Many of us have postponed international travel for a while, and we’re looking forward to being in far away places. Perhaps — depending on health requirements for travel — it’s time for a trip to somewhere warm, exotic, or new. Festivals and events may be another reason to travel, so we’ve listed several, from music to fashion, baseball, sailing, and Mardi Gras. We hope our suggestions will inspire some trip ideas, even if it’s just for daydreaming or future planning. Here are 12 of the best places to travel in March. By Patricia Doherty
A visit to Ireland in March is perfectly timed for spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and the centennial anniversary of the first Irish Constitution that was signed at The Shelbourne in Dublin. You can stay in the historic hotel today, located on St. Stephen’s Green. After exploring Dublin, head to County Limerick for a stay at the plush Adare Manor, set on 840 countryside acres with a Michelin-starred restaurant, golf course, spa, and magnificent grounds. In County Clare, Dromoland Castle is another magical place, with a history dating to the 16th century, lavish décor, world-class golf, and superb cuisine. Ballyfin, a luxurious and intimate country house hotel with twenty bedrooms, is set in the centre of Ireland at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
Comfortable temperatures over 15 degrees Celsius and dry March weather make Bogotá one of the best places to travel in March. Estéreo Picnic from March 25-27, a mega music festival with popular alternative performers, is another reason to head to South America. The Ibero-American Theater Festival from March 16-April 1 is one of the largest performing arts festivals in the world, with international theatre companies and celebrations throughout the city. Even if you don’t travel to Bogotá for a festival, you’ll find plenty to do exploring street art, strolling through the historic downtown La Candelaria section, and visiting the capital city’s museums. One of the best known is the Museo del Oro, with a huge collection of gold from Colombia’s pre-Hispanic era.
Located in the western Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometres) east of Kenya, the Seychelles, an independent republic and a member of the British Commonwealth, consists of 115 islands. Known for beautiful beaches, world-class diving and snorkelling, water sports, fishing, and marine life, the islands offer nature reserves, museums, marine national parks, and luxurious hotels. Mango House Seychelles, set in a historic home, recently opened with accommodations that include guest rooms, suites, and three-bedroom villas, all with views of the clear waters of Anse Aux Poules Bleues.
This Central American country is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. Beaches, rain forests, volcanoes, national parks, wildlife, and natural beauty make Costa Rica a popular destination with accommodations ranging from five-star resorts to casual lodges. In the exclusive resort community of Peninsula Papagayo, Four Seasons and Andaz are options. In Guanacaste, there’s Hotel Punta Islita and El Mangroove. Cielo Lodge, a luxurious rainforest ecolodge, is located in Golfito in the south. The unique Igloo Beach Lodge is set on secluded Espadilla Beach. On the Caribbean coast, stay at Hotel Aguas Claras in Puerto Viejo. Two airports serve Costa Rica with flights from most major cities. The main airport is Juan Santamaria International (SJO), and Daniel Oduber International (LIR) receives flights for Guanacaste, Monteverde, and La Fortuna.
British Virgin Islands
About sixty tropical Caribbean islands form the British Virgin Islands, including the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. Located about a hundred miles (160 kilometres) east of Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands offer stunning beaches, rugged terrain, and clear seas that are favourite destinations for sailing. From March 28-April 3, the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival will be held, with races, cruises, games, and parties. On Virgin Gorda, Oil Nut Bay, set on 400 acres, offers a marina, villas, and new homes (for sale or rent) that sleep up to ten guests. Rosewood Little Dix Bay, with major renovations completed in 2020, features 81 ultra-luxury accommodations with butler service, spa, and tennis courts. Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive Moskito Island is home to private estates in dramatic settings with access to boating, a spa, and a variety of water sports.
Quintana Roo, México
Set on the Yucatán Peninsula on Mexico’s east coast along the Caribbean Sea, this state includes tourist destinations like Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cancún, and Cozumel. White-sand beaches, a range of resorts, seafood, fascinating Mayan ruins, and wildlife attract visitors year round. Most resort areas can be reached easily from Cancún International Airport (CUN) which is served by major airlines. Mayakoba is a development with four luxury hotels: Rosewood, Andaz, Fairmont, and Banyan Tree. In Tulum, the new Conrad Tulum offers a variety of suites along with seven restaurants and bars. Etéreo on the Riviera Maya features ocean and mangrove views from luxurious guest rooms and suites. You can rent luxury private villas in Tulum and Riviera Maya through In Residence by Pieter Brundyn. For guided tours of Mayan temples, cenotes, and beach time, too, consider the Ancient Temples and Wild Cenotes tour from TRIPS by Culture Trip.
Located at the mouth of the Douro River on Portugal’s northwest coast, Porto is widely known for its port wine. The picturesque, hilly city is home to baroque churches, museums, and a UNESCO World Heritage historic district. Porto is called Cidade das Pontes, “City of Bridges,” for its six structures that span the Douro. Walk along the city’s winding streets, sample delicious seafood, and finish with a glass of port and luscious pastéis de nata, egg custard in flaky pastry. Porto’s World of Wine (WOW) is an exciting and all-encompassing tribute to wine as well as an education, with museums covering cork, wine, chocolate, fashion, history, and “The Bridge Collection,” 9,000 years of drinking vessels — in exquisite displays. I visited Porto at the start of a Uniworld Boutique River Cruise along the Douro River, a delightful way to experience the hills, grapevines, and towns along the lush valley. The cruise was wonderful, but my introduction to Porto was brief — just enough to tell me I’ll be back one day.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mardi Gras season begins on January 6 and this year ends on March 1, Fat Tuesday, with parades, parties, and celebrations all day. After last year’s COVID-caused cancellation of festivities, this year is proceeding with caution, and visitors should check the current health requirements. Things might calm down a bit after Mardi Gras Day, but there’s always much to see and do in New Orleans. BUKU 2022, a music and arts festival, is planned for March 25-26. Across Lake Pontchartrain in Covington, a different type of celebration happens on March 6 with the Mardi Paws Parade through the city’s downtown. In NOLA, stay at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans or choose the Hyatt Centric French Quarter or boutique Eliza Jane.
Finger Lakes Region, New York
This year-round vacation region in upstate New York with lakes, wineries, farms, museums, winter sports, and historical sites is recognising Women’s History Month in a special way. March 2022 marks the 200th birthday of Harriet Tubman and Auburn, New York is where she lived for the last 50 years of her life, owned property, fulfilled her philanthropic work, and where she is laid to rest. Harriet Tubman Week includes a Wreath-laying ceremony at her gravesite in Fort Hill Cemetery on March 13. This year’s “Where Brave Women Winter” campaign also celebrates the women’s rights movement and other notable women with events and activities throughout the month. While you’re there, you can visit some of the area’s excellent wineries, breweries, cideries, or distilleries. Stay at The Lake House on Canandaigua for the perfect upstate New York vacation.
Charleston, South Carolina
Mild weather makes March a pleasant time to visit Charleston, with magnolia trees blooming and parks beginning to show their colourful flowers, setting the stage for several springtime events. The annual Festival of Houses and Gardens will take place from March 16-April 9 and the Charleston Wine and Food Festival returns from March 2-6. The spring Lexus Charleston Fashion Week is set for March 24-25. Enjoy the Holy City’s atmosphere with a stay at The Loutrel, a luxury hotel recently opened in the historic district. The 16-room boutique Zero George is celebrating its 10th anniversary with renovations debuting in early 2022, and The Residences at Zero George features luxury suites for long-term stays. At The Spectator Hotel, Art Deco-inspired design, personal butler service, and a Prohibition-era themed cocktail lounge create a memorable experience.
Indian Wells, California
Spring in the Coachella Valley’s Greater Palm Springs area is warm, often with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. The BNP Paribas Open brings professional tennis to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden from March 7-20. In addition to superb tennis, there’s live entertainment, dining, retail stores, and the opportunity to watch the games from practice sessions to centre court. Stay nearby at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, set on 45 acres with two championship golf courses, tennis, spa, and a new waterpark with dual waterslides, lazy river, and splash pads.
Baseball Spring Training
Fans can get a head start on the Major League Baseball season with a trip to Phoenix or Scottsdale for the Cactus League from February 26 through March 29 at a variety of stadiums throughout the area. The Florida Grapefruit League games are played on the same dates at 12 locations including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach. The friendly atmosphere, beautiful ballparks, and sunny weather make spring training an annual event for many baseball fans.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com