When you think of spring break destinations, a few places probably come to mind — like Miami, Cancun, or the Bahamas. While these destinations are sure to be crammed with crowds, there are plenty of other great spots to visit in March where you won’t find your typical spring breakers.
These 11 off-season vacation spots not only offer fewer crowds, but you can likely get a good deal (especially if you book with one of these top travel credit cards).
New Orleans, Louisiana
Despite its reputation as a top-notch party destination, New Orleans is — surprisingly — not a spring break hot spot. March this year happens to fall in between two busy seasons in the Big Easy — Mardi Gras, which culminates on Fat Tuesday (February 21), and the Jazz and Heritage Festival at the end of April.
There’s plenty to do in New Orleans any time of year, with great food, live music, and many options to explore the area's rich history. March also tends to have warm yet mild weather. New Orleans in the summer can get very hot and muggy, making late winter/early spring an ideal time to take the city in.
March is a great time to enjoy Barcelona without the heat or crowds of the summer months. Visiting in what’s considered the “shoulder season” may also mean cheaper airfare and lodging, as well.
With temperatures tending to stay in the 60s, visitors can pack light jackets and still enjoy popular attractions — like Barri Gòtoc, Casa Batlló, and, of course, the delectable Catalan dining — without baking in the sun like summer tourists often do.
There’s plenty to do in Washington, D.C. in the springtime. The city offers great dining, plenty of museums, and historical sites galore.
March also kicks off the beginning of Cherry Blossom season, where the trees bloom into gorgeous pink and white flowers. Peak bloom typically happens in late March and early April, with the Cherry Blossom Festival running from March 20 to April 16. If you are trying to avoid crowds and don’t mind missing peak bloom, an early March visit may be the move.
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Cape Town, South Africa
In Cape Town, March is the end of the busy summer season, which means pleasant weather — around the mid-70s — and maybe cheaper airfare and hotel rates. The weather will still be warm enough to enjoy popular spots like Table Mountain or Boulders Beach, but the crowds should be much thinner than in the popular summer months.
The area also has great events during its fall season, like the Cape Town Carnival.
San Diego, California
March is an ideal time to visit Southern California, and San Diego offers sunny skies, mild weather, and plenty to do. Visiting in March means you’ll miss the “gray May” haze that the later spring months can bring.
San Diego also has a thriving nightlife, plus major attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and Legoland — which can be enjoyed in March sans the summer California crowds.
The end of winter is considered a “low” season for Tuscany tourism, but the gorgeous Italian region is a great destination any time of year — and visitors may be able to nab better rates in March after the busy Carnival season.
Weather will be cool, with averages falling between 40 and 60 degrees, but visitors can still enjoy the sights (and delectable tastes) of the region known for its rich wines, hearty cuisine, and breathtaking natural landscape.
March may be off-season in Vancouver, but the Canadian hot spot typically has mild temperatures (in the 50s). This serves as an ideal time to enjoy walking and/or biking tours and take in the budding cherry blossoms in Queen Elizabeth Park.
Since the weather will be cooler and may even get a bit rainy (don’t forget to pack an umbrella), this is also a great time to score hotel deals in Vancouver. Visitors should have no problem filling up their days even if it does rain, as they can still visit many of the city’s top indoor destinations — like the aquarium and the Museum of Anthropology.
The City of Light has plenty to offer year-round, so there’s never really an “off” season. However, those who travel in late winter/early spring may find cheaper hotels and airfare.
The hot tourist destinations — like the Louvre and Champs-Élysées — will also likely draw smaller crowds compared to more popular months in summer and fall. Weather in March is typically mild and rarely drops below freezing. However, Paris does occasionally get snowfall in March (which may be even more reason to go).
If you’re looking to head out west, and do it before the summer heat hits, consider Sedona. It’s not necessarily a popular spring break spot, which makes it an incredible option for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors and warmer weather (with average temperatures around 70) without the crowds.
There’s plenty to do in the desert town, from off-road tours to art galleries to wellness retreats — and the sunsets in Red Rock Country aren’t something visitors soon forget. Plus, it’s a short trip (just over two hours driving) to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim — a popular day trip for travelers staying in Sedona.
Springtime in Savannah can be an idyllic getaway, and you’ll avoid that summertime southern humidity. The area is known for its beautiful architecture, lively downtown district, and delicious dining options.
To ensure you avoid crowds when traveling to the area in March, keep in mind that Savannah is also home to the third-largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the planet. This means it’s wise to avoid the middle of the month if smaller crowds are what you’re after.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston really turns on the charm in the springtime, and visitors will have no problem filling up their schedules during a trip. The cobblestone streets and spring blooms make just walking through town a gorgeous experience. There’s plenty to do if some spring showers pop up as well, like take in one of the city’s many museums.
Charleston also hosts its annual Food & Wine Festival in the first week of March, where visitors can sample the very best southern specialties the city has to offer.
One of the big sellers when it comes to traveling in March is that savvy vacationers can score great deals in many non-typical spring break locations. Before you book, do some research on lodging, airfare, and other vacation expenses in an effort to make your dollar go the longest. All in all, an off-season trip ultimately means more money in your bank account.
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Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
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