We’ll admit it. We’re not the best planners. We try but we always fall somewhere right in the middle of well planned and complete chaos. I guess that’s a huge upside of this blog- we live, you learn!
We try to do our best and give you honest transparency of our experiences, and if we’re being honest, let me just say that on our “Great(ish) Canadian Road Trip, although we did have stops planned we really didn’t take too much time to look at a map and figure out exactly what we were going to pass on along the way. Ooops.
Once we did look at the map- it’s nice to know where you are relative to the rest of the world- we quickly realized that we were going to pass right by Gettysburg, PA. With neither of us having been before and no where to be in a hurry we decided to stop.
Last minute, unexpected choices can surprise you, we’re both so glad we made this stop… check out the video from our visit here… or keep reading for all the details!
After our very short visit ( about we’re definitely no where close to experts when it comes to Gettysburg, so if you’re looking for a detailed run down, this isn’t going to be the post for you! Sorry guys! But we did learn a few things that we feel are worth sharing..
Know Your History:
If you are a history buff, put your best nerd pants on because you are going to love, love, love this place! If you’re not that’s ok too but a little research could go a long ways here. We’ll openly admit that, it would have helped greatly had we known we were going to read up a bit on our US History to have a clearer understanding of what we were seeing. Stopping and spending more time in the museum portion of the Visitor’s Center would probably have also helped 🙂 We were both rather surprised by the limited amount of signage around the area.
I’m sure at some point someone is going to read this and say, “duh” but we were both somewhat shocked at the sheer size of the battlefield. It was huge! It makes sense, but when you see the scale of it in person its staggering. There is so, so much to see. We barely scratched the surface. In our 2.5 hours there, we were only able to see the Pennsylvania Memorial, literally pop into the Visitor’s Center, and take a quick stroll through the soldier’s cemetery.
Given the nature of the place, its hard to get past all the events that took place there and the violence that occurred. With that said, we both felt like rushing through Gettysburg was in some ways a bit disrespectful to the nature of the site. Let’s be honest for a bit about things- some places you go to for fun and frivolity, and sometimes some of the places you visit require a little more reverence, and consideration. Gettysburg felt to us like more of the latter.
On another note with time- pick your season. We were here in the middle of summer. We’re not saying it was hot ( get real we’re southerners) but we do think it was probably more crowded as a result. I think it would be an amazingly beautiful site to see come fall!
Souvenir Shoppers Paradise:
Any form of souvenir junk you can imagine, you can get at the gift shop in the Visitor’s Center. Our best laugh of the day came from the smushed penny machine in the shop- true story for the low price of $2.51 you can get a smushed penny with a picture of Abraham Lincoln’s face on it… you can’t make this stuff up.
Check Out The Town:
As we were leaving town, we had a chance to drive through the quaint village side of Gettysburg. It had this wonderful small town Pennsylvania feel- the kind of place that makes you want to sit down with a cup of tea and slice of apple pie. Seriously. Once again we found ourselves wishing we had, had more time or planned just a little bit better.
Looking for a place to stay?
As promised in the trip video. We did some digging… aside from bunches of quaint bed and breakfast/ hotel style accommodations within the town, there are a TON of places for those of us who favor a tent or our own comfy beds in our vans/ camper configurations! A quick google search brought up a lot of options, including KOA’s, Good Sam discounted sites, and nearby well as Caledonia State Park !
Been to Gettysburg? Got advice for us if get the chance to head back there? We would love to hear it! Drop us a line in the comments section and let us know how to do better on our next trip through this is historic part of PA!