Unless you're a true history buff or watching National Treasure, it's not likely that Gettysburg is bound to come up in the conversation. This area of Pennsylvania is saturated with a history that extends through Adams County and despite its reputation for being a history lover's haven, there's plenty to see outside of what's in textbooks, too. For first-time visitors, visiting the most historic parts of this city are a must, but we're also providing a guide on exploring everything else Gettysburg has to offer.
There's something here for everyone and while that sounds like a typical travel package line, it happens to be true in this case. Haunted tours, outdoor recreation and hiking, restaurants and craft breweries, kid-friendly activities, and even great shopping are all part of the experience. No historic trip should be boring and when you're in Adams County, you're sure to find one adventure or another - but you can start with these.
Start Your Trip At The Visitor Center For Good Measure, Followed By A Tour
If you're visiting Gettysburg then there's obviously a reason that's far more than just the food and shopping. History is part of the deal and, luckily, you'd be in the right place for it - and finding it is as easy as making your way to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Although it might seem overwhelming in regard to where to start a tour, this is the best place to get a solid foundation from which to build a history-filled day.
There's plenty to see at this museum and the exhibits are fascinating, we assure you that boredom will be the furthest thing from what you'll feel. What visitors will feel, however, is a strong connection to the country's earliest wartime years, along with a better appreciation for all those generations who came before. With help from a 30-minute movie narrated by Morgan Freeman called A New Birth of Freedom, and the Cyclorama, which is the largest painting ever created in North America portraying Pickett's Charge, history comes to life. From here, head out to the battlefield! There are plenty of options here from self-guided to private, in-depth tours.
Hit Downtown Gettysburg For Shopping And Food
With legs already stretched and warmed up for walking, it's time to head down to Lincoln Square for the best in shopping and good eats. Even if it's just a quick cup of coffee you're looking to grab, there are a number of cafés in town that specialize in making that perfect cup with a delicious pastry on the side.
However, if it's lunch that you're seeking at this point, period dining is the way to go, according to Destination Gettysburg. Farnsworth House and Dobbin House are two highly-recommended establishments for themed meals, and both offer dishes that go back to the Civil War era. If historical eating isn't up your alley, visitors are sure to find something good by just wandering around - or taking a food tour to sample the best Gettysburg has to offer.
Follow Craft Beverage Trails To Explore Artisan Talent
When it's time to relax before heading out, why not consider doing so with some craft beverages? Around Adams County, visitors will find any number of craft breweries and distilleries, all ready and willing to introduce guests to their new favorite beverage.
The wineries around Adams County are also great places to relax for a bit and take in a summer day, or sit outside and enjoy the fall foliage.
End The Night With A Ghost Tour
Who says that history can't be haunted? Ghost tours are available in Gettysburg and if you're ready to get your spook on, then signing up for one of these is a must.
These are offered after dark and many of them are interactive, meaning that guests who are along for the ride often get to hold their own equipment and whatnot. Even if you don't see an apparition or hear something creepy, it's bound to be a good time as you listen to the lesser-known tales of Gettysburg.
In The Morning, Hit The Road For Sights And Farmer's Markets
There's nothing like hitting the road in Pennsylvania when the sun is shining overhead, as many of its roads are scenic. A relaxing drive is exactly what Adams County is good for, and farmer's markets are often a popular destination.
With so many farms in the area, there's no shortage of fresh produce and artisan products to shop for and take home. If nothing else, it's a great way to find a unique souvenir before heading back home.