The historic Gettysburg Hotel on Lincoln Square
Biking past the Pennsylvania Memorial in Gettysburg National Military Park
Statue of Abraham Lincoln at The David Wills House
The Spangler farm, a key site in the Civil War
Touring Gettysburg National Military Park on horseback
Enjoying Italian cuisine and outdoor dining
Artifacts on display at the Eisenhower National Historic Site
Teeing off at one of area's many golf courses
A city alive with American history
Gettysburg, which is in close proximity to Washington, Philadelphia and New York City, welcomes 3.5 million visitors annually. Visitors are drawn by the history, but enthralled by the small-town hospitality, the beautiful scenery and the abundance of shops, restaurants, wineries, farmers markets and attractions that commemorate the Civil War and beyond.
In July 1863, more than 165,000 soldiers converged on this town of only 2,400 residents to wage the largest battle of the Civil War. The battle didn’t end the four-year war, but became the turning point and will be forever revered as a place where sacrifice was symbolic of unifying the divided nation – none more so than through the words of the 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln through his immortal Gettysburg Address.
Today, visitors are riding horses on the Gettysburg battlefield just as Union and Confederate cavalry did more than 150 years earlier. Travelers are finding that great food isn’t just for big cities through the Savor Gettysburg Food Tour and emerging hard cider industry. People are realizing history doesn’t stop at the entrance to the battlefield; it's found throughout the inns, taverns and buildings lining the streets of this charming town.
And history doesn’t stop at the Civil War. The 34th U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who was a famed World War II general, and his wife, Mamie, lived in Gettysburg. Their home and farm are open to visitors year-round.
Gettysburg offers a variety of ways to tour the Gettysburg National Military Park – by bicycle, horse, Segway, on foot, by car, carriage and bus – each led by the destination’s renowned Licensed Battlefield Guides, celebrating 100 years in 2015. Battlefield tours are personal and engaging, aimed not only to educate travelers, but to be thought-provoking and inspiring.
This history is told through tracing the footsteps of Lincoln during his short, but monumental, trip to Gettysburg just four months after the battle. Today, travelers from around the world visit such places as the Historic Gettysburg Railroad Station where Lincoln arrived and walk to the cemetery where he delivered those famous words, “Four Score and Seven Years Ago…”
Gettysburg is a destination that has embraced its heritage. As international travelers seek to understand the beginnings of U.S. history in Philadelphia, or marvel at the nation’s heritage in Washington, D.C., Gettysburg has become an iconic place to grasp the magnitude of the USA's most trying time and where a president – in just two minutes – set the stage for a unified country.
Not just a battlefield: There are more than a dozen wineries, distilleries and breweries around Gettysburg that are open to the public.