Our recommendations for Touring the Gettysburg Battlefield
We are often asked how long visitors should plan to stay in Gettysburg. While this will vary for each person based on their interest level, we find it takes an average of 2-3 days to explore the Battlefield, the town, and all the museums, shops & attractions in the area.
With approximately 1,300 monuments (including 42 within 1⁄4 mile of the Inn) on 6,000 acres of preserved Battlefield, the Gettysburg National Military Park is unparalleled anywhere in the world!
Plan to start your Battlefield tour at the National Park Visitor’s Center and Museum. For one admission price visitors will see the Introductory Film, Cyclorama painting, and 11-gallery museum.
The Introductory Film, 22 minutes long and narrated by Morgan Freeman, will introduce you to the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg-placing those monumental events into the larger context of American history and helping you understand that what happened in the past is very relevant in the present day.
The new Museum is a must see for all visitors, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth. Its exhibits showcase each day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the lead up to the Civil War dating back to the Declaration of Independence, and consequences of the war through the Reconstruction period. The exhibits themselves will take an average of 2 hours to view. The new facility also houses a resource center, which contains walk-up computers with searchable databases on the monuments, regiments, and soldiers at Gettysburg.
The Cyclorama Painting has undergone a 5-year, $12 million dollar restoration and reopened in September 2008. This massive, 360-degree “Battle of Gettysburg” painting-in-the-round was first exhibited in 1884. Today, this colossal experience is exhibited the way the artist originally intended—with the painting (measuring 377 feet around and 42 feet high!), a canopy that removes the building’s architectural features from your sight, and a three-dimensional diorama, which carries the painted scene into the foreground. All of these elements combine for an illusion of immersion - you feel as though you’re surrounded by the fury of Pickett’s Charge on the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Upon leaving the Visitor’s Center there are several options
available for touring the Battlefield itself:
• CD Audio Tour (self-guided tour in your car) –This 2-3 hour driving tour of the entire Battlefield gives an excellent overview and also allows you flexibility if you want to stop and explore any area more in-depth. We loan a copy of this tour to our guests at no charge during their stay with us. We highly recommend the Audio Tour if this is your first visit to Gettysburg.
• Licensed Battlefield Guide – a licensed guide will drive your car for a minimum two hour tour of the Battlefield. With their extensive knowledge and story-telling ability, a licensed guide is one of the best ways to experience the Battle of Gettysburg. We are happy to arrange a tour for you originating here at the Inn (please let us know at the time you make your reservation if you would like us to arrange this for you). You can also hire a guide on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitor’s Center. $65 for a minimum two hour tour for parties up to 6 people, plus gratuity.
• Guided Bus Tour – Gettysburg Battlefield Tours offers tours on either a double-decker bus or a coach bus. Please see their website for complete details and scheduling.
• On Horseback – A wonderful and unique way to view sections of the Gettysburg Battlefield. There are several companies offering horseback tours: The National Riding Stables offer one and two hour guided tours with either a recorded tour or a Licensed Battlefield Guide. Hickory Hollow Farm offers scenic Battlefield tours with a Licensed Battlefield Guide up to 5 hours in length, and usually in smaller groups. Our newest tour company, Confederate Trails of Gettysburg offers a variety of tours with either a Licensed Battlefield Guide or period-dressed guides. Their rides are also bookable online!
Please contact the stable of your choice directly to make your arrangements as they will take a credit card deposit and require height/weight information for each rider.
• Segway Tours – SegTours are the newest way to see sections of the Battlefield! Offering two itineraries, both recorded audio and live Licensed Battlefield Guide tours are available. Tours leave from the Reliance Mine Saloon on Taneytown Road.
• Bicycle Tours – WE ARE VERY BICYCLE FRIENDLY! Guests are free to store their bikes in our climate controlled garage with 24 hour access (please notify us at the time you make your reservation if you will need to store your bikes in our garage). Begin your bicycle tour of the Battlefield right at our front door. Bicycles are also available for rental at GettysBike Tours, as well as guided Battlefield excursions with Licensed Guides. Reservations are suggested, please contact the bike shop directly for more information.
After a day of touring, you’re bound to have questions so head back to the Doubleday Inn to get them answered! Your Innkeepers know and love the history of this very special area and are eager to share it with you. Todd has always been a student of the Battlefield and hopes to become a Licensed Battlefield Guide. Christine focuses on the town history and civilian accounts and is proud to have become a Licensed Town Guide in May 2008. Whether it’s your first visit or you tenth, we have lots of interesting tidbits to share with you while you are here. Be sure to ask to see the relics that were found in our front yard in December 2007.
In addition, on selected evenings (most Saturday evenings from April – October) we feature a live question & answer session with our resident Civil War historian. Charles Kingston is a Gettysburg area native and has been a licensed battlefield guide for over 20 years. Charles brings the Battle of Gettysburg to life with accurate accounts of the historic campaign in which his own Great-Grandfather took part as a member of the Union Cavalry.
The Doubleday Inn Puts You at the Center of History
Imagine the first rays of morning sun lighting the monuments on the Gettysburg Battlefield. Now imagine all you have to do to enjoy this incredible site is simply look out your window!
The Doubleday Inn is located directly on the Gettysburg National Military Park. There are 42 monuments within 1⁄4 mile of the Inn commemorating the cavalry, infantry & artillery fighting that took place here on the afternoon of July 1, 1863.
Begin your day with a quiet stroll or bike ride on the Battlefield. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee on the deck and watch the mists rolling off the surrounding fields. Our peaceful, quiet atmosphere provides the ideal setting for truly contemplating the actions that took place here & shaped the history of the world's greatest country for all time.
Click here to read a detailed history of the Doubleday Inn and its grounds.
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