They are different experiences but, if you're interested in the Civil War, both are worth a trip, Bull Run because it was one of the earliest battles and Gettysburg because it one of the deadliest. Gettysburg has all the various monuments on the field and the cemetery, which I think add something to the experience. I also like the fact that you can hire a guide to ride in your car at Gettysburg, if you want. They are all very knowledgeable and great to talk to.
Check both sites online for special events that might be happening during your visit.
I agree with Carol that the Manassas Battlefield is a different experience from Gettysburg, but it has a rich history of its own. If you are interested in Civil War battles, I would definitely make a stop there.
I recommend you check out the online information from the National Park Service about Manassas Battlefield. It may help you decide if it is a place you would like to visit:
Thank you. I have been haunting the websites. I chose Gettysburg because, well, it's rather obvious. Bull Run, though, was where people went to watch thinking the Union would defeat the Confederates and it didn't happen. And it's close.
Thanks. You answered the question that a battle field isn't a battle field isn't a battlefield. They are all different.
Another choice that you may not have considered is Antietam. The visitors center is small, but the guided tour they provide was, IMHO, better than Gettysburg. (It's a caravan tour - so you follow the Ranger-mobile in your own car and makes stops at the major points of the battle.)
I've done reviews of both Antietam and Gettysburg under my profile if you want to read more.
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