Free Things To Do in Gettysburg
- #1View all Photos#1 in GettysburgMonuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Bordering the southern end of downtown Gettysburg, the roughly 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park is a must for history buffs, especially those with an interest in the Civil War. It was here that Confederate troops clashed with Union soldiers for three days in July 1863, resulting in a decisive victory for the North. But this key win for the Union came at a cost: More than 51,000 soldiers on both sides died, were wounded, went missing or were captured, making this conflict the bloodiest battle of the war.
Today, Gettysburg National Military Park welcomes visitors keen on learning more about the Civil War through exhibits, ranger programs, guided tours and special events. Some of the park's most noteworthy sights are as follows:
- #3View all Photos#3 in GettysburgSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Measuring 100 feet long, Sachs Covered Bridge (or Sauck's Bridge) is a popular place for a photo-op. Reportedly built by local architect David Stoner in 1852, this car-free bridge – which sits above Marsh Creek – is surrounded by lush trees and features a red exterior. It was frequently used by Union and Confederate troops during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
Although a few travelers warn that this bridge is a little challenging to find, many say seeing it is more than worth the effort. According to several visitors, the bridge's romantic atmosphere during the day makes it well-suited for couples. If you're more interested in paranormal activity, vacationers suggest visiting at night on your own or while on a ghost tour with a reputable company like Ghostly Images of Gettysburg or After Dark Investigations.
- #5View all Photos#5 in GettysburgMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
History buffs with an interest in everything from ancient civilizations to the Civil War to world leaders will likely love perusing the exhibits at the Gettysburg Museum of History. Inside this intimate museum in central Gettysburg, you'll find more than 4,000 artifacts from various historical periods. Noteworthy items include a Confederate flag used at the First Battle of Bull Run, former President Abraham Lincoln's wallet, an Egyptian mummy head, a dining set that belonged to Saddam Hussein and a footstool owned by Adolf Hitler.
Previous museumgoers praised this small museum's knowledgeable curator and variety of artifacts, though some felt that a few of the items were not significant enough to keep in the collection. Others appreciated the property's lack of an entrance fee and highly recommend visiting the on-site shop, which sells authentic historical items, such as Civil War bullets, presidential campaign memorabilia and coins from ancient Rome.
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