The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It’s the best museum to visit if you want to learn about the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg. Within the museum you’ll find the Museum, the Cyclorama, the Film (narrated by Morgan Freeman) and if you want to visit the Eisenhower National Historic Site, you’ll have to buy your tickets there and take the shuttle over to the site.
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The museum can get quite busy during the summer tourist season or during special events. There are several large parking lots on their property that you can park in for free. If you’re looking for handicapped spaces, you’ll find them in the main lot, pretty close to the entrance of the museum. Just make sure you display their plaque or sticker when you utilize those particular parking spaces.
Near the front entrance you’ll find the famous President Abe Lincoln statue. That statue draws a crowd and it’s a great place to take some photographs and selfies! During special events, you’ll find Civil War exhibits and re-enactors in this area too (during the summer season).
Once you enter the museum building you’ll find the museum gift shop to your right. You’ll want to walk through the lobby until you reach the ticket counter on your right. This is where you’ll buy your tickets for the attractions you wish to see. You can visit just one attraction or buy combo tickets to see all of the attractions that they have to offer. Combo tickets do save you some money.
The museum is housed on the bottom floor and you’ll enter through the marked doors. Once inside, follow the guided path. Your very first stop will be in a mini movie theater where you can sit down and watch the approximately 8 minute film. I highly recommend that you take the time out to watch it, especially if this is your first visit.
In my honest opinion, you’ll want to take your time walking through the museum. There are a lot of things to see, read and do. The exhibits will start off with what was going on right before the Civil War started, things that occurred at the beginning of the war and leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg and the days following it.
You’ll learn about the Union and Confederate Army, their generals, leaders and soldiers. You’ll learn about President Abraham Lincoln, his election and the important part that he played during the Civil War. The museum gives you a great overall view of the Battle for Gettysburg and I enjoyed learning about the people who lived there during the time and the role that they played during the war too.
From start to finish, I think you should allow a minimum of 75 minutes to just go through the museum. You’ll want to add more time to your schedule if you plan on visiting the other on-site attractions. You can take photographs in the museum, but you have to turn your camera flash off, so that you don’t disturb the other visitors. (Yes, that’s their policy).
After your tour you can head to the Museum Gift Shop where you’ll find some very cool souvenirs, collectibles and gift items. We saw all kinds of nice t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, collectible coins, jewelry, books, toys of the kids, home decor and more. Most of the items in their shop are reasonably priced and others…well, it’s a gift shop!
If you’re hungry, they do have an on-site restaurant where you can go in, sit down and enjoy some great tasting food and beverages. We ate there last time during our visit and I have to admit, our food was really good! It sits off to the side back by the ticket counter area, so it’s in a quiet area of the building.
We’ve been to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum several times in the past few years and every time that we visit…we learn something new or see something that we didn’t see before. This museum is definitely are favorite one in Gettysburg and should be at the top of your list when visiting the area.