The 8 best places to visit in March

15 March 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

As we approach the end of winter and welcome the arrival of spring, many of us are starting to think about our next travel destination. March offers the perfect opportunity to break out of the winter blues and explore new places. The mild and comfortable weather makes it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Many destinations are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation, meaning natural beauty will be at its peak.

Furthermore, March is considered a shoulder season, which means fewer tourists will visit popular attractions. This also means that you can find great deals on accommodations and flights. Additionally, many famous festivals and events, such as St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, occur during this month.

While the season is known for its mild weather and accessibility, taking precautions to protect yourself and others is crucial. Travelers should stay informed about the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and consider getting the flu shot and the new COVID-19 vaccine booster for added protection. You can enjoy your vacation without worrying about getting sick by taking the necessary steps to protect yourself.

So, where should you go? Here are TPG’s eight best places to visit in March.

Mexico City

Trajinera in the canals of the floating gardens of Xochimilco, Mexico City. MATT MAWSON/GETTY IMAGES

Mexico City has been a hot spot for travelers — and for good reason. Known for its liveliness, history, art, and culinary scenes, Mexico City is the ideal destination for a rich cultural immersion. The best time to visit Mexico City is between March and May, as you’ll avoid chilly winters and rainy summer months.

For those looking to eat their way through the city, Mexico City offers everything from casual mezcal bars to fine-dining destinations. Foodie neighborhoods include Condesa — with popular restaurants and vibrant bars — and Polanco — which holds some of the best street food in the area.

Travelers looking to get their culture fix can visit world-class attractions, including the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Chapultepec Castle and Palacio de Bellas Artes. Additional activities include shopping at La Ciudadela and La Lagunilla markets, visiting Little Venice in the middle of Mexico City and strolling in the Chapultepec Forest.

TPG tip: Andaz Mexico City Condesa opened in January and has rates starting at 15,000 World of Hyatt Points or $288 per night. It offers travelers a luxury lifestyle hotel experience in Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood, which is full of charming art deco streets and grand plazas that carry years of history. 

Related: 13 things every tourist must eat (and drink) in Mexico City

Last week the State Department renewed its warning to Americans on travel to Mexico. The U.S. government advises Americans to exercise increased caution when traveling to Mexico City.

Berlin

MARCELLO ZERLETTI/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Berlin, as it is still considered offseason; travelers can enjoy fewer crowds and lower hotel rates in March. While still a chilly time of year, the worst of winter has already passed, and the weather improves gradually toward the end of the month as spring begins to bloom.

Travelers can experience the St. Patrick’s Day Festival and parade, where Berliners celebrate in Irish pubs all over the city.

TPG tip: Hotel De Rome (available for around 32,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points or $456 per night) on historic Bebelplatz is one of Berlin’s most prestigious luxury hotels. Housed in the restored former headquarters of the Dresdner Bank of 1889, the hotel is unique in its combination of listed architecture and contemporary design.

Washington, DC

The Washington Monument stands behind cherry trees blossoming in Washington, D.C. RICHARD T. NOWITZ/GETTY IMAGES

While the spring break masses flock to warmer weather, those headed to the nation’s capital will be pleased to see smaller crowds, shorter lines and likely more availability at restaurants and hotels. Even better, visitors will be surrounded by the city’s breathtaking cherry blossoms and can attend the official Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place from March 20 to April 16.

Take advantage of the time of year and see the White House or Lincoln Memorial. Then, dive into D.C.’s up-and-coming culinary and cocktail scene or explore the capital’s mix-use waterfront district known as The Wharf. 

TPG tip: When considering where to lay your head at night, you can rest easy knowing you’ll have a few options. InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf (68,000 IHG One Rewards points or $441 per night), Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf (from $447 per night) and The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C. (from 82,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $662 per night) are all great places to stay when visiting D.C.

Kyoto, Japan

Recreational boats tied up on the Uji canal with blooming cherry blossoms. MASAHIRO MAKINO/GETTY IMAGES

After two years of border closure, Japan is at the top of travelers’ bucket lists. March is the month to visit Japan, as it’s the start of cherry blossom season.

Kyoto is arguably the country’s most beloved sakura destination. There, travelers can see top sights, such as Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji in central Kyoto, contrasted against views of light pink sakura and plum blossoms. Plus, Kyoto’s cold temperatures will fade in March, and travelers and locals alike will take to the streets to celebrate an onslaught of holiday festivals, such as Higashiyama and Hinamatsuri at Ichihime Shrine. 

TPG tip: For a picturesque mountainside retreat alongside the Oi River, Hoshinoya Kyoto (from $451 per night) is surrounded by branches of ancient maple and cherry trees that emit an ethereal pink color. Or, use your Marriott Bonvoy points to stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto from 90,000 points or $1,031 per night.

Related: Ritzy business: A review of The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Quebec

Person pouring maple syrup onto snow at sugar shack in Quebec. WARCHI/GETTY IMAGES

Tap into spring with a traditional sugar shack experience to celebrate the sweet sap that flows from Quebec’s abundant maple trees. This beloved Canadian tradition takes place for a few weeks every year in Quebec, and the best time to taste the liquid gold is from March to late April.

As the world’s largest producer and exporter of maple products, the province produced a record 211 million pounds of maple syrup in 2022 alone. Visit the region’s local sugar shacks, such as Cabane à Sucre Erabilis, Erabliere Gareau and L’Érabliere du Village.

TPG tip: Situated on the U.S.-Canada border in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, the Relais & Châteaux property Manoir Hovey (from $194 per night) offers sweet maple syrup and savory birch syrups produced in-house thanks to the plentiful birch trees on the 35-acre property. Or, opt to stay in Montreal at Homewood Suites by Hilton Montreal Downtown for 40,000 Hilton Honors points or $130 per night.

Galapagos Islands 

STUART WESTMORLAND/GETTY IMAGES

March is a great month to travel to the Galapagos Islands since it falls during the dry season; conditions are often sunny and pleasant with little rain. This makes it the ideal time of year for outdoor pursuits like hiking, swimming and animal viewing. Additionally, the islands’ surrounding seas are very clear this time of year, making it a prime time for scuba diving and exploring marine life.

You can find giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and many other rare and endangered species on the Galapagos Islands. March is a great time to visit them in their natural settings.

TPG tip: The newly opened Hotel Indigo Galapagos (from 103,000 IHG One Rewards points or $677 per night) lets you enjoy the remote landscape from one central location. If you’re interested in cruising around the islands, Lindblad Expeditions with National Geographic Expeditions has four March departures available starting from $7,940 per person.

Related: Hilton just opened the first points hotel in the Galapagos — and it has a restaurant in a lava tunnel

Dublin

The grounds of St Patrick’s Park in Dublin. DAVID SOANES PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

March is the ideal time to visit Dublin. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, making it the perfect time to spend a long weekend in Dublin and participate in the most celebrated holiday of the Emerald Isle.

Dublin is highly accessible and only six hours away from big hubs like New York City and Boston thanks to the daily direct Aer Lingus flights from major cities. Visitors can join the well-known St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the city’s center or relax with a pint and enjoy traditional music at a bar.

TPG tip: There is no better place to join the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations than The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection (from 27,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $397 per night). Also known as “Ireland’s living room,” the iconic hotel has played host to crucial moments in Irish history. (The Irish constitution was signed here 101 years ago.)

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

BDPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

March is Women’s History Month, and Colonial Williamsburg showcases the important roles women played in shaping our nation. With special programming throughout the month, Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect destination for celebrating and examining women’s experiences, lives and relationships throughout the 18th century.

Beyond this, visitors in March can enjoy the spring’s first blooms at the grounds of the Governor’s Palace, which has a 10-acre complex reflecting the garden style during the reign of William and Mary. Then, visitors can head to the adjacent Merchants Square, which features more than 40 shops and restaurants. The square also offers unique shopping and dining experiences in a setting of unrivaled beauty.

TPG tip: Spend the night at Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection for 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or $185 per night to enjoy a comfortable stay in the heart of the action.

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