Everyone has their own favorite best time to visit. Gettysburg tourism is active in every season. There are special events going on in town year round:
Personally, my favorite time to tour the battlefields is when the wild pink redbuds and white dogwoods are blooming. They bring color to the woods and really make some of the monuments look special. Check out my video slideshow that shows Gettysburg memorials with flowers blooming around them. Watch out for the horses!
Spring is also a time for Reenactor Appreciation Weekend, the antiques show, Spring Muster, Spring Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Apple Blossom Festival, Gettysburg College graduation and alumni reunions, and the Memorial Day parade, which is one of the oldest in the country. Expect some wind and days of torrential rain alternating with absolutely gorgeous, warm sunny weather.
The most popular time for a Gettysburg vacation is summer, especially at the beginning of July on the Battle of Gettysburg anniversary. There are lots of special events and the annual reenactment, which takes place on a nearby farm rather than the battlefields. Summer also brings the fireman's carnival, Lavender Festival, Bike Week (motorcycles), and (at the end of August) the Fall Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival. The fireflies come out around the end of June and into July. Expect hazy, hot, and humid weather, and be glad you don't have to wear as many layers of clothing as they did in 1863!
My second favorite time to visit is early fall because the crowds are gone and it's not too hot and sweaty. The changing leaves are very pretty some years. If there was a summer drought, they won't look as nice. Fun things to do for Gettysburg tourism in the fall include World War II Weekend at the Eisenhower Farm, the Apple Harvest Festival, Halloween parade, and of course Remembrance Day, which is the anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. It's a great time to take a train ride. Click to see a video slideshow of my train trip. Expect some cold, blustery days alternating with rainy days and nice sunny ones.
The holidays are a special time of year everywhere, and Gettysburg is no exception. There are many special Christmas events and holiday tours. Beyond that and into the new year, there are balls, Ice Fest, and the Bridal Fare. There are usually some special events around Lincoln's birthday on February 12. Expect a lot of sunny but cold days and the occasional snowfall or ice storm.
For a complete listing of events with exact dates and times over the next 2 months, see the Gettysburg tourism event schedule.