Gettysburg is somewhat of a culture shock for anyone coming from a large town or big city. The town is an exotic blend of small-town, rural America and a commercial tourist trap. Gettysburg reverts to its small-town roots in the winter, but as May approaches and tourists begin to show up in large numbers, the hoop-skirts and wool uniforms of re-enactors overtake the more traditional Penn State sweatshirts and designer baggy jeans of students. The immigration of decked-out Civil War buffs to the area is both tragic and a bit hilarious for much of the GC student population.
Gettysburg offers the essentials to students, including a slew of fast food restaurants, a Wal-Mart, a Staples, and a few other assorted mega stores. However, other than an inordinate number of bars and restaurants, Gettysburg offers little else. Of course, if a little exploring is undertaken, a wide range of interesting (albeit out-of-the-way) destinations can be discovered. This is perhaps reserved, however, to people who are interested in more than drinking and partying-a combination that quickly becomes the routine for GC students.