The Best Places to Travel in March
Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
In most of North America, March is a time of transition, "coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb" the saying goes, recognizing that the month straddles winter and spring. In St. George, Utah, the weather is pleasant and the scenery is spectacular. In Napa Valley, colorful signs of spring show up during the month, and the same goes for Washington, D.C. and Charleston, where flowers announce the changing season. In Orlando, visitors enjoy mild temperatures ahead of summer's heat. Winter sports fans can still find snow in Colorado's ski destinations, while warm weather awaits in Kauai, on Turks and Caicos beaches, and in Costa Rica.
These are the best places to travel in March.
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St. George, Utah
St. George is the largest city in Greater Zion in Utah's southwest corner. March temperatures are ideal for outdoor activities, and you'll be ahead of summer's hot weather and crowds. While nearby Zion National Park will be on your list of places to see, you'll also want to include several of Utah's less visited parks, like Capitol Reef and Canyonlands, as well as state parks, if your time allows. With St. George as a convenient home base, your itinerary can include the ghost town of Leeds, once a booming silver mining town. Hike or bike the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve for scenery and a variety of wildlife. The International Dark Sky Association has certified at least 18 Utah locations for great stargazing. Relax among red rock canyons at the Red Mountain Resort, and enjoy a treatment at the Sagestone Spa and Salon. Or stay in the heart of St. George at the Advenire Hotel, a luxurious boutique in a convenient location. In Springdale, the recently renovated Cliffrose Springdale is a half mile from the Zion Visitor Center.
Napa Valley, California
Spring arrives with pleasant weather and the bright yellow of mustard fields in bloom. It's a great time to enjoy both wine tasting and nature at a leisurely pace. Hike the trails in Skyline Wilderness Park for stunning views of the valley and the chance to work up an appetite for dinner at one of the area's fine restaurants. Wineries are on most Napa Valley itineraries, and downtown, there's Quilt & Co. for tasting and optional snack pairings. There's a choice of lodging for every taste and budget. Auberge du Soleil offers 50 guest rooms and suites with the flavor of Southern France. Cottages, suites, and residences at Carneros Resort & Spa let you feel right at home. Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina feature cozy guest rooms and suites. Solage in Calistoga offers studios, suites, and private bungalows, and at the River Terrace Inn, guests enjoy a serene location overlooking the Napa River. Embassy Suites, set among gardens and a mill pond, offers an indoor pool and a convenient location. Be among the first to stay at the adults-only luxury Alila Napa Valley surrounded by the vineyards of Beringer Estate.
Colorado Skiing and Snowboarding
Snow season continues into March, so if you haven't gotten your fill of winter sports, there's still time. Colorado offers some of the most popular snowy destinations, resorts, restaurants, and opportunities for apres ski activities. Snowmass Village features a small-town atmosphere and big-time terrain. Nearby Aspen also boasts superb snow in March, along with the classic Little Nell hotel and popular Ajax Tavern. Or choose Aspen Meadows Resort, set on 40 acres in Aspen's West End neighborhood. In Vail, March brings powdery snow and sunshine. Outdoor dining has been expanded, and lodging options are many, including Arrabelle at Vail Square, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort, and The Lodge at Vail Square. About 20 minutes away, Beaver Creek offers ideal slopes for all levels, with particular attention to learning terrain for beginner skiers. Stay at The Osprey at Beaver Creek or The Pines Lodge, both convenient and comfortable options. In Telluride, there's a range of places to stay, from campgrounds to resorts. The Madeline Hotel & Residences offer luxury and the new Timber Room apres ski bar and restaurant. Can't decide where to head for a few final runs? There's also Keystone, Winter Park, and Breckenridge to consider.
Spring is beautiful in the nation's capital, and cherry blossoms signal the season's arrival — on Mother Nature's schedule, of course. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is set for March 20-April 11, and the National Park Service predicts peak blooms around March 21-24. Women's History Month is an ideal time to take advantage of Washington's museums and memorials that recognize achievements of women. The National Museum of Women in the Arts features collections, exhibits, and programs. The National Museum of American History's ongoing display "All Work and No Pay" and its exhibit on the Nineteenth Amendment are just a few that focus on women in history. For these and all Smithsonian Museums, be sure to check current schedules and virtual experiences. Hotels in Washington include the DuPont Circle, InterContinental Washington D.C.- The Wharf, The Ven at Embassy Row, the Mandarin Oriental, the Conrad Washington D.C., Viceroy Washington D.C., Hotel Zena, and Riggs Washington D.C. set in a historic bank building. Visitors to the capital might also enjoy staying nearby in Virginia. Alexandria, on the Potomac, boasts cherry blossoms as well as waterfront views from Ada's on the River, a new restaurant inspired by Ada Lovelace, famed female mathematician. In McClean, Virginia, the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is a short distance to Washington, D.C.
Charleston, South Carolina
Weather in the mid-60s makes March a pleasant time to explore Charleston, South Carolina. A stroll on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge provides a stunning view of the city, or for another perspective, enjoy a harbor cruise. Don't leave downtown before visiting the Charleston City Market where you can take home a sweetgrass basket created by Gullah artisans. Plan a tour of Firefly Distillery to taste a bit of moonshine or sweet tea whiskey. Visit the Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor, a key location in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Stay downtown at the French Quarter Inn or the waterfront HarbourView Inn for luxurious accommodations, or opt for a stay at the elegant Belmond Charleston Place, which offers a spa and rooftop pool. The dog-friendly Hotel Bennett features an outdoor dining terrace and champagne lounge. There's much to do at Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms, and the new Sweetgrass Inn offers 153 spacious guest rooms and suites.
Kauai, known as the "Garden Isle," is the northernmost of the Hawaiian islands. Five distinct areas define the island, with Poipu, a popular beach area known for its sunnier weather, in the south. The North Shore includes Hanalei, green taro fields, Lumahai Beach, and the cliff-lined Napali coast. Golfers love the North Shore for its stunning courses and the resort area of Princeville. Waimea Canyon, called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," is the place for hiking trails and spectacular views on the island's west side. The Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort offers oceanfront guest rooms and suites. Timbers Kauai at Hokuala, a 450-acre resort featuring golf, an organic farm, a spa, and a variety of beach activities, is one of six resorts (according to Kauai.gov COVID-19 guidelines) greenlighted for the "resort bubble" program. Also on the list is Kukui'ula, a 1,010-acre club and resort community with a variety of accommodations, luxury homes, restaurants, water sports, and a spa.
Turks and Caicos
Just a little over an hour from Miami, the Turks and Caicos Islands feature miles of white sand beaches, coral reefs, and clear turquoise seas. Providenciales, the third largest island, is a popular tourist destination with a number of upscale resorts. The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach features suites and oceanfront villas, some as large as six bedrooms. On Grace Bay Beach, The Palms offers 72 suites, a spa, and a variety of dining spots, and Ocean Club Resorts has two properties. Amanyara is set on white sand beaches adjacent to the coral reef walls of Northwest Point Marine National Park with easy access to diving and water sports. Como Parrot Bay is a luxury resort set on its own private island with pristine beaches, guest rooms, and private residences. Grace Bay Resorts offers three elegant properties as well as private villas throughout Providenciales, and Wimco Villas' portfolio includes a variety of residences on the islands. Visitors should check current guidelines on the TCI Assured Program site, designed to protect both residents and visitors from COVID-19.
March is an ideal time to take advantage of the many things to do and places to see in this central Florida city. Airboat rides through the nearby Everglades are a great way to explore, and Kissimmee Swamp Tours, Wild Florida Airboats, and Spirit of the Swamp are convenient options. A different type of boat tour takes guests for a relaxing one-hour ride through the lakes and canals of historic Winter Park. Many of Orlando's attractions are free, and spring provides comfortable weather to be outdoors. Universal Orlando is helping guests celebrate Mardi Gras this year, albeit without the usual parades and gatherings, but with a culinary festival from February 6-March 28. A vacation destination in itself, Grande Lakes Orlando is a 500-acre estate with two hotels, three pools, golf, a spa, twelve dining outlets, and a 43-acre lake for fishing, hiking, and wildlife habitats. The newly-renovated Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes offers 582 guest rooms and updated Club Lounge. The JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes features a variety of plush guest rooms and suites. At Margaritaville Resort Orlando, guests can choose modern rooms, suites, or private cottages.
Costa Rica encompasses seven climatic regions, and in most, March is the heart of the dry season. There's something for everyone, and in Costa Rica's case, that's not a cliche. The Osa Peninsula on the country's southwest coast is home to a variety of luxurious resorts, beaches, and Corcovado National Park, which covers nearly half of the peninsula. Drake Bay Getaway Resort features five cabins with views of the ocean, beach, and jungle. Nearby, overlooking the Golfo Dulce, Cielo Lodge is set on a 380-acre private reserve. Florblanca offers private villas in Santa Teresa where guests combine eco-tourism, adventure, and wellness activities. El Mangroove, located in Guanacaste overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo, is steps from the beach, and Hotel Punta Islita offers an adult infinity pool and family beachside pool. Casa Chameleon at Mal Pais on Nicoya Peninsula and the hilltop Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas are luxury boutique hotels with private open air villas and plunge pools. Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen is located in the Central Valley, and Senda Monteverde is a cozy mountain lodge in the cloud forest. If glamping is your style, consider Nayara Tented Camp, located in the tropical rainforest below the Arenal volcano. Wherever you decide to stay, be sure to check the current entry guidelines and most convenient airport.