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February 17, 2015 in Reviews / Trips in Eastern United States

I remember on New Years Eve this past year, walking by a beautiful brick building with tall windows.  I saw the Christmas tree showing off in the window with people strewn about the room holding their beverages.  I told my boyfriend Brandon, “I want to stay there some day.”  Well, it wasn’t a month later that the opportunity came knocking,  and I got a chance to stay in the beautiful Swope Manor Bed & Breakfast in Gettysburg, PA.


Upon walking into the building I was intimidated.  It felt like I had just crept into someone’s private home.  There were Civil War reenactors roaming the house dressed in period attire, ready for the ball to take place at The Gettysburg Hotel.  A gentleman spotted me as I searched to find who we check in with.  Noticing me wandering in confusion, he stopped and introduced himself as Van; yes, like the vehicle.  Van was the inn keeper, and to my surprise, he knew exactly who I was.  He quickly offered Brandon and I a glass of wine and showed us to the entertainment in the other room.

There was a musician singing old songs in the room off to our left.  Guests were gathering around and singing along while drinking and snacking on appetizers.  Needless to say, this experience wasn’t going to be anything like I’ve had before.  As someone who typically stays in generic hotels, this was unfamiliar territory.



Van grabbed the key to our room and took us on a tour of the house.  The attention to detail in every room was fantastic.  They were all so beautifully decorated, maintaining their historical  charm.

Out of the 13 rooms, Brandon and I were fortunate enough to be staying in Miss Dorothy’s Suite, an absolutely stunning room with views of the main road outside of the windows.  This particular suite was dedicated to the previous owner of the home, Miss Dorothy, who had hopes of turning the home into a Bed & Breakfast.  While she was never able to make that dream come true during her ownership, the current owners have done a wonderful job of bringing her dream to life.

THE SWOPE MANOR B&B - Miss Dorothy's Suite

THE SWOPE MANOR B&B – Miss Dorothy’s Suite

Some of the unique features this room boasted were a king size bed, electric fire place, jacuzzi tub, large shower, and great views for people watching!  We instantly fell in love with its romantic elegance.

That evening, Van was kind enough to help us with any questions we had as well as providing directions and suggestions.  We even met some of the other staff who were also very friendly and helpful.  Van and Bruce were kind enough to work with our awkward schedule the next morning and made sure we had breakfast ready, earlier than normally scheduled.  They were EXTREMELY accommodating!

The home is rich in history, making it the perfect place to experience everything Gettysburg has to offer.  I would HIGHLY recommend everyone pay a visit to the Swope Manor Bed and Breakfast.  The customer service is fantastic, the rooms are unique and immaculate, and it will be a truly unforgettable experience.

Just a few tips before you go:

  • If you are a light sleeper, I wouldn’t suggest Miss Dorothy’s Suite.  Since it is right next to the road it is rather noisy.  Instead, choose a room on the other side of the house.
  • The B&B does not have its own parking lot.  You will be directed to park in a public garage behind the building, which has a rate of .75/hour – max $10.   

The Swope Manor Bed & Breakfast
60 York Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 398-2655
Click to Visit their Website

Photos of Miss Dorothy’s Suite:







A few of the other rooms available:

SWOPE MANOR  Gettysburg, PA


SWOPE MANOR  Gettysburg, PA

SWOPE MANOR  Gettysburg, PA

SWOPE MANOR  Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg Winter Fun


February 10, 2015 in Everything Else / Reviews / Trips in Eastern United States

A Girl and Her Travel BugI don’t know about you but when I think about Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I immediately envision Civil War reenactors and battlefields – a history buff’s paradise!  While these attributes may ring true to the area, we quickly discovered that there is more to Gettysburg than meets the eye – especially in the cold winter months!  Here is how my boyfriend Brandon and I enjoyed our Gettysburg Getaway on a cold January weekend.

Gettysburg Heritage Center

Gettysburg Heritage Center
297 Steinwehr Avenue, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-6245

We started our adventure at the new Gettysburg Heritage Center.  The Heritage Center is a small museum that focuses on educating people about the war from the perspectives of locals living in town at the time.  There are plaques filled with informational readings as well as authentic artifacts.  We loved that many of the exhibits required the usage of 3-D glasses, supplied by the Heritage Center.  If you are a visual learner (much like myself), this museum is a great way for you to better understand everything that took place during the war.  There are videos displaying real photography, and some of it is rather graphic, but of course that was the reality of the war.  My favorite part of the center was the theater on the way out.  There is an educational video that explains the strategies used by the soldiers.  The center of the theater displayed a mocked-up battlefield of fighting soldiers that lit up at times during the video.

Gettysburg Museum of History

The Gettysburg Museum of History
219 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 337-2035

Perhaps one of my favorite discoveries was the Gettysburg Museum of History.  We stumbled upon this gem while we were looking for open shops (many places don’t open until 11:00am or so in the winter) and this was one of the few that was open early.  This tiny museum is free to the public and has been featured on a number of television shows such as American Pickers and Pawn Stars.  They carry a large private collection of fascinating relics.  You’ll see everything from Elvis Presley’s hair brush to writings by John F. Kennedy, and even ancient Egyptian mummy heads!  For such a small museum, there is no shortage of amazing exhibits.  This is a place you can’t miss during your next Gettysburg visit.

48 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-2700

By the time we finished looking around the museum, we were ready for lunch.  We headed to Café Saint-Amand, a little French inspired restaurant within minutes of the museum.  This is a family friendly little bistro with great service and yummy food for every appetite.  I tried the ham and cheese crepe and it was VERY good!

Reid's Orchard & Winery

Reid’s Orchard & Winery
400 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-7537

After lunch we made our way to Reid’s Orchard and Winery Tasting Room.  I have to admit, I have been to Gettysburg quite a few times before and this is  a place that I had never even noticed until this trip.  The place was a bit busy when we arrived so there was only one person (Nick) behind the bar at the time.  Apparently there is typically more help there but something came up that day, keeping staff a bit tight.  Despite this, we were able to try some delicious wine and we learned about how Gettysburg is carving a pretty significant niche in the East Coast wine world.  We learned a lot from Nick and he made some great wine suggestions to suit our tastes!  I recommend the Abe’s Army Apple wine!

Gettysburg Day SpaGettysburg Day Spa
730 Chambersburg Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-8423

Our next stop was a great way to cap off the day – a trip to the Gettysburg Day Spa!  We were greeted by very friendly and enthusiastic staff upon our arrival to this beautiful spa.  Shortly after, 2 massage therapists escorted us to a quiet area in the back of the building (which is larger than it looks, by the way) and we were on our way to a relaxing couples massage.  My massage therapist was very knowledgable and did a fabulous job.

Appalachian Brewing CompanyAppalachian Brewing Company
70 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 398-2419

We ate dinner at the Appalachian Brewing Company that evening.  This bar/restaurant is tucked between a couple of hotels and a movie theater, making it a convenient hot spot for travelers staying nearby.  This is the perfect place for the beer lover looking for a casual atmosphere!  While we both opted not to drink (the wine earlier was plenty!) we heard many positive things about their popular beer sampler.

THE SWOPE MANOR B&BThe Swope Manor Bed & Breakfast
60 York Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 398-2655

We eventually checked into the Swope Manor Bed & Breakfast for the night.  It was a beautiful and elegant home in the heart of Gettysburg, just a short walk away from the square.  We absolutely loved this place!  Van and Bruce treat their guests like family and create a comfortable environment.  Each room is unique and meticulously maintained. We stayed in Miss Dorothy’s Suite, a suite dedicated to the previous owner of the home, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the accommodations.  We wouldn’t hesitate to go back!


Swope Manor RoomSWOPE MANOR Gettysburg, PA

Ski Liberty – Snow Tubing
78 Country Club Trail, Fairfield, PA 17320
(717) 642-8282

The next morning we drove to Ski Liberty, which was about a 25 minute drive from Gettysburg.  Even though we made it there around 10am, the parking lot for tubing was full.  We had to find a place in the main lot and be shuttled up to the tubing part of the mountain.  We waited a little while since time slots filled up incredibly fast, but we had a blast when we finally got to start tubing!  If you go, be sure to get there a little early to ensure you get a good time slot.  Take a peek at the video below I took using my GoPro Hero 3 Silver.  You can practically experience it for yourself…..

IMG_1004Adams County Winery
251 Peach Tree Road, Orrtanna, PA 17353
(717) 334-4631

Adam’s County Winery was probably my favorite stop on this weekend adventure.  When we arrived, the manager Dan was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility and some background on how the machinery works.  We were then taken into a room where they were holding their first Sweet Sunday event of the month.  In this particular event, they were pairing wine with dessert.  We could choose from 3 kinds of cakes and a variety of wines on the list.  I tried the coconut cake and Moscato, which was a delicious pairing.  We then sampled a few of their other wines.  Dan was extremely knowledgable about wine, and it turned out to be an educational experience for us (Since we are hardly wine connoisseurs!)  There wasn’t a single “bad” wine that we tried.  I may even go as far as saying that they had some of the best wines I’ve ever tasted.  Particularly, if you are a fan of sweet wines, you have to try some of theirs!  I highly recommend trying Tears of Gettysburg, one of their popular award-winning white wines.

The Ragged EdgeThe Ragged Edge Coffee House
110 Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-4464

Our last stop before departing back to Baltimore was the Ragged Edge.  This was not our first visit to the Ragged Edge, but we hadn’t been there in a while.  We’ve always enjoyed stopping in there. It is a super artsy coffee-house with great coffee choices and a cozy atmosphere.  It has 2 floors, a warm fireplace, books to read, and a piano upstairs.  It’s also a great place to watch local musicians play.


Bran and I had a GREAT trip that weekend.  You could also say it was very eye-opening, as it included things we may not typically consider while visiting Gettysburg.  We found it to be a fun winter destination for couples, families and solo adventurers alike.  When you’re considering your next winter trip, consider visiting Gettysburg.  Now is the perfect time because there are many specials and packages being offered.  Click here to see the specials that you could enjoy this weekend!

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA


January 6, 2015 in Trips in Eastern United States

My boyfriend and I have made a tradition out of spending New Year’s Eve in Gettysburg, PA.  It might seem a bit random to spend it there of all places, but it really is a great time!  This year I brought my Nikon D700 along with a handy 50mm prime lens.

New Year’s Eve in historic Gettysburg is a lot more eventful than one might think.  It takes place in Lincoln Square, right smack in front of the beautiful Gettysburg Hotel.  The festivities begin around 9pm on New Year’s Eve and keep on going until about 12:30am.  It starts with a band (or DJ – it can vary) performing on a small stage.  Throughout the night there are small events such as a funny hat contest and even a baton twirler.  Shortly before midnight, the countdown begins and once the clock strikes midnight, an incredible fireworks show explodes into the sky!

Not only do these fun activities take place, but many of the surrounding bars and restaurants are packed with celebrations of their own.

Since we live over an hour away, we tend to get a hotel nearby so we don’t have to make the hike home so late.  There are tons of inexpensive options within minutes of the square.  This year we stayed at the Hampton Inn in Gettysburg (it was maybe a 5 minute drive from all the festivities) and it turned out to be an excellent choice.  Click here to check out my little review of the hotel.  

If you live in or near PA and are looking for some family fun on New Year’s Eve, be sure to check out what Gettysburg has to offer!

You’ll probably notice the noise on the photos taken with my Nikon – I had the ISO cranked up to 6400!  I don’t typically like to push it that high, but there wasn’t a lot of light to work with.

Click Here for the Gettysburg Hampton Inn

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

New Year's Eve in Gettysburg, PA

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