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Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Brighton, Michigan
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Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

We (family of 4 teen boys, one who just had Amer Hist & the other AP US Hist & Gov) will be driving from MI to Downtown Philly one Fri in June... Mapquest sends us thru Lancaster with a drive time of 9 hrs 42 mins. Figure we could have about 2 hours (3 tops) to spend on stops. I think going to Gettysburg would be the most memorable, but see that the museum & Valley Forge are right off our route. We don't like group tours, prefer the self guided stuff. Wondering everyone's recommendations as to stops, & time needed to get thru quickly but still see the most notable sights

Central PA
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1. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Don't rely on travel times posted online. Friday traffic is going to add to your trip, especially heading towards Philly, where MANY people are heading to the shore for the weekend.

My best suggestion for a limited time in Gettysburg, is to hire a licensed battlefield guide to drive your vehicle through the Battlefield. The have vast knowledge and you can really get a sense of the 3 day ordeal. You need to reserve now due to the heavy volume of tourists this year for the 150th Anniversary. gettysburgtourguides.org/reservations.html

You can also get a self guided tour to follow in your car, audio tours also available.

I'd also watch the movie Gettysburg before your trip to give you an overview.

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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2. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Wouldn't even get a guide. Maybe an audio tour but for just a couple of hours, visit devils den, little round top and just drive the battlefield. Won't have time for much more.

Brighton, Michigan
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3. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Although getting a guide sounds great, since not sure exactly what time we would arrive, and if we would have the full 2 hours for the tour (not to mention our car would be tight with another person in it), think we would lean towards the self guided tour ... Maybe I could purchase it ahead of time & see what spots we would not want to miss ... Any recommendations on "must sees"... Such as places to get out of the car & walk around ??? ALSO any insite on the best route in & out of the park coming east from the xway then back out continuing west? Heard might go thru Amish areas ... Thought might be cool to stop for some baked goods etc ...

Baltimore, Maryland
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for North Conway
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4. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Places to stop... see above and ask your children. Can get out and walk everywhere. You won't cover the entire battlefield.

gettysburg, pa
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for Gettysburg
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5. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Gettysburg would add about an hour to your travel time as well. The Google maps directions suggest getting off the PA Turnpike in Breezewood and coming across US 30 to Gettysburg. It is a very direct and scenic route but somewhat mountainous, which makes for slower travel. However, coming through Chambersburg and into Gettysburg is a historical route and pretty interesting. Lots of historical markers along the way:

explorepahistory.com/story.php…

There are possibilities for baked goods along the way as the Pennsylvania Dutch region extends over the whole area. The Butchers Shoppe in Chambersburg is right off 30 and would be a convenient stop--they have great whoopie pies and other local specialties.

As you arrive in Gettysburg, you'll see that the battlefield just about encircles the town. It is a vast area! There is no one entry point to the battlefield, and there are plenty of places to stop and wander. Our favorite spots to visit are Little Round Top, the Peace Light Memorial, Spanglers Spring, and the Pennsylvania Monument. This app might help you to find your way around:

http://www.civilwar.org/battleapps/

After you have visited Gettysburg, you can continue on US 30 to Lancaster. In this area, Rt 30 can be very congested, especially on a Friday afternoon. Rt 30 through York is particularly un-scenic. I would probably zip back up to the Turnpike (I 76) via US 15 and skip Lancaster for the time being.

It will be a very long travel day, but coming to Gettysburg in the 150th anniversary year will be memorable.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Just got back and saw both Gettysburg and Civil War Museum. If you like museums the Civil War Museum is educational. If you like to imagine how horrible the war was and feel history around you the town of Gettysburg is the place to visit and the visitors Museum with the cyclorama was a quick overview I enjoyed. (15 minutes)

Brighton, Michigan
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7. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

Thanks to everyone for all the input! We will do Gettysburg ... Agree that being at the actual site would probably be more impactful (for me and the boys). Appreciate anymore "insider tips" anyone may have as to where to start, which way to go, etc. to maximize our pathetically short time to give ...

8. Re: Very little time Gettysburg? Civil War Museum? Valley Forge?

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