Journey Through Civil War History at Gettysburg

Nestled in the hillsides of southern Pennsylvania, discover the site of one of America’s most important events—the turning point of the American Civil War—the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Gettysburg Foundation preserves the 6,000-acre battlefield. Featuring more than 1,300 monuments, markers and memorials, as well as iconic landmarks and historic sites across Gettysburg’s hallowed grounds, connect with the lessons and stories of the past—the battle, the men who fought here, and the civilians who experienced the impact and the aftermath. Explore Gettysburg beyond the history books and movies and understand what happened here and the impact the battle and its aftermath have on our lives today.

Begin your experience in Gettysburg with the official start to your visit at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center. Your hub for activities and attractions during your visit, the Museum & Visitor Center provides exclusive resources and experiences to introduce you to the battle and prepare you for a tour of the battlefield. One ticket grants you admission to three distinct experiences in the multi-dimensional Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience. Gain a deeper understanding of the battle with the film presentation of A New Birth of Freedomdetailing the war’s first shots to President Abraham Lincoln’s monumental Gettysburg Address. Then, immerse yourself in the midst of battle with the Gettysburg Cyclorama, the 360-degree historic painting—taller than a four- story building and longer than a football field. Painted by French artist Paul Philippoteaux in 1884, the Cyclorama depicts the fire and fury of Pickett’s Charge during the decisive third day of the battle.

Explore the authentic artifacts and interactive stories with the exhibits in the world-class Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War.

After gaining an overview of this pivotal period in American history, you will go prepared in your adventure on the battlefield to stand in the very place where Union and Confederate soldiers charged into conflict, where cannons thundered, gunfire echoed, and blood spilled. When you explore the Gettysburg battlefield with a Licensed Battlefield Guide, you will hear stories about the generals, soldiers, and civilians who changed the course of history, and you will see iconic landmarks that have been made famous in books and film and an array of state monuments. Choose from a guided bus tour or a personalized guided car tour.

For additional ways to experience Civil War history, the Gettysburg Foundation hosts special events and programs throughout the year, from history tours and focused lectures to guided hikes and volunteer programs.

With your safety as our top priority, we have guidelines and a variety of safety initiatives in place to help you—along with our staff, volunteers and partners at the National Park Service—enjoy a safe, memorable and historic visit to Gettysburg.

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Continue your exploration of American history at the Eisenhower National Historic Site, the former weekend home, farm and diplomatic destination of 34th President and General Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie. The grounds are currently open for self-guided tours, and the National Park Service will announce when guests can again tour the home.

Then, see where President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in the Gettysburg National Cemetery located at 97 Taneytown Road. Walk the hallowed grounds and reflect on those who have given “the last full measure of devotion.” Access the cemetery through the Baltimore Street entrance or through the Taneytown Road entrance across the street from the cemetery parking lot. Or, enjoy a hike to the cemetery on the path from the Museum & Visitor Center.

During summer weekends, your ticket purchase at the Museum & Visitor Center provides you exclusive access to the George Spangler Farm & Field Hospital, where a family farm was urgently converted into a field hospital for 1,900 wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. Walk the grounds, hear the stories and feel the emotions of life—and death—at the best surviving example of a corps-level field hospital used during the Battle of Gettysburg. Docents and living historians provide insight and accounts of experiences on the farm in July 1863. Special programs and events are offered throughout the summer season.

In downtown Gettysburg, get a glimpse into civilian life during the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of children of Gettysburg in 1863. Opening in summer 2021, the newly renovated Rupp House History Center, located at 451 Baltimore Street, becomes the home to Gettysburg's most family-friendly history adventure, Children of Gettysburg 1863. Journey back to 1863 for an all-new interactive experience for your entire family. Your family will touch, lift, pull, and learn your way through a fun and engaging adventure. Follow in the footsteps of six children who actually lived in the town at the time of the battle. Explore the Children of Gettysburg 1863 experience—from the actual children’s point of view before, during and after the battle.

Get even more ideas for planning your trip with these tips for visiting Gettysburg.

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