Driving the self guided auto tour at Gettysburg, PA

While camped up at Thousand Trails Gettysburg Farm, we decided to head over to where the battle of Gettysburg took place. There is a National Military Park there and it has a self guided auto tour you can follow to explore the area. They also offer tours by bus but since we had a car we figured we’d skip the crowd and go ourself!

We started at the visitor center to get the stamp and sticker in our passport book and from there headed out to the first of 16 stops. To fully appreciate the tour you can download an audio tour that at each stop will briefly describe the main events that happened there. It can be quite info dump-y with lots of names and titles getting thrown about but for the most part it explains the situation well.

Most of the stops are right by the road and you can just get out of your car and walk around for a few minutes before heading on to the next. They are quite spread out so expect the tour to take you a good 3-4 hours. A few of the stops have towers you can climb to viewpoints that offer great views of the surrounding area.

After stop 13 we took a break and headed into Gettysburg to have lunch at Dobbin House, an establishment that has been around since 1776! During the civil war it was used to hide slaves escaping the south. The main tavern area is underground and had a very cavelike experience. The entire room was lit by candles so it was an intimate affair even though it was mobbed and we had to wait 20 minutes for a table. The food wasn’t bad, but was perhaps a bit pricey for the result.

If you’re in the area and want to learn about the battle of Gettysburg, which was the turning point of the Civil War, the Gettysburg National Monument is a great way to spend an afternoon learning some history.

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