It’s almost spring. You can just feel it…kind of. Whether winter weather has you feeling down for the third consecutive month in a row or you’re itching to squeeze in one last snow adventure before the season ends, it’s a great time to get out of town. We’ve scoped out the best places to visit in March, so you can eat, drink and soak up the sun, hit the slopes or take in some culture—any of which should have you in better spirits in no time. Here, our five favorite places to travel this month.
The 5 Best Places to Travel in March
1. squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California
With an epic season of snowfall in 2019, Lake Tahoe’s crown jewel of skiing stretched its season until July 4 last year. So, yeah, we’re pretty sure you won’t regret a trip to Squaw and its neighboring Alpine Meadows for spring skiing in 2020. Bonus: We found round-trip flights for less than $200 into the Reno/Tahoe airport from about 20 major U.S. metro areas on SkyScanner.
With the right conditions, the 3,600 skiable acres is an extreme skier or snowboarder’s paradise. Home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley offers plenty to do whether you’re a skier, an outdoor seeker or someone who’s simply looking to enjoy nature. There’s a quality spa with a full menu of soothing treatments, our pick being the Lomi Pohaku (or Hawaiian hot stone) massage.
Squaw’s adorable village has a Starbucks at the base and a ski-up Starbucks mid-mountain—the only one in North America—so you can get your java fix regardless of elevation. There’s a juice bar with smoothies, a kickin’ breakfast spot called Coffeebar and a dive bar named The Slot that can get packed and rowdy for après-ski.
Whatever you do, and whenever you end up visiting, make sure to take the Aeriel Tram to the peak at High Camp for sweeping views over the valley. The mountain range even stunned Walt Disney when he visited Squaw and later served as his inspiration for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rides at Disneyland and Disney World.
Where to stay: Comfortable, apartment-style lodging with room types that range from standard hotel studio suites to massive three-bedroom palaces are popular options at the Village at Squaw Valley. Guests can enjoy the eight (!) hot tubs spread throughout the property; some of our favorites (shout-out to Building 4) face the mountain and offer a view of groomers lighting up the mountain each night.
The luxe Resort at Squaw Creek embraces its idyllic surroundings with modern, Alpine-inspired accommodations and stunning views. Seriously, you could just sit inside this hotel and stare out the giant picture windows all day, but you shouldn’t, because the ski-in/ski-out property also offers a year-round heated swimming pool and a seasonal ice rink.
2. tel Aviv, Israel
The weather in Tel Aviv in March is perfectly springlike; expect glorious sunny days where a sweatshirt or a light jacket will suffice. You can find flights from the U.S. starting in the $200 range, according to SkyScanner, for what is arguably one of Israel’s brightest months of the year, thanks in part to Purim. Like Halloween with a dash of Mardi Gras, Purim parties—many of which will spill into the streets of Tel Aviv—are a once-in-a-lifetime experience you never knew you needed to have. The city also celebrates fashion week in March, featuring a diverse roster of designers, and unlike New York, London, Milan and Paris, scoring a ticket to a Tel Aviv Fashion Week show is actually achievable.
Other things to do in the White City: Learn why it’s called that during a Bauhaus tour (FYI, the famed architecture style just celebrated 100 years, and Tel Aviv is a major hub); explore Florentin, the trendy neighborhood packed with creative energy and lots of interesting graffiti; peruse the Carmel Market for everything from spices to clothing and souvenirs you’ll actually want to take home; and indulge in quality grub and local Israeli wines in Jaffa Market at either Shaffa Bar or Café Puaa.
Where to stay: Theodor and Lighthouse, both by Brown Hotels, are two of Tel Aviv’s newest and buzziest boutique hotels. At Theodor, the 34 rooms and suites are housed in a landmarked Bauhaus building that was converted from offices and offers travelers in March great value with weekend rates as low as $142 per night.
With guest rooms that have back-lit, wood-paneled walls, Lighthouse is one of those stunning, Pinterest-worthy hotels you’ll love from the minute you check in. Insane panoramic views of TLV and the Mediterranean Sea are another perk, whether you stay here or simply visit the property’s fashionable rooftop lounge, Haiku.
3. white Mountains, New Hampshire
March is “Maple Month” in New Hampshire, a rather sweet time of year to visit, when 90,000 gallons of delicious maple syrup are made. Located just 90 minutes south of Quebec, the White Mountains offer plenty of late-season winter fun. First and foremost, you can ski the never-crowded local favorite, Wildcat, or the family-friendly Loon ski resort.
But before hitting the slopes, we suggest starting your trip with an afternoon at the Mount Washington Auto Road, which was built in 1861 as a carriage route to the top of the mountain and holds the record for being America’s first man-made attraction. Weather permitting, you can take a snow coach tour from Great Glen Trails up to the summit and even jump out along the route to hike a bit of the trail and take pictures. Next, hop over to Nestlenook Farm, one of the cutest places to do some ice skating, ever. The man-made lake is centered around a white arched bridge and features a warming hut, complete with a fireplace for toasting your toes. When your belly starts to rumble, the options in the White Mountains might seem somewhat limited—being that you’re surrounded by national forest and all—but that doesn’t mean they aren’t tasty. Order the French onion soup at The Wild Rose, located at Stonehurst Manor, a historic estate that also boasts a cozy bar centered around a fireplace.
Where to stay: The Glen House is the White Mountains’ latest and most sophisticated option. A meal at the property’s popular Notch Grille is a must, where they serve up classic mountain fare like beef chili, burgers and steak tips as well as more refined dishes like seared scallops and a beef Bourguignon. The beautiful fire pit outside serves as a perfect spot to enjoy an aperitif or post-dinner drink, and a dip in the indoor heated saltwater pool will help you burn it all off the next day.
4. charleston, South Carolina
Named the number one small city in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards in late 2019, this seaport city on South Carolina’s coast oozes Southern charm. Its palmetto-lined streets, waterfront promenades, historic mansions and cobblestoned streets will draw you in, but its exciting art and culinary scene will make a visit to this city one hell of a vacation. Our perfect day? Brunch at Hominy Grill, a visit to nearby Boone Hall Plantation (where countless movies have been filmed and where Blake Lively tied the knot with Ryan Reynolds) followed by an afternoon or happy hour brew at the Bay Street Biergarten.
Get all dressed up for a fancy dinner at a Charleston institution like FIG or the Charleston Grill. Prefer something more casual? Visit Community Table or Estadio, two newcomers that are adding fuel to the fire that is the city’s dynamic food scene.
Where to stay: The dreamy Zero George is what Charleston fantasies are made of. Here, you’ll rest your head inside one of three beautifully restored historic residences or brick carriage houses. Belmond Charleston Place is another option, if you’re looking for something elegant and very authentic; the hotel in the heart of downtown was built to fit in among the 18th-century buildings that surround it in the city’s historic district. And while both the Belmond and Zero George are worth the splurge, if you’re on a budget, stay at the all-suite-style Springhill Suites by Marriott Charleston, which overlooks a marina and is a short (and cheap!) Uber ride away from all the action.
5. punta Mita, Mexico
On Mexico’s gorgeous Riviera Nayarit, about 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find Punta Mita, a relaxed Pacific beach town on Banderas Bay known as a haven for both surfers and fishermen alike. Just north of Punta Mita is the more laid-back, boho village of Sayulita. Home to charming boutiques—La Hamaca, Manyana and Revolución del Sueño—and some of the area’s most popular beaches, the quaint surf town is worth a visit. March is the area’s coolest month, so guests can expect pleasant, warm weather. It’s also a more sophisticated beach option in Mexico, meaning you’re likely to avoid spring breakers; plus, the official whale-watching season runs through the end of the month, so your chances of seeing humpbacks as they migrate back to warmer waters ain’t bad.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is located on an lush, expansive 1,500-acre coastal peninsula (which means golf cart rides to your room are the norm). They’ve also recently welcomed a new beachfront restaurant, Dos Catrinas, which is *big* on tequila. The eatery’s oceanfront patio perch is the ideal place to sip on tequila (the traditional way!) and munch on Mexican street food–inspired fare. If you’re in the mood for something slightly spiritual and a tad bit healthier, look into booking the resort’s chakra balancing ritual or a yoga class with ocean views.