Gettysburg Travel Guide

USA  #3 in Best Places to Visit in Pennsylvania
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Courtesy of Tetra Images/Getty Images

Best Times to Visit Gettysburg

The best time to visit Gettysburg is from September to November or between March and May. The town's daytime temperatures in fall and spring, which generally hover between the low 50s and high 70s, are cooler than what you'll encounter in June, July and August (Gettysburg's peak tourist season). As a result, hotel prices will drop and attraction crowds will thin – especially in November and March. September and October attract leaf peepers and those with an interest in the paranormal, while April and May see an influx of students in town for school field trips. Those who don't mind rubbing elbows with hordes of tourists and paying extra for accommodations should consider visiting between June and August, when outdoor concerts at local wineries and Civil War re-enactments take place.

Weather in Gettysburg

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Average Temperature (°F)
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Average Precipitation (in)
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Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

March-May

Gettysburg is particularly scenic between March and May, when the apple, peach and cherry trees in its surrounding orchards feature beautiful blossoms. Room rates climb and attractions become more packed as temperatures rise – expect daytime temps to rest in the low 70s by May – but March offers a perfect mix of mild weather, manageable crowds and reasonably priced accommodations. Temps typically sit in the low 30s to low 50s (about 10 degrees higher than what you'll encounter in winter), and hotels have yet to increase their rates for the high season. But remember to pack season-appropriate attire, such as pants and a jacket.

Key Events:

June-August

Tourists flock to Gettysburg during the summer months of June, July and August to take advantage of the town's warmest weather of the year (average temps sit in the high 50s to mid-80s) and its abundance of activities. In addition to offering demonstrations with Civil War historians at Gettysburg National Military Park's battlefield every weekend from April through October, visitors can enjoy alfresco dining at many restaurants, outdoor concerts at local wineries and horseback riding excursions. Early July is especially popular with history buffs keen on seeing a Civil War re-enactment. The season's weather is also ideal for evening ghost tours. Since June through August comprise Gettysburg's peak tourist season, expect to rub elbows with more vacationers at top attractions and to pay more for accommodations. You'll want to reserve your lodging several months in advance to ensure availability.

Key Events:

September-November

Like spring, fall is a beautiful time to visit Gettysburg. As daytime temperatures fall from the high 70s to the mid-50s, the area's trees display vivid red, orange and yellow hues. Plus, harvest season for apples, pumpkins and wine is in full swing. Many local orchards will let you pick your own produce, or you can sample homemade pies, ciders and more at various farmers markets, wineries and eateries. Those who want to learn about the afterlife should consider arriving in October and paying for a ghost tour. If you'd rather save some money, time your visit in November. Crowds will disperse at can't-miss sites, and you'll pay less for a hotel than you would at the start of the season.

Key Events:

December-February

For the lowest accommodation prices and ample space to move around at Gettysburg's attractions, plan your vacation for December, January or February. Though you'll have to don cold-weather gear and may have to deal with the occasional snowstorm or attraction closure, you'll find fewer people on tours of the area's Civil War sites. What's more, powder hounds can venture about 10 miles southwest to ski, snowboard and snow tube at Liberty Mountain Resort. Expect temperatures to sit between the low 20s and low 40s.

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