Although known primarily as an attraction because of its proximity to the Gettysburg Battlefield, site of the Battle of Gettysburg, the borough is also known for its institutions of higher learning, namely the Lutheran Theological Seminary, founded in 1826, Gettysburg College (originally Pennsylvania College), which began operating in 1832, and Harrisburg Area Community College.
Many roads radiate from Gettysburg, providing hub-like access to Baltimore (52 miles/84 kilometers), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (38 miles/61kilometers), Carlisle (30 miles/48 kilometers), Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland (25 and 30 miles, or 40 and 48 kilometers, respectively), and Washington, D.C. (90 miles/145 kilometers). Chambersburg is 25 miles (40 km) west on the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30), the first transcontinental U.S. highway. Today the borough is a 2½ hour drive from Philadelphia and a 3½ hour drive from Pittsburgh via the Pennsylvania Turnpike and U.S. Route 15. Gettysburg Regional Airport, a small general aviation airport, is located 2 miles (4 km) west of Gettysburg.
In June of 2009, the Adams County Transit Authority implemented local transportation service to the boro operating under the name Freedom Transit
History and culture
Gettysburg was founded in 1786 and named after Samuel Gettys, an early settler and tavern owner.
In 1858 the Gettysburg Railroad completed construction of a railroad line from Gettysburg to Hanover. The Gettysburg Railroad Station opened in 1859. Passenger train service to the city ended in 1942. The station was restored in 2006 and currently operates as a museum.
Gettysburg, home to the Battle of Gettysburg (1863) of the American Civil War, draws in large numbers of tourists every year to visit the historical sites around the small community as well as the battlefield itself. Gettysburg has many activities and tours to offer to vacationers and tourists that are interested in the Gettysburg area and the history of the community and the battle. A narrated tour via double-decker bus and tours of the Jenny Wade house are two examples. Ghost tours are also popular with tourists, profiling various locations reported to be haunted. One of the most popular times to visit Gettysburg is in the Summer and early Fall months, about June through October.
A popular attraction in Gettysburg is the reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg which is held every summer for the three days around the Fourth of July. Events include tours, ghost stories and reenactments.
The Dobbin House Tavern, which is one of the most famous restaurants in Gettysburg, was once home to Reverend Alexander Dobbin in 1776. The restaurant has since been authentically restored and provides an ambiance that was once present during the historic days of Gettysburg. The Dobbin House is lit by candles while the wait staff serves authentic foods from two centuries ago dressed in Civil War attire. Other historical attractions are the hotels and bed and breakfasts around the borough. The Gettysburg Hotel is a popular destination for tourists because of all the history that the hotel holds. The Gettysburg Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Gettysburg, within walking distance to historical sites, restaurants and shopping. The hotel has been in business since 1797 and in 1863 witnessed events that took place during the three day battle.