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For this 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which begins in April, Gettysburg is offering visitors a far better time than the Blue and Gray soldiers had in this Pennsylvania town. The Battle of Gettysburg (1863) was the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil, a turning point that transformed General Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces from the chasers to the chased. But today, as the sesquicentennial approaches, the only chaser I find in Gettysburg is the water alongside my scotch at the Dobbin House Tavern.
The old Dobbin House offers lodgings as well as dining, so between this place, the 19th-century Gaslight Inn (fab breakfasts, Yorkie bellman), the Gettysburg Hotel (a member of Historic Hotels of America), and more, this walkable town is a swell place for a romantic weekend. Or for family visits, what with the Land of Little Horses Farm Park, anniversary events that include re-enactments, American Civil War Museum (good wax figure tableaus, bad hairpieces), and General Pickett's All-You-Can-Eat Buffet ("KIDS PRICES TOO!"). Or for offbeat sightseeing, thanks to various ghost tour operators, segway tours, the Victorian Photography Studio (you'll look swell in a bustle), and shops like The Horse Soldier, where I'm tempted by a flintlock pistol that costs $41,250. Mind you, it's a beautiful pistol.