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Gettysburg April 2012

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posts: 10,172
reviews: 16
Gettysburg April 2012

Hi all,

I'm starting preliminary planning for my daughter's spring break, which is the first week of April this year. I'm contemplating Gettysburg. DD will be 14 then, and is interested in history, although not Civil War in particular. We've done several trips to Europe and seen some of the WWII sites which she really liked, but I decided that this trip we should see some of the American historical sights. (Although DD says American history isn't old enough. She is currently into medieval history.) My mother may come too. She can walk around ok but is a slow walker.

Would the first week of April be a good time to come? Easter is April 8, which would likely be the day we head back.

Looking at Google maps, I'm guessing a 2 day drive. Google maps says 13 hours from here, and I find it is usually optimistic on times. So plan would be drive 3/31 and 4/1, arrive 4/2, and head back 4/8 and 4/9.

Obviously, that gives us 5 days. I suspect that may be too long for Gettysburg, but I'm not sure what to add. I tried stopping at Cedar Point on the way, but it's not open yet. Should we do Antietam? That seemed like maybe too much Civil War? Philly is 2.5 hrs according to Google maps, maybe add that? I'm not sure how many days you would need to make it worth it to go to Philly (mainly for historical sights), and I'm not sure if there would be something to do with the car. I don't like to cram too much in. Thought about Hershey, but I think DD might be getting too old for it now. The amusement park there isn't open yet either.

We would want to do a battlefield tour with a licensed guide (not sure about 2 or 3 hours) and probably a horseback tour (daughter is a rider). So far I've found Artillery Ridge, Hickory Hollow, and Confederate Trails. The 2nd 2 say they have licensed guides. I'm not sure if one is better than the other. Any suggestions? I assume that the licensed guide in the car would be able to show us places that were not on the horseback tour so we wouldn't be duplicating.

Obviously the visitor center and I think the national cemetery. I'm not sure what else there is to do. Contemplating a Ghost Tour, but that seems like it would just be something to do at night, not an amazingly awesome addition.

What things need to be booked way in advance at that time of year? I like to keep our plans flexible as my work is not overly predictable.

Is the weather likely to be bad? Here (and everywhere I guess) it's unpredictable but it's starting to warm up some usually. However, we do get a lot of rain at that time.

Thanks for any suggestions.

posts: 88
reviews: 71
11. Re: Gettysburg April 2012

Baltimore is also a great destination (we took our grandson last spring), but you might be biting off a lot trying to do both in a very short amount of time. The Aquarium in Baltimore, along with the Inner Harbor activities, can take up most of a day, and their Science Museum is awesome. Also, there is Fort McHenry, where Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Lots to see and do.

posts: 5
reviews: 2
12. Re: Gettysburg April 2012

I'm planning to go to Gettysburg in May 2012. I went to Lancaster last March. There are alot of factory tours in York. I believe there will be alot of Civil War Museums for you to check out in Harrisburg and right in Gettysburg. I've never been the Dwight Eisenhower home in that area but plan to go. Also, there is a horseback riding tour through the battlefield and that is what I'm planning to do in May. The weather I've heard is milder in mid South PA then what I get here in SW PA. I'd highly suggest requesting a Gettysburg brochure through the mail, it shows alot more events than seeing it on line.

Central PA
posts: 3,842
reviews: 59
13. Re: Gettysburg April 2012

I've heard the horse tours follow the same route both in and out, so you see the same thing twice. You may want to verify that with the tour company.

We had a great time on the segway tours and used a LBG, he was the last in line and narrated through wireless headsets. If you opt not to use one, there is a taped tour you listen to. They run you through a 20 minute training session to get you comfortable with the segway and obstacles and then out on the tour, overall about 3 hours with lunch.

More info


Edited: 10:40 am, January 17, 2012
14. Re: Gettysburg April 2012

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