On the night of the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, I expect the Gettysburg Hotel is just as full as it was 150 years ago on that historic day. The night before the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery, the town was filled to capacity and the Gettysburg Hotel was so full that people were sleeping in the lobbies and in the barroom.
There is no other feeling like it than to arrive in the town of Gettysburg, drive down its streets where buildings and houses pre-dating the Civil War still stand, and then walk across the street from where President Lincoln himself spent the night to your guest room at the Gettysburg Hotel, One Lincoln Square – the only hotel on Lincoln Square. The gravity of the history surrounding you is overwhelming.
Just in time for this year’s events commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery and the Gettysburg Address, the Gettysburg Hotel underwent a major multi-million dollar renovation. While maintaining the building’s historic integrity, the hotel has been transformed into an upscale, boutique-like property inspired by the “New American Traditional” style.
The lobby of the hotel is open and welcoming, as well as breathtakingly charming. That ambiance continued into our guest room, which was just as bright, airy and contemporary. I was surprised to find a kitchen area in our room, complete with mini fridge, microwave and sink – always a plus for our family to have a place to keep juice boxes and snacks cold, or to reheat leftovers from the night before. Complimentary high-speed internet was another plus. And, had it not been raining the night of our stay, I’m sure my family would’ve been enjoying the hotel’s seasonal rooftop pool!
After unpacking, we returned to the lobby where glasses of wine and sample appetizers from the new restaurant, One Lincoln, were being served just off the adjoining College Room – a place for guests to relax and socialize. One Lincoln is located adjacent to the hotel and serves up classic comfort foods with a contemporary spin, like pork barbeque, chicken and biscuits and crab macaroni and cheese. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch too. We were tempted, but really had our hearts set on a period dinner at the Farnsworth House, less than a ten-minute walk down Baltimore Street from Lincoln Square.
Before heading down Baltimore Street and past the Gettysburg Museum of History to the historic Farnsworth House where bullet holes from the Civil War still mar the brick exterior, we walked next door to David Will’s House where Lincoln spent the night and finished writing the Gettysburg Address. We then checked out the Majestic Theater to see what was playing, conveniently located just on the other side of the Gettysburg Hotel and next to the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. Shopping, dining… most everything you’d want to do and see is within walking distance of the hotel, including the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Less than an hour from Harrisburg International Airport where we flew direct on Frontier Airlines from Denver, Gettysburg was easier to get to than we ever imagined. And, with its’ close proximity to Baltimore, Hershey and Washington D.C., a stay at the Gettysburg Hotel is easy to work into any family vacation itinerary catering to a variety of interests.
We considered our stay at the historic Gettysburg Hotel more than just a place to lay our heads for the night; it was a major part of our overall Gettysburg experience – an experience every American should add to their bucket list.
To read our full 3-day, family-friendly itinerary for our visit to South Central Pennsylvania, including Gettysburg, Lancaster and Hershey, please visit MamaBirdsBlog.com.