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D.C. to Gettysburg, along the way

Southern California
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D.C. to Gettysburg, along the way

I have never been east of the Mississippi and I am looking forward to seeing a lot of things. We are renting a car in D. C. and driving to our 1st stop, Gettysburg, after staying a few days in D.C. For the folks living in the area is there anything along this route that I need to stop and see since we will have a lot of time and it is such a short drive? I will be traveling with my husband and 2 teenage grandchildren.

Poconos
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1. Re: D.C. to Gettysburg, along the way

Welcome to the East!

Since you're spending time in Gettysburg, I assume the Civil War is of interest to you. There are 3 significant Civil War sites between DC and Gettysburg that you shouldn't miss, if you've got the time - Manassas (just west of DC), and Antietam & Harper's Ferry (both just below Gettysburg). A not-quite-direct route to Gettysburg will allow you to do a drive-thru at all three without a whole lot of extra driving, but won't give you much time to explore each of them. My suggestion would be to hit Manassas after leaving DC, then continue straight up into Gettysburg - it's about a 2-hr drive between the two towns, so if you get an early start, you can spend the whole day. Then, if you've got a few days in Gettysburg, spend one visiting Antietam/Harper's Ferry, both of which are an easy drive from Gettysburg (less than an hour) and only about 20 miles apart from each other. Also, you can check off an extra 3 eastern states you'll have visited on your trip - Virginia (Manassas), Maryland (Antietam) and West Virginia (Harper's Ferry)!

Enjoy, and if you have Gettysburg-specific questions (hotels, restaurants, tours, etc.), post them here - you'll get tons of great advice.

usa
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2. Re: D.C. to Gettysburg, along the way

There's also the Monocacy battlefield, which is literally on your way from DC to Gettysburg. You would come to Gettysburg via I-270, getting off onto Rt. 15 at Frederick MD. Monocacy battlefield is in Frederick, about 5 minutes off the interchange.

Monocacy is nothing like Gettysburg: it is very small, the edges of the park are somewhat compromised by development, but that being said it is a worthwhile visit; an easy enough battle to understand in a couple hours, and a new visitor center.

If hitting a second Civil War site (other than Gettysburg) is of interest, and if time won't permit you to do an Antietam or Manassas (for which you really should allocate much of a day), Monocacy should work for you very well.

When in Gettysburg, be sure to see the National Park Visitor Center (great museum), eat at the Dobbin House restaurant, and hire a battlefield guide to show you the battlefield (the only way to go!).

Enjoy.

Poconos
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3. Re: D.C. to Gettysburg, along the way

I second xxrrttyy's suggestions of what to do while in Gettysburg, and I'd like to add my suggestion of visiting the Rupp House and the Shriver House museum - both are on Baltimore Street and address the civilian experience during the battle. The Rupp House is a tour-on-your-own, hands-on museum - it's free, but donations are appreciated and go towards the restoration of the Nat'l Park - discreet donation boxes are placed throughout the house and no one will solicit a donation from you during your visit. The Shriver House charges a small fee for a guided tour and it's well worth the cost - the guides are interesting and knowledgeable. Both are must-sees while visiting Gettysburg.

4. Re: D.C. to Gettysburg, along the way

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