When you think of Gettysburg, you’re most likely reminded of pivotal moments in American history, namely the battle at Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. However, there’s a lot more to this historical town of Pennsylvania than meets the eye. I had a chance to experience a holiday tour of the town, filled with custom German Christmas ornaments, tuba players & carols, and hot chocolate. After my visit, however, it became clear that Gettysburg is the perfect place for a weekend getaway no matter the time of year.
Gettysburg residents do a great job of transporting you back to the 1800’s when the infamous battle was fought. A visit to the Shriver House will give you a glimpse into what life was like for unsuspecting civilians thrust into the middle of the war. Your guide will be dressed in traditional 1800's garb, and give you a tour of the restored house looking authentic to the times, with a curio cabinet of bullets, horse teeth, and other remnants from hundreds of years ago. If you’re a history buff, you’ll also enjoy the weekend home of President Dwight & Mamie Eisenhower, where they would host world leaders and family members. The site will also take you back to an amazing time in American history, filled with antique furniture and tchotchkes from the couple’s worldly travels and gifts from distinguished guests.
Food & Drinks
When you’re done taking in some of the historical sites, there’s no shortage of amazing cocktail and culinary options in the area to get into. The Historic Fairfield Inn gave our crew a good helping of history facts, along with a good helping of chicken and waffles. Although there’s an ongoing debate about where the food pairing was conceived, the inn definitely didn’t disappoint. The bed and breakfast has been in business since 1757, and was responsible for feeding hundreds of soldiers during the time of the battle, stories of which the resident inn keeper will glowingly share. He’ll also show you where he makes mead in the back room since the inn also functions as a winery.
Another notable bed and breakfast, Hickory Bridge Farm, flexes its culinary muscles with its homemade oven fried chicken. The farm has served as a bed and breakfast since 1977, and even has its own cookbook so you can recreate some of their dinner favorites at home, like their chicken and crab imperial.
If you’re into a more modern experience, Mason-Dixon Distillery will fulfill that need and give you a good buzz thanks to their delicious libations. Owned by a father & son duo, the furniture factory turned distillery produces vodka, rum, whiskey, and gin, and craft cocktails made with their own spirits. Their menu includes comfort food classics like hush puppies, potato salad, and fried chicken, with their ingredients being locally sourced and produced in their back garden.
Other Things to Do
Outside of the history and food scene, Gettysburg also houses Board & Brush, the new wood sign workshop studio in town. They offer a variety of classes, including a girls’ night out, wine included, and other holiday sign making workshops for all artistic levels. Speaking of holidays, you can experience Christmas 24/7 at Christmas Haus in downtown Gettysburg. The owners travel to Germany every year for authentic ornaments and heirlooms that are sure to take your decorations to the next level.
Other things to know:
Gettysburg is about an hour and a half drive from both D.C. and Baltimore.
You'll definitely need a car to get around!
I stayed at the Gettysburg Hotel, one of Gettysburg's most iconic hotels located downtown, right on Lincoln Square. I highly recommend it. It's also located next to Majestic Theater where you can catch a play or musical.
While Gettysburg is known for its historical significance, there's a lot more to see, do and drink when visiting. For more information on planning a trip to Gettysburg, visit Destinationgettysburg.com and tell them we sent you!
- Nyasha Chikowore
*While this post is sponsored by Destination Gettysburg, all opinions expressed are absolutely our own.