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10 Great Ways to Spend a Weekend in Gettysburg

There are so many things to do in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. From historic sites to food tours, a weekend in Gettysburg will be entertaining and delicious.
In the middle of southern Pennsylvania stands Gettysburg — a small town with a big past. In easy reach of larger cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., Gettysburg is one of our favorite places on the East Coast. The city has been popular for decades not only because of its role in the Civil War but for its attractive downtown teeming with shops. A food and beverage renaissance plus overall revitalization associated with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg has ensured that there are plenty of great things to do in Gettysburg , whether you’re visiting for a weekend or longer.

Awesome cucumber soup from Gettysburg Baking Company in Gettysburg, PA

Eat your way around town on a Gettysburg food tour

You may not think of Gettysburg as a foodie town, but you’d be wrong (we were, too). A food tour with Savor Gettysburg highlights a variety of local specialties from homemade ice cream to the best soup we’ve ever tasted.

There are several food tour options to choose from—the historic downtown tour, seasonal tours, and others—plus a cooking class and other Gettysburg food experiences. The tours last about three hours and involve less than a mile of walking, which is good since someone may need to roll you home.

Making apple dumplings at Hollabaugh Bros. is only one of many fun things to do in Gettysburg PA

Enjoy nature, pick your own, and even cook at an orchard

Adams County, where Gettysburg is located, is the heart of apple country. Just a few miles away, you can tour several different orchards and farms where you can even pick your own fruits like apples, peaches, and blueberries.

Consider a stop by Hollabaugh Bros., which hosts fruit festivals throughout the year and offers cooking and canning classes on many weekends. We loved trying our hand at making apple dumplings! It’s one of the best things to do near Gettysburg.

Wondering where to stay in Gettysburg?

History on Lincoln Square: Gettysburg Hotel

Charming B&B with excellent breakfast: Brickhouse Inn

Renovated 19th-century schoolhouse: Federal Pointe Inn

You’ll find more details about where to stay in Gettysburg at the end of this article.
The Shriver House Museum is one of the interesting historical attractions in Gettysburg PA

Learn about the civilian side of the war at the Shriver House

The Shriver House Museum transports you directly to the 1860s and delivers a look into the life of the Shriver family as the Civil War arrived in Gettysburg. This unique perspective makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in Gettysburg, even for people who aren’t Civil War buffs.

The rooms at the Shriver House tell the story of George, Hettie, and their two young daughters as they made a life and then faced the realities of death that war brings. A guide dressed in a period costume provides details of civilian life and talks about how the town—and the Shrivers, specifically—coped during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. You’ll learn about everything from George’s downstairs saloon to the house’s time as a sharpshooter post and hospital.

Statue of President Lincoln and a visitor to Gettysburg

Explore the options downtown

Just wandering is one of the most fun things to do in Gettysburg. Gettysburg’s downtown is home to over 100 stores selling most anything you could be looking for.

From antiques to clothes to Civil War artifacts, the variety of things available in Gettysburg is extensive. We love Lark for its thoughtful and unique gifts, the jewelry and handcrafts at Gallery 30, and the games and creativity kits at Nerd Herd. As you walk through the area, you can also see a number of buildings from the Civil War that show damage from the battle that partially took place in these streets. When you’ve had your fill of shopping and taking in the history, give your feet a break at one of the many restaurants or tasting rooms.

Visiting a farmer's market like the Round Barn is one of the fun things to do in Gettysburg PA

Try the wares at a farmers’ market

So many different kinds of vegetables and fruits are grown on the farms that dot the landscape of the Gettysburg area. Within just a few miles, you can find road-side stands and full-fledged markets selling all manner of fresh produce and milk along with great products–like jam, salsa, and pickles–made from the bounty. Do a little shopping and marvel at the brightly-colored veggies, or consider stopping at one of the markets like the Historic Round Barn and Farm Market that holds periodic events and celebrations throughout the year.

If you’re in town on a Saturday morning in the spring, summer, or fall, don’t miss the Gettysburg Farmers’ Market right on Lincoln Square. Vendors come from all over with seasonal produce, baked goods, and lots of other delicious things. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

A painting session at Board and Brush is one of the most fun indoor things to do in Gettysburg PA

Get creative at Board and Brush

Board and Brush is the perfect place to bring out your inner artist, even when you’re not sure you have one. If you’re wondering what to do in Gettysburg when the weather doesn’t cooperate or just when you’re looking for something new and different, visit this fun sign workshop. You can choose from hundreds of different patterns and colors, and the staff will help you step-by step with painting and selecting different finishes, stains, and flourishes to make the sign completely personal.

Consider touring the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Walk in the footsteps of soldiers

Gettysburg is most well-known as the location of the famous Civil War battle that took place over 150 years ago and as the site where President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address just four months later. Today, the battlefields are a National Park full of monuments to the fighting that took place there.

The best way to see the battlefield and understand the significance of the battles is to take a guided tour. There are lots of options, including a bus tour, a self-drive route, a walking tour, and even a Segway tour.

A guided coach tour is a great way to see the Gettysburg battlefield. Check details, prices, and reviews here.

To visit as a day trip from Washington, D.C., consider this popular option.

Mason Dixon Distillery is one of the fun places to visit in Gettysburg PA

Visit a craft distillery

Mason Dixon Distillery is one of the best distilleries we’ve visited, not just in Pennsylvania but in our travels around the US. Everything here is done with care. Owned by a father-son team, Mason Dixon’s goal is to make sure “Adams County is in every bottle.” That means focusing on local ingredients whenever possible from the grain to the pears that graced a recent limited batch of brandy.

Mason Dixon Distillery offers vodka, white whiskey, rum, and an excellent aged rum, which are all highlighted in a lengthy cocktail menu. More spirits will be on the way soon. Beyond the great drinks, what really sets Mason Dixon Distillery apart is its full-service restaurant. Not only do they have great burgers and BBQ, but the menu goes well beyond that to include dishes like shrimp and grits, goat cheese brulee, and other unexpected specialties. You can visit for a tour, a drink, a meal, or all three.

Pay a visit to the Eisenhower National Historic Site when you visit Gettysburg PA

Tour a President’s house

The big white house at the end of the Norway Spruce-lined drive is the only home ever owned by President Dwight Eisenhower and his wife Mamie. During his presidency, Eisenhower hosted world leaders such as Winston Churchill and Nikita Khrushchev at the house, which now welcomes visitors and school groups year-round.

The Eisenhower National Historic Site looks much as it did when the President’s family lived there, decorated in furnishings from the 1950s and ‘60s. In addition to the surprisingly modest house (not all Presidents have mansions), the Historic Site includes 700 acres of open space and animal habitats just minutes from downtown Gettysburg.

Visiting the local cideries and wineries is one of the fun things to do in Gettysburg, PA

Toast the weekend at a local winery

Gettysburg boasts a handful of wineries producing red and white wines, primarily from estate grown fruits. Some have tasting rooms in the heart of the city and others have vineyards just outside of town. Some, like Reid’s Orchard & Winery and Hauser Estate Winery, offer both locations…and they both make hard cider, too!

Cannon on the Gettysburg Battlefield covered in snow

When to Visit Gettysburg

There really is no bad time of year to visit Gettysburg–there are plenty of things to do in every season. In fact, the most popular month, July, is likely the time when the weather is hottest. But it’s also the time for re-enactments, summer celebrations, enjoying the bounty of the farmers’ markets, and eating all the ice cream you can get your hands on (Mr. G’s is our favorite).

In the spring, the orchards around Gettysburg are filled with peach, cherry, and apple blossoms. It’s the perfect time for golf, checking out one of the music festivals, or just enjoying the warming weather. The fall brings gorgeous leaves as well as food and wine events and the National Apple Harvest Festival. In the winter, Gettysburg comes alive with the holiday spirit in the form of a light parade, the annual Tuba Carol Fest, and decorations all over town.

For more about visiting Gettysburg at Christmas, see our article here.
Chicken dish at the Inn at Herr Ridge in Gettysburg PA

Where to Eat in Gettysburg

There are so many great places to eat in Gettysburg that it’s hard to narrow it down.

We love the casual, friendly vibe at Garryowen Irish Pub. The owners (from Ireland) have created the same inviting spirit here that you’d find in Ireland with regular live music, the perfect pint of Guinness, traditional Irish fare, and much more.

The Inn at Herr Ridge has two distinct restaurants for different dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant is upscale American with steaks, seafood, and a sage roasted chicken that’s to die for. The casual Sharpshooters Grille serves upgraded bar fare with great burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.

In the Gettysburg Hotel, One Lincoln is conveniently located in the center of Gettysburg. It serves fabulous food and spirits with a focus on “casual comfort.” Our favorites include the brûléed onion soup, shrimp and grits, and their delicious crab mac and cheese.

The historic Gettysburg Hotel is one of many great places to stay in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Where to Stay in Gettysburg

Right on Lincoln Square, the Gettysburg Hotel is in the heart of everything. The regular rooms are very comfortable, and the suites come with fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs. (Read reviews and book a room)

An award-winning bed and breakfast, Brickhouse Inn is the top-rated B&B in Gettysburg. Their charming historic buildings make for a perfect weekend getaway. Service is personalized and the food is out of this world. (Read reviews and book a room)

The Federal Pointe Inn is a popular 23-room hotel with modern amenities in a renovated 19th-century schoolhouse. (Read reviews and book a room)

I was the guest of Destination Gettysburg. All opinions of the fun and historical things to do in Gettysburg are my own. Note: Some links may be affiliate links, which means Travel Addicts may earn a few pennies if you buy something–all at no additional cost to you.

What is your favorite thing to do in Gettysburg?

From picking your own apples to visiting an historic battlefield, there are so many fun things to do in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania | 10 Great Ways to Spend a Weekend in Gettysburg

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What do you think about 10 Great Ways to Spend a Weekend in Gettysburg?

  1. Carmen @ CarmensLuxuryTravel September 15, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    I haven’t been to Gettysburg in a few years, but I love the idea of taking a food tour which I haven’t done there. Great post!

    • Laura Longwell September 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      I highly recommend it. Everything was delicious, and it was a great way to learn about the town in a different way.

  2. Victoria@celebratetheweekend September 17, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

    Gettysburg was on my agenda for college tours with my son in the spring. Looking forward! (and pinning your story, thanks for sharing:)

    • Laura Longwell September 17, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

      Have a great time! It’s a cute town!

    • Nik August 18, 2017 at 11:27 am #

      If you can stay at the Farnsworth inn bit pricy but worth the experience! We love Gettysburg and staying there was awesome. Walk Baltimore pike in the evening too

  3. Missy November 17, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Love the food tour idea! My husband will now look forward to visiting the battlefield when I tell him the food tour will come next.

    • Laura Longwell November 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

      There are so many unexpectedly delicious things in Gettysburg. Have fun!

  4. Celeste February 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    I highly recommend the Brafferton Inn if you want a great B n b experience. The breakfast was awesome. Original section of the house is from 1786. Great location.

  5. Cheryl May 27, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Laura, you’re absolutely right about the Foodie tour.

    You’ll get VERY full! I did the “Dessert Tour” last fall — unfortunately, Savor Gettysburg isn’t doing that one anymore — and although we had a small helping at each stop, it didn’t take long for us all to feel we couldn’t eat any more.

    I plan to do the “Historic Tour” through Savor Gettysburg. I’m really looking forward to it.

    Come with an empty stomach!

  6. Erin T June 19, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a historic hotel or B&B that is kid-friendly? Thanks!

    • Laura Longwell June 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

      The only one we’ve stayed at is the Gettysburg Hotel, which I believe is kid-friendly.

    • Winnie Illig July 20, 2016 at 10:00 am #

      We stayed at a house which is a block from S. Washington St. Walking distance to attractions and downtown. Two story brick home, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths sleeps 10. Garage in back, fenced in back yard. Televisions in all bedrooms, wifi connection, full kitchen. Go to HomeAway.com and put in Gettysburg. Rental number is 395422. Average $275 a night. Might look a bit pricey but consider the fact that you can cook all or some of your meals . Also the kids will have alot of room to play. Michele is a very nice lady to deal with.

  7. Jason B January 31, 2018 at 10:20 am #

    Great article a few things that I would suggest. If you have kids The Land Of Little Horses is a must. It’s a great day for the young and young at heart. If you are visiting the round barn it is only minutes away. As for Wineries, I was sad to see Adams County Winery was not listed on there. It is by far the best in my opinion in the entire area.

  8. Denise October 17, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    You forgot The Garry Owen

  9. Kristen March 22, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    I’m in love with Gettysburg… some additional recommendations are James Getty Hotel and DOBBIN HOUSE. I can’t say enough good things about those 2 places!

  10. Sasha June 25, 2019 at 7:04 am #

    I am visiting Gettysburg over the fourth of July weekend, attending the re-enactments and looking for great food at a reasonable price. We are definitely going to Garryowen and are open to other suggestions. We are also going to do a paranormal tour one night. Do you have any recommendations for off the beaten path places as we will be in town for several days

    Thank you, in advance, for your response

  11. Joseph November 1, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

    My name is Joe I’m the activity director for a local church . Most of the folks are older and have a hard time walking. I would like to know where I could set up a great trip with in 150 miles of Lancaster Pa we went to flight 93 amazing time now I need one for this October 2020 9th and 10th I looked into Jim Thorpe in October but it’s to crowded for older people do you have any place you would recommend? Thank you for your time

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