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Gettysburg National Military Park
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Gettysburg Day Trip from Washington DC
Ranked #2 of 108 things to do in Gettysburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 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".
Reviewed April 29, 2010

A wonderful experience. Museum and cyclorama are well worth the admission price. We did just fine on our own with the park map in our own car. If you need hand-holding on a tour, the in car CD looked like the next best thing. Go to the museum and film first before tackling the auto tour.

1  Thank ssful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 921 reviews
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in 552 reviews
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6,741 - 6,745 of 6,962 reviews

Reviewed April 25, 2010

As soon as we arrived at the parking lot, we were impressed by the exterior of the new visitor's center and friendly staff. We first viewed a short movie narrated by Morgan Freeman, which offered a short introduction to the Battle of Gettysburg, and were then treated to the Cyclorama, which has just been restored. The museum was very well done. We spent at least 1 1/2 hours touring it. We had hired a tour guide who drove our car on the battlefield tour ( be sure to book at least three days in advance).. This was the best thing we could have done. He gave us so much information and answered all of our individual questions. The $55. fee was less than it would have cost our family of four to ride the tour bus. His knowledge of the events at Gettysburg was amazing. Our ten and thirteen year old both enjoyed the three hours that we spent on the tour and learned so much! We went back the next day and re-visited some of the sights, but the insight that we gained on the individual tour made all the difference in our understanding and appreciation of the Battle of Gettysburg. Plan to spend the whole day at this site - there is a nice restaurant that offers kid friendly meals, salads, burgers etc. as well as a coffee bar for a quick snack.

2  Thank gibsonConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2010

We spent a day at the park, and purchased the combo ticket for the movie, cyclorama, and museum. The movie gives a short orientation to what the battle was about, and the cyclorama is amazing. The museum has so many exhibits and artifacts you can hardly take them all in. We purchased the audio tour in the store (it is sold much cheaper elsewhere) to tour the park. It took us about four hours since we got out of our car at most of the stops. In a few places the CD can get you lost if you aren't careful, but you can get easily back on track with the map. If you are not going to do a bus tour or hire a guide, I would definitely recommend reading a book or watching a movie about the battle beforehand to make it more meaningful. We ate lunch in the restaurant at the visitor's center because it was convenient- it was okay, nothing to rave about. We visited in March, so it was not really that crowded, but you can tell by the way it is set up and the size of the parking lots that it gets crazy in the summer. I would definitely not visit then, especially since the town and most of the restaurants are small. Although some may disagree, I would not bring young children here unless they are really into the Civil War. I even heard a young man about 7 or 8 saying "this place stinks!". They are just too young to appreciate what it means, and you would have to rush through your tour. I think older junior high and high school kids would enjoy it, especially if they have studied this is school recently. To see the battlefield, especially from the viewpoint of Little Round Top, is very awe-inspiring. What a sacrifice that changed history--truly hollowed ground.

2  Thank EconMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2010

The Visitors Center is FABULOUS. Terrific museum, film & cyclorama.

Do your best to watch the Ken Burns Civil war episode about Gettysburg before going. It's well worth the investment in time to get some orientation prior to your visit and do some reading or online research.

BIG TIP!!! Instead of taking a group tour on a bus with 50 strangers your family can reserve a private tour in your own car with an expert guide arranged through the Nat'l Park Service or the Gettysburg Foundation. It's $55 (please offer a gratuity) for a 2+ hour personalized tour. We had a wonderful, knowledgeable & engaging guide.

Also... Try to avoid peak season. The area is like and anthill inn the summer but can be evry quiet at other times.

A National Treasure!

3  Thank CrankyRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 1, 2010

Seeing these grounds, these landmarks, these memorials overwhelms one with what must be just a slice of the reality of the goings on here. It almost brings it all back to life. Yet, it is still so hard to believe that such a serene and beatiful place could have harbored such a violent and terrible battle.

1  Thank No_Chains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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