Share our national story at Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
A nation on the brink. Two armies on the move. The media on its toes. A president on alert and a town on guard. Freedom for all on the line. No one and nothing escaped Gettysburg–just three days–untouched.
Three days made leaders into legends. Demanded courage under fire on the front lines and at home. Drew almost as many embedded reporters as the entire Korean War. Scoured and scarred the landscape, from town to country. Bewildered and killed thousands of animals. Turned girls into nurses. Forged a turning point in our bloodiest national argument. Inspired people here, across the country and around the world–then and forever.
Learn about those who lived and learned from just three days in July, 1863.
The fields that surround the small town of Gettysburg are vast in their landscape and stories. But it is the 6,000 acre Civil War military park, dedicated to the soldiers who fought here, that so many come to visit. There are lots of ways to visit the Gettysburg Battlefield. You can see the fields by horse, Segway, carriage, guided bus, from your own car with a guide or on your own. You can even take an iPad tour or spend time on a Ranger Program. No matter how you take in the Gettysburg Battlefield, you will be inspired.
As the “Gateway to the Battlefield,” Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is the ideal first stop during your visit to Gettysburg. At this LEED-Gold facility, you will find:
- The National Park Service Information Center, where you can pick up maps, get the scoop about events and programs, and get a Ranger’s expert opinion about the best way to see Gettysburg.
- The Film “A New Birth of Freedom” a half-hour film that will sweep you through the epic story of the battle of Gettysburg while illuminating the causes and outcomes of the battle within the context of American history.
- The Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting—reviews of the Museum and Visitor Center tell you that you cannot miss the Cyclorama. This 100+ year old oil painting, longer than a football field, taller than a 2-story building, masterfully depicts a 360-degree view of Pickett’s Charge. These reviewers haven’t lied. It’s one of only two in North America–don’t miss it.
- The Gettysburg Museum of The American Civil War, a nationally renowned museum, spans 12 galleries with short films and interactive displays features some of the most celebrated artifacts from the Battle of Gettysburg and dramatically tells the story of the three-day battle. If you’ve been to the Park before, stop in the Museum—there is always something more to discover.
- Guided Tours of the Battlefield and Other Historic Sites. The Visitor Center has the perfect battlefield adventure for you. Be matched with a personal Licensed Battlefield Guide, choose a battlefield bus tour or pick from multiple self-guided tour options departing from the Visitor Center. Tours of Eisenhower National Historic Site—Ike and Mamie Eisenhower’s farm—and the George Spangler Field Hospital Site also depart here. When in town, you can walk in Lincoln’s footsteps from the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station ™ where the President arrived in November 1863 to the David Wills House, where Lincoln put the finishing touches on his immortal Gettysburg Address before giving it in dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and where, each November on Remembrance Day, volunteers place luminaries on the graves of the soldiers. You can also visit The Rupp House, which offers visitors a glimpse of what life was like for civilians during the Civil War, particularly the John Rupp family who lived here during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the soldiers who fought in and around Gettysburg through interactive displays and hands-on exhibits—a great place to visit with children.
- When it’s time to refuel and pick up a t-shirt for a deserving relation, enjoy full-service lunch and all-day refreshments in our 1860s inspired Refreshment Saloon and a curated gift selection in our fully-stocked Museum Bookstore.
- In summer, visit the George Spangler Farm—one of the most intact Civil War Field Hospitals surviving. Living historians present special programs, showing how civil war field hospitals worked and what innovations in medicine resulted from these first “MASH units.”
From Living Historians and musical performances to exclusive rotating exhibits and ongoing NPS Ranger programs, there’s almost always something exciting going on at the Visitor Center and in the Park. Make sure to check the event calendar before you come!
Proceeds from your purchases at the Museum and Visitor Center go to fund battlefield preservation. The Gettysburg Foundation owns and operates the Museum and Visitor Center and is a private, non-profit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg. Find out more and buy tickets at our website. The Museum and Visitor Center is:
- Group Friendly
- Handicap Accessible with Wheelchair/Scooter Rentals
- Available for Weddings/Receptions/Corporate Rental
Explore the artifacts. Wonder at the Cyclorama. Understand our shared story.