Charming Country Inn with Remarkable History
The Inn at Herr Ridge in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, has played an improbable variety of roles in one quiet life. Built in 1815 as a tavern and public house, the property is said to have been a hideout of infamous robber David Lewis. Though it was thought to have housed a counterfeiting ring in the basement, the owner later put the property to good use as a stop on the Underground Railroad. When the Battle of Gettysburg broke out in July 1863, the house was converted into a wartime hospital, as it was one of the closest buildings to the fighting. In the following decades, the building passed through several hands before current innkeeper Steven Wolf took ownership in 1977 and restored it to a bed and breakfast.
The inn occupies a rural patch of land between the battlefields of Gettysburg National Military Park and Caledonia State Park. Each of the guest rooms reflects the country setting. Flowing white gauze drapes the queen-size canopy in room one, with leafy vines hanging from the canopy rails. There’s a hunting-lodge theme in room nine, which boasts hickory-wood furnishings, a fireplace, and a two-person jacuzzi tub. While lounging in your room, you can snack on the included fruit and cheese and sip champagne and hot cocoa.
The inn boasts two onsite restaurants; this Getaway's $25 dining credit can be used at either one. Sharpshooters Grille is a lodge-style sports bar with microbrews, wings, and a raw-bar menu. At the more upscale Herr Tavern restaurant, chefs source produce and meats from local farms to craft meals such as fig-stuffed pork tenderloin and smoked duck breast with champagne-and-herb vinaigrette.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Civil War Battlefields Set in Rolling Hills and Valleys
A little more than 100 miles west of Philadelphia, Gettysburg lies in the scenic hills of southern Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley. The town is probably best known as the site of the Civil War’s most famous—and bloodiest—battle. Each year, visitors flock to the 20,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park, where Union soldiers defeated General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate troops and turned the tide of the war. Led by a Civil War expert, you can take a guided tour of the battlefields, or you can drop by Gettysburg National Cemetery, the spot where President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
The hilly landscape makes a picturesque backdrop for a number of seasonal outdoor activities, such as golf at The Links at Gettysburg or skiing and snowboarding at Liberty Mountain Resort, a few miles outside of town. Day trips to Baltimore and Washington, DC, are easy—both cities are about a 90-minute drive from Gettysburg.