Gettysburg was the perfect destination for a long weekend away. We spent four days in the charming village, filled with fun and rich history. We chose to visit Gettysburg because it was driving distance away from NY and it was highly recommended by my parents who had spent time there in August. Although we missed the summer months, Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful in the fall.
We arrived in Gettysburg somewhat spontaneously, without hotel reservations or realizing that it was Parents Weekend at the nearby college. Luckily, we were able to book a room (possibly the last one in the entire village) at The Gettysburg Hotel, right in the center of town. We arrived too late to see any of the historical sights our first night, and instead spent the time exploring some of the pubs and restaurants in Gettysburg.
We dedicated one full day to seeing the battlefields and major historical sites. We purchased an auto-tour, which ended up being perfect for us. We had a great time driving around and listening to the tour, getting a sense of the battle at our own speed. We liked being able to choose which sites we were visiting, as opposed to a traditional guided tour, and even skipped a few to return to the next day. We especially loved Little Round Top, where we spent nearly an hour walking around and reading the informational signs. In addition to the battlefields, we spent some time exploring the national cemetery and the site of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
We had a fantastic time pub crawling through Gettysburg and lounging around our room in the true spirit of vacation. Being in the center of the town, we were in walking distance of all the restaurants and had a great people-watching view out the windows. It was very cool to explore the historical buildings in town, some of which still have bullet-holes in their bricks, and to learn more about the historical battle that was the turning point of the Civil War.
I would definitely recommend visiting Gettysburg, even if you are not as interested in history as we are, as the village itself is very beautiful and enjoyable. This is a very low-cost, low-maintenance trip if you live in the Northeast, which was exactly what we were looking for this fall.