Family Weekend Recommendations & Tips

Family Weekend 2020 is canceled

Favorite recommendations and tips for getting the most out of Family Weekend (and, frankly, any visit to Gettysburg College)

Created by the Family Weekend Advisory Council

2019 Top Recommendations

  • Download and set up the Passport parking app—you won't need change and you can add time without returning to your car.
  • Print the Family Weekend schedule ahead of time and review with your student to make sure that you adjust for events they already have planned.
  • Plan on the Gettysburg College Civil War Tour and the Gettysburg College Ghost Tour.
  • Hope for clear skies on Friday evening and go to the Observatory.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early to events.
  • Take time to find a quiet place on campus to relax and catch up with your student.
  • Use your Discount ID card at participating businesses--if you don’t have one, they will be available at Registration.
  • Take a GettysBike Tour.
  • Make dinner reservations.
  • Try something new!
  • There is no charge for athletic events, so wear your orange and blue and cheer on the Bullets sports teams.
  • Take a break on the Bullet Hole patio--especially if it's a nice day.

2019 Top Dining Recommendations (in no particular order!)

  • Garryowen Irish Pub (gluten-free choices)
  • Blue & Gray Bar & Grill
  • El Costeño
  • Inn at Herr Ridge (you can stay here as well)
  • Deliso Pizza (homemade pasta, gluten-free and allergy-friendly choices)
  • Eat on Sunday at the West Side Diner—it’s less busy than the Lincoln Diner!
  • Food 101
  • One Lincoln
  • Mason Dixon Distillery
  • Appalachian Brewing Company (both Gettysburg locations)


Did you know that you can ride the Freedom Transit Trolley for free with a Gettysburg College/Gettysburg the Town Discount ID card? To request a Discount ID card, email

Check out the Freedom Transit Trolley website for route maps and schedules. You can park at your hotel or at the conveniently located parking garage downtown (behind The Gettysburg Hotel). Catch the trolley at the new Gettysburg Transit Center, located across from Subway at 103 Carlisle Street. The Gray Line travels to Gettysburg College.

Note: The last trolley leaves the Transit Center at 9 p.m. Please plan accordingly.

Be aware that parking on campus is limited. We have found that the Gettysburg Borough police will ticket cars on borough streets when meters or the allotted time to park expire.

Visit Registration early!

If you can, try to visit Registration as early as possible, especially on Saturday morning, to avoid a crowd. Please note that Registration closes at 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Getting Off Campus

Of course, your student may be itching to get off campus for a while, and Family Weekend is the perfect time to explore the town of Gettysburg and beyond. Here are some traditional faves.

Within walking distance

  • Stroll the Battlefield
  • David Wills House, Lincoln Square
  • Lincoln Diner, 32 Carlisle Street
  • The Ragged Edge Coffee House, 110 Chambersburg Street
  • Local shopping along Chambersburg, York, and Baltimore Streets
  • Wine tasting at Adams County Winery, 25 Chambersburg Street
  • The Ugly Mug, 168 Carlisle Street
  • Mr. G’s Ice Cream, 404 Baltimore Street

Within a few minutes’ drive of campus

A bit farther afield

  • Orchard visits
    • Historic Round Barn and Farm Market, 298 Cashtown Road, off Route 30 west of Gettysburg
    • Hollabaugh Bros., Inc.
  • Hauser Estate Winery, 410 Cashtown Road, off Route 30 west of Gettysburg
  • Hiking trails
    • Appalachian Trail, crosses Route 30 near Caledonia State Park about 10 miles west of Gettysburg
    • Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve
    • Cunningham Falls State Park (MD)

Have your own ideas?

Please send your suggestions to! Thank you!

Updated 10.24.2019