Gettysburg: Beyond the battlefield
Most visitors to Gettysburg come for the history. But outdoor recreation and a tasty food scene draw non-history buffs and returning visitors.
Walkers can pick up a map and birder’s guide at Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve and explore 10 miles of trails. Bikers can appreciate the scenery and history with rides that lace through the countryside and battlefield – some 20 trails ranging from four to 100 miles can be found at www.mapmyride.com. For less-strenuous touring, rent a scooter or an electric bike (www.gettypeds.net) or join a Gettysburg Segway Tour through the historic park (www.segtours.com).
Guided trail rides on horseback are both scenic and historic. While vehicles must stay on paved roads, horses are allowed on trails through the battlefield. Many of the trails were used during the battle. Go to www.destinationgettysburg.com for a list of stables — click on the “Things to do” menu and then “Golf and Recreation.”
As that menu suggests, the area is popular with golfers, which is not surprising considering that President Eisenhower, a devoted golfer, lived here. You can tee off at several public courses within an hour’s drive. You can also tour Eisenhower’s home, including his personal putting green, by boarding one of the buses that depart from the Battlefield Park Visitor Center.
Gettysburg is in the heart of Pennsylvania’s agricultural belt, so the local food themes are fresh, local, back-to-basics and farm-to-table. Hollabaugh Bros. (www.hollabaughbros.com) sells fruit from its orchards, Amish-made goods and unique gourmet condiments. Don’t miss the Bee Room, to see how hives produce honey. You’ll find several wineries, but this is one of the few areas with cideries, thanks to the many local orchards. Be warned, the deceptively sweet “hard cider” packs a powerful alcoholic punch.
Among the restaurants, Hickory Bridge Farm (www.hickorybridgefarm.com) draws from the area’s German heritage with family-style meals; Farnsworth House Inn (www.farnsworthhouseinn.com) offers a Civil War-Era menu; diners at Fairfield Inn 1757 (www.thefairfieldinn.com) enjoy modern takes on traditional food (ask to see the hiding place used by the Underground Railroad); and Restaurant Sidney Willoughby Run (www.restaurantsidney.com/willoughby-run) features a small plates menu that changes daily.
Food Tours: Two to go on are the Historic Downtown Tour and Savory Sweets. www.savorgettysburgfoodtours.com
Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail: This self-guided driving tour hits orchards, wineries, bakeries, breweries, farm stands, pubs and historical lodgings.www.gettysburgwineandfruittrail.com
Land of Little Horses Farm Park: See miniature horses, lambs and other pet-able critters that kids will love.www.landoflittlehorses.com
The Apple Blossom Festival: This year's fest is May 2 to 3.www.appleblossomfestival.info
Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival: Over two dozen artists come together for this popular weekend festival on May 14 to 17.www.gettysburgbluegrass.com
Find more travel advice at www.insightguides.com.