If you know me, you know that I’m a huge history buff. I was a history major in college and now spend a lot of my free time reading history books.
I’m a nerd through and through – and damn proud of it.
Out of all the historical sites in the country, Gettysburg is my all time favorite to visit. I’ve been a total of seven times.
No, this isn’t an advertisement for Gettysburg Tourism. I just wanted to rap about why Gettysburg is such an awesome place to visit.
So if you know your civil war history, go ahead and skip this section.
I’m going to break down the battle of Gettysburg into its simplest terms…
On July 1st 1863, Union troops faced off against Confederate troops in the small town of Gettysburg, PA.
The battle lasted three days and was the deadliest of the civil war – over 51,000 casualties.
In the summer of 1863, the Confederates were winning the war. They had a lot of momentum and were in the midst of an offensive campaign.
A Confederate victory on Northern soil would have been a major blow to the Union.
SPOILER ALERT. Union troops defeated the Confederates and sent them back into Virginia. This was a major turning point in the war.
Okay, so flash-forward to Gettysburg in 2018.
Touring the Battlefield
The Gettysburg battlefields are beautiful and well preserved. You can tour them on your own or with a tour guide – both I recommend.
Observational towers are placed throughout the park and offer a bird’s-eye view of the landscape. They are worth the cardio workout to climb up – trust me.
You’ll enjoy touring the Gettysburg battlefields even if you aren’t a history nerd like myself. The views are that good.
But the more you learn about the battle, the more you’ll appreciate it.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is great place to kick off your trip.
You can watch a short educational video about the battle. This is perfect for those who aren’t up on their history before visiting. It’ll give you a good baseline before you tour the battlefields.
If you’re into museums, you need to check out the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum. It’s not free but it’s well worth the money.
You can also tour a massive Cyclorama at the visitor center that depicts Pickett’s Charge. This thing is awesome and should be near the top of your to-do list.
The Food is Damn Good Too
The Food in Gettysburg is out of this world!
Hunt’s Battlefield Fries & Cafe is probably my favorite. They have the BEST cheesesteaks and fries. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
There are also a lot of civil war era restaurants. They go all-in too. I’m talkin lanterns, full 19th century costumes, and civil war memorabilia on deck. I recommend Dobbin House Tavern if you’re looking for this kind of vibe.
No trip to Gettysburg is complete without hitting up Mr. G’s Ice Cream. Two scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough will do the trick.
You can always just do what I do – hit Hunt’s Battlefield Fries for lunch then walk right over to Mr. G’s for dessert.
You may get hit with a massive food coma but it’s well worth it.
Full disclosure – the ghost tours are a bit cheesy. BUT that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. Given the massive death toll from the battle, it’s no surprise that the town is haunted as hell.
Just make sure you go when it’s dark out. There is nothing scary about hauntings in broad daylight.
Ghost tours also make for a great date night!
With the breathtaking battlefields, amazing museums, and delicious food, Gettysburg is a remarkable place to visit.
You will never run out of things to do in Gettysburg. Spend a weekend and take full advantage of everything this city has to offer.
Hopefully you now see why I’m so obsessed with visiting this place.
If you need any more tips for when you make your visit, feel free to reach out! I could basically be a tour guide at this point.