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Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

More than 50,000 soldiers died in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil. Today, the Gettysburg National Military Park is a National Park Service–run memorial to the lives lost in the 3-day battle. You don't have to be a Civil War buff to learn from this American history landmark.

Entry to the Gettysburg National Military Park and Visitor Center is free, but an admission fee gains access to a short film, Gettysburg Museum exhibits, and the Visitor Center’s Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama, an immersive 360-degree oil painting. The park features more than 26 miles (42 kilometers) of paved roads connecting key Gettysburg battlefield sites.

Take a self-drive battlefield tour using an audio guide or a self-guided map, or opt for a walking tour with a licensed battlefield guide. Bus tours are available from the visitor center, and Gettysburg day trip group tours from Washington DC are another option.

  • Climbing on any monuments or cannons on the Gettysburg battlefield is prohibited.

  • Be prepared for variable weather. Summer heat and humidity can be intense, and snow or ice may temporarily close some roads in winter.

  • Ranger-led hikes, walking tours, and talks are available in the summer. Get info at the visitor center.

  • Living history programs demonstrating Civil War tools and tactics take place on weekends from Apr. to Oct.

  • Beware of ticks when walking through tall grass and brush in Gettysburg National Military Park.

Gettysburg National Military Park is located about 80 miles (135 kilometers) north of Washington DC, near the town of Gettysburg in central Pennsylvania. From DC, the best way to reach Gettysburg is by car or bus tour. Or, take a train to Harrisburg and a bus to Gettysburg, where public transit runs regularly between the town, the park, and nearby Civil War sites such as David Wills House, Majestic Theater, and Historic Gettysburg Train Station.

Gettysburg is open year-round, but spring and fall are ideal times to visit due to milder weather. Expect longer hours, with more activities, in spring, summer, and fall at the National Military Park. The museum and visitor center are open daily. Every July 1–3, epic battle reenactments—with participants in period garb—recreate fateful battles and hold lectures, kids’ activities, and educational workshops for visitors. Come fall, after-hours Gettysburg ghost tours are held by candlelight.

Highlights within Gettysburg National Military Park include the Soldiers' National Cemetery, Cemetery Ridge, and Seminary Ridge. Adjacent to the park is the Eisenhower National Historic Site, accessible by free shuttle from the Gettysburg Visitor Center. In the town of Gettysburg, you'll find the Shriver House Museum and the David Wills House, where President Abraham Lincoln finished writing the Gettysburg Address. Explore the sites around town on a Segway tour or horseback tour.


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