Where to Go in March
March is a popular time for travel – people are itching to get some fresh air, perspective or sun as winter ends. While spring break crowds make prices skyrocket in certain classic sunny locations (think Disney, the Caribbean and Mexico), with some clever strategizing you'll find deep discounts for travel in the third month of the year.
For those who really want to avoid the student surge of spring break, it makes sense to your vacation horizons to include unexpected locations. March is also still prime time for a ski trip. If you missed out skiing or snowboarding earlier in the year, it's easier to find affordable packages toward the tail end of the season.
There's nothing like a gratifying vacation to make your March go in like a lion and out like a lamb, so here are our top picks for where to go:
March temperatures in Savannah hit highs in the low 70s, and the weather is relatively dry. It's an ideal time to stroll through the beautiful parks, take in the historic architecture and enjoy the shops and restaurants that make Savannah a favorite destination. On St. Patrick's Day in Savannah roughly 400,000 people flock to the area for a parade and festivities in what is known as the country's second-largest St. Pat's celebration. Fountains and beer are dyed green and an all-day party goes on (unlike the New York, Chicago and Boston festivities, drinking an open container of alcohol is allowed on the street in Savannah's Historic District downtown). Toward the end of the month, the Savannah Music Festival heads to town, bringing even more entertainment. If you're looking for some beach action, Hilton Head, Tybee Island and Wilmington are all within an hours' drive – it won't be balmy (highs will be in the 60s and 70s), but good for water sports and some mild rays.
Stay: The upscale Mansion on Forsyth Park is an AOL Travel favorite, and you can book rooms there in March for about $200.
Savannah Travel Deals
the mat, Flickr
Bargain-hunters seeking some gambling fun can find plenty of value visiting the Reno-Tahoe area in March. Daytime temperatures usually peak in the 50s with plenty of sun, and even for those who prefer to spend their days indoors at the casinos, Reno hotels rooms can be booked for extremely low prices. While larger crowds shell out big bucks to stay at the other end of the state in Vegas for March Madness viewing and betting, casinos in Reno (like the Peppermill) offer viewing parties and gambling at their sports books – and there's a March Madness beer crawl through downtown Reno as well. 30-60 minutes away from the gambling bustle in Reno lies the border with California and Lake Tahoe. Here, resorts such as Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley and Mt. Rose provide an equal amount of fresh snow and sunshine to make for great conditions. If you're looking to do some apres-ski gambling, make sure you're staying on the Nevada side of the lake.
Stay: For skiers, stay in South Lake at the Montbleu Resort and Spa, where rooms can be fetched for $80 a night in March. Accommodation in Reno at the newly renovated Grand Sierra Resort and Casino starts at $109 per night, and ski packages are available.
Reno Travel Deals | Lake Tahoe Travel Deals
If the aforementioned Savannah St. Patrick's festivities don't temp you into shades of green, why not do a spring trip to Ireland and celebrate St. Patty's Day in all its glory? Ireland is one of the more affordable destinations in Europe, and early spring is a lovely time to visit. Stop by the Guinness Storehouse, stroll through Phoenix Park or do a Viking Splash Tour to familiarize yourself with Dublin and its history. All that sightseeing should certainly be complimented with some Irish drinking and grub – grab a pint at the Porterhouse Brewing Company, have some pub food at the Brazen Head, or splurge for fine dining at Eden. Dublin makes for a perfect March escape.
Stay: Book a room at AOL Travel favorite The Morgan Hotel for about $125 a night. For a luxury sampling, spend a few nights at the Four Seasons – where rooms are available for as low as $180 a night.
Dublin Travel Deals
asis k. chat, Flickr
If you're looking to take the spring journey of a lifetime, consider going to India in March. It's a long haul for most travelers, but the wealth of historical, cultural and spiritual experiences offered by a vacation in India are staggering. From the buzzing metropolises of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, to the majestic Taj Mahal, and the beaches on the southern end of the country – it's challenging to narrow down exactly what you'll be doing during a trip to India (but we can certainly help you try. Check out Gadling and AOL Travel's India news and recommendations). It's normally risky to generalize about the weather of such an enormous country, but March is still winter in India. That means reliably pleasant weather (average highs in the Delhi area toward the north of the country hover around 60-70 degrees, while typical March temperatures in the south of India average in the high 70s and 80s). Plus you'll be sure to miss monsoon season, which runs from June to September. It will put a new, epic spin on the concept of spring break.
Stay: Try the Westin in Mumbai (about $250 per night) or New Delhi's Crowne Plaza Hotel New Delhi Okhla (prices roughly $150 a night.) For a beach vacation, try the InterContinental The Lalit Goa Resort in Goa ($150 a night), or the Vivanta by Taj Kovalam hotel in Kovalam (from $147 a night), on the southern tip of India, for some spa time and tranquility.
Goa Travel Deals | Mumbai Travel Deals | New Delhi Travel Deals | Kolkata Travel Deals
Charlottesville is in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, and early spring is a nice time to explore the area in and around the city. Hitting the historical sites is a must: Monticello, Montpelier, Ash Lawn-Highland and the University of Virginia. Aim for UVa's spring break (March 5-13 in 2011) if you want to see Charlottesville during a quieter span. If the March weather is sticking on the cold side, don't be disappointed – there are several ski slopes in the Charlottesville area. Resorts like Bryce and Massanutten mean that skiers, snowboarders, snow tubers and even water park lovers (check out Massanutten, where an indoor-outdoor water park is located) can occupy themselves should blustery weather move through.
Stay: If you're looking for luxury, AOL Travel Editor's Pick Keswick Hall can be booked in March for as low as $200. Otherwise, opt for the Omni, where daily rate are roughly $140.
Charlottesville Travel Deals