Embark on a captivating journey through the iconic Gettysburg National Military Park, where the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg occurred during the American Civil War. Your adventure begins at the Gettysburg Visitor Center, where you can immerse yourself in the rich history of the battle and the brave soldiers who fought bravely.
As you go through the battlefield, you’ll be awed by the picturesque scenery and remarkable landmarks that witness the conflict. You’ll also be able to pay your respects at the National Cemetery, the final resting place of countless soldiers who gave their lives for their country.
No visit to Gettysburg is complete without exploring the world-class Gettysburg Museum and the stunning Gettysburg Cyclorama. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and multimedia presentations that showcase the events leading up to and following the battle. The Cyclorama, a massive painting that encircles you, provides a vivid, immersive experience of the battle.
To delve deeper into the area’s fascinating history, the itinerary includes a stop at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. Here, you’ll discover the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower, a key figure in the battle, and how he played a crucial role in shaping the country’s destiny.
The Gettysburg Historic Drive Itinerary is a compelling way to experience the unparalleled history of the American Civil War and the individuals who made significant sacrifices to secure freedom for all.
Start: Lincoln Square
Step back in time as you begin your journey through the Pennsylvania portion of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground byway in the heart of downtown Gettysburg’s Lincoln Square. Experience the essence of the historic district that witnessed one of the most significant battles of the Civil War – Gettysburg.
Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the area with a walking tour that takes you on a fascinating journey through time. See the sights along and near the Square, including the historic Lincoln Train Station, where President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg on the eve of the battle. Be sure not to miss the stunning Gettysburg Hotel, a true architectural gem.
However, the highlight of the Square is undoubtedly the David Wills House. This was the home where President Lincoln made the final edits to his iconic Gettysburg Address, one of the most important speeches in American history. Stand where history was made and feel the weight of the moment as you explore this historic site.
Stop 1: Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Directions: From Lincoln Square, head south on US-15 Business/Baltimore Street. After 0.4 miles, stay to the left to continue on Baltimore Pike/PA-97. After 0.7 miles, arrive at Gettysburg National Battlefield Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA.
- Distance from Previous Site: 1.2 miles / 1.9 km
- Travel Time from Previous Site: 3 minutes
- Suggested Time at This Site: 2 hours
Visit the 139,000-square-foot Visitors Center and Museum, which opened in April 2008, and become oriented to the park and Gettysburg. The center includes the Gettysburg Museum featuring items from a massive collection of Civil War and Gettysburg artifacts and houses the fully restored Gettysburg Cyclorama.
Once you’ve fully explored the visitor center and museum, drive through the Gettysburg National Military Park on the designated tour loops. You’ll find numerous places to stop and walk.
The Park is the site of and commemorates the Battle of Gettysburg, a turning point in the Civil War. The Union victory in the summer of 1863 ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. This battleground also provided President Abraham Lincoln with the setting for his famous Gettysburg Address.
Visit the numerous sites within the battlefield, including Little Round Top and Lincoln Cemetery, where African-American soldiers are buried, established in 1867. The Park offers battlefield walks, seasonal programs, and other special events, including living history groups and band concerts.
Stop 2: Eisenhower National Historic Site
243 Eisenhower Farm Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Directions: Take the shuttle bus from Gettysburg National Battlefield Park Visitors Center to Eisenhower Farm. Tour Eisenhower Farm and take the shuttle bus back to the Visitors Center.
- Travel Time from Previous Site: The shuttle journey takes around 20 minutes each way, with multiple departures throughout the day.
- Suggested Time at This Site: 2 hours
Driving to the Eisenhower National Historic Site (Eisenhower Farm) from the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center is possible but not recommended.
The site is located about 6 miles southwest of the Visitor Center, and the drive takes approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. However, parking at the Eisenhower Farm is limited. Visitors are encouraged to take the shuttle to help alleviate congestion and preserve the historic site’s scenic character.
Here you’ll see the home and farm of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The site served as his weekend retreat and as the meeting location for world leaders. Go on a site tour for the interpretation of 1950s Secret Service operations and Eisenhower’s military leadership in World War II. Take in the landscape, too, because the Eisenhower Site has a beautiful setting and offers views of the South Mountain.
End: Shriver House Museum
309 Baltimore St, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Directions from Eisenhower National Historic Site: From the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitors Center. Head northwest on Baltimore Pike/PA-97. Turn on 15/ Baltimore Pike/PA-134/Steinwehr. Arrive at Shriver House Museum, 309 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA.
- Distance from Previous Site: 1 mile / 1.6 km
- Travel Time from Previous Site: 2 minutes
Wrap up your captivating journey by immersing yourself in the fascinating history of the Shriver House Museum in downtown Gettysburg. This charming museum offers a unique perspective on the impact of the Civil War on civilians who resided in the town during the conflict.
You’ll gain a deep understanding of how the civilian population coped with the challenges and uncertainties of war and how their struggles mirrored those of the soldiers on the battlefield.
The museum features a rich collection of artifacts, exhibits, and multimedia presentations that bring the past to life. From the basement kitchen, where Hattie cooked for Union soldiers, to the attic, where the family sought refuge during the battle, every corner of the house is infused with history and emotion.
After your tour, take some time to explore the vibrant downtown area of Gettysburg. You’ll find unique shops, restaurants, galleries, and numerous historical landmarks that witness the town’s rich history.
- Total Distance Traveled: 2.2 miles / 3.5 km
- Total Travel Time: 5 minutes
- Total Stopping Time: 4 hours
Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the personal impact of the Civil War on civilians and to gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience and fortitude of those who lived through one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.