On Memorial Day weekend last year, we headed to Gettysburg since my son was learning about the Civil War in school and we had a fun, educational weekend! We started at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center. We purchased the Gettysburg value ticket which included a licensed battlefield guide bus tour and the cyclorama, film and museum. We also decided to add on a tour of the Eisenhower National Historic Site, which was President Eisenhower’s only house he ever owned and was his temporary white house and weekend retreat.
We spent about two hours in the museum. There were twelve galleries, and many of the exhibits had interactive stations and videos that made it fun for the boys. There was a collection of artifacts that gave us a glimpse into the days of President Lincoln and the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. Also, there was a wealth of information in the exhibits that focused on George Gordon Meade and Robert E. Lee and their soldiers.
The Cyclorama was fantastic. The circular oil painting that is longer than a football field and as tall as a four-story building portrays the charge of Confederate infantry led by Gen. George Pickett on July 3, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg.
There were several options to tour the battlefield, but I am so glad we chose the bus tour. Our guide was excellent, and we made several stops where we were able to step out and check out areas of the battlefield like Little Round top and where “Pickett’s Charge” took place. We also enjoyed learning about the many monuments that were throughout the battlefield.
After we had finished with the tours, we headed into the town of Gettysburg where we checked out the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad station. We then visited The David Willis House which was where Abraham Lincoln stayed before delivering his most famous speech. We ended our trip by visiting the National Cemetery where Lincoln delivered The Gettysburg address.
Visiting Gettysburg is one of my favorite trips I have made with my son. I recommend purchasing tickets on-line for the tours if you plan on making a visit. Also, plan on spending a full weekend because there is so much to do. There are many shops on Main Street and great places to eat and additional tours. Have fun learning the history of this great city made famous by the Civil War battle.