This week, July 1st-July 3rd marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle Of Gettysburg.  What happened on the battlefield those three days had a major impact on our country.

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From July 1st through July 3rd, 1856, the Union's Army of the Potomac clashed with the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia in what generally is considered to be the turning point of the Civil War.  Over 10,000 Americans died on the battlefield and tens of thousands more were wounded.  President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address given several weeks later to commemorate the fallen remains one of the greatest speeches in American history.

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The battlefield and the pretty Pennsylvania town it's named for are among the most popular tourist destinations in our country.  Gettysburg is a beautiful and solemn place.  Even a century and half after the struggle there ended, the sense of triumph, loss and sacrifice is clearly felt as a visitor walks over the fields, through the woodlands or among the rocks at Little Roundtop.  It's hard to escape an intense rush of emotion as you walk the mile long route of the final doomed Confederate assault known as Pickett's Charge.

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You don't have to be a military history expert or even a history buff to have a great experience at Gettysburg.  Take a double-decker bus tour, a ghost story walk or visit the many terrific restaurants and shops.  One of my favorite restaurants is the Farnsworth House, which is also a hotel.   They serve period piece fare.   If you go there, be sure to try the spoon bread and the pumpkin fritters.  Yum!

I also like the Dobbin House, which recreates the atmosphere of a 19th century pub very nicely with great food and service.  There are plenty of places to stay, but my favorite is the Gettysburg Hotel.  Try their delicious breakfast before heading out to see the sites.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gettysburg is a wonderful short trip destination that provides a great experience for people of all interests and ages.  If you have the time to go, I encourage you to do so.  You won't regret it.