After book scouting all day at the York Book and Paper Fair and at the York Emporium, in York, PA, we needed to find a place to spend the night. We decided to take a little side trip. Neither Ron nor I had ever been to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and it seemed like a good opportunity to visit this historic American town, just 40 minutes or so down the road.
We took Rte. 30 west out of York, which runs directly to Gettysburg. Rte. 30 is the famous “Lincoln Highway.” In the summer of 2006 we did a book scouting trip partway across the country on the Lincoln Highway, although on that trip we picked it up beyond Pennsylvania in Ohio and followed it as far as Iowa.
If you track our book scouting adventures, you’ll know we try to stay in historic hotels whenever possible as we travel. This time we were happy to get a room in the historic Gettysburg Hotel (established in 1797).
It was reasonably priced, lovely, and clean, with a beautiful lobby, bar and restaurant. The whole place is very sleek and modern, as historic hotels go…leaving you to think there really isn’t much left of the “historic.”
We enjoyed our stay there, however. It is centrally located so that many of the areas of interest are within walking distance.
We walked all over town, taking in all the nice shops, pubs, inns, and historic buildings.
Gettysburg is a fun place to visit. The shops and restaurants were all open and thriving well into the evening; they don’t roll up the streets here after 5pm like some small towns.
And yet it seemed the perfect time of year to visit, as it wasn’t yet crowded with tourists.
Afterwards we walked south through town to the Dobbin House Tavern, stopping inside to take in the old architecture. Unfortunately the pub in the cellar of the Inn had just closed, but it has a stream running through it!
We also passed the library…
In the morning we walked north a block or so past the refurbished old movie theater, “The Majestic” which recently underwent a $16 million renovation. The theater features independent movies on two screens, drama and dance.
Below is the historic railroad depot, which operated from 1858 to 1942 — the very one Abraham Lincoln rolled into when he arrived to deliver his Gettysburg Address. It was also used as an emergency hospital during the Civil War.
There is so much to see and do in Gettysburg, we’ll have to make a return visit when we have more time. There are the historic battlefields with tours available via horseback, self-guided driving tours, bike tours, bus tours…the Soldiers National Cemetery, the Eisenhower National Historic Site, Underground Railroad tours, and candlelight ghost tours. There is art, theater, music, antiques, and covered bridges, museums…and so much more.
Once again, our book scouting has led us to an interesting and historical place on the map, which we enjoy sharing with you.
Here are some links which will help you learn more about historic Gettysburg: