5 Easy Weekend March Escapes
March 1st can only mean one thing: spring is just around the corner and we. can’t. wait. After three months of grueling cold and hibernation, this month signals the start of alfresco concerts, green foliage and outdoor diversions guaranteed to cure your winter blahs. So where exactly are the best early springtime destinations for eager jetsetters? Check out our top picks for March travel within the USA, here.
Santa Barbara, California
OK, Santa Barbara might just be the perfect year-round destination. However, for pre-summer feels without the summer heat (and crowds!), March is your best bet. Clocking in at a comfortable 67 degree average daytime high, Santa Barbara’s sunny days and ‘sweater weather’ evenings are ideal for lovers of the Pacific Coast, fresh seafood, and locally produced wine. Tour the city’s streets via bike or trolley, go for a run along the salty ocean coastline, or visit one of the city’s many wineries for an indulgent afternoon break. The March event lineup includes Santa Barbara Restaurant Week (through March 6) and the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show (March 13-15).
New Orleans, Louisiana
The key to a successful NOLA trip is avoiding the swampy summer months, and if you're looking for a booze and bead filled vacay, March is the time to go (Mardi Gras falls on February 25 but celebrations last well into March). For those hoping to avoid the craziness, plan to visit the city later in March. Don't miss Wednesday at the Square concert series (March 11-May 13) and the Spring Fiesta Historic Home Tours (March 21-22 and 28-29).
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Key West, Florida
If you're chasing the sun but you want to skip the spring break madness, look no further than the tranquil islands of Key West. With average daytime highs of 79 degrees, it's optimal sunbathing weather and there's plenty to do beyond the beach. Sign up for the House and Garden Walking Tours and don't miss Tennessee Williams’ Birthday Celebration, with events taking place throughout the month.
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At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, Virginia is the perfect long weekend escape. There's something for everyone here: for active travelers, the Charlottesville 10-Miler is a no-brainer (March 28); literary types will love the Virginia Festival of the Book (March 18-22); and foodies can have their pick of brewery tastings, food crawls, and up-and-coming wineries just outside the city. Two worth a visit: Early Mountain Vineyards and King Family Vineyards.
For a serious dose of southern hospitality, make your way to Savannah, Georgia. It's all about the city's seasonal fests this month, from the Savannah Boat show (March 20-22) to the Spring Celebration and Sheep Shearing (March 9) to the Savannah Music Festival (beginning March 26). Added bonus: the city's avenues are full of blooming azaleas.
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