10 Best Places to Travel in March

From the streets of Valencia to Chicago, these spring destinations are not to be missed.

Screw the cleaning. Make spring the time to take a trip, and blow out the cobwebs in a much more fulfilling way. Even better, shoulder seasons like spring usually offer an affordable way to combine low-season hotel rates and fewer crowds with high-season weather, a canny workaround for any value-seeking traveler.

We’ve pulled together some of the places to visit in March, including an alternative to cherry blossom-spotting (hint: come hungry) to the Caribbean’s toniest superyacht race and a pyromaniac’s delight of a festival in Europe.

Here are the 10 best places to visit in March.

Flowering almond tree grove blossoms in California

80% of the world’s supply of almonds comes from California.

Photo by Reimar/Shutterstock

1. Modesto, California

March is great for: swapping cherry blossoms for a farmland stand-in.

California’s agricultural heartlands are often eclipsed by their snazzier coastal counterparts, but pause to consider a trip to the Central Valley, home to some of America’s finest farmland—and in particular, almond groves.

The trees are planted across 1.5 million acres of land here, and a riot of pink and white flowers carpet the horizon from mid-February to mid-March. Modesto, a city with 120,000 acres of those groves, has cannily devised what it’s dubbed the Almond Blossom Cruise, a self-guided driving tour with two routes (and plenty of detours) that allow you to explore the area and see as many blossoms as you can; the western circuit is an hour or so, while the east will require up to three hours.

Stops include farm stands—pick up some tangy signature cheddar at Fiscalini—as well as restaurants and farms. Standouts include Rodin Farms and Roberts Ferry Nut Company, as both have groves that run right down to the parking lot line.

Where to stay

The 260-room hotel downtown is an affordable base, right off Highway 99 and within walking distance of many local landmarks—don’t miss the superbly restored McHenry Mansion, a Victorian-Italianate masterpiece dating back to the 1880s.

How to get to Modesto

Southwest’s your best bet, as it uses the nearest airport, Sacramento, as one of its national hubs, connecting the Californian capital with countless cities across the country from Palm Springs and St. Louis to Portland, OR. From there, it’s a 90-minute drive or so.

Green body of water near buildings

It takes about 40 pounds of powder and two hours to transform Chicago’s waters into a dazzling emerald, using a secret formula about which the city is understandably territorial.

Photo by Benjamin Suter/Unsplash

2. Chicago, Illinois

March is great for: the ultimate Paddy’s party.

Is there anywhere else to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day other than Chicago? After all, the Windy City goes beyond a massive parade (though there’s one of those, too.) No, the city, quite literally, transforms, as the main river here is dyed bright green on the Saturday before March 17 (this year, that’s March 15). It’s a fleeting change, as the ferocious water flows mean the color ebbs away within one to two days, so you’ll need to be here that weekend to see the maximum impact—take a cruise on the water for an up-close glimpse.

As for celebrations, there’s an endless assortment, whether the Irish American Heritage Center on the north side or the Shamrock’n The Block party in downtown’s West Loop, with a heated beer tent and lots of Irish dancing.

Where to stay

This funky boutique chainlet—now part of the Accor umbrella—is aptly named: Each of its sites acts as much as a gallery as a crash pad, a nod to the passions of its art-collecting philanthropist founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. The four-year-old Chicago site is no exception, with work from local artists like Colleen Plumb ranged around the property, including its 10,000-square-foot onsite gallery.

How to get to Chicago

ORD is a hub for not one but two airlines, United and American, with ample service across the country. But don’t dismiss the smaller, nippier Midway (MDW), which Southwest services to the likes of Houston, Sarasota, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Luxury yachts in a harbor.

This Bucket Regatta is a reminder that St Barts is an outdoorsy, active destination, too, with almost three quarters of the land here designated as a green zone, and so precluded from construction.

Photo by Nancy Pauwels/Shutterstock

3. St. Barths

March is great for: seeing an alternative side to this party-powered island.

Sure, come to St. Barths to sashay ‘round the pool. But there are other reasons to visit this slice of France, just a short flight off the coast of St. Maarten—like the Bucket Regatta this month, which takes place from March 21-24.

This race is a four-day, invitation-only race that’s a point of pride for super-yachts worldwide. This year, there will be no yacht hop party, but instead a dockside bash at the Capitainerie on Saturday night for the ultimate mingler. If you’re not schmoozing or racing, though, it’s still a spectacular chance to see some of the world’s finest yachts performing at their peak, all on some of the bluest waters of the West Indies.

Where to stay

The eight-year-old, 44-room property has a fitting sits on the eastern reaches of Grand Cul de Sac beach and with understated, ultra-luxe décor from French designer Sybille de Margerie.

How to get to St Barths

Book a flight to SXM in St Maarten—there are countless services from the U.S. on everything from Spirit (FLL) to Sun Country (MSP). From there, take the knuckle-biting puddle jumper over to SBH on Tradewinds. At just over 2,100 feet this is one of the shortest runways in the world, so you’ll be in a tiny plane piloted by a seasoned captain.

Aerial view of Windhoek, Namibia, featuring the its best-recognized landmark, the Christ Church (Christuskirche), a German Lutheran church combining Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, built in 1907.

Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, is one place to catch independence day festivities.

Photo by Maurizio De Mattei/Shutterstock

4. Namibia

March is great for: a green season celebration.

March 21 is a momentous annual day in the Namibian calendar, as it marks the state’s independence from South Africa. It won freedom in 1990 after more than two decades of fighting—today the occasion is marked by a colorful parade, where citizens march and sing the national anthem, Namibia, Land of the Brave, which was composed by a Kalahari desert-based musician in the wake of independence.

Unlike much of sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia has much less likelihood of torrential downpours during this time. Its version of the green season remains drier than most, with the landscape here creating the dramatic dunescapes that have become synonymous with the country for safari-seekers.

Where to stay

The immersive desert experience that is the hallmark of Namibian safari is core to this six-tent camp made entirely from locally sourced materials. Stay here and the game drives focus on desert-adapted lions, elephants, and giraffes.

How to get to Namibia

There are several ways to reach the capital Windhoek (WDH), though none is direct. Consider flying into either Cape Town or Johannesburg and connecting from there, or opt for the Ethiopian Airlines service to Addis Ababa, with connection down to Namibia. Ethiopian connects its capital with Atlanta, Chicago, Newark, JFK, and Dulles.

Popular restaurants at Federation Square in Melbourne

Melbourne’s Fed Square is one of the main spots to get in on the foodie action.

Photo by Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

5. Melbourne, Australia

March is great for: foodie pilgrims with a hunger to explore.

Melbourne‘s fantastic food scene is mostly thanks to the fact that the surrounding state is such a superb produce source—much of its raw materials need only travel a few miles to the city’s restaurants. That’s all celebrated with the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, which runs from March 15-24 and sees more than 300 different events as part of its official schedule.

Fed Square downtown’s deeded over to bakers and pâtissiers, complete with a wood-fired oven pop-up, while record-breaking stunts like the World’s Longest Brunch and Lunch (tables running almost 2,000 feet through the main gardens here) are intended to be fun ways to sample the cooking of top local chefs like Andrew McConnell. He’ll helm the kitchen for lunch while Indian cuisine will be spotlighted during brunch, including creations from fine dining champ Helly Raichura.

Where to stay

The 257-room property opened in the spring of 2023 and is housed in Australia’s tallest building—views from the 80th floor sky lobby are superb out along the Yarra River and over Victoria Harbour.

How to get to Melbourne

MEL is one of the international long haul gateways in Oz, so there’s ample option—Qantas and United connect it with LAX thirteen times weekly, and there are also direct non-stops from Dallas and San Francisco.

Red Sea rocky coastline in Saudi Arabia

The ninety or so islands on Saudi Arabia’s coast are pristine, and the mainland features sweeping dunes, ample historic sites and remarkable open countryside.

Photo by Yakov Oskanov/Shutterstock

6. The Red Sea, Saudi Arabia

March is great for: a pioneering trip to a soon-to-explore spot.

Even though there’s enormous development planned in Saudi Arabia‘s Red Sea—50 hotels should be open within the next six years—the government aims to protect the reason it appeals, promising that the ground-up infrastructure will emphasize renewable energy and zero waste operations.

The peak period to visit ends in February, but the weather remains appealing this month thanks to the still-clear skies—ideal conditions for stargazing. Spend a night out in the dunes around a desert campfire, with local guides sharing stories and legends that connect the centuries-old culture here with the modern developments transforming Saudi Arabia at time-warping speed.

Where to stay

This property includes open-plan villas intended to connect guests with the surrounding sand dunes, plus a signature spa (which, by the way, is two floors and includes a fitness suite with views of the desert.)

How to get to Saudi Arabia

Right now, the best routing to this region is via Riyadh, with direct flights on Saudia from JFK; it’s a two-hour hop from there to RSI, the local airport for the Red Sea. The latter’s primed to welcome international flights at some point in 2024, which will make arrival even easier.

Aerial View of the popular ski town of Winter Park, Colorado

Colorado’s Winter Park allows snowboarding and end-of-season skiing when other, lower altitude spots are running low on powder.

Photo by Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

7. Denver, Colorado

March is great for: late-season skiing and bargain dining.

March is typically the snowiest month of the year in the Mile High City, often logging just under a foot of powder. Climate change has made that less predictable, but there’s still a chance to see the city under a romantic white blanket; this is a place that can more than function even in the trickiest of winters.

You can also choose to stay inside for Denver Restaurant Week, running from March 1-10, with prix fixe meals at many of the top spots here for between $25 and $55 per person. And don’t dismiss the chance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here, either: there’s a parade that’s among one of the largest in the country, with around 10,000 marchers and 200,000 spectators—this year, it’s being held on Sunday, March 16.

Where to stay

The three-year old, 264-room outpost of the funky, mid-market Centric brand has an outdoor rooftop with fireplaces for al fresco cocktails as well as a 1,000-square-foot Presidential Suite that occupies the entire 15th floor.

How to get to Denver

Denver is one of United’s prime hubs, so check your options with UA. The airline services dozens of cities countrywide from here, including Wichita, Kansas, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Green field in front of mountain range silhouette

Maipu Valley, in addition to Luján de Cuyo and Uco Valley, account for the majority of Argentina’s wine output.

Photo by NiarKrad/Shutterstock

8. Mendoza, Argentina

March is great for: a southern hemisphere harvest festival.

More than 1,500 wineries are spread over the three growing areas of the Mendoza region: Maipu Valley, Luján de Cuyo, and Uco Valley. You’ll be able to sample and experience all of them in a single place during La Fiesta Nacional de Vendimia, a festival dating back to the 17th century that marks the beginning of the harvest season.

In early March, alongside parties, dance displays, and special dinners in local restaurants, the city hosts La Bendición de los Frutos, an event where a priest publicly blesses the harvest, as well as Via de la Reinas, a parade where a beauty queen from each of the 17 districts in the region rides around town on a specially designed float. This year, the festivities conclude on March 3, so barrel down at the start of the month to catch its climax.

Where to stay

Stay at this property in the heart of the Valle de Uco, set on 1,500 acres of private vineyards estates, with 21 villas ranged around the property—the largest of them tops out at 2,700 square feet—and each of the modernist structures has an outdoor deck that’s a prime spot to sit and contemplate the Andes mountains.

How to get to Mendoza

Try the LATAM routing via Lima, Peru, from JFK, or São Paulo in Brazil, which is connected to multiple U.S. gateways on legacy carriers Delta, United, and American.

Light trails from rush hour traffic lit up Edmonton downtown Winter sunset skyline showing Walterdale Bridge across the frozen, snow-covered Saskatchewan River and surrounding skyscrapers.

Visit Edmonton’s craft beer festival and try brews from the Alley Kat Brewing Company, Red Shed Malting malt house, or a pale ale from the father-son-run Six Corners Brew Works.

Photo by Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock

9. Edmonton, Canada

March is great for: homegrown delights from the hop-growing hub of Canada.

More than 16,000 square miles of the Canadian province of Alberta are prairies, and one key crop grown in this vast landscape is barley. From March 8-9, the product of prairie-grown barley is celebrated via the local Craft Beer festival. There’s a thriving craft beer scene here mostly thanks to the change in law back in 2013, which removed a cap on small producers; as a result, there are now more than 100 operating in the province.

This two-day fest celebrates their output, with tastings as well as seminars and cooking demos. Half-day passes start at $15 while a VIP+ weekend-long entry is around $188 per person.

Where to stay in Edmonton

The 198-room Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is a classic château-inspired hotel in the heart of the city right on the river dating back to 1915.

How to get to Edmonton

More than 10 U.S. gateways are directly connected with YEG here, including Honolulu, Hawai‘i, Nashville, Tennessee, and Phoenix, Arizona; they’re served by a raft of airlines, including WestJet and Flair.

Multicolored float with two people in costume attire as the centerpiece

Las Fallas started centuries ago, when carpenters burned the pieces of wood used to prop up their winter lights at the arrival of spring.

Photo by Helena GARCIA HUERTAS/Shutterstock

10. Valencia, Spain

March is great for: satire and starchitecture.

For one thing, Valencia’s food scene is impressive—this is the birthplace of paella, after all. The cityscape is jaw dropping, too: It has been world-leading in sustainability, earning the title of European Green Capital for 2024 from the European Commission.

If you needed another incentive to consider a trip, then, this month’s Las Fallas Festival should be the clincher. It’s the most important in the city’s calendar, and runs from March 1-19. During this time, the city is festooned with papier-mâché figures, known as ninots, both traditional or satirical. All but two of them—saved by public vote on March 15—will be burned at the festival’s conclusion, the event known as La Crema.

Where to stay

A one-time nobleman’s mansion right in the heart of the city is now a 66-room luxury hotel, set amid a large garden which was once home to his horses. The minimalist rooms combine whitewashed walls with rich chocolate wood fixtures.

How to get to Valencia

There are no direct, non-stop flights from the USA, so choose either to connect in Madrid, which is serviced by Iberia, American, and Air Europe to JFK, LAX, and DFW. Or go with Iberia’s partner British Airways, which has a wider network stateside. It’s a 2.5 hour flight from LHR to VLC.

British-born, New York–based Mark Ellwood has lived out of a suitcase for most of his life. He is editor-at-large for luxury bible Robb Report and columnist for Bloomberg Luxury. Recent stories have led him to hang out with China’s trendsetters in Chengdu and learn fireside raps from cowboy poets in Wyoming.
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