Gettysburg at a Glance
Location: South central Pennsylvania
Access: Harrisburg International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport
Hotel rooms: 2,349
Gateway Gettysburg Complex
Exhibit Space: 61,000 square feet at Wyndham Gettysburg; 1,500 square feet at Courtyard Marriott Gettysburg; 44,500 square feet at Gateway Theaters
Meeting Space: 8,200 square feet
Liberty Mountain Resort and Conference
Center Guestrooms: 99
Meeting Space: 22,085 square feet
Meeting Space: 73,000 square feet
Who’s Meeting in Gettysburg
American Association of Community Theatre
Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners
There’s more to Gettysburg than just a battlefield.
Positioned at the epicenter of Civil War history, Gettysburg also features opportunities for team building and authentic culinary and agricultural experiences. By bringing history to life and tying it into contemporary culture, Gettysburg attracts many visitors who return time and again. According to Nicole Absher, sales manager for Destination Gettysburg, most visitors return and bring their friends and families because of the wide variety of offerings and the charming town.
Visitors can easily walk to restaurants, museums and tours that are all located within a two-mile radius of downtown Gettysburg. Locally owned boutiques sell a wide range of items that include handmade artisan crafts, clothing and quirky decor.
“Everything is super accessible and walkable, which visitors really appreciate,” said Absher. “The trolley system also operates downtown and offers regular routes to other locations too, such as the Gateway Gettysburg complex with its two hotels and meeting space.”
Gettysburg National Military Park comprises approximately 6,000 acres of preserved battlefield. The visitor center’s 12 galleries, the Cyclorama painting experience and the orientation film make the perfect introduction. A variety of battlefield tours offer different perspectives on the epic battle that took place there. Bus tours tend to be more comprehensive, while Segway, bicycle and horseback tours focus on specific sections of the battlefield.
“Groups can incorporate a leadership component that takes them around the battlefield and highlights the generals, their personalities and the decisions made by officers and then tie it all back to today’s work culture,” said Absher. “It’s a common misconception that the battle occurred only inside the national park. The whole town was actually overtaken, so there’s plentiful history throughout the city.”
Gettysburg’s culinary scene is fueled by the flourishing agriculture throughout Adams County. Apple orchards and vineyards paint the rolling hills, and family-owned fruit and farm markets dot the landscape. Agritourism experiences feature the area’s farms and vineyards, where groups can get a taste of the region’s cuisine.
Gettysburg’s restaurants range from historic taverns to modern craft kitchens and fine dining. Many cater to large groups and have space to bring in entertainment. Historic re-enactors that depict figures such as President Lincoln or General and Mrs. Lee will interact with their audiences.
Mason Dixon Distillery, a family-owned distillery and restaurant, serves scratch-made food and sources many ingredients from local farms. The Dobbin House Tavern intermingles modern fare with a Colonial atmosphere. Groups can have casual meals in the basement’s Spring House Tavern or a fine-dining experience upstairs. Seven rooms with varying ambiance are available, and the Abigail Ballroom seats 150 people for meals with the opportunity to explore the property.
For a more rural setting, Beech Springs Farm seamlessly blends the rustic nature of a working farm with contemporary amenities. Twenty miles southwest of Gettysburg, the farm makes a great location for a catered farm-to-table dinner or evening reception. The renovated 1867 Pennsylvania bank barn spans 3,200 square feet and features an oversized covered porch, a Bose sound system and separate dessert and beverage bars. The venue’s select caterer will design the menu to include the farm’s vegetables, herbs, edible flowers and small fruits.
Guests can be surrounded by history at distinguished event spaces. At the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, an after-hours reception allows access to the entire museum. The well-preserved and charming Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station offers indoor and outdoor reception areas, catering services and a convenient downtown location.
Major Meeting Spaces
The Gateway Gettysburg complex, the city’s primary conference center, just off Route 15, contains the Wyndham Gettysburg and the Courtyard Marriot Gettysburg. Combined, they offer 62,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and 400 guest rooms. In addition, the complex’s Gateway Theater seats 400 classroom-style and 200 for banquets.
In the heart of downtown, the Gettysburg Hotel lies within walking distance of restaurants, shops and tasting rooms. Large events, banquets and keynotes can be hosted in its elegant Grand Ballroom, which features an original hand-painted ceiling and 19th-century chandeliers.
The hotel offers 8,200 square feet of flexible meeting space, with additional space at the adjacent Majestic Theater and the Lincoln Train Station.
Outside the city, the 99-room Liberty Mountain Resort and Conference Center offers year-round activities, a spa, multiple dining options and 22,085 square feet of meeting space. In winter, groups can ski, snowboard, snow tube and use the golf simulator. In warmer months, they can hike, swim, golf and play volleyball and horseshoes on the property. Also outside of Gettysburg proper and now under renovation, the Eisenhower Complex ranks as one of the largest and most comprehensive meeting and conference centers in the region, with 73,000 square feet of meeting space and 307 guest rooms.
Perched on a scenic 63-acre ridgeline, the Lodges of Gettysburg is 10 minutes from downtown. Indoor and outdoor venues include waterfront event space and 6,500 square feet of meeting space. The 24 private lodges each sleep two to six guests, with 17 additional rooms.
“This unique property is ideal for close-knit executive retreats or team-building experiences,” said Absher.
After the Meeting
Attendees can easily hop between the city’s numerous museums. Many explain different aspects of the Battle of Gettysburg. During spring, summer and fall, it’s not uncommon to encounter historians who help visitors better understand the Civil War from a soldier’s perspective.
Additionally, groups can explore the leadership of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The night before his famous speech, Lincoln put the finishing touches on the Gettysburg Address at the David Wills House, now a museum, where his room has been preserved. Eisenhower’s only private home can be toured on his farm at the Eisenhower National Historic Site, where he retreated during his presidency and afterward.
Many Adams County craft beverage-makers provide downtown tasting rooms for convenience. But travelers who venture into the countryside are rewarded with scenic views and agritourism experiences that demonstrate what goes into creating craft beverages. The Adams County Pour Tour features 15 stops. Along the trail, participants receive passport stamps for each kind of beverage they sample.
West of Gettysburg, the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve maintains 10 miles of trails that meander through mountain streams, ponds and woodlands. In addition to the Carroll Valley Golf Course at Liberty Mountain Resort, notable golf courses include the Links at Gettysburg and the Quail Valley Golf Course. To the east, antique enthusiasts will want to explore New Oxford, where numerous shops and galleries have been part of the local community for decades.