Posts Tagged ‘history’

I just returned from a visit to Gettysburg, PA.

First impressions: Ugh.

Gettysburg is pretty bad.  If you aren’t familiar with Gettysburg, it is a small town in Pennsylvania that is known for one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War.


When you consider that Americans were killing other Americans, it is the scene of possibly the largest number of casualties in American war history.

So what is wrong from Gettysburg?

When I was researching online, I expected the town to be “high-end”.

Not very high-end like the Hampton’s, but maybe similar to Newport Rhode Island or Woodstock Vermont.

I at least expected it to be nice.

Also, most of the hotels were also sold out on a Saturday in October, so I figured it must be a popular tourist attraction.

The ride took me about 4 hours from NYC, and as soon as I arrived into the middle of town, I noticed that something was off.

The city is small.  Very small.

It’s basically a roundabout in the middle of town, a train station, and several blocks of small gift shops and restaurants.

gettysburg 3

After eating at the “Lincoln diner”, we decided to do some shopping.  Unfortunately, the gift shops are pretty bad.   I showed up to town with cash in hand, looking to buy some something and the stores were pretty horrible.

Both my wife and I said the same thing “how are these stores still in business”?

But let’s be honest, you don’t travel to Gettysburg to go shopping and eat at fancy restaurants, you go to see the battlefield.

The battlefield is a quick 5 minute ride out of downtown and is large and completely preserved.

Now, don’t get wrong.  It is nice.  There is ton’ s of historical monuments and you can can do a guided or audio tour, which is also pretty cool.

But to be honest, it’s just a big field in the middle of Pennsylvania.

Although trip advisor has great reviews on it and I am really into Civil War history, I still felt the battlefield was really boring.

I almost think that people are scared to criticize it.  Is is unpatriotic to say that the battlefield is not worth a trip?

The history is very, very interesting.  But the geography is just not very nice.

I climbed up to the “devils den” which is supposed to be the one of the highlights of Gettysburg and that was also pretty boring.

devin den

It’s basically a 100 foot hill with a bunch of medium-sized rocks on the bottom.

The only interesting party of Gettysburg I found are the memorials.

I didn’t realize how many Irish immigrants had died there and there are many old memorials with shamrocks on them. Very cool.

Overall, I give Gettysburg a “D”.

You will find better civil war history in Cape May, NJ, Charleston S.C. or Savannah.  I liked seeing cities, ports and churches.

There is only so much to look at in a field.

The restaurants are bad, the stores are run down and I’m sad to say that I cannot recommend it.

We also checked out Antietam, which was also the scene of another major civil war battle.

It’s not as preserved as Gettysburg and I actually like it better.  They have a really cool Civil War cemetery and the famous Dunker church that was near the confederate line during the battle.

My next review will be for Harper s Ferry, WV.

-John Andre

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