The days are getting longer and the early signs of spring — fat asparagus and blossoming tulips — are popping up at farmers markets across the U.S., so that can only mean one thing: March has arrived. If you’re planning a spring break of sorts, might we recommend one of the following fabulous events? Here is where to travel this month.
The nation’s capital never looks more beautiful than in the spring when fresh florals, particularly the pretty pink flowers of cherry trees, flourish. The National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. kicks off on March 16 with the annual Pink Tie Party and extends through April 16. Festivities include a parade, a fireworks show, a Japanese storytelling series, gallery talks and film screenings.
Book a room at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., and be prepared to have a grand old time. The decidedly elegant property oozes upscale luxury.
No roundup of March happenings is complete without a mention of St. Patrick’s Day. The best place to commemorate the popular Irish cultural celebration with a green beer or two? Chicago, of course. The entire city gets in on the fun, and even the Chicago River sparkles a brilliant emerald green. Nearly 400,000 spectators head downtown to witness the dyeing of the river. For the full experience, participate in an Irish pub crawl or witness the official parade.
When the revelry makes you weary, rest your head on a Five-Star bed: The Peninsula Chicago and The Langham, Chicago are excellent options near all of the St. Patty’s Day celebrating.
Mark your calendars and get your brackets ready: the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off on March 14. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing — the reigning champion Villanova Wildcats and 67 other teams will participate in 67 sure-to-be-thrilling games on various courts across the nation for the right to trim the nets after the national championship in Phoenix (April 3).
There may not be a better place to take in the action than Sin City. Head to Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas the weekend of March 16 when the hotel’s Belmont Ballroom will be transformed into a palatial sports lounge — we’re talking a dozen stadium-style screens airing every matchup.
You can even play games of your own with a regulation basketball rim. Of course, the kitchen will be cooking up delicious bar snacks and you’ll be able to put bets down at a dedicated, onsite sports book at the exclusive event, which is appropriately called Hoops & Hops.
Georgia’s state capital is the place to be at the end of March when not one, but two awesome events captivate the city. First up is the Atlanta Film Festival, which takes place March 24 to April 2. The 41st annual event will play host to 47 feature-length films, 116 shorts and 40 creative media presentations (music videos, episodic pilots and virtual reality).
Also taking place in the ATL this month? The Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival on March 25 and 26. The family-centered event includes a 5K run, a classic car show, musical performances and a pet costume contest.
If you’re in town for either happening, you can stay at Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, a sophisticated hotel sitting just 10 miles from AFF venues and only a 10-minute drive from Brookhaven’s Blackburn Park.
Wine and food lovers should book a trip to California wine country the weekend of March 16 to 19 for Yountville Live. The four-day culinary extravaganza features 60 wineries, 36 chefs, eight cooking demonstrations and a host of performing artists. Enjoy a concert by musicians Rodrigo y Gabriela and Five For Fighting, then dig in to a meal prepared by the likes of Graham Elliot and the Thomas Keller–led team of chefs who just won first place at the world’s most acclaimed cooking competition, the Bocuse d’Or.
In addition to the splendid sampling, you’ll also learn how to make chocolate with Chris Kollar, understand the ins and outs of the wine industry with Julien Fayard, or get tips for eating healthy from chef David Roberts.
After all this eating and drinking, you’ll need some time to relax. Book a room at Four-Star Meadowood Napa Valley for a real treat. The resort recently debuted a sensational new spa, so indulge in a heavenly treatment (all of which are 90 minutes) for one of the most magical (non-culinary) experiences you’ll ever have.