Summer Roadtrippin’ to #Gettysburg Part 1

Recently my darling hubby and I snuck off for a mini-break to historic (and beautiful I might add) Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

A trip that has been on our bucket list for some time now, we finally managed to finagle a couple of days when we could get there and enjoy.

We love to drive when we can to places. On our trips to the Southwest even, we rent cars and hit the open road, it’s what we do. Trusty Garmin in-car, we punch in where we’re heading and go!

Hubby and I are both big fans of history and learning in general. We are avid documentary watchers and Gettysburg has been calling to us for quite some time. We acquiesced this time.

I lucked out and got us a lovely hotel literally next to Cemetery Ridge, also down the road from several ice cream parlours (but I digress). Our first evening we went for a walk up the main drag and even did a little bit of Cemetery Ridge.

General Meade Gettysburg

General Meade’s Statue looking over Cemetery Ridge

However, our first stop was for a lovely birthday dinner for my darling hubby at The Dobbin House. We ate in the tavern cellar and were served by staff in period costumes. It was lovely! And oh-so-yummy! A definite must. A tip: it gets crowded and is first-come-first-served. We lucked out and got a spot right away.

Day Two was our big tour of the Battlefield. It is surreal how this was the actual ground that the actual battles took place on. It hit me hardest on Culp’s Hill the sheer reality of what the soldiers on both sides faced and the conditions they fought in.

Our first stop was the Gettysburg Diorama. This had been recommended to us as a great intro and overview of the battle. I admit, it was very well done, and refreshed my understanding of events in a great way. I cannot get over the detail on it either, wow. The show goes through the entire battle and shows you on the diorama itself how the three days played out. We really enjoyed it. Downstairs from it is Spirits of Gettysburg. A new attraction, it tells the perspectives of General Lee, Jennie Wade and you even walk through Pickett’s Charge. The special effects were well done, and we really enjoyed it too. Being able to hear the different perspectives of those involved definitely aides in the overall experience.

Gettysburg Diorama

Our third stop was the fairly new (it was pristine, very impressed) Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center to decide how best to see the sights. Options were bountiful, but we chose the self-guided driving tour, the long-version…but not the long-EST one. It was fantastic. And it allowed us to pace our way as we tend to get out and wander as much as possible.  We decided to do the museum the next day as the weather would be iffy and we wanted to be outside on the beautiful day if we could.

The tour was easy-to-follow and the book that accompanied the narrated CD’s held a bevy of bonus information. It was also great since it could be custom-tailored to how much detail you wanted by which stops to make and not make by the skip of a track. We did them all. We’re thorough ;). We also took about 2 1/2 hours longer than the book and CD’s indicated…again, we’re thorough.

To be continued…..

McPherson Ridge, where it began.

McPherson Ridge, where it began.

General Lee looking across where Pickett's Charge would run on July 3rd, 1863.

General Lee looking across where Pickett’s Charge would run on July 3rd, 1863.

Looking out from Little Round Top to Devil's Den

Looking out from Little Round Top to Devil’s Den

The Pennsylvania Monument

The Pennsylvania Monument

The watermark site on Cemetery Ridge

The  high watermark site on Cemetery Ridge

General Meade on Cemetery Ridge

IMG_2358Memorial to  Major Reynolds, the first casualty

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One Response

  1. Gettysburg is on our bucket list, too. A few years ago we visited all of the battle sites in Virginia..plus detours to Jamestown (which was fantastic!) and some scenic driving and cave exploring in the mountains. I would highly recommend a trip to Virginia if you love Civil War history!

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