Gettysburg is a picturesque town full of history and while it is very much Civil War centered there is definitely more to do than Battlefields. The accommodations vary from budget family motels to fancy hotels and various service levels in between. There are lots of options, but they can fill up quickly at certain times of year. We stayed at the Federal Pointe Inn, which is in a historic building that used to be the Meade School. The inside was well done in the Federal Style, and everywhere you looked there was Civil War art and historically inspired furniture. It really added to the “historic” quality of the visit, here is a picture of the exterior, you can see the archway and original doors, those were the exterior of our sitting room. We have found that when we meet up with people it’s worth the extra dollars to get a sitting room where we can visit while the kids are adjacent!
One of the nicest things about this trip was that we stayed walking distance from the central circle in Gettysburg. I really enjoyed being able to get to everything without getting in the car and the kids really appreciated that. Throughout the town, buildings that are original to the Civil War era have plaques on them. Ranger and his Dad had a contest to spot them on many of our walks. We found a number of excellent restaurants including one with homemade ravioli! Lots of shopping and “history” to see, a number of local wineries and souvenir shops. On the first night we walked to The Dobbin’s House, at the excellent recommendation of another homeschooling mother. She recommended we dine downstairs, in the pub in the cellar that included open flowing springs and was a stop on the underground railroad. It is an interesting restaurant, really two restaurants. The pub menu is less formal and there is a bar, it is definitely rustic and family friendly. When we arrived their was an hour wait so I took the kids to explore the free underground railroad museum and the gifts shop. We were waylaid by this excellent door. It was large and heavy and used a block as a counterweight to pull it closed. This kept the children occupied for at least 15 minutes as they explored the mechanism and touched it a hundred ways to see what happened. The gift shop was utterly forgettable with nothing particularly unique or interesting. But we followed the narrowest staircase up to an older tavern room where there were historic displays.
I missed it on the way up the stairs, but the floor between the two levels is thick and that is where the escaped slaves hid. There is a window there and mannequins inside simulating what it would look like if it were still in use. It was too dark to get a picture but it was really neat and worth the visit. It took us about 30 minutes to check everything out and we were told that there was a canopy bed available upstairs. I blinked with no comprehension and conferred with our party and we took the immediate seating. As you can see below it was literally a canopy bed with backed bench seating! It was beautiful and the kids were enthralled. The menu was 5 star and the kid’s menu even had a Filet Mignon on it, and the pricing reflects the difference in ambiance and the menu changes. The lighting was period so it was difficult to get a picture, but this was our table!
Walking around the circle in Gettysburg is a treat, there a lots of interesting shops and of course The David Wills House, where Lincoln stayed the night before delivering the Gettysburg address. Unfortunately we were toddler-ed out of seeing it, because Wild Thing was being wild and needed to get back to the hotel. The National Park Pass and the Fourth Grade pass will get you into the David Wills house so that is nice, and hopefully we will get a chance to see it someday.