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Featured Destination

Albuquerque, NM

Among many other things, the American Southwest is famous for its adventure, its spirit of fun, and its beautiful scenery. Nowhere do all these things come together like on a family vacation in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

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Gettysburg, PA

Charming Gettysburg, Pennsylvania immediately conjures an historical connotation. It brings to mind a famous battle followed by a timeless speech that would forever change American families. A family vacation to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is certain to be entertaining as well as exciting, while history comes to life. Gettysburg remains largely unchanged since the Civil War battle. You won’t find a traffic light or a box store shopping mall but families will be in awe of the historic authenticity and knowledge that is available. Gettysburg is also a great place for the whole family to have fun. The family vacation accommodations in Gettysburg provide a great home base from which to make day trips to nearby destinations and get back to nature in the great outdoors.

Gettysburg History

In 1786, Gettysburg was founded and named after Samuel Getty’s, an early settler to the borough and a tavern proprietor. The Gettysburg Railroad completed a 17-mile railway line between Gettysburg and Hanover in the year 1858 and opened the Gettysburg Railroad Station in 1859. Both played important roles in the Battle of Gettysburg. July 1-3, 1863 marked what is cited as many, a turning point in the Civil War. It began as a skirmish and resulted in a battle with the largest number of casualties in the entire Civil War. Having achieved stunning victories, although often outnumbered, Confederate General Robert E. Lee hoped that this second invasion of the North would take him as far as Harrisburg or even Philadelphia with the objective of convincing Northern politicians to put an end to the war. The culmination of the three-day battle took place on Cemetery Ridge and with the Confederate infantry assault known as Pickett’s Charge. The Union forces repulsed the charge and Lee was forced to retreat to Virginia. The losses to both sides totaled between 46,000 and 51,000. Four months later, President Abraham Lincoln would deliver his famous Gettysburg address at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery. The ceremony honored the fallen soldiers and Lincoln’s speech would redefine the purpose of the war. Tourism became the prominent industry after the battle as relatives came in search of the wounded and dead. The Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railway completed a spur in 1884 to connect Gettysburg over Pickett’s Charge to Little Round Top. By 1939 the tracks were removed, as the automobile became the preferred method of transportation. Today families can witness reenactments of the battle when visiting Gettysburg, making the history come alive. Gettysburg provides the opportunity for a family vacation that explores the ancestral sacrifices that led to the freedom we experience today.

Gettysburg Historic Venues

The Gettysburg National Military Park covers a large area of 6,000 acres with over 30 miles of roads that lead family travelers to over 1,400 monuments and historic markers. The Gettysburg Foundation works in conjunction with the National Parks Service to preserve these hallowed grounds and operates the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center a wonderful starting place for families to begin their historical experience at Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama, a 360°painting of huge proportion, gives families the illusion of being in the center of the battlefield. Each there is a reenactment of the Gettysburg Battle. Families planning to attend should consider making their family vacation plans well in advance as the event attracts many visitors. Once called the Soldiers National Cemetery, the Gettysburg National Cemetery is the place where President Lincoln gave his infamous Gettysburg address. The American Civil War Museum provides families with the complete story of the Battle of Gettysburg including the causes and effects. The Gettysburg Railroad Station, the arrival place of Abraham Lincoln, the day before his delivery of the Gettysburg Address, today serves as a museum housing, models, exhibits, diagrams and artifacts found during the renovation of the building. The station served as a field hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg and the transport center for wounded soldiers. Other historic places of interest to visit during a family vacation include Jenny Wade House, Dobbin House Tavern and the Lincoln Train Museum.

Gettysburg Attractions

When it’s time to take a break from history, Gettysburg offers families an exciting array of activities that are fun for the whole family. The Land of Little Horses is fun for ‘kids’ of all ages. The performing animals, races, displays and special events are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. A great way to remember your memorable Gettysburg vacation is to take a beautiful family portrait at Victorian Photography complete with period clothing. Stop in at the Hall of Presidents, where the family will see a complete collection of American Presidents and First Ladies fashioned from wax as well as reproductions of the inaugural gowns worn by the First Ladies. Plan a family weekend away in September to enjoy the Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival featuring 15 Pennsylvania wineries, delicious food, live music, unique artisans and a farmer’s market. Families can attend the Gettysburg’s Majestic Performing Arts Center showcasing art, theater and cinema. The newly renovated building has been restored to its 1925 grandeur and added upgraded amenities for a pleasant experience. Inquire about any family deals that may be available. The whole family will enjoy relaxing in the great outdoors to appreciate the beautiful landscape whether you’re golfing, biking or hiking along miles of trails at a nature preserve.

Gettysburg Shopping

The historical ambience of Gettysburg makes it an enchanting place for families to shop. The beautifully restored shop fronts offer something fantastic for every member of the family. Whether you’re looking for antiques, clothing, books, crafts, collectible or souvenirs the one–of-a-kind establishments are family friendly places that make shopping a pleasure. Gettysburg also tempts the family shopper with the Gettysburg Village Factory Stores featuring your family’s favorite discounted name brand products. Take time to stop in at a local farmers’ market where you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious baked goods and handmade crafts that make wonderful gifts for friends and family back home.

Gettysburg Dining

All of the family adventures you’ll have in Gettysburg are sure to bring on an appetite and when hunger calls, and a fast food chain just won’t do, enjoy the delicious Gettysburg comfort food or treat yourselves to an upscale dining experience with superb lots of ambience and lavish style. Gettysburg contains several Pennsylvania Dutch delicacies, such as mouth watering game pie and delectable pumpkin fritters, or experience Civil War era food at an historic tavern. This first class fare is home cooked delicious and will please every family member.

Gettysburg makes a wonderful place for an unforgettable family vacation. Not only is it a place to have fun, but also the numerous opportunities to learn while exploring this fascinating town, make it ideal for a family stopover, weekend getaway or a treasured family getaway. Make Gettysburg your next destination when planning a family escape.


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Featured Property

Blessings on State
Jacksonville, IL
United States

Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast is located in the prestigious Duncan Park/West State Street historic district in Jacksonville, IL. One block from Illinois College, this beautiful 100-year-old home shines with the ambiance of the past.

Blessings on State

Contact Information

1109 W. State Street
Jacksonville, Illinois  62650
United States
General Manager:
Gwen Eyer
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