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“Plan your battlefield tours around the USNPS ranger programs...you won't regret it!”

Gettysburg National Military Park
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Gettysburg Day Trip from Washington DC
Ranked #1 of 103 things to do in Gettysburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion", Gettysburg was the Civil War's bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address".
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Plan your battlefield tours around the USNPS ranger programs...you won't regret it!”
Reviewed August 13, 2011

Stop by the information center and grab your park newsletter to see what's happening at the park that day and week. Then, we recommend, you plan some of your visit around the USNPS ranger guided programs. Ranger programs are FREE!! We spent 3 full days at Gettysburg and did many USNPS ranger guided programs centered around day 1 of the battle, day two, and then day three. We also did several of the ranger "campfire" programs at the amphitheater. Worked out wonderfully! The USNPS rangers are so friendly and knowledgeable...history really comes alive through them. The movie, museum, and cyclorama package are worth the money at the visitors' center.

Visited August 2011
Thank ru_rowdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Self-Guided Auto Tour”
Reviewed August 12, 2011

The self-guided auto tour of Gettysburg is kind-of very confusing but well worth the map-reading aggravation. This battlefield is kept as close to how it looked before the battle began in order to give you the feeling of what the armies were looking at when they began these battles. In order to get the most out of this park.....you should try and get a battlefield guide to really explain what you're looking at. If we had not taken the horseback tour with a licensed battlefield guide(Andy) with Confederate Trails of Gettysburg, my family would NEVER have understood the aspectsof the Battle of Gettysburg.

Visited August 2011
Thank ldeleu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The high point of our trip! Don't miss it.”
Reviewed August 12, 2011

We were pleasantly surprised on our visit to Gettysburg. It was the high point of our trip and a genuine life-experience. It is well set up to provide a stunning memorial of the 3 day battle of Gettysburg. We did the auto-tour - we bought a guide book and CD and used it to tour the battlefield. It was great!

Don't miss the movie and the diorama (I can't spell that) which is a huge 360 degree painting in the visitor center.

You will come away with an appreciation of what happened there and a feeling of sadness for the horrors of this battle and war.

Visited August 2011
Thank nevittsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“A Great Historical Visit for Anyone Interested in the Civil War”
Reviewed August 11, 2011

The Gettysburg National Military Park offers amazing views of many of the famous battles fought around the city of Gettysburg. Depending on one's wishes, there are may tours, attractions, and shops that give information about the park and the battles. However, anyone can use the Internet to read about battle for Gettysburg and view information on each battle. During our stay we visited many of the famous areas such as Big Round Top, Pickett's Charge, the Pennsylvania State Monument, and several of the overlook towers. The scenery is really breathtaking, especially at Big Round Top.

Almost every area of the park is accessible by car or bike. Most areas have parking lots and spaces for stopping for pictures. The park is simply huge and there are multiple entrances into the the driving tour. In fact the park can be viewed entirely from a car. However, some of the monuments can be best visited by walking through different paths that flow through the park. The observation towers also give nice views of the surrounding areas and are worth visiting. One of the more popular activities is doing ghost tours or visiting areas of the park at dusk. While we didn't use a tour, we did visit different areas past 9pm. The park definitely has a different feel at night. One can set up ghost tours at many companies in town and there are candlelight tours as well.

Perhaps the first stop when visiting the park is the visitor's center. The visitor's center is very large and busy. The best times to visit are probably in the morning or late afternoon. Unfortunately the visitor's center was a bit of let down. The center was remodeled and moved to a new location. The new center looks impressive but has over commercialized feel to it. Almost every exhibit such as the Museum and theater now costs money to visit. The only free exhibits or information areas were fairly minimal. There were several display cases with guns and uniforms and a small sitting area with screens for an introductory video about Gettysburg. However, most if not all of the money taken in from the exhibits and stores go towards maintaining the park.

The Gettysburg National Military Park showcases an amazing period in US history and it really brings the struggles of the Civil War alive. The best way to view the different parks sites is to read up on each battle and the scarifies given by both sides. A little bit of history helps provide context for each area in the park. For those that have relatives that fought in the war, some of the monuments have names printed of the soldiers that fought there. For history buffs and casual onlookers, the park is a great way to view history and to observe a major transition in US history.

Visited August 2011
2 Thank Kenneth E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shelbyville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
125 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The new visitors center is a great improvement.”
Reviewed August 10, 2011

I had been to the old vistior's center three times, but this was my first visit to the new one on August 3rd. It is much larger. The museum is a lot better than it was and the cyclorama is many times better than it was. One suggestion would be for the parks dept. to run shuttles from the outer parking lots. We had a handicapped sticker and it was still a pretty good walk to the entrance. Also perhaps add a shuttle to the National cemetary. It is a pretty good walk up hill from the parking lot for the cemetary to the entrance, let alone to the spot where Linclon gave his address. I didn't try it this time, because of that. Overall, much improved though. If you can reserve a private guide. We didn't this time and it is a much better tour with the guide.

Visited August 2011
Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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