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In a Bucolic Setting, Historic, Touristy Gettysburg Brims with Candy Stores, Wine Shops, Eateries, Galleries and More
Overview: For three days in early July, 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers fought a bloody battle in and around the little town of Gettysburg in bucolic southcentral Pennsylvania. The battle was the turning point of the Civil War, and Gettysburg became forever linked to it.
Today, Gettysburg National Military Park, which includes the Gettysburg Battlefield and the Gettysburg National Cemetery, surrounds the town and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Visitors can tour the park via automobile, horseback or even Segway. Lincoln Square is the heart of downtown and has well maintained red brick and granite buildings. Narrow streets radiating from the Square boast weathered structures that house wine shops, candy stores, pubs, galleries, souvenir shops, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and more. Events seem to be non-stop. The Adams County Arts Council supports a gallery, classes and First Fridays. The recently renovated Majestic Theater hosts live performances and movies, and the annual Gettysburg Festival is eight days of music and visual arts.
There are farmers' markets, edible art tours, Thirsty Thursdays, band concerts, house tours, candlelight ghost tours, reenactments and much, much more. The Outlet Shoppes features Ralph Lauren, Jones New York, Eddie Bauer and other national brands.
Gettysburg is also within reach of the Michaux State Forest, which offers camping, mountain biking, and access to the Appalachian Trail. Gettysburg College and the Eisenhower National Historic Site are here as well.
Housing is a mix of Colonials, farmhouses, four squares, cottages, brick ranch ramblers and more.
Population: 7,800 (city proper)
45 or Better: 28%
Cost of Living: 8% below the national average
Median Home Price: $215,000
Climate: This area has hot, humid summers and cold winters. Summer temperatures are in the 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the 20s, 30s and 40s. On average, the area receives 40 inches of rain and 26 inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Public Transit: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
College Educated: 35%
Is Pennsylvania Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: Tons of tourists and traffic congestion are a fact of life here.
Notes: Gettysburg oozes history, both authentic and recreated, and it is a cute town.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Established by William Penn as a sanctuary for Quakers, the Keystone State was the site of two Continental Congresses. The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution became products of the second congress in 1775. Pennsylvania also played a decisive role in the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg gave General Meade with a key win and put an end to the South's Northern Invasion.
The Appalachian mountains are Pennsylvania's backbone. The state has 140 miles of shoreline along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary. Five regions - the Allegheny Plateau, the Ridge and Valley, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the Erie Plain - help provide a diversity of landscape and climate. Although Philadelphia, the state's most populous city, may experience some subtropical temperatures, the rest of the state can experience cold winters.
Pennsylvania's economy is one of the largest in the country and the world. It's a leading coal producer and the only state to mine anthracite. Fortune 500 companies based in Pittsburgh include U.S. Steel, PPG Industries, and H.J. Heinz. Locomotives for GE Transportation Systems are assembled in Erie. Mushrooms, apples, and Christmas trees are a few of the state's agricultural products.
Although it was the second state to enter the Union on December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania has recorded a large list of firsts. Betsy Ross made the first American flag in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is also the birthplace of the nation's first zoo. Titusville claims the world's first oil well.
Population - 12,784,227
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+ - 89%
Bachelor's degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+ - 29%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent - 7%
White persons, not Hispanic, percent - 77%
Median household income - $53,599
Median home value- $166,000
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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