The Pub is a bar.restaurant located right on the corner of busy Lincoln Square. My wife and I stopped in here for an afternoon drink afetr visiting the Train Station. It was unbearably hot that day with temps in the high 90's; so a drink was definitely needed.
The place was jam packed both outside on their streetside dining area and inside. We managed to secure two bar stools simply out of luck. We both chose to have some cold beer as our beverage of choice. My wife had a Stella and I a Pilsner Urquell. It was nice just sitting in the air conditioning and relaxing.
Gettysburg has always meant tradition, history and a peacefully quiet destination. However, if you are looking for this type of getaway, do NOT visit on the weekend after the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, because something else invades this little town. It's called Biker weekend, and oh boy, it's noisy!
We didn't know this was an annual event, so we stumbled onto it while staying here in mid-July. I have to admit, though, we found the evening biker parade fun to watch. So if you aren't adverse to a little noise and love to people watch, you'll find all types of folks here on that weekend.
The motorcycles began gearing up around sunset. People gathered along the sidewalks and soon the bikers began their drive-by. All types of motorcycles were represented. I was told that the townsfolk aren't too happy with this event, so I hope they come to some compromise.
FYI: Next scheduled bike week is July 8-10, 2010. Go to www.gettysburgbikeweek.com for more info.
I guess I could put this under tourist trap but what the heck . I saw a documentary on Gettysburg telling of the hauntings that supposedly happen here and I have to admit it got my interest . Anyway there are several tours to choose from from around $9.50 for a couple of hours.
The Farnsworth House Ghost tour is one the most popular in town so of course that means a big tour group. Though they do seem to have a limit on how many people they will book. The tour was some of the same stories and places as the others but, the costumed tour guide for some reason seemed to be more charismatic than guides from other tours. As a matter of fact he claimed in the beginning of the tour to have some sort of spiritual connection to Gettysburg itself although he would not say right away what it was. CHARISMATIC AND MYTERIOUS .... so the same stories sounded a little different and the new ones he was telling were more heartfelt with a tinge of sadness.
As proof of how good a tour can be is based on how good the guide is: This tour revisited a previous site I was at in a previous tour (See Sleepy Hollow review). It was the high school football field at the edge of town. Our guide's visit was just after the game with the lights out on the field and he explained why we were here. At the edge of field where the woods began was the site of one the Gettysburg battles. His story continued with ghost sighting seen on the ridge from the spot we were standing. Our guide requested silence as we "ghost" watched along the ridge. Although I did not actually see anything definite, I felt I had. Why I wondered .... We walked down the street to a park across from the Farnsworth House where our guide finally let us in on his secret. He had been told by a psychic that his attachment to this place is because he once in a former life was a solider for the south (LA tigers, if I remember correctly), fought at Gettysburg and died on that ridge we just left from. Now, normally I do not find truth in the reincarnation theories and have been known to snark at them. But, this guide had a way of putting his past history before our group that wasn't laughable. SHIVER!!!
Our tour continued and ended with a visit inside the famous Farnsworth House attic. No ghost but, the visit was something I wasn't expecting. Glad I got to see it.
This ghost walk takes place in the middle of busy downtown Gettysburg. I went on this tour the weekend before Halloween weekend. There were at least 35 -40 people in our group already and the operator was approaching more people who were walking by to join the group. What there weren't enough!!!!!
Although we had a tour guide that was very loud, it was very hard to hear over the traffic that was going by and the size of the group . He talked more about Gettysburg battle history than ghost telling which made the kids (and myself) restless and bored. I could see however the man did have a story telling talent for talking about anything but that was not exactly what I paid for. Add to that, you needed to listen up intently at other times to distinguish your tour guides voice from others because we often shared the same places as other tours. Most stopping spots seemed to be just random and had nothing to do with the story he was telling. The most confusing and distracting spot was the football field he took us to. THE GAME WAS GOING ON !!!! The lights were blazing, a large crowd was cheering and an announcer gave play by play over a loud speaker. Only to go there and barely hear a story that has NOTHING to do with this spot. WHAT WAS THE POINT? (Note: There was a point THIS tour just blew it! See my experience with the Farnsworth tour)
All in all, I would have to say this is an example of an over hyped tourist trap!!! It was obvious that this tour is more about QUANTITY than QUALITY !
This ghost tour covers a small area and out of the way of the others tours up the street. You do not go into any of the buildings they are telling the stories about but, just stand outside of it. They used to give you an electronic ghost detention device to wear around your neck that lights up, indicating a spirit is near by. I'm not sure whether they still do this or not but, if not it's a shame because it was what set them apart from everyone else. Before the tour starts the tour operator shows your photos that were taken while he was standing there selling tickets. He has a few photos of an ECTOPLASM of something(?) that floats across the street. It is eyebrow raising because you can see a human shape in some.
We attended on a Thursday which may have had something to do with our group being so small. Some of the stories told are about other areas of the battlefield/city (I personally want to hear stories of the places I am standing in front of only!) and the rest had to do with the spots we were standing on. The plus to this group is that the walking area covered is not ventured on to by other tours. Oh, ... my added thrill ... while listening to a story people in the tour group facing me pointed out that my electronic device had lit up!
Other than a few hotel bars of a local tavern or two, most of which close down by midnight even on weekends, Gettysburg is not the place to go for a hopping nightlife. This is more a destination for the "early to bed - early to rise" set.
Dress Code: If you do find a place to have a few after dark, casual dress is usually fine.
The tour starts as a walking tour and at midnight ends in the basement of the orphanage with a medium. Our tour guide had no talent for putting together a story. That’s a shame because he actually did have stories not heard before in previous ghost walks. Our family dealt with it because we thought the evening would have a big bone chilling ending! Right? SO WRONG! Our group of about 40 packed into the cellar and the medium walked around us. Then she went into some sort of “lecture” mode explaining her “theory” on mediums and spirits. Some of it was sensible but, when did the mediating start we wondered. It never did. She never directly answered anyone’s questions or challenges to her theories (and they asked a few times). She told us how she had help people (by phone) with issues dealing w/ dead family members. It all ended with her praying for them and their problems were solved. She took the credit for their recovery of course. She just ramble and never came to a point and often lost her train of thought.
Then the lights were turned off so we could feel/see/sense spirits. It was pure irony with everyone’s camera flashes, digital camera screen lights and picture phones ALL going off at the same time. There was more luminosity in the room than with the ceiling fixtures on! What was our medium doing?? Oh she was continuing her lecture…. “Electronic equipment is nothing but a sham” so are all other mediums but .. her …. “We are all mediums” …..etc. Then she let us know about a project was busy with, helping Lincoln The dead president, who is apparently suck on earth and is haunting the Hall of Presidents next door and is seeking only her help to release him. We had enough and almost got up and walked out of there after that statement. She was right we all are mediums because I know I’m more of one than she was.
Oh one more thing, her great prediction to all of us in the basement: “When we all get home something is going to happen”….. Yes and I know what is was. I realized how I wasted my value time and money.
Dress Code: Weather dependent.
Depending on who you are with in town you can have a great time. I normaly go with fellow reenactors. 1st leave your car as almost all the bars and restaurants are with in waliking distance of each other. besides as long as you stay off washington st. It's very safe and really the best way to see the town. Starting Breakfest at the Lincoln Dinner open 24/7( also a good spot to hit after the bars) lunch at the Farnsworth house ( i always like the tavern) dinner at O'Rorke's the reenactor's #1 hangout and were you will most likely see both yank's and Reb's but also some world war 2 paratroopers. The Blue Parrot Bistro has some great naco's and always a good stop. Also the ghost walks can be fun(never been on 1) but the real place to see something is out on the battlefield. The covered bridge is always a good spot to hit late at night.
Dress Code: Dress like a tourist. or in a uniform most places jeans and a polo will do.
Absolutely without a doubt the LONGEST of the ghost tours. Wear comfortable shoes if you are planning on going! From the "Ghost of Gettysburg" headquarters you walk down to Gettysburg college and through out the campus. Frequent rest stops along the way with a story or two during the walking break. The way back is longer and weaves through the residential and business district for no reason. The stories did not appear to go with the site we were sitting at. At one point the tour stop in front of a residence and we were all sitting on their steps and lawn listening to this guide at almost midnight. I know if this was my home I would be complaining. All in all the tour was two hours long. Too much for me! Add to that all the stories were directly from the Mark Nesbitt books and I've heard and seen them all on TV before. Nice guide but he needs new stories ...... and stay out of people's yards before they mistake you for a reb' and take a shot at you!!
You want to take the #1 Ghost Tour in America?
If searching for afterlife afterdark is your thing....take a trip to Gettysburg and take a ghost tour. I haven't taken the tour yet, I didn't need a guide when I was there and could feel something or someone else was with us as we toured the battlefield...
Visit Ghosts of Gettysburg to laern more about the ghosts and tours....
I will give a detailed tip after I try them out...
Not a bar hopper (or have kids with you) and don't want to spend the rest of the evening holed up in the hotel room? TRY A GHOST WALK.
Gettysburg is supposed to be one of the most haunted places in the USA! Many paranormal investigation groups make this their meeting destination. There are several tour groups in town and tickets can be purchased that evening or ahead of time. I HAVE been on a different one every time we go to Gettysburg and I still haven't been on all of them. Add to that, a few more new tours have popped up since I started going. In the following tips I listed the ones I have been on .....
Ghosts of Gettysburg tours are based on the books by Mark Nesbitt and offer 3 different tours. The one we chose for that evening was Seminary Ridge at the Lutheran Seminary. The Seminary is west of downtown Gettysburg and was the scene of the first day of battle. The area is quiet and dimly lit. My "scary" encounter here was where my freshly charged battery on my camcorder went suddenly and totally dead after filming about two minutes.
The stories here are about experiences in the building/dorms on the campus and in houses across the street: General Lee's headquarters (owned by others) and the house (which our guide would not identify) which had a barn where the confederate solider was buried alive under a pile of dead bodies for days (you will hear this story often on the ghost tours). Our guide had the fortune of having relatives/friends that were employed by the Seminary and worked in the surrounding buildings so she had some stories of her own to tell aside from Mr. Nesbitt's. I don't know if it is because of the darkness on the Seminary's lawn but all in my family got a little spooked. My nephew (who had gone on other walks, watch the movie Gettysburg and had heard the horrors of war on the battlefield that day) started to cry and wanted to return to the car.
Lets see, if you're interested in arguing about the civil war, start at the Mine, which is actually on the Taneytown Road. The Guides tend to gather there.
Then proceed to O'Rourke's for some Irish music and beer.
Next, across Steinwehr, is the Gingerbread Man. Great snacks.
The bar at the Farnsworth House isn't what it used to be, but still worth a toddle in.
McClellans on the square is very nice. All wood panelling and ambience.
The traffic is fierce, and where ever you wander of an evening you will find crowds of tourists listening to ghost stories at $6 a head, but what do you care?
What nightlife? The Gettysburg Brewing Company is my favorite spot.
Very quaint pub with homebrew that will knock your socks off. The owner, Dave Baker, is a down-to-earth kind of guy. He offers an interesting array of informal menu items like Thai Chicken Pizza and other unique pizzas made with a beer batter crust.
Dress Code: Informal. Bring a relaxed attitude, an open mind, and your darts. (Two dart boards available)