Visiting Gettysburg had been on my list of things to do, especially while living in Virginia with a car… so we went on a road trip! We recently made a day of it and checked out Gettysburg battlefields, museum, and the downtown area. Our first stop was Tommy’s Pizza for an early lunch, and then we pulled over at the commemoration of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
My grandparents, Civil War aficionados and lovers of Abraham Lincoln, have busts of Lincoln in many rooms of their house, so I sent them that picture of Honest Abe :). The Gettysburg Address was given near this cemetery on November 19, 1863.
We made our way over to the Visitor Center to meet our bus tour. We booked a two-hour bus tour that took us all around the battlefields and important landmarks. The guides go through rigorous studies and have to pass hours of tests in order to become guides. Our guide was fantastic and she gave us great context and history throughout the tour.
What quickly became apparent by visiting Gettysburg was the topography. A lot of the ebb and flow of the battles had to do with who had higher ground. Below are photos of where the battle began on Day 1, and also of Little Round Top on Day 2 of the battle.
After our tour, we visited the museum until it closed. It was so comprehensive and explained the details of the battle very well. I’d highly recommend a both a tour of the battlefields and the museum!
Above is a shot of the train station in Gettysburg. President Lincoln arrived at this very station the night before he made is Gettysburg Address.
Below are some shots of the quaint downtown of Gettysburg. I loved the main square with lots of restaurants, inns, and shops around it.
All in all, such a fun and informative day trip! I’d recommend carving aside a weekend if you’re on the East coast to visit Gettysburg. That battle was such an important part of American history and being on the fields where so many men fought and died was very powerful.
If you don’t have an opportunity to visit Gettysburg, I recommend the following videos by UVA historian and professor, Gary Gallagher. I watched these videos leading up to our visit and found them incredibly insightful and informative.