New user - First time Gettysburg visitor - many questions

Jun 16, 2007
Hi to all. I'm newly registered on this forum, however this is not my first time here. I've stumbled upon this site a couple of times while searching for answers on various questions. I am a big civil war enthusiast, that is to say that I have the proper amount of appreciation and respect for the soldiers and what they fought for, yet I've just started researching the different battles and understanding the history a little better.

This summer, at the end of July, I'll be vacationing out east and plan to spend two days at Gettysburg. I've been looking online for reviews of certain attractions and what people like to see and do while there but I'm left with many questions that I figured I'd direct at the people on this forum. Any help and/or advice would be appreciated:

1. I'm planning on being at Gettysburg July 25 & 26. I know it's still in the summer and that the park gets swamped with visitors but will that be the case on the dates I have scheduled? They fall on a Wednesday and Thursday and are a good 3 weeks after the big re-enactment. Should I still expect the shopping mall crowd?

2. I plan on taking a guided tour with a Licensed Battlefield Guide, should I make a reservation before going? Is it appropriate/expected to give gratuity on top of the tour fee?

3. I'm very curious as to the horseback tours that I've seen other people mention. I would like to do this but I have never been on a horse in my life. Is it expensive? Does it cover parts of the field not accessible to the general public? Is my inexperience with riding going to be a huge problem?

4. Are pictures allowed in the visitor's center?

Any additional pointers I can get out of you Gettysburg veterans? I only have two days there (out of a week long vacation) but I want to get the most out of it. Thanks in advance for any responses.

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Sergeant Major
Jun 12, 2007
Riverdale, NJ (Morris County)
Two Days Gettysburg Tour

I visit Gettysburg pretty often. Being from NJ its pretty close and for me its a road trip and I usually do other things on the trip, ie. go to MD or VA. But if you have two days in Gettysburg then you have to make the most of it!

You can get a private and licensed tour guide who will take you on a tour in your car. I tipped my guy 20%. I actually forget if pictures are allowed in the Visitor Center, but if you only have two days you aren't really going to want to spend that much time there. The tour guides can be arranged there or of course you can go on a group tour.

When I'm there I like to stay at the Brafferton which is an inn actually in the 'old town' very close to the square, but of course you have many options.

Have fun, its a really good time


Feb 20, 2005
Pictures are allowed in the visitors' center. However, try to bring a polarizing filter because some items are behind plexiglass (or glass) and the flash will bounce back and ruin your photo.

Since you're traveling in prime tourist season, the Park Service will have numerous free Ranger led talks. Go to as many as you can. I did.

Enjoy yourself. You're going to find out that 2 days is not enough.
Feb 23, 2006
here are some tips

1. Go to this site. It has all the info you need on tour guides at Gettysburg.

2.If you haven't gone horseback riding before, take some over the counter pain relievers before the ride. You will feel it the next day if you don't.

3.If you have a digital camera and have read the book on it......and have a steady hand you can turn off the flash and with the right settings you can get a good image. Use a good photo editing software afterwards and you can come up with a nice image suitable for printing.

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