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Holtwood, Pennsylvania
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New Stanton, Pennsylvania
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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
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Washington, Pennsylvania
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Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Spotlight: Gettysburg

Walk the hallowed ground of soldiers who fought for freedom in Pennsylvania

The defeat of confederate General Robert E. Lee at the hands of a Union army in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863 turned the tide of the Civil War in favor of the northern states. It makes sense, then, that Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is the most celebrated Civil War battlefield in the United States.

Gettysburg National Military Park certainly lives up to this status. Indeed, the park is more than the battlefield; it is the site where hundreds of soldiers are now laid to rest, and where the park’s museum displays relics from the battle, interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations in 22,000 square feet of space. The home of Gettysburg attorney David Wills is the place where President Abraham Lincoln fine-tuned his famous Gettysburg Address, and today the residence is a museum with five galleries and two re-created rooms open to public viewing.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

In Soldiers’ Footsteps

Touring Gettysburg on horseback is a popular way to explore the countryside and historic battlefields, but you can also learn about the battle by traveling the Civil War Trails, which feature roadside markers to guide visitors through the journey that soldiers took in the days leading up to the battle, and beyond into the duration of the Civil War.

The men and women living in Gettysburg during the war had their own stories to tell, and those stories are brought to life at the Shriver House Museum. Here, guides in period dress take guests through a restored 1860s home telling the story of the home’s residents. Continue to relive the days of the Civil War on a historic walking tour through Gettysburg, with knowledgeable guides in 1860s dress helping you see life as it was during that era.

As the epicenter of the epic battle at Gettysburg, the town itself hosted wounded soldiers and frightened residents, and the Jennie Wade House is a standing piece of history worth visiting. The home has changed very little in the 150-plus years since it was built and is open to visitors to learn Jennie’s story. In downtown Gettysburg, the Rupp House History Center is the site of living history displays and demonstrations. Outside town, walk around Daniel Lady Farm, where buildings once used as cover by Union and Confederate troops still bear the scars of battle, and where the barn served as a field hospital.

The drama of Gettysburg and its aftermath stirs intrigue among believers in the supernatural, and so of course there’s a ghost tour for every type of paranormal enthusiast. Roam the streets of the city by candlelight and stop at locations famous for spirits and hauntings, guided by experienced and entertaining tour guides. Visit former Confederate Army hospitals, cemeteries and haunted inns for a spooky experience.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Gettysburg Bounty

Pennsylvania’s rich agriculture has blossomed into agritourism, and visitors to Gettysburg are encouraged to taste the fruits of the region on the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail. Year-round events celebrate apple harvests, craft beers, local wines and more. At Reid’s Orchard and Winery, guests can taste local vintages and sample cider while enjoying live music in a lively atmosphere.

The natural bounty of Gettysburg makes it a popular spot for leisure and sport fishing. Drop a line in Zinkand Pond or Stevens Run for a chance to snag catfish and crappie, and visit Marsh Creek to cast for trout.

Animals are the star of the show at Land of Little Horses, a farm park where the furry, four-legged residents entertain guests with arena performances and teach them about equestrian care through hands-on activities. Explore & More Hands-On Children’s Museum in town gives kids the chance to burn some energy and learn new skills inside an 1860s-era home. Themed rooms let kids explore the world through nature, architecture, art and more.

Entertainment and Views

Take in a show at the Gettysburg Community Theatre. Here, theater students and local actors come together to produce and perform beloved classic stage shows as well as modern-day musical and comedic hits. Gettysburg’s revered Majestic Theater harkens back to the golden days of Hollywood, hosting movie screenings and performing arts showcases.

For More Information

Gettysburg Travel
Pennsylvania Tourism