a visitor's guide to gettysburg, tip #2: what to do at night
What is there to do at night in Gettysburg? Drink. Ok, not just drink. There are also ghost tours. Gift shops are usually open too, though, surprisingly, some close at around 5 or 6 even during the summer. We're a small town and small town life doesn't always stay open until or past 9. Be aware of that when you come to Gettysburg. Now, don't get me wrong, Gettysburg doesn't close up at 5 and leave you with nothing to do (although you might hear some locals criticize it for doing just that). Like everything, there's a grain of truth to it and also a lot of exaggeration.
One thing I will point out to you as, simply, a heads-up rather than a criticism is that some gift shops, many, in fact, don't open until 10. Some open before. It struck me as odd the other day as I was walking out of a popular diner (who is welcome to sponsor us, as are all local businesses) on Steinwehr Ave at 9:15 ante meridian. I looked around me as I walked back to my car and noticed tourists ambling about, spying into shop windows to see a sign of life all to no avail. I scratched my head in bewilderment. Not that I am one to tell someone how he or she should run his or her business, but on Sundays, which is when this story occurs, people who have been nice enough to stay with us for the weekend want to get up and go. Breakfast, check out, leave by 10 or 11 and, SOMETIMES, they plan to grab a souvenir or gift on the way out of town, perhaps, after breakfast, mayhaps, berfore 10am. So, dear visitor, if that's how you roll, get your souvenirs and gifts Saturday night before 9.
This isn't a message to business owners to open at 9 like everywhere else in the country. It's a heads-up to the visitor to plan accordingly.
Ok, what can you do at night? There are, indeed, many watering holes in Gettysburg and they all offer a different vibe and, to an extent, prices. You want to feel like you've stepped back in time? Gettysburg has a few establishments that fit that bill. Perhaps something more elegant is your speed. Gettysburg's got 'em. Perhaps you're in your 20s and want to hang out at place with thumping "music" and people closer to your age. There happen to be a few places that are "on fleek" for you youngsters, too. Irish pubs your thing?-- I think you get my point: Gettysburg's got 'em.
Let's say you're not a drinker. Nothing wrong with that. It doesn't do it much for me anymore either. As far as what's come across my radar so far (and please correct me if I'm wrong by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org), you can eat ice cream, shop for souvenirs, take a ghost tour or just enjoy a stroll around a nice, historic town.
"Well, tell us, already! What are the names of these places, Matt?"
Soon enough. In the meantime, give yourself an adventure and discover what Gettysburg has to offer yourself by visiting and exploring.
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Matt Callery is the creator, host and producer of Addressing Gettysburg.