Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Gettysburg

Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, where a three-day Civil War battle in 1863 took the lives of 51,000 people, is now the Gettysburg National Military Park. Considered the turning point in the Civil War, Gettysburg is also famous as the scene of President Abraham Lincoln’s best-known speech, the Gettysburg Address.

Museum and Visitor Center

The best place to begin your visit is at the visitor center and its museum for an overview that puts the battle and this war in context. Here, you’ll learn more about what caused the Civil War and how Gettysburg was that conflict’s most decisive moment, as heavy casualties crippled the Confederacy and turned the course of the war in favor of the North.

Battlefield and Monuments

Nearly 1,400 monuments and statues are placed across the huge battlefield, making it one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in the world. Most of these monuments stand where the particular units fought, with small square stones indicating the lines of the unit’s formation.

Battlefield Tour

The best way to see the battlefield and understand what happened here is to take a tour with a licensed Battlefield Guide. There are two choices: a two-hour tour in your car with a battlefield guide or a two-and-a-half-hour bus tour led by a licensed guide.

Soldiers’ National Cemetery

less than six months after the Battle of Gettysburg, the Soldiers’ National Cemetery was dedicated to honor the more than 3,500 Union soldiers who fought and perished here. President Abraham Lincoln was asked to give a few remarks at the ceremonies on November 19, 1863 and delivered his famous Gettysburg Address, one of the shortest and most memorable speeches in history.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

The home of President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower is the only one they ever owned, bought after his retirement in 1950, following a 30-year Army career. The house is furnished as it was when Eisenhower used it in the 1950s as his weekend retreat and a place to entertain and meet informally with foreign dignitaries that included Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, and Nikita Khrushchev.