TravelThe 10 best destinations to visit in March

The 10 best destinations to visit in March


March, oh March — the chameleon of the calendar, adept at blending the tail end of winter with the sprightly onset of spring. While your neighbors are busy Googling how to spell “Punxsutawney,” travelers like you know this month is the golden ticket to planning some of the world’s best destinations.

Bid adieu to the winter blues and the overcrowded summer spots. March is your chance to explore without the hassle of elbowing through selfie-snapping crowds. We’re not just talking about the usual tourist traps decked out in spring finery. No, we’re venturing off the beaten path to uncover 10 spectacular spots that truly come alive in March.

So, where should you travel? Here are the 10 best destinations. Let the March madness begin – and we’re not talking basketball.

Tulum, Mexico

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Tulum has long been a go-to destination thanks to its blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Now, the town is more accessible than ever before, thanks to new direct flights from major cities including Newark, Charlotte, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles. This improved connectivity makes it easier for travelers to experience Tulum’s stunning sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters and variety of mind-body activities.

The town is famous for its yoga retreats, offering a serene environment for relaxation and rejuvenation. For culinary enthusiasts, Mexican cooking classes provide a taste of local flavors and traditions. Adventure seekers can explore the Caribbean waters through paddle boarding or snorkeling among the vibrant coral reefs.

Related: The best times to visit Mexico

Tulum is also rich in history and culture, with its nearby ancient Mayan ruins, such as the Tulum Archaeological Site, offering a glimpse into Mexico’s past. Plus, the town’s bustling markets and local artisan shops provide an authentic experience for those interested in traditional crafts and souvenirs.

TPG tip: For a serene and peaceful retreat without the kids, guests can book a spring break stay at The Beach Tulum starting at $708 a night. For families, the all-inclusive Hilton Tulum, from $665 (based on double occupancy, all-inclusive) or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night, is located on a secluded bay, around a 20-minute drive from town.

Related: The best all-inclusive resorts in Mexico

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Savannah, Georgia

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March is a fantastic time to visit Savannah. The highlight is the internationally acclaimed Savannah Music Festival from March 28 to April 13, known for its amazing variety of music.

In Savannah, the streets are a picturesque blend of historic charm and natural beauty, lined with ancient trees draped in Spanish moss. The weather in March is just right for wandering through the city’s lovely parks and along the riverfront. Savannah’s rich history is everywhere, from its cobblestone squares to its grand old buildings.

For food lovers, the city offers everything from classic Southern dishes to new culinary delights.

TPG tip: The Alida Hotel is the perfect place for attendees to lay their heads after a day of soaking up the melodies. It’s available from $274 or 53,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Turks and Caicos

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It’s all about R&R in Turks and Caicos, and in March, it’s a sunny paradise, boasting perfect weather at around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This Caribbean destination is surprisingly close, just a four-hour flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), offering an easy tropical escape.

Its white-sand beaches and crystal blue waters are a highlight, perfect for days spent relaxing or snorkeling among vibrant coral reefs. Thanks to new direct flights from airlines like Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic and Silver Airways, getting there is easier than ever.

With tourism on the rise, March is a great time to experience the island’s natural beauty and lively atmosphere before the peak season rush.

TPG tip: Book a stay at the luxurious and pampering Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos on stunning Grace Bay Beach for a serene escape. Rates start at $1,371 or 112,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Related: Spectacular Turks and Caicos all-inclusives for beach getaways

Bali, Indonesia

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March in Bali is a fascinating time to visit, especially as it marks the start of the offseason. This means you can enjoy the beauty of Bali with fewer crowds, more affordable flights and cheaper hotel rates.

Although there’s more rainfall, it’s also a time of rich cultural significance, highlighted by the Balinese New Year celebrations. A unique aspect of these celebrations is the Nyepi Day of Silence, which falls on March 11 this year. On this day, the island embraces a remarkable quietness, turning off all lights at 6 a.m. for 24 hours, including street lamps and traffic signals.

Related: Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel

There’s no broadcasting on TV or radio, and everyone stays indoors. This tradition is meant to deceive visiting spirits into believing Bali is deserted, ensuring peace for the island in the year ahead. For visitors, Nyepi offers a rare opportunity for deep rest and reflection, allowing both the body and mind to rejuvenate in Bali’s tranquil and mystical atmosphere during this time.

TPG tip: Viceroy Bali is offering a Nyepi Package, where guests can be cocooned in a spacious private pool villa for two nights with all meals included on March 11. Prices start from $1,152 for the two-night package in a pool suite.

Florence, Italy

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Florence is particularly charming in March. The city starts to shake off its winter chill, making way for the pleasant warmth of spring.

This time of year, famous spots like the Duomo and Boboli Gardens are less crowded, offering a peaceful experience. Art enthusiasts will find the Uffizi and Accademia galleries more accessible, allowing for a closer look at Renaissance masterpieces.

Related: Everyone is going to Sicily — try these 7 underrated places in Italy instead

March also brings a series of cultural events that showcase Florence’s rich artistic legacy. A walk along the Arno River or through historic streets is delightful in the mild weather. Florence in March combines the start of spring, fewer tourists and its timeless beauty, making it an inviting destination.

TPG tip: The Place is a 20-room luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Florence’s Piazza Santa Maria Novella. It’s available for $470 per night.

Estes Park, Colorado

VISIT ESTES PARK

Estes Park is a unique destination in March, especially with the quirky Frozen Dead Guy Days festival. Scheduled over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 15-17, this festival celebrates the unusual story of Grandpa Bredo, an actual frozen dead guy now residing at the International Cryonics Museum at The Stanley Hotel.

The event features a range of bizarre yet wonderful activities, from coffin races to the Deadman Fashion Show. This offbeat festival not only offers a glimpse into the eccentric but also highlights the community’s sense of humor and creativity. The backdrop of Estes Park’s stunning natural scenery, combined with this one-of-a-kind festival, makes for an unforgettable visit.

TPG tip: Book a stay at The Inn on Fall River for a remarkable picturesque getaway among the Rocky Mountains. Rates start at $124 for a one-night stay.

Panama

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The Pacific Riviera, nestled along the Pan-American Highway, is breathtaking with its stunning beaches and lush mountains.

You’ll find unique black sands at Coronado and lovely golden beaches at Bijao, Playa Blanca and Buenaventura. For surfers, places like Chame and El Palmar are perfect, especially in March, right after the peak fishing season. Nature lovers can explore the scenic Anton Valley, with its captivating waterfalls and the impressive La India Dormida mountain.

Also, the Ruta de la Caldera offers great hiking trails, part of Panama’s initiative to enhance outdoor exploration. The Pacific Riviera is ideal for those who love the beach, surfing, fishing or just enjoying nature.

TPG tip: The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort is where outdoor adventure and magical beaches collide. Prices start as low as $159 or 31,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for a one-night stay in March.

Related: Why this luxury hotel in Panama should make you excited about Sofitel

Chicago

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March in Chicago is notable for its unique St. Patrick’s Day celebration and the city’s array of activities.

The dyeing of the Chicago River on March 16 is a must-see event, turning the river into a brilliant green spectacle. This is one of the most unusual St. Patrick’s Day events globally, drawing crowds to marvel at the transformation.

While in Chicago, travelers can still take advantage of winter festivities, like the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park — perfect for families on spring break in the Windy City. Additionally, “Peter Pan” and “Pretty Woman” make their musical debut on Broadway in Chicago in March, and the iconic Bean in Millennium Park, which has been closed for construction, reopens in spring.

TPG tip: Located a few short blocks from the riverwalk, 21c Museum Hotel Chicago is a quick walk to the action and available for $150 for a one-night stay.

Related: The 17 best Chicago hotels

Ocala, Florida

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Ocala, Florida, known as “The Horse Capital of the World,” is an increasingly popular destination, especially in March. Downtown Ocala boasts a vibrant farmer’s market, an emerging food scene and public art, providing visitors with a rich cultural experience.

The area is also famous for its crystal-clear natural springs, like the largest in America, Silver Springs. These springs are perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding and glass-bottom boat tours.

Furthermore, Ocala becomes the center of the equestrian world from March 21-24 as it hosts the FEI Longines League of Nations. In this prestigious event, athletes from around the globe come to qualify.

TPG tip: A new addition for March is The Riding Academy Hotel, set to open on the 400-acre World Equestrian Center campus. This hotel will provide nearly 400 rooms and suites, an outdoor pool and sun deck, dual fitness centers and a lobby marketplace. The Hilton Ocala is also centrally located and even houses its own Clydesdale, Buddy. Rates start at $157 or 45,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Malta

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There’s no better time to visit Malta, as it becomes a cultural epicenter with the inauguration of its first Art Biennale, a prestigious event backed by UNESCO. This festival promises to provide immersive art experiences that showcase the Mediterranean’s significant impact on global culture.

Beyond the Biennale, Malta is a paradise for architecture and design aficionados, brimming with historical sites and medieval fortresses, each telling stories of the past. Bonus: The mild March weather complements outdoor explorations of Malta’s scenic landscapes and architectural wonders.

TPG tip: A luxury beachfront hotel with a spa and bay views, the Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa is a no-brainer. Rates start at $132 or 33,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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