Editor’s Note: This is the full recap of Kim and Jason Guthrie’s trip to Gettysburg. For more amazing photos, see the Winter 2018 edition of the magazine!
My husband and I are not exactly what you would call “sightseers.” Though we respect and honor the history associated with places, we don’t actively seek out those places—that’s not really our thing, but we understand how it can be for others. Instead, our preferences lie in being together and having fun in our own way, which generally means exploring the craft beer offerings and unique and delicious eats found in and around a cool little town. When the opportunity arose to visit Gettysburg and explore it beyond its obvious historical leanings, we jumped at the chance.
Now, anyone who knows anything about history, knows that the area is most widely known for the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, where one of the largest and bloodiest battles during the American Civil War was fought across the fields and rolling hills of the town. Driving into town on that first afternoon was humbling as we passed the house where the first shot was fired to begin the battle. There is an obvious sense of history as one continues driving toward the town proper and that feeling intensifies until it’s almost an eerie feeling, knowing just how many people—and animals— lost their lives in this battle. Yes, visitors and sightseers alike can experience all the incredible history associated with the battlefield, but Gettysburg is so much more than simply a historical place to visit and it begs a visitor to properly explore all that Gettysburg has to offer. Plan a visit like we did that incorporates a bit of the history combined with what we like to do and utilize Destination Gettysburg.
to help arrange your itinerary. Whether it’s a summer weekend trip or a winter
escape like ours, take the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in
Gettysburg’s history and small-town charm, while experiencing its
ever-expanding craft beverage industry and vast culinary scene.
Outdoor recreation opportunities also abound and will ensure that
you return to Gettysburg time and again.
Editors note: This is the full story that is featured in our Winter 2018 issue. For more photos, pick up a copy today!
Liberty Mountain Resort: A Winter Escape in Itself
Our winter escape trip began just down the road from Gettysburg in nearby Carroll Valley, at one of the region’s most popular ski resorts – Liberty Mountain Resort – boasting a wide variety of slopes, lessons, and varied amenities to keep you warm and active, both indoors and out. Thousands of skiers, snowboarders, and snow tubers hit the mountain every year to partake in that fresh winter air and the adrenaline rush that the downhill provides.
When we entered the Highland Lodge, we were struck by the beauty of the four-story stone fireplace that begged us to sit down and snuggle under a soft blanket in front of its fire, but our day’s plans were not meant to end there, even if it would have been a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Instead, we explored the amenities available at Liberty Resort and were unduly impressed with all of the options available.
Between the downhill sports, ice skating at the resort’s new rink, or even shooting a round of indoor golf at the Pro Shop’s Golf Simulators, the options are plentiful and are all located within walking distance to one of the resort’s 3 uniquely different, but equally delicious restaurants. We can confidently recommend the Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots and Poutine as delicious appetizers that preceded the hearty Reuben and Maryland street corn at the Eagle & The Owl. Their roomy bar there and equally roomy beer selection is on point, with an option or two available for any type of beer lover from IPAs to stouts.
“Liberty caters not only to the skiers, but also to the non-skiers who can make a spa appointment and then have access to the indoor pool, sauna, and hot tub for the day. Parents fight over who gets to drop off the kids for the day so that they can enjoy a day being pampered,” says Adrienne Weikert, an employee who has worked at Liberty since she was 14 years old and has seen the resort evolve and grow throughout her tenure.
“Liberty Mountain Resort has something for everyone, particularly year round. During the warmer months, you can play a round of golf at our 18 hole championship course – Carroll Valley Golf – or relax by the large mountainside outdoor pool and enjoy the clean mountain air. We also create engaging activities for the public all year, such as the Craft Beer Social, Music on the Mountain, and the Dipsy Doodle Dash & Liberty Mountain Challenge to name a few,” continues Adrienne, “the community is incredibly important to us and we’re always thinking of ways to include them throughout the year.”
Even better than simply visiting for the day, make a night of it and book a room at one of Liberty Mountain Resort’s new hotel rooms onsite, so that you can fully immerse yourself in all that Liberty has to offer in the way of incredible wintertime fun. And if snuggling in a blanket in front of a fire is still what you want to do, revisit the fireplace in the lobby or bundle up and visit the number of outdoor fire pits located throughout the resort’s outdoor areas. Fun times abound at Liberty, no matter what you choose to do while there.
Craft Drinks & Delicious Eats
If you know anything about me and my husband, Jason, it’s that we love good beer and yummy food. Honestly, very few decisions are made without considering where we will eat and where we will have a drink first—we know what we like, and we stick to this simple equation for figuring out what we want to do together. It’s worked for us for almost 24 years, so why change things up now? All our date nights and weekends away become a mini version of our own unique episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as we seek out an area’s best beer and food purveyors, so it just makes sense that we’d approach this trip no differently from countless others on which we’ve embarked.
Located across the road from the Historic Round Barn & Farm Market, the Thirsty Farmer Brew Works was our second stop and was recommended by our guide for the day, the lovely and energetic Rachel Wright, a Media Relations Assistant from Destination Gettysburg. Rachel says she visits this brewery especially in the warmer months with her well-behaved and adorable Golden Retriever, Fletch, in tow and they sit outside on the deck and oversee the farm’s crops and growing hops used in the beer production.
When trying any new brewery, cidery, or winery, we suggest ordering a flight or two to get a sense of what each place has to offer, while also determining which beer (or beers) is worth getting in a 16 ounce pour. At Thirsty Farmer, we ordered two flights ranging from light to dark beer (stouts and porters being our personal favorites!) and these flights included almost all of their nine styles of beer offered, which include American Wheat, Hefeweizen, Vienna Lager, IPA, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Hazlenut Brown, Chocolate Porter, and Apple Graff, a unique fresh cider and beer blend that is a must try. These selections are hand-crafted in small batches and are served alongside delicious light fare made with farm fresh ingredients, grown on site.
Another beautiful spot located nearby at the end of an almost mile long driveway is the Hauser Estate Winery featuring beautiful views and a selection of in-house produced wine and Jack’s Hard Ciders, as well as several local beers. And we’ve never come across something as cool as this before, but there’s first time for everything: an underground winery and cider production facility sits beneath their 360 degree glass enclosed tasting room that overlooks miles of farmland, orchards, and forests, extending toward the national Civil War Battlefield. To produce their Jack’s Hard Ciders, Hauser uses only apples native to the area. Downtown Gettysburg also features a Hauser Estate Winery tasting room, so its many wines and ciders can be had without making the scenic drive, but we truly encourage you to visit the actual winery and its stunning vista, which is well worth the trip.
The town of Gettysburg is charming, with its center composed of the historical Gettysburg Hotel and shops and eateries arranged around a town circle. As you explore the town, you’ll find yourself near the circle several times throughout the day, so be sure to visit the Gettysburg Baking Company who offers a variety of fresh breads, including their Adams County sourdough and a variety of well-crafted pastries, such as the delectable chocolate pear tart or simple homemade flavor of the apple tart, both of which we enjoyed for breakfast as we kicked off the second day of our trip.
Just up the road a bit from the Gettysburg Baking Company is the Battlefield Brew Works Taproom, whose original location has the distinction of being Pennsylvania’s oldest operating brewery and distillery combined under one roof. The taproom’s location provides ample seating to sample the 5 beers—one of our favorites being their exceptional Dead Horse Black IPA—and variety of nationally and internationally awarded spirits available, including a Burnt Bum Rum, Double Distilled Vodka, Far Gin Moment, or a Rye Smile Barrel Aged Whiskey. Though this taproom’s offerings are thorough, a visit to the actual brewery located at the Historic Monfort Farm is a must. The Pennsylvania Dutch brick end barn in which the brewery and distillery resides served as one of the largest Confederate field hospitals after the battle. The brewery and distillery’s restaurant offer a unique food menu including local meats paired with exotic national favorites sure to please any appetite.
A midafternoon drive to the Mason Dixon Distillery located just a bit outside of Gettysburg proper was exceptional, both in drink and food. The Lavender Lemonade was highly recommended by locals and visitors alike. It’s made with their house distilled vodka (incredibly smooth to sip on its own, I might add), fresh lemon juice, and lavender syrup. Aside from their Vodka, they also distill Rum, Aged Rum, Corn Whiskey, and a specialty
Bourbon, which rounds out this distillery’s offerings. For the non-spirit loving drinker, Mason Dixon offers a varied selection of PA beers. Unique foods such as the shrimp and andouille hushpuppies serve as a delicious start to our meal. While I added shrimp to their roasted beat salad, Jason chose a barbacoa bowl special and luckily both were incredibly delicious.
We returned to town and made a brief stop at the small, sixteen seat Tattered Flag Tap Room serving their very own craft beer, spirits, and merchandise. Though their tap list shows a commitment to variety, their passion is for creating New England Style IPA’s and an ever-expanding Sours menu. What we didn’t know until we sat down and listened to the bartender talking to an Army Vet is that the Tattered Flag was dreamed into existence in the hills of Afghanistan and is owned and operated by Veterans. We enjoyed our taster of four beers, especially their Teutonic Knight Hefeweizen and Fatum Series Kumquat Sour and then bought a beer for a Vet before we left.
For dinner, we visited the historic 1776 Dobbin House Tavern. Upon entering, we were greeted by a warm fire in the hearth of the stone fireplace and hostesses in colonial wear. Warm and fresh in-house baked bread was delivered to our candlelit table alongside our drinks—Saucony Creek’s Maple Mistress Ale and my raspberry champagne shrub, both of which were incredibly good. The baked King’s onion soup was highly recommended and was, quite possibly, the best onion soup I’ve ever eaten. Jason’s Maryland crab cakes and giant baked sweet potato was good, but not nearly as delicious as my Crabmeat a la Dobbin. On our next Gettysburg visit, we’ll be sure to sample the lighter fare and more laidback ambience in the cozy downstairs tavern.
Rest assured: we will return to treat our palates to the other wines, ciders, spirits, and craft brews found in Gettysburg’s downtown tasting rooms and throughout the Adams County countryside. Likewise, we can’t wait to get a taste of more of the area’s restaurants and their unique fare—perhaps a summer getaway is in order? There’s still so much more to see!
Shopping & Strolling the Streets
Second only to my love of craft beer and yummy food is my love of shopping. I jokingly tell friends that I was raised in a mall, but that’s not far off the mark. My mother loves nothing more than a good bargain on a quality item and she certainly passed that love on to both of her daughters. Now, my husband—though his mother also loves shopping—could easily never step one foot in a store again because all of the ladies in his life keep him well outfitted, but he enjoys walking along, window shopping, and heading inside a store when an item or two caught my attention. Though our time spent exploring the neat little shops throughout the town was not spent seeking out a bargain, we immersed ourselves in all of the artsy goods that Gettysburg had to offer.
Just across a short hallway from the Gettysburg Baking Company sits Lark – A Modern Marketplace. Lark is what all other stores should aspire to be— it’s colorful, witty, eclectic, and smartly arranged. Lark specializes in unique, handmade, and fair-trade goods from small businesses and artisans all over the world—and I’m not afraid to admit that I fell instantly in love with a Mona B. Tote bag that was made from up-cycled canvas (it basically weighed nothing—and for any woman’s purse, that’s a feat in and of itself). The store took some time to go through—on every surface was something unique that begged you to take a second look. I could have happily spent an hour or two exploring, but we needed to move on, so we headed outside past the roundabout and down a ways to visit a store that had caught my eye on our first drive through: town Gallery 30.
Gallery 30 is a bit of a contradiction: the entire center of the space is comprised of display upon display of beautiful and ornate jewelry, while the outer perimeter is a mix of funky and functional handcrafted products and artsy decor produced by local artisans. What caught my eye the day before and drew us here today, though, were the hundreds of charming decorative gourds, most of which were designed to be lit within. The choices were endless, but we finally decided on a cute snowman purchased just in time to display for the holidays.
Just a few steps down from A Tattered Flag Taproom is a very cool little shop named A Lil Somethin’. We popped in to look around and were pleasantly surprised to find a great assortment of salsas, dips, and sauces that the owner graciously let us sample. The blue crab salsa is a must buy —we went home with two jars of it!
Nowhere outside of actually visiting Germany will you find more authentic German merchandise than at The Christmas Haus. It’s a bit nerve-racking to walk through the store as I can be a bull in a china shop, but I was incredibly careful as we perused the ornaments, smokers, nutcrackers, and miniatures. What a collection!
In the midst of our visit, we took the opportunity to visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, where the short film “A New Birth of Freedom” oriented us to the battle. We were entirely unprepared for the Cyclorama Painting Experience, which presents the sights and sounds of the battle—this alone is worth the price of admission. Finally, we toured the well-designed and recently redone museum, packed with original artifacts and interactive exhibits from the civil war. Though the entire experience was incredibly somber, we both have a clearer sense of what transpired at Gettysburg and how devastating it was to the region.
Experiencing Gettysburg was a novel experience—and truthfully—probably one we normally shy away from because we incorrectly assumed that it was only a sightseeing destination. Yes, it is primarily known for its historical battlefield, but as we quickly learned, this area boasts a wealth of activities beyond just those historic acres. Our winter Gettysburg getaway was just what we needed—an unknown place to explore with tasty treats to try, crafty cocktails to sip, and new people and places to experience. Thank you, Gettysburg, for your warm hospitality and cheers until we return next time!