Illinois Tourism & Travel

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20 Best Places to Travel to March 2023

Now that most of the country is thawing out in time for spring, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your luggage and carry-on bags ready and take a much-needed vacation. On the cusp of a new season, March is virtually synonymous with renewal and rejuvenation. Additionally, spring is symbolic of optimism and change. So, what better way to initiate inspiring fresh starts than by booking a trip this month? Plus, since it’s still early in the year, you probably have plenty of PTO just waiting to be used. With ample time and the world at your fingertips, it can be a challenge narrowing down where on the globe you want to go, but don’t fret. We’ve done the work for you and compiled some of the best places to travel to in March 2023.

Travel preferences vary, so we’ve considered destinations that are sure to suit just about every traveler’s taste and lifestyle. From family-friendly spring break destinations in Florida to relaxing mountainside escapes in Switzerland, we’ve rounded up some of the best domestic and international travel ideas. Whether you prefer staying in the U.S. or want to broaden your horizons abroad, this list will provide suitable options.

Depending on what time of the month you travel, you may find lower airfare and lodging rates. For example, if you opt for earlier in the month when weather can still be chilly, prices are likely to be less expensive than if you travel later in the month when temperatures start to warm up in many parts of the country. No matter where you land, keep in mind that peak travel times are only a couple of months away so take full advantage of deals while you can and plan accordingly.

Let this list be your personal travel guide to finding the best places to explore and unwind this March. And for more recommendations, be sure to check out Good Housekeeping’s Family Travel Awards.

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It’s no secret that southern California has comfortable weather year-round. That’s why it’s consistently a top destination choice for many travelers. While Los Angeles and San Diego are popular vacation picks, Dana Point is just as worthy. Known as the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®, the city is the perfect place for springtime whale watching. Plus, March is the peak time to spot the majestic creatures. For optimal viewing, travelers can check out the 52nd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales (March 4-5) to celebrate the annual return of the California gray whales as they grace the coast during their amazing, annual migration.

Travelers can stay at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, a gorgeous Victorian-style resort overlooking the California Coastline and Dana Point Harbor — just steps away from the festival. Guests can enjoy the nearby festivities and explore the area’s pristine beaches, hiking trails, surf spots and more. Plus, the Orange County city is only 30 miles from Disneyland, making it an ideal destination for families who may want to indulge in some magical fun.

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Charleston, South Carolina

Springtime in Charleston is a sight to behold. With vines of wisteria and dogwood blooms at their peak, it’s an abundant botanical paradise. Its cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages look as if they’ve been pulled from the pages of a fanciful storybook. While the picturesque city is teeming with pretty sights, there’s so much more. For starters, visitors can check out the new International African American Museum, which aims to celebrate and explore the rich history and culture of African Americans and their untold stories.

Charleston also hosts numerous festivals this month. Travelers can stop by the Charleston Wine & Food Festival and Spoleto Festival for a cultural taste of the city. Plus, the 76th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens (March 15 – April 16) also takes place.

When it’s time to rest, book a room at The Loutrel, a 50-room luxury hotel in the heart of the city’s historic district. If you’re looking for more quaint accommodations, opt for Zero George, an award-winning boutique hotel boasting quintessential southern charm.

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Charlottesville, Virginia

With milder weather creeping into Charlottesville, spring is a wonderful time to visit. Located in Central Virginia, the city’s average temperature in March hovers around 60 degrees, making it a great getaway for fun outdoor activities. Visitors can indulge in invigorating experiences like wine tastings at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. If you’d rather skip the sipping, visitors can explore the property’s rolling vines with an estate tour.

Book lovers will be in heaven at the Virginia Festival of the Book (March 23-26). With more than 20,000 visitors attending the festival each year, bookworms will be in good company.

After exploring the city, tourists can tuck into Oakhurst Inn, a boutique hotel located just steps away from the University of Virginia’s pristine campus.

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If outdoor adventures are what you crave, Moab is a sure bet. With epic landscapes and breathtaking red rock formations, this trendy destination provides the perfect environment and scenery to explore the great outdoors. With plenty of daytime activities to choose from like hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding, it’s an adventurer’s dream. But the fun doesn’t stop after the sun goes down. Boasting some of the darkest skies in the country, it’s one of the best places to stargaze. Visitors can get lost for hours on end staring at the brilliant stars dotting the pitch-black sky.

What’s more, Moab is home to two national parks, Arches and Canyonlands — again, making it a hot spot for nature enthusiasts. When it comes to lodging, the small resort town has a variety of bed and breakfasts like Sunflower Hill Inn and Castle Valley Inn for a comfortable stay with scenic views.

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If skiing is your idea of time well spent, add Keystone to your vacation list. With ideal slope conditions through mid-March, it’s a mesmerizing wonderland for those seeking exhilarating winter activities. Visitors can tuck into the Keystone Resort for a laid-back mountain vibe. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the resort offers comfortable lodging for families big and small with stellar amenities throughout. Whether you’re looking to stay at a hotel or a private residence, the resort offers your perfect home-away-from-home.

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You don’t need to travel to Ireland to have a bit of Irish luck. Let Dublin be your stateside pot of gold. With countless St. Patrick’s Day festivities taking place during the month, visitors can experience an Irish-inspired getaway without the hassle of international travel. Just 20 minutes outside of Columbus, visitors can partake in all the holiday hoopla in a single weekend. With parades and all-you-can-eat pancakes served with green syrup, this Midwestern city offers a variety of events and activities that die-hard St. Patrick Day party goers will enjoy.

For those who want to escape the throngs of revelers, opt for drinks on the 8th floor of the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin where the sleek and contemporary rooftop bar and restaurant, VASO is located. The best part, it boasts panoramic views.

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This European city’s rich history, culinary arts, and architecture draw millions annually. Madrid is home to many museums found in former mansions. If museum hopping sounds enjoyable, opt to purchase the 5 Museums, Another Madrid pass to discover some of the city’s lesser-known museums over the course of 10 days. Of course, no trip to Spain’s capital is complete without witnessing passionate flamenco dancers. After all, Madrid is the center of the flamenco world.

Plus, it’s also a splendid destination for families traveling with children. From weekly puppet shows at El Retiro Park to marveling at aquatic creatures at the Atlantis Aquarium, Madrid’s options for pint-size travelers abound.

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With a surge in popularity, the Catskills are making a comeback and rightfully so. Just a couple of hours from New York City, it’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle for harried New Yorkers desperately seeking a calming respite. A destination optimal for all seasons, spring is the perfect time to watch the region bloom into a lush and wondrous refuge. Whether you prefer hiking alongside waterfalls or want to indulge in farm-to-table fare, the iconic location offers a variety of activities to complement your travel lifestyle.

Elite visitors can opt for a stay at Scribner’s Lodge. Originally built in the 1960s, the boutique hotel has plans of expansion with The Rounds at Scribner’s, a collection of a dozen private lodges positioned north of the existing property.

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Newport in March may still be chilly, but this coastal city brings the heat when it comes to end-of-winter events. With temperatures averaging 44 degrees, it’s an ideal locale for those who don’t mind the lingering cold. Families can partake in a plethora of seasonal activities like roasting marshmallows overlooking the Great Lawn at Blithewold, providing a magnificent view of Narragansett Bay or ice skating by the sea at the Newport Harbor Island Resort.

Those who prefer luxury accommodations can book a room at The Brenton or Hammetts Hotel. The latter is a waterfront property that offers premium amenities and fine Italian dining at its onsite restaurant, Giusto.

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Wellness seekers rejoice! The Maldives is a haven for travelers on a wellness journey. Located southwest of Sri Lanka and India, the archipelagic nation is a hotbed for relaxing and rejuvenating activities. Visitors can unwind and watch stress melt away by taking a dip in the coral-reef filled ocean or spending an afternoon at one of the many spas found throughout the islands.

Elite travelers can stay at Soneva for the ultimate spa experience. Restorative treatments that reconnect mind, body and soul abound. In addition to wellness packages, the luxurious resort offers signature experiences like dolphin cruises and castaway picnics to name a few.

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It’s no surprise that many seeking balmy weather and warm waters flock to Florida for a bit of R&R. Palm Beach is one of the cities that get an influx of travelers looking to soak up the sun. In fact, it’s become a must-visit destination in recent years with 2.6 million visitors in 2022, up 40% from 2021 and up 5.9% from 2019.

Visitors can take a catamaran cruise or sunbathe along the shores for ultimate relaxation. For families traveling with small kids, Palm Beach is a great alternative for those who want to avoid beaches crowded with college spring breakers. The upscale town boasts plenty of kid-friendly activities in Palm Beach County including Lighthouse Cove Adventure Golf and the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society.

Travelers can also stop by the Royal Poinciana Plaza for an eclectic mix of luxury shopping, exquisite dining, art installations and more.

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If Georgia is on your mind, make Savannah your choice. With top-notch hospitality at every turn, this southern escape is brimming with down-home charm. Travelers can relish in the city’s period architecture, intriguing arts and culture scene and of course, its tasty southern-style cuisine.

For lunch, stop by Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, a pretty-in-pink boarding house-turned-restaurant that requires no reservations. Delight in scrumptious comfort foods like fried chicken, sweet-potato soufflé and meatloaf at this popular communal eatery.

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What’s prettier than pink-sand beaches? Well, in Bermuda that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The entire island is replete with postcard-worthy surroundings. From warm turquoise waters to crystal caves, the country is chock-full of awe-inspiring natural wonders. Sure, these unparalleled attractions are a plus, but lounging on the beach and dining al fresco are prerequisites for an enthralling trip.

With dozens of beaches to choose from, Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay Beach are favorites. After swimming in the ocean, hungry foodies can stop by Ascots, an award-winning fine dining restaurant serving continental fare.

Travelers can stay at Cambridge Beaches, a storied property that has been completely reimagined. Set on a 23-acre peninsula, the refined, 86-room hotel offers unique, freestanding whimsical cottages perched along the coast for maximum privacy and exceptional ocean access.

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

An oasis in the high desert, Albuquerque is at the heart of New Mexico. With bright blue skies and sprawling land, it’s the perfect backdrop for exploration. Soar high in a hot air balloon ride or ski the slopes of the Sandia Mountains, no matter what activities tickle your fancy, Albuquerque has something for everyone. March visitors can get a taste of the hottest show in town — The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show. Taking place March 3 — 5 at the Sandia Resort & Casino, tourists and locals alike can test their spicy food tolerance.

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Just a 30-minute drive from Nashville, Franklin is an unexpected getaway. Brimming with history, music, shopping and restaurants, this mid-size southern city is a destination worth exploring. Tourists can take a stroll down the 16-block Main Street district where they’ll discover its 19th century structures seamlessly blended with modern aesthetics. As they walk along brick sidewalks, they’ll find contemporary art galleries, fashion boutiques and antique shops lining the streets — creating a unique juxtaposition of past and present.

For those hungry for authentic Italian fare, be sure to stop by Culaccinio. Its inviting menu consists of dishes inspired by the chef’s childhood memories in the kitchen with her grandmother.

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Fresh clean air and majestic snow-capped mountains peppering the horizon are just a couple of things that come to mind when thinking of this European city. Sure, the buzzing metropolis is resplendent with gorgeous landscapes, but that’s not all it has to offer. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities like shopping and skiing at nearby resorts, as well as cultural excursions to keep visitors busy and entertained. Plus, with many desirable areas close by, day trips are also an option. For instance, travelers can take a 45-minute train to Lucerne for a scenic escape from the city.

Also, have you really visited Switzerland without indulging in some warm fondue? The creamy, melted cheese dish served in a communal pot is a staple and no trip is complete without a delicious dipping. Travelers can head over to Le Dézaley for an authentic taste.

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They say everything’s bigger in Texas. When it comes to Austin’s unmatched live music scene, that popular saying rings true. The Texas capital is home to countless live music venues like Austin City Limits Live (ACL Live) at The Moody Theater and Antone’s Nightclub where tourists and locals alike can treat their ears to country and down-home blues tunes. After grooving to music, visitors can check out the city’s other main attraction: barbecue. Stiles Switch BBQ and Interstellar BBQ are trusted go-tos for grubbing on succulent ribs and mouth-watering smoked meats.

Visitors can turn in for the night at Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, which boasts newly renovated rooms. What’s more, it provides outstanding views of the cityscape, top-notch amenities, as well as easy access to the bustling downtown area. Plus, with South by Southwest (SXSW), taking place March 10–19 visitors will only be steps away from the ultimate convergence of tech, film, music, education and culture.

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Thanks to the clear blue skies and temperatures in the 80s, this one-time trading port with ancient roots is ripe for springtime travel. The nearly perfect weather makes this tropical destination ideal for walking, cycling, and exploring the city’s myriad heritage sites and well-preserved Ancient Town.

Located on Vietnam’s culturally rich central coast, it’s jam-packed with exquisite food choices. Visitors can’t leave town without tasting the famous “white rose” dumplings. This regional specialty is wrapped in a translucent rice paper resembling a flower shape.

When it comes to accommodations, visitors can stay at the Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai Hoi An for an unforgettable respite. Plus, the luxurious oasis is a convenient portal to three UNESCO World Heritage sites, and sits along the country’s most celebrated area for fun in the sun, An Bang beach.

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Known as Red Rock Country, Sedona is a picture-perfect playground for the outdoor adventurer. At an elevation of 4,500 feet, the city boasts crisp air, bright sunshine and stunning sunrises and sunsets. Plus, in March the weather is moderate with temperatures around 70 degrees.

The desert town also offers healing and restorative therapies, off-road tours to get your adrenaline going and scores of fine art galleries. Following those outings, travelers can grab dinner at Open Range Grill & Tavern for sweeping views of Sedona’s remarkable scenic beauty. Guests can order southwestern staples like cactus dip and cowboy chili.

Visitors who prefer sumptuous accommodations can book a room at Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. It has a golf course, two sparkling pools, and sunrise yoga for those who prioritize wellness. Plus, each room is outfitted with a cozy fireplace.

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This Dutch Caribbean island boasts year-round sunny days. With such desirable weather, it’s hard to pass up visiting, especially in March. The wind and water conditions during this time are optimal for sailing. In fact, the island’s legendary 43rd Annual Heineken Regatta, the Caribbean’s largest race, always takes place the first weekend of the month. This year the festivities fall between March 2-5.

If sailing isn’t your thing, the island’s idyllic scenery is the model location for relaxation. Surrounded by lush green hills, the island has marvelous mountainous landscapes and picturesque views. What’s more, no matter where you’re staying on St. Maarten, you’re always only 15 minutes from beautiful white sand beaches.

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