With the weather starting to warm and the daylight hours stretching longer, March is an inviting month for a spring getaway with the kids. Many of the most popular family vacation spots in the U.S. see fewer visitors than during summer vacations, but the weather is generally more pleasant than the cold winter vacation months. The best places to visit in March offer shoulder-season deals on hotels, vacation rentals, car rentals, and flights, and plus the added bonus of smaller crowds.
The Best Places to Visit in March
This year, the top family vacation ideas for March include iconic natural wonders, a tropical island, and even the Emerald Isle. With so many great places offering shoulder-season deals, the hardest part of choosing where to go in March might be picking just one destination.
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1. Washington, D.C.
March is a prime time to visit Washington, D.C., because the season’s cooler temperatures mean fewer people at some of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. Hotel prices generally dip during the month, too, making it the perfect time to save on lodging close to all the sites. D.C. blooms from mid- to late-March with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, but often you can sneak in right before or after the official dates and still experience a little of the famed blooms.
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The District of Colombia offers something for everyone in the family. A visit in March could include the National Museum of Natural History, with its daily tarantula feedings or live Butterfly Pavilion; the International Spy Museum, with a hands-on Undercover Mission; and the National Museum of American History, with a kid-sized version of Julia Child’s kitchen at Wegmans Wonderplace for budding young chefs.
The National Children’s Museum is a not-to-be-missed attraction with a the three-story jungle gym, immersive exhibits, and iconic artwork. Advance tickets are encouraged.
Where to Stay in Washington, D.C., in March
With eye-popping views of the White House, Lafayette Square, and St. John’s Church, The Hays-Adams provides a historic five-star stay within a stone’s throw of the city’s most iconic attractions. The hotel is located on Lafayette Square and features 124 rooms and 21 suites.
2. Amelia Island, Florida
With 13 miles of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and sun-soaked days even in early spring, Amelia Island is one of the best places to visit in March for families. This barrier island off the Florida coast boasts warm weather with highs in the 70s Fahrenheit in the spring, making it an ideal time to stroll along the beaches, take in the sights, or ride a bike or hike one of the island’s many trails. There’s a chance of rain and ocean temperatures may still be a little chilly for swimming, but this just means you can expect fewer tourists taking prime beach spots.
Families don’t need to look far to find plenty of things to do, including a family-friendly sunset cruise with Amelia Island River Cruises, miniature golf at one of the many putt-putts, viewing wildlife at the Nature Center, and visiting the Civil War-era Fort Clinch.
Where to Stay on Amelia Island
Situated on the beach, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island makes it easy to take full advantage of what this secluded Florida beach town has to offer. Kids will rejoice in the Kids Ritz program, which includes hands-on adventures, pirate campouts, and shark tooth hunts. The hotel also features indoor and outdoor pools with direct beach access.
3. Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim), Arizona
At one-mile deep and 277-miles long, the Grand Canyon is one of those bucket list vacation destinations that needs no introduction. And March is a spectacular time to visit this natural wonder because there are fewer people blocking the views (particularly before spring break) at the popular South Rim, the weather is not too chilly (average high of 55 degrees at the rim and 10 degrees warmer in the canyon), and hotel prices tend to be lower.
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Those who come to the Grand Canyon in March typically find it to be one of the best national parks to visit in spring because the temperatures are ideal for a day of exploring on foot. But for those wanting a more relaxed introduction, the Grand Canyon: The Movie on IMAX at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center offers a laidback way to take in the park’s majestic beauty. Little nature explorers can become a Grand Canyon National Park Junior Ranger by completing a list of tasks inside the park. The real attraction, however, will be the humbling views of this immense natural wonder.
Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in March
Situated right on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and in the center of the Historic District, Thunderbird Lodge offers a family-friendly stay with great views. Guests can easily walk to restaurants, shops, and the visitor center. The hotel is also in a prime location for hiking directly on the Rim Trail, spanning from Hermits Rest to the Kaibab Trailhead.
Another option for families looking to enjoy the classic “park-itecture” of the best national park lodges is the El Tovar Hotel, also situated near the rim within walking distance of the trailheads.
With land temperatures averaging 70 degrees and ocean temperatures averaging 68 degrees in March, Bermuda is easily one of the best places to visit this time of year. And with the exception spring break, there are also noticeably smaller crowds than in the summer too, so it’s easier to find better deals on lodging and airfare.
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Bermuda is a tropical playground for family fun, and some of the top things to do with kids include visiting dolphins at the National Museum of Bermuda; seeing more than 50 varieties of fish at the Snorkel Park Beach; and watching seals eat at the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum, and Zoo. If you’re traveling with little ones, head to Shelly Bay Beach where the water is typically shallow and calm, and there’s a large playground just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Where to Stay in Bermuda
With its 11 brightly colored cottages nestled among 21 acres of waterfront property, Grotto Bay Beach Resort and Spa gives you access to two private pink-sandy beaches, a freshwater pool, an outdoor garden Jacuzzi, and a spa located in a 500,000-year-old cave. Plus, the kids can make a splash at the open ocean water park.
5. Dublin, Ireland
Sure, Ireland in the early spring is a little on the cool side (highs in the 50s) and possibly a little damp too. But Dublin, the capital, is still a wonderfully fun place to take the kids in March. St. Patrick’s Day festivities aside, the city sees relatively fewer tourists this time of year, and hotel prices tend to be markedly lower as a result. You may have to pack a few extra layers and a good rain jacket, but it’s worth it to see a show at The Ark, go on an amphibious Viking Splash Tour, or visit the Chocolate Warehouse without big crowds.
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A favorite stop for families with young ones is Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum. Spanning three floors and offering 19 exhibits, a children’s theater, puppet room, library, and art studio, this museum is tailor-made for kids under nine years old. Advance tickets for workshops are recommended. Tweens and teens may enjoy a visit to Dublinia, where they will step back in time to Medieval and Viking Dublin and have the chance to climb a Medieval tower.
Where to Stay in Dublin if you visit in March
Feel like royalty with a stay at Clontarf Castle Hotel, an actual castle just two miles (a 10-minute drive) from Dublin’s city center. Dating back to 1172, this castle hotel has been renovated to meet modern needs while still maintaining its historical charm. Three on-site eateries, including a Knights Bar, provide plenty of options for hungry kids.