Few places in America can claim that the lands have been unmarred by modern-day development. Cities have grown in the founding colonies. Skyscrapers have taken over the skies in the first cities. But Gettysburg is hallowed ground, and acres of rolling hills that saw the deadliest battles of the Civil War are kept as is so today’s citizens can solemnly remember the events of the summer days in 1863. And while today’s Gettysburg residents pay their respects to our fallen soldiers of the past, they also celebrate today, especially in the downtown with blocks of delightful restaurants, one-of-a-kind boutiques and entertaining events that harmonize today with yesteryear.
Union Drummer Boy
A mini museum inside a store, that is the Union Drummer Boy. The store specializes in authentic Civil War artifacts and displays and sells muskets, swords, flags, uniforms and medical equipment. If buying isn’t in the plans, you can still take in the small exhibits set up in the store and get a mini lesson while being able to actually touch some of the items used in battle. The most impressive section of the store is a wall of photos of soldiers before they went off to war. / 13 Baltimore St.
Sunrise Soap Company
Since 1996 Sunrise Soap Company has been making handmade soaps and body products out of olive oil, vegetable oils, shea butter and goats milk in a range of flavorful scents. The sunlit store has shelves lined with these soaps, body lotions and scrubs, lip balms and other products. / 7 Chambersburg St.
A&A Village Treasures
Make your way down to this shop on the outer edge of the store line on Chambersburg Street. The shop carries women’s clothing, men’s accessories, bath products, home goods, kitchen utensils and gourmet food products. The staff is very helpful both in picking out the perfect pieces to take home and in giving suggestions of what to take in once you walk out of their doors. / 53 Chambersburg St.
You can’t miss Gallery 30 if you are walking through downtown Gettysburg; the art pieces they carry are strewn on the sidewalk, enticing you to enter. The gallery focuses on local artists with a massive collection of gourd art. / 26 York St.
It seems like every downtown has some type of hippy shop, and while Subterranean Soul does carry tie-dye clothing, concert posters and bajas, it has something else that is always worth a browse: a vinyl collection. And they are constantly updating their stock. / 22 Carlisle St.; 717-398-2332
This bright shop will have you trying to think of any occasion to buy a gift. The shop carries knickknacks like on-trend quote signs, Houston Llew spiritiles, candles, stationery, Gurgle Pots, books and locally made jewelry. / 40 Baltimore St.
The Spirited Ladies Shoppe
Owners of The Spirited Ladies Shoppe pride themselves on bringing attention to local and regional artists by carrying their handmade clothing, jewelry, bath products, handbags, baby products and etched glassware. / 49 Chambersburg St.
Cafe Saint Amand
Start your day in Gettysburg with a little taste of France at Cafe Saint Amand. The bistro serves up French fare with a touch of Americana in dishes such as Belgian waffles, Croque-Madame (traditional Croque-Monsieur with ham and melted gruyére cheese on French rustic loaf spiced up with Dijon mustard and topped with a fried egg) and eggs Florentine. / 48 Baltimore St.
The SpringHouse Tavern at Dobbin House Tavern
Either on your way downtown after touring the battlefields or before you go, stop in Dobbin House Tavern for lunch. The tavern is more than just a place to grab a bite; the colonial tavern, initially built as a residence in 1776, houses casual dining restaurant Springhouse Tavern, the Country Curiosity Store, a ballroom, a bed-and-breakfast and fine dining rooms, but the gem is the upstairs where visitors can view the secret Underground Railroad slave hideout. / 89 Steinwehr Ave.
[treats to eat]
Ragged Edge Coffee House
Ragged Edge Coffee House is a dream for a java hound; they work directly with farmers to bring top-quality roasts to their drinkers. When you stop in for a hot or iced cup, you can also take in the local art as the coffee house hosts First Friday art shows where artists’ work is unveiled and showcased for the entire month. / 82 Steinwehr Ave.
[treats to take home]
SWEETS! The Candy Store
Who doesn’t love sweets? And who doesn’t go crazy for the candies of our childhood? For three years, SWEETS! The Candy Store has stocked a plethora of waxed, chocolate-covered, sugar-coated goodness. / 100 Baltimore St.
Gettysburg Cupcake Cafe
You can’t miss this house on Baltimore Street that looks somewhat like a cupcake with its brick base and bubblegum-pink siding. Treat yourself to death by chocolate, peanut butter cup, red velvet or salted caramel cupcakes from the standard menu, or check out their Facebook page to see the weekly specials. The cafe also offers homemade cookies, paninis, soups and, of course, espresso drinks. / 430 Baltimore St.
Johnny Como’s Cupcakes and Coffee
If you’re on the north side of town and are hangry for a cupcake, stop in Johnny Como’s Cupcakes and Coffee where Susie Como references her Italian roots to bring customers 45 different flavors of cupcake (strawberry champagne, hot pink raspberry, triple chocolate turtle brownie), cookies, pastries and coffee products. / 62 Chambersburg St.
Wells Family Baking Co.
Culinary married duo Orrin Wells and Delissa Williams offer their customers more than the standard bakery confections; their cakes, in particular, are pieces of art. Choose from a rotating menu of items that change seasonally and are harvested from local farmers in Adams County. / 100 Chambersburg St.
Seminary Ridge Museum
On a hill overlooking the town of Gettysburg is the area’s newest museum, Seminary Ridge Museum, which was completed in July 2013, and the spot where the first shots rang out at the Battle of Gettysburg. What was once the Lutheran Theological Seminary is now a 16,000-square-foot, four-floor museum that gives patrons a close look at the first days of the battle from the perspectives of the residents. Each floor focuses on detailed descriptions and lifelike displays of what took place: wounded soldiers, artifacts of the residents and interactive displays of how life was in the days of war. For an extra fee, visitors can tour the cupola where Union General John Buford stood overlooking the battle. / 111 Seminary Ridge
Eisenhower National Historic Site
Gettysburg has ties to more than just the great battle of the Civil War; President Ike Eisenhower also called the town home and used his residence as a weekend retreat during his presidency as well as a meeting place with world leaders during the days of the Cold War.
The battlefields of Gettysburg are hallowed ground, but a great place to let children stretch their legs and get out some of their pent-up energy is Devil’s Den. The massive boulders are meant for climbing, but at the same time they are an important area of battle. As the children climb their hearts out, adults can climb to the top of the hill and learn more about the July 2, 1863, battle action. / Sickles Ave.
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center
To understand the true significance of Gettysburg, start at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center. Many tours start from this spot, and the museum gives an in-depth understanding of the events that took place the summer of 1863. Interactive exhibits and films (narrated by Morgan Freeman for The History Channel) will hold the interest of those both old and young, especially the display that allows you to be a soldier and pick your rations and movements to see if you survive the war. / 1195 Baltimore Pike
Explore & More Hand-on Children’s Museum
If you’re visiting with young children and want to steer clear of the more descriptive battle tours, they can experience the Civil War era at Explore & More Hands-On Children’s Museum. The museum has an 1860s room with a Civil War era house and general store, and the museum brings in more modern entertainment with an art room, construction room and nature area. / 20 E. High St.
1st Gettysburg Firkin Fest; April 11
North-South Marathon; April 26
East Berlin Historic Antique Show; April 30-May 2
60th Apple Blossom Festival; May 2-3
69th Semi-Annual Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival; May 14-17
Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show; May 16
148th Memorial Day Parade and Ceremonies; May 25
2015 Gettysburg Brass Band Festival; June 12-14
The Gettysburg Festival; June 12-14
Lead Scene East Car Show; June 12-14
Annual New Oxford Outdoor Antique Market & Craft Show; June 20
152nd Gettysburg Anniversary Civil War Battle Re-enactment; July 3-5
Confederates Take the Shriver House; July 4
Gettysburg Bike Week; July 9-12
The 6th Annual Gettysburg Nationals 19th Century Base Ball Festival; July 18-19
70th Semi-Annual Gettysburg Fall Bluegrass Festival; Aug. 13-16
93rd Annual South Mountain Fair; Aug. 18-22
2nd Gettysburg Brew Fest; Aug. 22
41st Annual East Berlin Colonial Days; Sept. 12
11th Annual Gettysburg Wine & Music Festival; Sept. 12-13
USO Dance and WWI Re-enactment; Sept. 18-19
Eisenhower World War II Weekend; Sept. 19-20
24th Annual Adams County Heritage Festival; Sept. 20
Gettysburg Fall Outdoor Antique Show; Sept. 26
Pippinfest; Sept. 26-27
51st Annual National Apple Harvest Festival; Oct. 3-4 & 10-11
Dedication Day; Nov. 19
59th Remembrance Day Parade; Nov. 21
Annual Remembrance Illumination; Nov. 21
Thanksgiving & Saturdays A Civil War Christmas at the Shriver House; Nov. 26 – Dec. 19
An Eisenhower Christmas; Dec. 1-31
Gingerbread Celebration & Holiday Mart; Dec. 4-5
A Christmas Carol presented by Totem Pole Playhouse; Dec. 8-20
20th Annual Holiday Tuba Carol Fest; Dec.11
19th Annual Holiday House Tour and Tasting; Dec. 12
New Oxford Holiday House Tour; Dec. 14
New Year’s Eve Celebration; Dec. 31