Best & Worst Time to Visit Pennsylvania: Insider’s Seasonal Guide


When Is the Best Time to Visit

The best time for you to visit Pennsylvania depends on what you’re looking for. Weather-wise, late spring (May to June) and early fall (September to October) provide comfortable temperatures and scenic beauty.

  • Spring: You’ll see Pennsylvania bursting with blooming flowers and greenery. It’s ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Plus, you’ll avoid the peak summer crowds.

    • May: Daily Average Temperature: 60°F to 70°F
    • June: Daily Average Temperature: 68°F to 77°F
  • Fall: The foliage is stunning with red, orange, and yellow leaves. This season is perfect for picturesque drives and wine tasting.

    • September: Daily Average Temperature: 60°F to 70°F
    • October: Daily Average Temperature: 50°F to 60°F
MonthDaily Average Temperature
May60°F to 70°F
June68°F to 77°F
September60°F to 70°F
October50°F to 60°F

If you’re into festivals, summer might be your best bet despite the heat and humidity. The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and various county fairs are in full swing.

Remember, hotel prices can be higher during the best weather months, so early bookings could save you some bucks. If you like snow sports, winter months can be a thrill at places like the Pocono Mountains. Just pack warm, as it can get pretty cold.

When Is the Worst Time to Visit

If you’re figuring out when not to drop by Pennsylvania, consider skipping the late winter months, particularly February through March.

Weather: Expect cold temperatures, often dropping well below freezing. This means lots of snow, slush, and potential ice on the roads, making travel more difficult and sometimes dangerous.

  • Snowstorms: The threat of nor’easters is real. These can disrupt everything from flights to local transport.
  • Short Days: You’ll get less daylight to explore, as days are at their shortest.

Crowds: If you’re not a fan of big events or groups, avoid:

  • Mid-July: This is when a large number of tourists hit the area to see various summer attractions.

Activities: Outdoor activities are limited in late winter. You can’t really:

  • Hike comfortably: Trails are icy and risky.
  • Enjoy parks: Many parks aren’t fully operational.

Rates & Availability:

  • Hotels: Prices may be surprisingly high in certain areas despite the cold, due to events like the Pennsylvania Farm Show or winter sports in the Pocono Mountains.
  • Rentals: Vacation rentals in scenic spots are often booked out for winter sports enthusiasts.

Health: The cold can be tough, especially if you’re not used to it. Plus, flu season is in full swing, increasing the chance of getting sick during your visit.

Remember, this is all about when it’s often not great to visit. Your experience may vary, and there are always exceptions, like if you love winter sports.

The Cheapest Time to Visit

Pennsylvania in spring, blooming flowers and mild weather. Fall, colorful foliage and cool temperatures. Winter, snow-covered landscapes and holiday festivities

When you’re planning a trip to Pennsylvania on a budget, consider the winter months, specifically January and February, after the holiday rush. Not only will you find the lowest hotel rates, but you’ll also run into fewer tourists. Just pack warmly, as it can be quite chilly.

The shoulder seasons, late fall (October to November) and early spring (March to April), might also save you some cash. Flight prices and accommodation costs tend to drop during these times as the demand is lower than during summer and holiday periods.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect, price-wise, during these times:

  • Winter (Jan-Feb)

    • Flights: Lowest fares, particularly mid-week
    • Hotels: Significant discounts, more availability
  • Shoulder Season (Oct-Nov, Mar-Apr)

    • Flights: Moderate prices, but deals are common
    • Hotels: Lower rates before the summer rush

Use online tools to alert you to price drops for flights and accommodations. Booking your trip well in advance can also snag you good deals, even during the cheaper seasons. Make sure to look out for any local events or festivals, though, as they can cause prices to spike briefly.

Off-Season: Least Busy Time to Visit

When you’re eyeing a peaceful getaway in Pennsylvania, timing is key. The off-season—late fall and late winter—are your go-to periods. You’ll find fewer tourists around November and early December, right before the holiday rush kicks in. From January to early March, the crowds thin out again, as the holiday fun winds down and before spring breakers arrive.

Late Fall: November – Early December

  • Cooler weather
  • Less crowded tourist spots
  • Rates for accommodations tend to drop

Late Winter: January – Early March

  • Cold, sometimes snowy days
  • Quiet, serene landscapes
  • Great deals on hotels and resorts

If you’re looking for a deal and some tranquillity, these times are your best bet. Just pack appropriately—cozy layers for fall and a good coat for the winter chill. And remember, while attractions are less crowded, some may have reduced hours or be closed for the season, so a quick check before you go can save the day.

The Most Expensive Time to Visit

Pennsylvania's most expensive time: bustling city skyline with crowded attractions. Best time: serene countryside with colorful foliage and peaceful lakes

When you’re planning a trip to Pennsylvania, you might want to know when the costs can hit your wallet the hardest. Typically, your expenses will soar during the summer months, from June to August. Here’s why:

Demand: Tourist attractions like Hershey Park or the Poconos are in full swing, and more people are on vacation, which means more competition for hotels and rentals.

Events: Summer festivals and events like the Philadelphia Folk Festival boost demand, and prices follow.

Here are the average hotel rates you might encounter:

MonthAverage Hotel Rate
June$150 – $200
July$160 – $210
August$160 – $210

Remember, these are averages, and prices might spike especially around holidays like Independence Day.

Travel Costs: Flights and gas prices usually increase due to higher demand.

To help you see the difference, look at travel costs across seasons:

  • Summer (Peak Season): Flight costs could rise by 20-30%.
  • Fall/Spring (Shoulder Season): Moderate prices, can be 10-20% lower.
  • Winter (Off-Peak): Prices may drop, except around holidays.

So if you’re looking to save, consider visiting in the quieter seasons. But if summer is a must, book early and look for deals or packages to ease the financial sting.

Hottest Months

Sun shining over green hills, flowers blooming. People enjoying outdoor activities. Snow-capped mountains in the distance. A calendar showing July and August

July and August are typically the toastiest in Pennsylvania. You’ll find temperatures often peaking around 85°F to 90°F, especially in cities like Philadelphia. Here’s a quick glance at what you can expect:

  • July: This month is usually the hottest in Pennsylvania with average high temperatures between 85°F and 90°F.
  • August: While slightly cooler than July, August still sees highs that are pretty similar, hovering around the same temperature range.

Keep in mind regional differences:

Southeast PA:

  • Philadelphia: Expect the mercury to climb a bit higher here due to the city heat.

Central PA:

  • Harrisburg: It’s a tad cooler than Philly, but still plenty warm.

To stay comfy, pack your lightest clothes and plenty of sunscreen. Early mornings and evenings can offer a respite, so it’s a smart idea to plan your outings then if you’re not a fan of the heat. And if you like to beat the heat with a dip, this is prime swimming season, so don’t forget your swimsuit!

Parks & Outdoor Activities:
If you love the outdoors, mornings are your friend for hikes and walks before the sun turns up the heat. Afternoons? Perfect time for indoor attractions or finding a shady spot by a lake. Just remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Coldest Months

Snow-covered landscape with barren trees, frozen rivers, and a gray sky. A mix of beauty and harshness, capturing the coldest months in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you’ll experience the chilliest temperatures from December to February. During this period, daily highs average around 32-40°F (0-4°C), while overnight lows often plunge to 20°F (-6°C) or colder, especially in the northern regions and higher elevations.

Here’s what you can expect in key cities:

  • Philadelphia: Average lows are around 25-30°F (-4 to -1°C).
  • Pittsburgh: Expect colder nights with temperatures often dipping below 20°F (-6°C).
  • Harrisburg: Typical lows hover between 22-28°F (-6 to -2°C).

Remember to pack your warmest coat, as well as hats and gloves. Snow is also common, with Pennsylvania receiving an average of 38 inches (96.5 cm) annually. That means you might encounter snow-covered streets and some challenge driving.

Be mindful of shorter days too; you’ll have less daylight for outdoor activities. However, if you enjoy winter sports, this can be an ideal time for you to hit the ski slopes in the Pocono Mountains or visit the charming winter festivals across the state.

Here’s a quick summary for your reference:


Bundle up and stay warm out there!

Month-By-Month Weather

Pennsylvania's weather changes dramatically month to month. Illustrate a snowy, cold January and a sunny, warm July to capture the best and worst times to visit

When planning your trip to Pennsylvania, it’s important to consider the weather each month as it can vary significantly.

  • January & February: You’ll find these months are the coldest, with chances of snow. Temperatures typically range from 19°F to 39°F (-7°C to 4°C).
  • March: Signals the start of spring, but keep your coat handy as temperatures are still chilly, ranging from 26°F to 48°F (-3°C to 9°C).
  • April: Spring kicks into gear with milder temps, averaging between 37°F to 60°F (3°C to 16°C). A mix of rain and sun is common.
MonthTemperature RangeWeather Conditions
May47°F to 71°F (8°C to 22°C)Warmer with rain showers
June57°F to 81°F (14°C to 27°C)Comfortably warm and green
July62°F to 85°F (17°C to 29°C)Hot and humid, peak of summer
August61°F to 83°F (16°C to 28°C)Hot with occasional thunderstorms
September54°F to 75°F (12°C to 24°C)Cooling down, mild days
October42°F to 65°F (6°C to 18°C)Crisp fall weather, colorful leaves
November33°F to 53°F (1°C to 12°C)Cooler, signs of winter arriving
December24°F to 42°F (−4°C to 6°C)Cold, potential for snowflakes

  • December: A festive chill with a side of snow, so bundle up if you’re visiting for the holiday season. Expect between 24°F and 42°F (−4°C and 6°C).

Remember, while the hills and forests can be stunning with autumn leaves or a dusting of snow, weather can impact travel plans, so always check the forecast before you head out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pennsylvania landscape with changing seasons, featuring vibrant fall foliage and snow-covered winter scenes

In this section, you’ll find quick answers to some common questions about timing your trip to Pennsylvania.

What’s the ideal season to catch the fall colors in Pennsylvania?

To see the fall colors at their peak, plan a visit to Pennsylvania in mid to late October. This is when the foliage is usually the most vibrant.

When should I avoid visiting Philadelphia due to unfavorable weather?

Summer in Philadelphia can be very hot and humid, while winters are often cold and snowy. If you’re not a fan of extreme temperatures, skip January and July.

Looking for a deal—when’s the cheapest season to tour Philadelphia?

You’ll likely find the best deals and fewer crowds in the winter, particularly from January to March. Just bring a warm coat!

Can anyone suggest the part of Pennsylvania with the most pleasant weather?

The weather in Pennsylvania can vary, but for a more consistent experience, aim for the southeastern region, including Philadelphia, where springs and falls are usually mild.

Is summertime in Pennsylvania a good bet for vacationers?

If you don’t mind the heat, summer in Pennsylvania is full of life with numerous outdoor events, festivals, and activities, especially around July.

What are the perks for tourists visiting Pennsylvania?

Visitors to Pennsylvania can enjoy diverse landscapes, rich history, and a variety of cultural attractions year-round. Each season offers unique experiences, from winter sports to summer festivals.