Tour Gettysburg Battlefield in One Day

This image depicts a landscape shot of a Gettysburg battlefield.

If you have one day for this trip, spend it exploring the iconic Gettysburg National Military Park, site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War and one of the greatest speeches of all time. Gettysburg offers a great opportunity to explore the Civil War from the micro to the macro level.

Total Stops: 1

Total Time: 4-6 Hours (7-8 if you love to hike)

Total Distance: 2-mile radius

Before You Go:

Stop #1: Gettysburg National Military Park

Time: 4-6 Hours


What To Do:

  • Start at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center:
    • Find out what Ranger Programs are scheduled for that day.
    • View the film, A New Birth of Freedom, and see the Cyclorama. A ticket for the film includes the Cyclorama, after the film, you will go immediately into the Cyclorama.
    • Tour the museum, which will give you a history of the war as a whole, not just the Battle of Gettysburg.
    • Stop by the gift shop and bookstore.
  • Tour the Battlefield. You have several options:
    • Follow the NPS Auto Tour Route and get out and explore each stop.
    • Purchase a touring CD from the bookstore.
    • Use the Civil War Trust’s free Gettysburg Battle App on your smartphone or iPad.
    • Hire a Licensed Battlefield Guide to accompany you.

Don’t Miss:

  • Little Round Top – Location of the Union left flank, famously held by the 20th Maine and Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.
  • Devil’s Den – Site of vicious fighting just below Little Round Top.
  • The High Water Mark – The point of the Cemetery Ridge where the Confederacy reached the Union center after Pickett’s Charge, on the third and final day of the battle.
  • Soldier’s National Cemetery – The resting place for more than 3,500 Union Troops killed in the battle.

If you have time:

  • Visit the David Wills House, where Lincoln stayed the night before he gave the Gettysburg Address. The house has been recently renovated into a wonderful museum.
  • Take a battlefield hike on one of Gettysburg’s trails. See your NPS touring map for locations Hike the Fish Hook (the right flank defensive position of the Union army for a rigorous walk.
  • Do what strikes your fancy. Gettysburg is a battlefield on which you could spend hundreds of hours and never do the same thing twice. Explore what interests you!
Help Restore Six Sacred Battlefield Sites
The Opportunity At Gettysburg, at Chancellorsville, at Seven Pines, and two other hallowed battlefields of the Civil War, vacant buildings now stand...