Nine Free Attractions in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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These attractions focus on both Gettysburg's rich history and its other great attractions, including outdoor recreation, agriculture and the lighter side of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg National Military Park

Known by most as simply "the battlefield," the Gettysburg National Military Park is the country's largest history classroom. It remains one of the few free national historic sites in the United States and draws 2 million visitors annually. With 6,000 acres of preserved battle ground, the park is a place where visitors come to honor and pay their respects to the fallen soldiers, reflect on a nation torn by war or learn about the most documented battle in U.S. history.

Gettysburg Train Station

When President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg to deliver what would become known as the Gettysburg Address, this small Pennsylvania town was in the midst of a massive cleanup effort after the battle just four months earlier. The train station-- Lincoln's first stop in Gettysburg-- explains that story and demonstrates the world the 16th president would have seen when he stepped off that train on Nov. 18, 1863.

Historic Roundbarn

It was probably the most ingenious yet expensive barn design of its time--the Roundbarn. Only a handful of them remain today-- including the one outside Gettysburg in the heart of Pennsylvania's Fruit Belt. Built in 1914, this Roundbarn now houses one of the best Farmer's Markets in the region. This rare structure has become one of Adams County, Pa.'s most popular landmarks.

Mister Ed's Elephant Museum

Speaking of landmarks, for many visitors to Gettysburg, Mister Ed's Elephant Museum is as much of a must-stop attraction as the battlefield itself. Yes, the candy comes with a cost, but to see one of the largest collections of elephant figurines in the world won't cost you a cent. What started out as a simple wedding gift has turned into a nationally known museum with more than 10,000 elephants.

Soldiers' National Cemetery

Before Arlington, there was Gettysburg. It featured the most recognized dedication the country has ever seen. President Lincoln was asked to share a few appropriate remarks, and of course, those ten sentences-- a mere 272 words-- would become on of the most famous speeches of all time. And it happened here in Gettysburg. The cemetery's gates are now open for the world to enjoy. It's not only a place to honor soldiers killed in Gettysburg but to appreciate the magnitude of what our 16th president said here.

Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve

There are many ways to enjoy Gettysburg's countryside, but Strawberry Hill Nature Center is a remarkable experience and one that'll challenge your body yet relieve you of the stress of your daily life. With 600 acres-- plus a new adjoining 2,500-acre plot of preserved forest-- Strawberry Hill is not just a hike in the woods. It's an experience that will put visitors face-to-face with nature. For more information, visit .

Self-Guided Tours

The Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau has put together a collection of self-guided tours that enable visitors to explore on their own at their own pace. The Scenic Driving Tour and the Historic Conewago Valley Tour take you out of town and into the great countryside of Adams County, Pa. Along the way, you'll find orchards, farmer's markets, antique malls and plenty of picturesque stops. Our Downtown (Gettysburg) Walking Tour and New Oxford Historic Walking Tour give our visitors a chance to stretch their legs, learn a bit of history and an opportunity to explore shops, galleries and diners along the tour.

Willow Pond Farm

This 1760s vintage stone farmhouse is best known as the centerpiece of the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival, but outside those three days in June, Willow Pond Farm is a great place to enjoy a warm spring or summer morning, strolling through gardens of herbs. Varieties include culinary herbs, edible flowers, mint, scented geraniums, medicinal herbs and, of course, lavender.

Gettysburg is certainly rich in Civil War history, but its countryside provide our millions of visitors with a whole lot more.

For more information on Gettysburg's free attractions or other events and activities in Gettysburg, visit Gettysburg.travel or call (800) 337-5015.

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Based on information provided by Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. Photo courtesy of Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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