Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013
Why Go Now Visiting Gettysburg in 2013 during the ongoing 150th anniversary commemoration of the Civil War is a great way to connect with this nation-defining struggle. Over three days in July 1863, this Pennsylvania town convulsed with the bloodiest Civil War battle, a Union victory and major turning point. Find out about the year of events at the excellent Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, and sign up for special programs and talks. A four-day battle reenactment in July is a highlight, along with the opening of the new Seminary Ridge Museum, dedicated to the first day of the battle. –by Linda Cabasin
Where to StayStaying in historic downtown Gettysburg at the intimate James Gettys Hotel puts you within walking distance of many attractions, restaurants, and shops; kitchenettes in the rooms are convenient. Another plus: the heart of town looks much as it did during the Civil War. On the edge of the battlefield, the Baladerry Inn, built as a home in 1812, served as a field hospital during the war. Today the B&B has peaceful, charmingly decorated rooms and serves excellent breakfasts.
Insider TipFor an enlightening experience that gives you the full context of the momentous battle, contact the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and hire a private guide for a two- to four-hour battlefield tour; three hours is ideal. Book ahead; you can also customize the tour to your interests.
Word of Mouth "The licensed guides are the best, and very reasonably priced," says Fodorite pitt531. "You can also do a self-guided tour. You buy the CD at the visitor center or other shops in town and listen to it as you drive through the park. It takes a couple of hours but is very informative, and you go at your own pace."
When to Go Anniversary programs in 2013 will reach their height on July 4 through 7, when some 15,000 soldier and civilian reenactors will re-create the events through battles and demonstrations. Order tickets ahead through the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary National Civil War Battle Reenactment. For a less-crowded time, try the end of August or fall, when kids are back in school and the weather can be lovely.
Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's Pennsylvania Travel Guide.