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Washington to Gettysburg

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Washington to Gettysburg

I'll be in Washington with my son from 8/7 to 8/11. For Aug 11th I've rented a car at Reagan National for a day trip to see Gettysburg. We're Civil War buffs. Leaving National by car about 8am. We have a return flight to Florida at 7pm on the same day. I'm unsure of the traffic situations on a Saturday and wonder how much time we should spend at Gettysburg to get back to the airport in time. Or otherwise, perhaps some with knowledge may recommend a day trip by car to a different Civil War site that may be as interesting. Thanks in advance of any and all suggestions. I thoroughly appreciate this website.

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Williamston...
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1. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

I'm not an expert on local traffic conditions, but it looks to be a 2 hour drive up to Gettysburg. If you leave at 8am, you'll get to Gettysburg about 10am. Figure on leaving by 3pm to be on the safe side. That gives you 5 hours. I suppose it's doable. But if you're real Civil War buffs then it might seem short. The battlefield at Antietam is closer but I think it's a bit more low key than Gettysburg.

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2. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

Manassas Battlefield is far closer and an easy drive of an hour or less. http://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm

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Manassas
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3. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

I might add, Ford's Theater, downstairs, has a large, free, colorful museum dealing with Lincoln and the Civil War, and it's downtown and easy to get to. The National Museum of American History also has a permanent exhibit on America's Wars http://www.si.edu . Other minor local sights related to the War include:

- the African-American civil war museum (right next to the U Street metrorail station)

- the President Lincoln summer cottage (requires advance reservations)

- the Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD

- the Custis-Lee Mansion in Arlington (undergoing renovation)

I find it amusing that so many highways, streets, schools, and parks in the Virginia suburbs are named after Confederates Lee, Jackson, Stuart, Beauregard, Pickett, and Davis. While only 5 minutes away, many schools, statues, parks, and streets in D.C. are named for Unionists like Lincoln, Thomas, Sheridan, Stanton, Seward, Grant, Scott, etc.

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Lincoln
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National Museum of American History
National Museum of...
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4. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

doable as stated. with some advance research you can maximize visit. take a picnic lunch instead of sitting down in a restaurant. etc. another option is Harpers ferry.

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5. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

In Gettysburg seek out the hidden Rock carvings at Devils Den and Little round top.

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Devils Den
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6. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

Gettysburg is easily do-able. Take the GW Parkway to the Beltway to I270N. Just about where 270 terminates at I70, you pick up US15 which takes you right to Gettysburg. Plan two hours and you'll probably be early. Barring weather (thunderstorm) issues, the return will take no longer.

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7. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

Its about 2 hours from DC to Gettysburg. Eric's route is spot on. There may be a little more traffic on the way back but a 3pm departure still gets you there with plenty of time. The TSA lines at National aren't bad on Saturdays. The real question is whether 5 hours is enough time. Manassas/Bull Run is about 30 minutes west of National (I-66 West) and is a great Civil War battlefield. Harpers Ferry is 90 minutes west and is an incredibly beautiful town that combines Civil War stuff, short hikes, and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. All good choices. Enjoy!

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Harpers Ferry
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8. Re: Washington to Gettysburg

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