Planning a trip to Gettysburg soon? The battlefield is one of the most popular attractions and there are a surprising number of ways to navigate through it. In this post, we’ve highlighted some of the best ways to tour Gettysburg Battlefield whether you plan to go by yourself, as a family, or with a group of friends. But before we get too far, we’d like to answer a question we get a lot, which is “What is THE best way to tour Gettysburg Battlefield?”
While the preferred method of taking the tour varies from person to person, the best way for you to tour the battlefield is with some sort of guidance, whether from an in-person tour guide or from a pre-recorded self-guided audio tour.
Best For Groups: Bus Tour
One of the most common ways to tour the battlefield is by bus. This is a great option if you’re traveling with a group of people because you can all take the tour at the same time while still being able to interact with each other, plus meet some new friends along the way.
Here at Gettysburg Battlefield Tours, our bus tours last approximately two hours. Take a seat on the top of our double-decker bus (pictured right) for an extra special experience, giving you a birds-eye view of your surroundings.
We recommend booking a ticket as far in advance as possible as bus tickets sell out quickly closer to the tour date.
Best For Families With Older Children: Segway Tour
Touring the battlefield on a segway is a fun and engaging way to keep older children attentive throughout the tour. You’ll be able to move along much faster than if you were walking yet still feel more connected with your surroundings than if you were in a car or bus.
Segway tours are available with a licensed tour guide through SegTours.
Best For Families With Young Kids: Self-Guided Tour By Car
If you’re traveling to Gettysburg with your kids who may not appreciate as much of the history of the battlefield as you do, touring in your own car has its advantages. Unlike on a tour bus or other group tour options, if any of your kids need attention you can pause for a moment and take care of them without holding up an entire group. You can also get out and stretch at many of the stops, and if you’re feeling a little adventurous you can take the family on a short hike around parts of the battlefield to burn some energy.
We recommend playing an audio tour in your car to guide you through the battlefield. This way you’ll have clear guidance on where to go next and what happened historically at each stop. Plus you can pause it anytime for reflection or to take care of the kids. Our self-guided audio tour package includes a CD, an illustrated map, and a Souvenir Guide to the National Military Park.
Best For Couples: Three-Wheeled Scooter Tour (Scoot Coupe)
Image credit: gettypeds.net
Sit next to your significant other while you tour the battlefield on a three wheeled scooter. Sound like fun? Catch the breeze, learn some history, and have some quality bonding time as a couple on a “Scoot Coupe”.
These small vehicles are about the size of a go-cart but resemble a car in its form factor. You can rent one and take a self-guided tour all on your own, or take a tour as a group with a licensed tour guide. Learn more at GettyPeds’ website here.
Best With Active Friends: On Foot
There is plenty of ground to cover if you choose to walk through the Gettysburg Battlefield on foot – 23 miles, to be exact! That’s far too much walking to do in one day, so you can either break it up into several days or choose portions of the battlefield so you can see important landmarks while also having plenty of active outdoor time with friends.
Unless you’re a very active walker or runner, we recommend choosing another tour method, such as a car or bicycle, that allows you to pause at key points and get out and walk around for a while. This way you can still get plenty of walking time in but without as much exhaustion, allowing you to better focus the historical events you’re learning about.
If you already have experience riding a horse, taking a horseback tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield can be an exciting way to explore the area!
You can bring your own horse if you have one, grab a map (or pull up this interactive map on your phone or tablet), and explore the battlefield yourself.
If you like horses but not enough to ride one yourself, you may enjoy touring the Battlefield in a horse-drawn carriage. You’ll join a group of about 10-15 people in the carriage ride, led by a licensed tour guide. If your family or group is large enough, you may be able to book the whole carriage just for yourselves.
After you finish touring the Battlefield, if you’re still itching for more time in a carriage, you can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the town of Gettysburg and see local attractions from a different perspective.
Horse Tours of Gettysburg offers a number of horse-drawn carriage tour options on their website.
We hope these popular tour options have given you some ideas on how you want to tour the battlefield. In the end, the best way to tour the Gettysburg battlefield depends on personal preferences. Interested in booking a bus tour with Gettysburg Battlefield Tours? Click here to view upcoming tour dates and book a time. We look forward to seeing you soon!