If you’re not aware, next weekend marks the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. That means my town shall be flooded with tourists of all shapes and sizes. Yes, there are moments I get annoyed. But, overwhelmingly, I’m overcome with a sense of “Wait a minute, I actually get to live here.” In the most sincere sense possible, I’m absolutely blessed.
Of course, I’ve learned a bit along the way, so I figured it was time to share! Today we’ll cover Part One: Places to See.
Located just across from the Jennie Wade House (and the place where you buy tickets for bus tours, so there’s a strong chance you’ll already be there!), the Village is a must-see that is far too often overlooked. Featuring a Subway (one of at least three in Gettysburg, so if local fare isn’t your thing….), a great little fudge shop, a bookstore (with a cat!!!!!), and Dogs of Gettysburg, you should definitely stop there. Trust me.
Yes, this is the traffic circle in the center of town. Yes, that’s confusing. Want to make it more complicated? It was historically known as the diamond. Regardless of the geometrical classification you go with, you’ve got all sorts of shops, restaurants, and fellow tourists to check out while circling the square (sorry, couldn’t resist). Be sure to check out Abe and Perry, and visit the Farmer’s Market if your visit coincides with a Saturday morning.
Locals aren’t exactly fans of the ghost tour-infested Disneyland that is Steinwehr Ave, but it’s an experience you’ve got to, well, experience. Be prepared to be asked about seventeen times if you want to go on a tour (all while being handed pamphlets you don’t want, picture Times Square), but you can probably pick up a JL Chamberlain bobblehead, so there’s that.
Jennie Wade House
Fact: This wasn’t Jennie Wade’s house. Fact: Her name wasn’t Jennie Wade. Regardless, this is a cool museum for a less militial aspect of the Battle of Gettysburg, focusing on the only reported civilian casualty.
Little Round Top
THERE’S A FREAKING CASTLE. Plus, Gouverneur K Warren is there. And, if you’ve seen Gettysburg, this is the spot for the 20th Maine (no further explanation needed).
Adjacent to LRT, Devil’s Den is another one of those battlefield spots that you pretty much see no matter what on a Gettysburg trip. Check out the Witness tree and the P. Noel rock for added coolness.
Pay your respects and check out the site of the Gettysburg Address at the same time. The pergola is not where Lincoln gave the Address.
Seminary Ridge Museum
Okay, okay, I’m biased. But my museum is awesome and you should visit us. Also, you should follow us on Instagram 🙂
The first day’s battlefield gets sorely neglected since The Killer Angels (not that I don’t love the novel as much as the next person). Visit the barn, the Railroad Cut, and the Eternal Peace Light, to name a few highlights. If that’s not enough, you can check out my absolute favorite aspect of the battlefield: GIANT FLOOFY FARM DOGS.