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On July 1st, 1863, the worst battle of the American Civil War shock the small rural town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. An estimated 51,000 casualties took place on that summer day.
Days after, President Lincoln helped place Adams County, Pennsylvania on the map when he stood at the Gettysburg Soldiers’ National Cemetery and said the famous Gettysburg Address.
Now, Gettysburg is still well known for its history. All over the town tourist flock to learn about that day.
This past weekend, my family visited the historic town of Gettysburg with our three young children who had never heard of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Thanks to the help from Destination Gettysburg, we were able to teach our boys about the battle and experience more than just history.
Our 2-Day Visit to Gettysburg
I had been planning our trip to Gettysburg for a few weeks before we actually arrived. I was fortunate enough to get some help from our hotel, the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel, a few weeks before we went and they were kind enough to lead me to Destination Gettysburg.
Destination Gettysburg offers everything you need to plan your Gettysburg vacation. Whether you are staying one day or visiting longer, they can help make your vacation so much better. After looking over the Destination Gettysburg website, I had pretty much planned out our 2-day itinerary, so when we arrived, we pretty much thought we knew what we would be doing.
We left our home on Friday, once our boys got out of school and traveled 2.5 hours to the beautiful Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel.
When we arrived at our hotel, it was a little after 7 and the kids were already starting to get antsy. Walking in to check into the hotel, it was even more beautiful than the pictures already made it look.
The staff at the hotel were just as kind as they had been through the emails, weeks before. When I checked in, Destination Gettysburg had left my family a nice little packet of papers and a free travel guide to help my family enjoy our visit.
That evening, the kids played in the large pool and we enjoyed ourselves in the hot tub. When we finally made it back to our rooms, the kids didn’t even fuss, they almost immediately fell asleep, even though we told them there was no bedtime. It must have been the beds, cause I’m pretty sure somewhere between checking emails and downloading pictures, I fell asleep too.
The Next Morning
The next morning, I looked over the brochure Destination Gettysburg left me and I found so much more I wanted to try.
That morning, we headed 14 miles out of the county to Hanover, Pennsylvania. We had read there were chip factories there and since my oldest boy loves potato chips we thought they would get a kick out of visiting the place his favorite chips were made.
When we got to Hanover, the town had all sorts of shopping and we were able to visit 2 different chip factory stores, but the tours were all closed.
After we stuffed ourselves with chips and pretzels, we headed back to Gettysburg.
Our first stop was to visit the Gettysburg National Military Museum and Visitors Center.
While most of the stuff in the center cost extra money, there were a few things we were able to do like, visit the Gettysburg Shop inside and look over some of the exhibits.
After leaving the visitor’s center, we wanted to learn even more about the Battle of Gettysburg, so we decided to head downtown. Downtown is where the Soldiers’ National Cemetery is, but on the day we visited, the ground was still snow covered and most of the surrounding park was closed, so we never got out.
Between driving downtown and looking at all of the statues, we somehow ended up on the auto tour. The auto tour has hundreds of statues honoring the soldier’s who fought in the American Civil War.
The tour can take up a lot of time and there is a lot of stopping and going.
Somewhere between checking out the statues, 2 of our children fell asleep, so we didn’t get out much until we saw this Pennsylvanian Monument.
This Pennsylvania Monument is close to the end of the auto tour, but visitors are allowed to climb up to the top of it. While the walk to the top is short, there is only one narrow spiraling staircase and you do brush up pretty close to other people traveling the opposite way.
After the auto tour, the kids wanted to get out at more places, so we opted to check out the Gettysburg Outlet Mall. The outlets are a few miles back from downtown Gettysburg but feature many popular stores like; Under Armour, Columbia, and Skechers. These outlets were a lot smaller than other outlets we’ve been to, but the people we met were very friendly.
After we left the outlets, we all were getting hungry. Although Gettysburg has so many different restaurants to eat at, we opted to eat at the Appalachian Brewing Company inside of the Gateway Gettysburg Complex.
The Appalachian Brewing Company BrewPub & Grill was located right in front of our hotel, and the place had looked pretty packed every time we went passed. The day we went in, it was later in the afternoon and the place was already filled up. We got a seat near the back of the restaurant and the waitress quickly took our order. The food we got there was absolutely delicious. I normally order the same ole’ thing, but at Appalachian Brewing Company, there is no reason not to try something new because their menu has practically everything on.
I ordered a black bean burger and about half expected a thrown together store-bought veggie burger, but to my surprise, the burger was homemade and one of the best I ever had. One of the coolest things we tried at Appalachian Brewing Company, though, was their crafted sodas, they were so good! While we don’t drink alcohol, so I can’t tell you how good it was, I can say that Appalachian Brewing Company BrewPub & Grill should be on everyone’s Gettysburg itinerary.
After eating, it was late, so we opted to go back to our hotel.
The Day We Left
The next morning, was the day we had to say goodbye and go home. We tried to take our time, but we still ended up checking out by 10 am. We drove around the town one last time that morning and then we headed back home.
We loved our trip to Gettysburg and can’t wait to hit it up again in the future. Gettysburg has so many great events coming up and we are hoping we can make it back during one of the events. Stay up-to-date on all things Gettysburg by following Destination Gettysburg on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you are planning a trip to Gettysburg, I suggest checking out Destination Gettysburg and signing up for one of these FREE travel guides.
If you need somewhere to stay, I recommend the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel and you can find out why in this review HERE.