and refurbished in 2008.

See Photos of Gettysburg

Following is a guide to help you plan a getaway to Gettysburg:

Main Attractions – This page
Tours, Events & Travel Resources – Page 2

Civil War 150th Anniversary: From 2011-2015, Gettysburg will take center stage as America commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. Many Americans will take this opportunity to learn more about their nation’s past and mark the occasion at Gettysburg with battle reenactments, living history programs, special events, and tours. See a Calendar of Anniversary Events.

Getting to Gettysburg

Gettysburg is located 84 miles north of Washington DC, in Adams County, PA just north of the Maryland line. It is easy to get to - just take I-270 North to US-15 North and follow the signs to Gettysburg.

Don't have a car? Take a tour from Washington DC. Departs from Union Station March through November.

Main Attractions in Gettysburg

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg PA. The Visitor Center tells the story of the American Civil War and Battle of Gettysburg through a variety of exhibits, interactive displays, films, and the Gettysburg Cyclorama. There’s also an education center, bookstore, computer resource room and restaurant. This is the best place to start your visit to Gettysburg.

Gettysburg National Military Park
Along over 40 miles of scenic roads, 1,400 monuments, markers and memorials commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg. The National Park Service offers 2.5 hour guided bus tours and private car tours (a licensed guide will drive your car). You can also purchase a CD audio tour for your car from the museum book store. During the summer months, visitors enjoy battlefield walks, evening campfire programs, and special living history programs and concerts.

Seminary Ridge Museum
Located on the Seminary campus and part of the Gettysburg Battlefield’s hallowed ground, the museum interprets the first day of the battle, the care of the wounded and human suffering that took place within Schmucker Hall during its use as a field hospital and the moral, and civic and spiritual debates of the Civil War era.

Eisenhower National Historic Site
1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg PA. Dwight D. Eisenhower retired in Gettysburg after World War II. Visitors can tour the President's home, enjoy a self-guided walk around the farm, or join a park ranger for a guided tour.

David Wills House
8 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, PA. The historic home of the Gettysburg attorney where President Lincoln stayed on the eve of delivering his Gettysburg Address is open to the public with exhibits about Gettysburg and the Soldiers' National Cemetery.

Shriver House Museum
309 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA The museum provides a glimpse at the civilian experience during and after the deadliest battle ever fought on American soil. The home of George and Hettie Shriver has been restored to it's original 1860's appearance and displays many artifacts from that time period.

Gettysburg Diorama
241 Steinwehr Ave. Gettysburg, PA More than 20,000 hand-painted miniatures bring the Battle of Gettysburg alive with a sound and light show describing the battle.

American Civil War Museum
297 Steinwehr Ave Gettysburg, PA. The wax museum presents the story of the Civil War era and the Battle of Gettysburg with remarkable realism.

Land of Little Horses
125 Glennwood Drive, Gettysburg, PA Enjoy one of Gettysburg’s most popular family-friendly attractions where you’ll meet and feed the farm’s miniature horses and other farm friends and see a show in the main arena.

National Apple Museum
154 Hanover St. Gettysburg, PA. The museum is housed in a restored pre-Civil War bank barn and displays exhibits of early picking, packing, and shipping of fruit, pest management, and commercial fruit processing equipment.

Majestic Theater Performing Arts Center
25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, PA The historic theatre was beautifully restored in 2005 and offers a wide range of performing arts and cinema.

See information about Gettysburg tours, annual events and travel resources on Page 2.

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