Last Updated on March 20, 2024

A small town nestled in the picturesque rural countryside of Pennsylvania; Gettysburg holds a significant place in American history. It was on this hallowed ground that the pivotal battle of the Civil War was fought. The Battle of Gettysburg, which raged from July 1-3, 1863, was one of the largest and most decisive engagements of the war.

It marked a turning point, halting Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s advance into Union territory and ultimately leading to the Union victory.

The battle, with its three days of intense fighting across fields, hills and forests, resulted in staggering casualties on both sides. The landscape of Gettysburg became a battleground, with strategic locations like Little Round Top, Cemetery Hill and Devil’s Den etching their names into the annals of history. Pickett’s Charge, a desperate Confederate assault on the Union center on the final day, stands as the iconic high tide of the Confederacy.

Beyond its military significance, Gettysburg stands as a poignant symbol of sacrifice and unity. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delivered just a few months after the battle to dedicate the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, eloquently captured the essence of the conflict and the nation’s commitment to preserving the principles of liberty, equality, and union.

His words, “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” resonates through time, reminding subsequent generations of the enduring struggle for freedom and justice.

Today, Gettysburg National Military Park preserves the battlefield and serves as a solemn reminder of the cost of preserving our Union. Visitors can explore the various monuments, memorials and interpretive exhibits that dot the landscape, gaining insight into the many sacrifices made by soldiers on both sides. The site stands not only as a testament to the courage and resilience of those who fought, but also as a place for reflection and remembrance, ensuring that the lessons of Gettysburg continue to remain relevant with future generations.

In addition, the town of Gettysburg itself is a historic jewel with a rich tapestry of stories that extend far beyond its pivotal role in the Civil War. Situated in Adams County, the town rests amidst rolling hills and picturesque farmland, providing a charming backdrop for its storied past.

Founded in 1786, Gettysburg boasts a quaint and well-preserved downtown area characterized by brick sidewalks, historic buildings, and a welcoming atmosphere. Visitors can wander along streets lined with shops, restaurants, and galleries housed in 19th-century structures, offering a blend of local craftsmanship, artisanal goods and culinary delights.

If you plan a visit to this incredibly storied destination (and every American should go at least once), why not consider a stay in a historic home that sets the stage for an even better, more authentic Gettysburg experience?

Here are some I consider to be ideal:

Stratton House: Unique Historic District Home (Backs to Culp’s Hill)

Historic Stratton House Gettysburg vacation rental.
Historic Stratton House Gettysburg vacation rental. Photo courtesy of VRBO

This vacation rental in downtown Gettysburg’s historic district is located on a quiet street two blocks from Lincoln Square. Guests can watch the sunset over the battlefield from the back of this historic property built by Gettysburg town physician Dr. J.W.C. O’Neill, who had an extensive history during the battle.

It was later used as a photography studio by renowned Civil War battlefield photographer William H. Tipton.

The one-bedroom, one-bath home that sleeps two is only a few blocks from downtown shops, restaurants, ghost and walking tours and other events in the historic district.

Thaddeus Stevens’ Gettysburg Log Home

Built in 1790, this log home exemplifies a page from our history books with original wood floors, walls and beams. Located just a five-minute stroll from downtown Lincoln Square, the home was once owned by Congressman Thaddeus Stevens and offers a front-seat view of where the Confederates occupied West Middle Street during the battle.

While keeping its historic character, the vacation home also contains modern conveniences such as central air conditioning, recessed lighting and a fully updated kitchen with three cozy bedrooms and 1.5 baths.    

Culp House and Cricket House

The historic property is just a five-minute walk to the center of historic Gettysburg and only 100 yards from the East Confederate Avenue entrance to the National Battlefield Park.

Set in a lovely garden with a deck and patio, the three-bedroom, three-bath home can sleep up to six guests.

It can also be rented with its sister property, the two-bedroom, two-bath Cricket House which can accommodate four additional guests.

The Gettysburg Retreat Pre-Civil War Home

Gettysburg Retreat Pre-Civil War Home.
Gettysburg Retreat Pre-Civil War Home. Photo courtesy of VRBO

If you’re looking for a larger place to accommodate a family or group of friends, The Gettysburg Retreat is a beautiful pre-Civil War two-story gable front home built in 1853.

The four-bedroom, two-bath home can accommodate up to 10 guests and is located within walking distance to restaurants, museums and everything else that Gettysburg has to offer. All rooms sport queen beds (three upstairs and one downstairs) and the living room also includes a pull-out sofa.

Apple Blossom Cottage

Travelers into quaint and cozy will love this charming cottage located 10 minutes from downtown Gettysburg and within minutes to some of the best wineries in Pennsylvania.

The vacation rental located on 30 acres of private woodland property with a natural spring-fed pond, outdoor hot tub and fire pit is ideal for a couple’s getaway. The 550-square-foot cottage can sleep two with a queen bed, full bath and even a full kitchen. Note that guests may bring their own firewood or pick some up at a local roadside stand and there is an extra fee to use the spa.

Apple Blossom Cottage Gettysburg vacation rental.
Apple Blossom Cottage Gettysburg vacation rental. Photo courtesy of VRBO

Creekside Cabin at Gettysburg

Approximately 100 years old, Creekside Cabin is located on the “Manor of the Masque” land deeded to William Penn in 1735 along Marsh Creek. The creek’s origin is about five miles away and courses through Adams County and Frederick County, before eventually emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. The surrounding farmland/woodland was occupied by both sides during the Civil War and the farm at the end of the lane served as an active Civil War hospital. Soldiers are buried near the farm.

Along with its picturesque view of Marsh Creek, the property also has an abundance of wildlife that includes turkey, deer, hawks and owls.

The two-bedroom, two-bath cabin also includes a kitchen and a large dining area attached to an open family room. Guests are sure to fall in love with the old stone fireplace and the scenic views from the sunroom. Other amenities include a fire pit, horseshoes and a gas grill. The cabin offers ideal privacy while still being only 20 minutes from the downtown center square and all notable Gettysburg attractions.

Historic Gettysburg Farmhouse

This historic Civil War Farmhouse was built in 1789. At the time of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1863) the property located seven miles southwest of Gettysburg, had been a working farm for over 75 years.

The home was remodeled 15 years ago maintaining its vintage character by including some of the original wooden floors and beams. Modern conveniences have of course been added. History buffs will love that some of the floors creak and slant, giving true authenticity to the home.

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