15 Best Places to Travel in March 2024
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Spring arrives in March, but depending on where you are, it can still feel like winter — or an early summer. Whether you’re looking for a warm-weather escape from chilly temperatures at home or a late-season ski trip, we’ve got you covered. From sunny Caribbean islands to snowy ski resorts, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best places to travel in March in the U.S. and around the world so you can start planning your next getaway.
Thousands of visitors will head for this city by the Pacific as the Carlsbad Flower Fields open on March 1 with 55 acres of colorful Giant Tecolote ranunculus blooms. Visitors can also stroll through Carlsbad’s downtown, dine at excellent restaurants, visit Carlsbad Aquafarm for fresh oysters, and shop at local boutiques. “March in Carlsbad brings sunshine-filled days and balmy weather perfect for beach walks, hikes around the lagoons, springtime surfs (wetsuit-clad), and visits to Legoland California Resort for families with little ones,” Kim Sidoriak, president and CEO of Visit Carlsbad, tells Travel + Leisure. New additions to Legoland this year are Dino Valley and Lego World Parade.
Where to Stay: Park Hyatt Aviara features a kids pool with waterslides, an adults pool, a golf course, superb dining, and the new Miraval Life in Balance Spa. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is set on 400 acres with golf, pools, and a spa. The Legoland Hotel and Legoland Castle Hotel are steps from the park.
The annual eight-day South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival arrives at the Austin Convention Center on March 8, with technology, culture, film, music, comedy, and notable speakers. Rodeo Austin is in town from March 8-23, and there’s live music, great food, and always plenty of things to do in Austin. “March brings a vibrant energy to Austin, well beyond the excitement of SXSW. As a local and advocate for the city’s charm, I recommend visiting this month when the streets buzz with local flair, outdoor adventures are prime, and the culinary scene comes alive,” says Hotel ZaZa general manager, Jacob Weaver.
In March, the Mile High City is still chilly with daytime temperatures reaching the mid-60s and colder nights. It’s a beautiful time to be outdoors, and nearby, Colorado’s ski towns are still covered in snow. With museums, theater, breweries, and concerts at Red Rock Amphitheater, there are dozens of fun things to do in Denver at any time of year. A sure sign of spring is the beginning of baseball season, and Denver welcomes MLB’s Colorado Rockies to Coors Field and adjacent McGregor Square.
Where to Stay: Voted one of the best hotels in Denver by T+L readers, The Rally Hotel is steps from the ballpark, and it’s lively and fun with a rooftop pool for summer. Other options include the Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver or Hotel Clio, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in the Cherry Creek North neighborhood.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
As one of the best beaches in the U.S., Clearwater Beach is an idyllic destination once the weather begins to warm up in March. The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary at the end of March and early April with its famous sand sculptures and family entertainment. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, historic Cleveland Street District, dolphin cruises, miles of beaches, and sunny weather in the high 70s make March in Clearwater Beach perfect for families and spring breakers.
Where to Stay: The beachfront JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa opened in spring 2023. Nearby in St. Petersburg, The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, dating to 1925, features renovated guest rooms, golf, tennis, and a marina.
Although spring arrives in March, the cold weather hangs on a bit longer in the Windy City, so bundle up and duck into one of Chicago’s best museums to warm up (and explore). There’s plenty to do both indoors and outside. “As the city’s vibrancy comes back after the winter, there are concerts, theater premieres, and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations all across Chicago,” according to Rebecca Correri, general manager at 21c Museum Hotel Chicago. St. Patrick’s Day is a big occasion in Chicago, when the Chicago River turns emerald green and the official Irish Parade takes place. Chicago’s food is legendary; from deep-dish pizza to five-star dining, foodies love the city’s cuisine.
Where to Stay: An artsy boutique hotel, 21c Museum Hotel Chicago is set in the River North neighborhood. The St. Regis Chicago opened in May 2023 for another luxe option. Just outside the city, the elegant Deer Path Inn is reminiscent of a 15th-century Tudor mansion.
Park City, Utah
Spring is a gorgeous time for skiing in Park City, with snow throughout March (and even later some years). Conveniently located less than an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport, the charming downtown is almost as much of a draw as the snowy slopes. Restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, and a history museum make exploring fun after a day of skiing. There’s also snowboarding, snowmobiling, a toboggan-style mountain coaster, zip line, and ski lessons for all ages. Trails and slopes for all levels are available, from beginner to expert.
Where to Stay: There are several wonderful hotels in Park City, including The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, Pendry Park City, and Waldorf Astoria Park City. Montage Deer Valley offers ski-in, ski-out access at Deer Valley Resort, and Washington Schoolhouse is a historic boutique.
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Lake Oconee, Georgia
Located in Greensboro about 75 miles east of Atlanta, Lake Oconee is a serene getaway in central Georgia. Boating, golf, hiking, and nearby Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds offer many ways to enjoy the early spring weather and gorgeous outdoors. At Sandy Creek, there’s fishing, kayaking, off-roading, archery, and sporting clay shooting. In the historic downtown, visitors will find antique stores, boutiques, restaurants, and a walking tour for those who want to discover more about Greensboro’s past. Six championship golf courses and the Kingdom at Lake Oconee provide golfers with opportunities for play, practice, equipment, and lessons. My husband and I spent a few days — and played a few rounds of golf — at Lake Oconee. He’s been asking me when we’re going back, so I just might see you there if you schedule a trip in March.
Where to Stay: The recently renovated Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee offers lakeside dining, boating, a spa, guest rooms, suites, cottages, and the Lake House, with four bedrooms and a stunning lakefront location. RVs and campers are welcome at Lake Oconee KOA.
Perfect weather in the mid-70s, gorgeous scenery, white-sand beaches, and a lively atmosphere make March a great time for a trip to Oahu. The island is celebrating the 28th Annual Honolulu Festival (March 8-10) with a parade, stage performances, food, music, and a craft fair. March is prime whale watching time, and a cruise to see the humpbacks is a thrilling experience. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, swimming, surfing, or just relaxing on the beach are more ways to enjoy the island. My first snorkeling experience was at Hanauma Bay, and I’ve returned several times since then; the marine life there is incredible. Visitors can learn about the history of the islands at the Polynesian Cultural Center or the fascinating Bishop Museum. At Wai Kai, there’s a lagoon, wave pool, kayaking, and more for family fun.
T+L’s 2024 Destination of the Year sees its dry season in March, making this the ideal time to visit for some travelers (although the best time to visit Costa Rica largely depends on what you want to experience). “There’s really no bad time to visit Costa Rica,” says Trevor Ling, owner of Hotel Three Sixty. “Late February through March is characterized by the driest weather and spectacular wildlife sightings, like the annual humpback whale migration. This is when Osa Peninsula’s biodiversity really comes to life. Here on the Pacific Coast, March is also prime time for watching turtles hatch on our coastline’s pristine beaches.” Whether your goal is to see wildlife, beaches, rainforests, or small towns, you can find what you’re after in Costa Rica.
Where to Stay: Adults-only Hotel Three Sixty is located on the southwest coast along the Pacific. Enjoy panoramic views from the mountainside Origins Lodge or a beachfront villa at Costa Elena. Those looking for a seamless stay may want to choose one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica.
The three-island archipelago just south of Italy features well-preserved medieval fortresses, archaeological sites, and museums. From March through May, the Malta Biennale will be celebrated with cultural events and festivities. “Malta is the hidden gem of the Mediterranean, and art and design lovers who visit our country in 2024 will see more events, exhibitions, and festivals than ever before,” according to Phyllis Muscat, CEO and board chair of MICAS (Malta International Contemporary Art Space). “This fall our new contemporary art museum will open within the old fortification walls above the marina, only a few minutes walk from the center of Valletta. MICAS will offer visitors an ambitious collection of international contemporary art.”
Spring arrives in March with flowers blooming and temperatures warming into the high 60s, perfect for being outdoors. Hiking in Keramashoto National Park, strolling along beaches, and enjoying colorful blossoms are among things to do. In Higashi Village, more than 50,000 azaleas bloom for the March Azalea Festival. The Netflix series, Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, has inspired travel to Okinawa, and visitors find incredible experiences like diving among coral reefs, learning about the islands’ history and traditions, and enjoying the delicious cuisine. Flights from major cities in Asia arrive at Okinawa’s Naha Airport.
Where to Stay: Hoshinoya Okinawa is an oceanside resort offering the Okinawa Blue Zone Stay, a three-day wellness experience. Halekulani Okinawa offers guest rooms and five villas with private pools. Homm Okinawa, a Banyan Tree Hotel, features spacious private villas.
Mexico City, Mexico
March is ideal for a trip to Mexico City, with dry weather, temperatures in the mid-70s, and the blooming of the purple jacarandas. It’s the perfect time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, from hip to historic, sample street food, and learn about the past. More than a museum, Casa Azul is the place where Frida Kahlo spent her early life and her time with Diego Rivera. Personal objects, folk art, photos, books, and paintings by both artists create a fascinating experience. I loved the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco during my visit a few years ago; seeing local families, tourists, and the colorful boats (trajineras) and flowers was such fun.
March begins the shoulder season in Florence, after the winter months but ahead of spring and summer’s more popular tourist seasons. Visiting museums, restaurants, and piazzas is ideal in March, and with the right clothing, the cool weather can be comfortable. Florentine New Year, dating to the Middle Ages, is celebrated on March 25 with a procession through the city streets. Easter falls on March 31, and a unique tradition, the Explosion of the Cart, takes place. Claudio Meli, general manager of The Place tells T+L, “March is the perfect time to visit our beloved Florence and embrace some of our local traditions. One of my favorites is the Scoppio del Carro, or Exploding of the Cart. Outside of the Duomo, the cardinal of Florence lights a massive cart and fireworks are released, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.”
Where to Stay: The Place, a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Piazza Santa Maria Novella, will reopen in mid-March after a redesign. Hotel Savoy, a Rocco Forte Hotel, is located on Piazza della Repubblica.
“The Harvest Festival in Mendoza is a captivating celebration that beautifully intertwines the rich viticultural heritage of the region with a vibrant display of culture and tradition. It’s a time when the vineyards come alive with the culmination of a year’s hard work, and the air is filled with the aroma of freshly harvested grapes,” Veronica Marquina, general manager at Cavas Wine Lodge, told T+L. “It’s a must-experience event that immerses visitors in the heart and soul of Mendoza’s wine culture.” The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (Feb.28-March 3) celebrates the harvest with music, dance, theater, and, of course, wine. This agricultural region where malbec is famously made is about 650 miles west of Buenos Aires.
Where to Stay: Cavas Wine Lodge, a Relais & Châteaux member, is a boutique property set in a 55-acre vineyard. The Vines Resort & Spa is set in the Uco Valley, and SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites features wines from Susana Balbo Winery.
Located in the Caribbean Sea, this island is shared by two nations: the Netherlands and France. Visitors cross the open border easily, and in St. Maarten (the Dutch side), they’ll find casinos, bars, shopping, and nightlife, while in St. Martin (the French side), excellent restaurants, beaches, and beautiful natural surroundings are abundant. The largest regatta in the Caribbean, the Heineken Regatta (Feb. 29-March 3), will bring yacht fans from around the world. SXM Music Festival (March 11-18) arrives for five nights of electronic music and dancing. Water sports, sailing, hiking, and zip lining are among the many things to do on St. Martin.
Where to Stay: La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel was voted among the best resorts in the Caribbean in our 2023 World’s Best Awards.
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