Most visitors think of Gettysburg as a summertime destination – the re-enactment, battlefield walk, the ice cream shops and a cold beer at a tavern looking out over Lincoln Square. But more and more visitors are seeing the winter months as the ideal season to spend a weekend in one of America’s most popular destinations.
Gettysburg features everything from winter recreation, shopping and dining, and a variety of events that help cure some of that cabin fever that strikes in after the holidays are over. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or a kick-back-and-relax kind of traveler, the winter in Gettysburg has you covered – everything from skiing and winter hiking to cozy accommodations where sitting next to the fireplace and ordering in is the most adventure you’ll do all day.
We’ve compiled a list of just a few ways that visitors are enjoying the winter season in the Gettysburg area. We hope you join us this winter and find your own winter escape.
1. Get Adventurous at Liberty Mountain Resort
There’s no need to sit around all winter long when you can get outdoors and active. Just down the road from Gettysburg in nearby Carroll Valley, Pa., is one of the region’s most popular ski resorts – boasting a wide variety of slopes, lessons and great amenities to keep you warm. Thousands of skiers, snowboarders and snowtubers hit the mountain every year to breathe in that fresh winter air and get their adrenaline pumping. Make a night of it and book a room at one of Liberty Mountain Resort’s new hotel rooms onsite.
If you’re looking for a little more of a soft adventure, strap on a pair of skates and enjoy an afternoon of ice skating at Liberty Mountain’s new rink at the foot of the resort’s ski slopes.
2. Go Treasure Hunting
The Gettysburg region is a treasure hunter’s paradise, boasting an eclectic collection of boutiques, art galleries, craft stores and antique malls. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, latte or coffee from Ragged Edge Coffee House and hit the streets for collectibles, clothing and gifts. Take a break and stop for a taste of wine at one of Gettysburg’s tasting rooms or a bite to eat at one of the diners and pubs on Lincoln Square.
Wintertime is also the perfect time to slow down and reflect back at the simpler times in life. Reminisce in one of the region’s amazing antique shops – many clustered in Gettysburg itself, as well as nearby towns of New Oxford and East Berlin, Pa. Better yet – start on a new winter project refinishing a piece of furniture you’ve discovered one of Adams County’s antique stores.
3. Meander through a Museum
We get it – for many, summertime is all about being outdoors. Sometimes, it’s just nice to stroll the streets of Gettysburg or drive the battlefield with the windows down in the warm-weather months. But winter is a great season to explore a few of those museums you’ve been wanting to check out. Gettysburg is home to more than a dozen museums, and many of them feature special winter hours, making it a great time to explore something new on your next trip to town.
And if you’ve already visited our collection of museums, galleries are changing constantly giving visitors a variety of new experiences when they walk in the door.
4. Explore Gettysburg’s Craft Beverage Scene
Gettysburg’s craft beverage scene is booming, and there’s no better way to warm up during the winter months than with a glass of wine, cider, beer or spirits. Restaurants, wineries, distilleries and taverns are all serving up delicious drinks to take the edge off the wintertime chill. Visit several tasting rooms and restaurants in Downtown Gettysburg or take a drive into the Adams County countryside for a taste of the region’s best wine and cider. Take home a drinkable souvenir with a bottle of wine, cider or spirits, or grab a growler of your favorite craft beer for a taste of Gettysburg at home.
5. Go on a Winter Hike
For outdoors enthusiasts, there’s nothing worse than hanging up your hiking boots. Trails, barring any major snowstorm, are open in the Gettysburg area year-round. Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve features 10 miles of trails – many which highlight seasonal wildlife along rushing creek beds and atop peaks overlooking Michaux State Forest. Or head out to Gettysburg National Military Park and take a winter stroll among their trails that take visitors past some of the most historic places in the nation.
6. Book a Cozy Bed & Breakfast
Who says you have to be active on vacation? Enjoy winter from the comforts of a home-away-from-home with a getaway to one of the region’s cozy bed and breakfasts. Not only will the warmth of a historic inn bring you relaxation after a stressful holiday season, but a cup of hot coffee and delicious breakfast every morning will encourage you to enjoy the winter from the indoors … with a great book or movie. With afternoon refreshments and free wi-fi, there’s little reason to venture out into the snow.
Or how about camping? No, not tent camping. Book a cottage or a lodge at one of Gettysburg’s year-round campgrounds and enjoy a peaceful weekend in an upscale cabin – equipped with heat, internet and television. The winter has rates for cabins that you can’t pass up – almost half the cost of a summer rental.
7. Photograph a Winter Wonderland
Gettysburg is beautiful any time of year, but there’s just something about this hallowed ground after a fresh coat of snow. With eyes gazed out the window awaiting the coming snowfall, photographers flock to the Gettysburg battlefield at the drop of the first flake of snow to capture the beauty, the peacefulness of the snowfall. Lincoln Square, Sach’s Covered Bridge and the miles of apple orchards are also absolutely stunning under a coating of snow.
8. Take a Spa Day
Don’t let winter be a misery – pamper yourself in Gettysburg with a spa day. Gettysburg features a variety of day spas that are perfect for couples, friends or family. Enjoy massages, hair styling, manicures and pedicures – all while in a toasty warm atmosphere.