What happens in Gettysburg doesn't stay in Gettysburg.
It took just three days in this town to make history. So, if you're skipping the history lesson and just looking for a good time, try to avoid skirmishes and falling off wagons.
The history buffs flock to Gettysburg July 1-3 to re-enact the battle, but the rest of the year, lovers of wine, beer, music and food hit the festivals in town. Check out the festivals here.
If you have just a day, here's the lowdown on a relaxing (and non-historical) way to paint the town:
Shopping and eating
The Ragged Edge Roasting Company, 82 Steinwehr Ave.: Start the day with a bagel smothered in Nutella washed down with a smoothie or coffee. The lunch menu has wraps, sandwiches and pastries. This coffee house/eatery doubles as an art gallery. Find your way upstairs for a comfy place to lounge, or venture out to the garden patio. Open mic nights are from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays (music, poetry, comedy), and look on the website for musical performance announcements. Hours: 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
Mummert Sign Co., 137 Baltimore St.: Check out the vintage-looking wooden signs in Marty Mummert's sign shop (and he does custom work as well). His work has been commissioned for movies and television shows and featured in Country Living magazine and Better Homes and Gardens. You'll see his hand-sketched and hand-painted creations around town as well.
Subterranean Soul, 22 Carlisle St.: Peace, love and the '60s/'70s have found new life in this retro shop. You'll find leather goods — belts, handbags, wallets and clocks — as well as vintage albums, posters and T-shirts. Hours: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.
Johnny Como's Cupcakes and Coffee, 62 Chambersburg St.: This is a blast from the past. The café's glass-front counter is filled with cupcakes for any taste: strawberries and cream, peanut butter blast, triple chocolate, and many more, and in the back, it's a '50s-style kitchen, where you can eat near the bakers. One time, a visitor walked to the bakery/dining area in the back and asked Susie Como for her specialty maple bacon cupcake because he'd read about it in the New York Times ("36 hours in Gettysburg"), and she whipped them up. Another sweet note about Susie and Johnny Como: They donate their proceeds to organizations connected to the military, firefighters and police officers, Susie Como said. Summer hours: noon-5 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 pm. Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday.
El Costeno, 39 York St.: Fresh Adams County ingredients make up most of the menu items for this Mexican restaurant — fajitas, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, salads, chips and salsa. It's BYOB with covered al fresco dining and a casual dining room. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Crossfit Gettysburg, 5 S. Washington St., Gettysburg: If you're That Person who longs for the gym even on vacation, check out the Crossfit Gettysburg space in a renovated garage with 20-foot ceilings. It's owned by Jake Johnson, former Marine and current firefighter, and visitors are welcome with a free trial session. Phone: 443-718-7864 for sessions.
Majestic Theatre, 25 Carlisle St.: On a hot summer afternoon, kick back and watch a movie in the theater that was once frequented by President Dwight Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie. This isn't a modern cineplex; it's a renovated vaudeville and silent movie theater with an old-fashioned snack bar, showing the latest releases. See movies and times here. Hours: Opens at noon Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Also in the building is Flats Original Flatbread Café. Wings, wraps, flatbread pizza, salads, quesadillas, burritos and homemade chips are on the menu. Al fresco dining available. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Drinks and games
Garryowen Irish Pub, 126 Chambersburg St.: This is where a plate of bangers and mash meets a John Powers whiskey in a cozy, fun space with a big mahogany bar. A wide selection of whiskey, microbrews (find Chambersburg's Roy Pitz here), wine and a few taps. Live music at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Irish music from 2-5 p.m. on the first and third Sunday. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
Flying Bull Saloon, 28 Carlisle St.: If you don't have many Lincolns in your wallet, this is the place for a cheap beer. Karaoke nights, Jell-O shots, a bull with lighted horns and billiards are the highlights of Bull. You likely won't find re-enactors here, but you won't find a craft cocktail either.
Blue & Gray Bar & Grill, Lincoln Square: Order a drink and some wings because this is the place to catch up on sports as it has more TVs than bar stools. On a football Sunday (or Penn State Saturday), it's packed. Big menu of pub food, specialty burgers, and craft beer available. Try to eat their huge Pickett's Charge plate (read the USA Today story about it here). For live music announcements, check the Facebook page. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
Battlefield Brew Works, 248 Hunterstown Road: A local craft brewery in an 1848 brick farm house with significance during the battle, Battlefield makes its own Lincoln Lager and several other flagship beers. It also serves Good Intent Cider, a hard cider made locally from Adams County apples. Paint parties from 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays. Hours: 2-8 p.m. Sunday, 4-11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday.
Appalachian Brewing Company, 70 Presidential Circle: Regional chain of restaurant/pubs, the Gettysburg location is outside of the borough in the Gateway Complex. Large craft beer and craft soda selection, wine, large menu of salads, sandwiches and entrees. July's specialty beer is Volks Weizenbock. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Sharpshooters Bar and Grille, 900 Chambersburg Road: Large craft beer menu from regional breweries, hard cider, cocktails and wine. Extensive menu with sandwiches, appetizers, steaks, seafood, and pasta, and the breakfast menu is served all day. The view is spectacular, and the large, covered porch is a great place to enjoy it. Inside, play billiards and video games. There's a corn hole and pong tournament from 1-4 p.m. July 11. Hours: 7 a.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday (the kitchen closes earlier than the bar).