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Visitors getting true taste of Gettysburg, Pa.

8/14/2014

Small town making big splash in culinary tourism

When it comes to the Gettysburg region’s nearly 4 million annual visitors, food is second only to the Civil War.

Adams County has always had great food – incredible restaurants, a distinct agriculture industry, and a growing wine industry that help make the destination one to savor, but the community has taken steps recently that are turning heads in the travel industry.

“Eating is at the heart of all vacations,” said Norris Flowers, President of Destination Gettysburg. “Communities around the country aren’t just looking at food as simply meals that travelers need, but rather experiences that are sometimes at the very core of their getaway.”

As the foodie culture grew around the country over the past several years, so did the passion toward the Gettysburg area’s fruit industry and other farms as more farmers’ markets popped up on roadsides and throughout the community.

From that point, travelers – whether they were here for the Civil War history or not – could take a short drive up into the beautiful countryside and visit orchards, buy fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets and taste wine made right from the vines and fruit trees here in Adams County.

Restaurants have since incorporated local ingredients into their menus, and an awareness toward the culinary experiences in the region has grown – vital components to becoming a culinary destination.

At about the same time, two additional wineries opened their doors and an experience began to take shape. This experience was boosted by the formation of the Gettysburg Wine & Fruit Trail, a collection of orchards, markets and wineries in the scenic countryside.

This spring, with the beginning of the Savor Gettysburg Food Tour – an eight-stop tour through downtown Gettysburg has again taken the destination to a new level in culinary travel. This tour is a 3-plus-hour experience, one that not only showcases seven eateries and a wine tasting, but brings visitors up-close to history along the way.

Additionally, the region’s up-and-coming hard cider industry is attracting attention from around the country as this new trend sweeps the tourism industry. Here in Adams County, several cider-makers have begun production in the past two years and we expect more in the near future.

Destination Gettysburg has, too, shifted its marketing focus toward experiences such as culinary and other areas like outdoor recreation, shopping, family fun and its numerous events and festivals.

The timing in Destination Gettysburg’s marketing strategies, along with the growth in the culinary experience, is making for an exciting time in Adams County as we tout not only a rich history and heritage, but a culture rarely found in communities of this size.

“What’s most exciting about this development is that it defines our destination in its entirety – not just Gettysburg, not just the battlefield, but Adams County as a full getaway,” said Flowers. “This experience is bringing visitors from the streets of Gettysburg into the farms, wineries and restaurants in several communities that surround Gettysburg, and that’s a victory for us all.”

Destination Gettysburg (formerly, the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau), the official destination marketing organization, markets Gettysburg – Adams County as a premier travel destination, producing a positive economic impact.

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