Local Atmosphere

Gettysburg, PA
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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The battlefields are beautiful. Many different attractions due to tourists. Safety is average in most areas after dark. Very safe during the day. Local outlets have a number of nice options. Residents are very nice towards students.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Sneaky really good bar town.. obviously surrounded by the battlefields which is good.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The College has a great atmosphere. The town of Gettysburg has a nice local community, and the College makes sure to keep involved and be a part of it.

4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Because Gettysburg draws hundreds of thousands of tourists for the Civil War battlefields (some of which are right next to campus!), the town has plenty of cute shops downtown and also has outlets right outside town. Also very helpful for students, there is a Walmart a short bus (free for students!) or car ride away, and a Dollars Store within walking distance. The town is quaint and has lots of historic buildings and sites. The attitude of "townies" toward college students is mixed: some do not like students because of the frat parties, but others welcome students to their events.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There are a lot of fun restaurants in town and there are plenty of things to explore in the national parks surrounding this beautiful campus.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Steven Moxley
Bakersfield, CA
Computer Science
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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.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Gettysburg's primary industry is tourism, and each year the town swells as nearly two million tourists visit the area.
  2. Though the battlefield is the main attraction in Gettysburg, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's house, a national historic site, is also located in the town.
  3. Every year on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, re-enactors descend on the Gettysburg battlefield to commemorate the battle. The Battle of Gettysburg in 1998 was the largest re-enactment in history, with perhaps as many as 25,000 "troops" taking part.
  4. Though the Gettysburg national cemetery was originally created for the bodies of Union soldiers killed in the battle, today the cemetery is the final resting place for over 6,000 honorably discharged servicemen and their dependents from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War.
  5. The last time a soldier's remains were discovered on the Gettysburg battlefield was in 1996.
Notable Natives
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower - former U.S. President
  • Eddie Plank - hall of fame pitcher
Points of Interest
  • Gettysburg Battlefield
  • Ghost Tours
Shopping Centers
  • Gettysburg Village
  • Hanover Mall
Movie Theaters
Majestic Theater
25 Carlisle St.
(717) 337-8200
Movie Theaters
R/C Theatres Hanover Movies 16
380 Eisenhower Dr.
(717) 646-1111
Major Sports Teams
  • Baltimore Orioles: baseball
  • Baltimore Ravens: football
  • Washington Capitals: hockey
  • Washington Nationals: baseball
  • Washington Redskins: football
  • Washington Wizards: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Baltimore: MD: 1 hour
  • Philadelphia: PA: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Washington: D.C.: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 27 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 27 responses

  • 15% Painfully remote.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 78% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 7% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 28 responses

  • 46% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 39% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 14% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 28 responses

  • 50% No way.
  • 43% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 7% Totally.


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