Gettysburg’s Spring ReNEWal
Wendy Royal Spring 2023
The home of America’s most famous Civil War battlefield offers all the history you can take in, plus experiences for those seeking outdoor adventure, relaxing getaways, or a fun night out with friends and family. When you visit Gettysburg in the springtime, you will discover a historic town with fresh inspiration everywhere you look. From shops to restaurants, visitors should expect the unexpected.
It’s no secret that most people who visit Gettysburg are attracted to its history. The battlefield, with its monuments and markers, tells the story of the first three days in July 1863 when the town of Gettysburg became ground zero during the Civil War. Exploring museums, like the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and the Seminary Ridge Museum, before visiting the battlefield helps to set the stage for a more meaningful and educational tour. Whether you tour the battlefield on your own or take one of the guided tours available, visiting one of the many museums in Gettysburg will enhance your experience.
Two new museums are set to open this spring, Gettysburg Beyond the Battle, is scheduled to open on Saturday, April 15, 2023. The Adams County Historical Society created the new history center to tell the civilian story of those who lived through the horrors of the battle, as well as the broader history of the county. Visit www.achs-pa.org for exhibit information.
The second museum to open in spring is the Gettysburg Mercantile Museum. The 1800s general store/museum does not have an official opening date but is scheduled to be open seven days a week. For information regarding the upcoming opening of the Merchantile Museum, log on to https://destinationgettysburg.com/members/gettysburg-mercantile-museum.
There are so many history-driven businesses in Gettysburg. One of my favorites is the Shriver House Museum – The Civilian Experience. Here visitors learn about the Shriver family and what they endured as their attic was turned into a confederate sharpshooter’s nest and the cellar into a hospital. Learn more about the museum at www.shriverhouse.org.
Another of my favorites is Civil War Tails at the Homestead Diorama Museum. This unique museum tells the story of the battle with a twist; all the soldiers and civilians in the diorama are cats made from modeling clay. This kid-friendly museum allows children to view the battlefield at eye level. Although the cats bring a whimsical feel to the exhibits, everything from the uniforms and weapons to the scale and battle positions is historically accurate. To get a sneak peek at the diorama visit https://civilwartails.com.
You can work up quite an appetite while touring Gettysburg. Fortunately, there is no shortage of eateries in the area.
Mela Kitchen at Jack’s Cider House is an excellent way to start your Gettysburg culinary experience. Here you will enjoy creative dishes made from fresh local ingredients and the crisp flavors of Jack’s Cider House hard ciders. The hills of Adams County make a picturesque landscape and create ideal growing conditions for the fruit orchards that blanket the countryside. Mela Kitchen makes the most of the abundance of fresh produce in the area.
With a scheduled opening in early spring, SavorHood Gettysburg will bring food hall-style dining to Baltimore Street. The 10 eateries that make up SavorHood will feature everything from barbecue and wood-fired pizza to ice cream and Mexican street food. Picky eaters are welcome at SavorHood because everyone in your party will find something they like.
In addition, Gettysburg is the home of historic taverns and farm-to-table, casual, and fine-dining restaurants; find them all at https://destinationgettysburg.com/places-to-eat.
Want to plan your visit around an upcoming event? Here are a few to consider.
April 14-15, History Meets the Arts will return to the Gettysburg Fire Company Community Room, where visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artists who will be presenting their latest works. Original paintings, signed prints, folk art, knives, powder horns, pottery, and more will be available to purchase. For more information, visit https://historymeetsthearts.com.
May 18-21, The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival is back at Granite Hill Campground in Gettysburg. Once again, top bluegrass artists will provide foot-stomping music that the entire family will love. Visit www.gettysburgbluegrass.com/may-festival for details.
May 29, Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony will honor those who lost their lives in the service of our country. Visit www.facebook.com/GettysburgMemorialDay for details.
Two new reenactments are being planned for June, as well as the 160th anniversary Battle of Gettysburg Reenactment on June 30 through July 2 on the grounds of the historic Daniel Lady Farm. www.gbpa.org.
Another anniversary will take place on October 13-15. An event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film “Gettysburg” will feature actors signing autographs, a barbecue, and special VIP packages for those who want to get the full “Gettysburg” experience. The Majestic Theater will host the event. www.gettysburgmajestic.org
As I write this article, it is late January, and the town of Gettysburg is still decked in its Christmas finery. Why? Because the modern-day Hallmarkesque movie, “A Gettysburg Christmas” is being filmed throughout the town. Hollywood actors Bruce Boxleitner and Lee Majors are a couple of the faces you may recognize in the film scheduled for release before Christmas 2023.
Even if you visited Gettysburg in the past, you’ll find new shops, restaurants, museums, and events when you visit in 2023. For accommodation information, visit https://destinationgettysburg.com.