January 12th, 2015
Best Places to Visit in February and March
Looking to get away during the coldest winter months? Whether you’re into relaxing on the beach or seeing the Northern Lights, we’ve got some February and March vacation suggestions.
February and March are typically associated with snow, ice, and bone-chilling cold. What better time to leave home and check out a new part of the world? Many of the best winter vacations involve trips to tropical climates, but that time of year is ideal for skiing and Northern Lights excursions as well.
Ready to load up your suitcase and get going? We’ve got the full range of options covered in our collection of winter travel suggestions.
Relax on the Beach
If you want to head for the sun and sand, the Caribbean is a great place to start your winter travel search. Aruba is a seemingly perfect destination, with daily temperatures that rarely leave the 75° to 85° F range (24° to 29° C) and little rain during February and March. Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands offer similar warm weather, with only sporadic light rain. And you can never go wrong with Hawaii any time of year, though prices there are higher during the touristy winter months.
For a vacation that has warm weather and a taste of natural beauty, check out the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico, both of which have lush rainforests and popular national parks.
See the Northern Lights
Located just below the Arctic Circle, the island nation of Iceland is an ideal place to witness the famed aurora borealis, the spectacular natural phenomenon that lights up the night sky. Visitors can view the Northern Lights throughout most of the country, including right in the capital city of Reykjavik, though for the clearest and most dramatic views, you’ll want to rent a car and drive to more remote locations.
If Iceland is too far away or too expensive, consider Fairbanks, Alaska, which holds the annual World Ice Art Championships every March, when the Northern Lights can often be seen in the area.
Consider Southern Hemisphere Hot Spots
February and March are the heart of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, so if you’re inclined to visit Australia or New Zealand, this would be a great time. Sydney is a good home base for an Australian vacation, given its vibrant urban atmosphere and proximity to outdoor activities and great beaches. New Zealand offers scenic hiking, glacier exploring, road tripping, and wine tasting.
For a less expensive getaway, look to South America, where you can experience iconic sites like Patagonia, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon without paying a fortune.
Head for the Slopes
Devoted skiers and snowboarders probably need no advice when it comes to finding great places to hit the slopes. In North America, Jackson Hole, Aspen, Vail, Telluride, and Whistler are among the most popular ski spots. Internationally, Chamonix (France), Niseko (Japan), and Zermatt (Switzerland) are reliable, famous resorts that offer plenty of snow throughout February and March.
Explore Culture or Nature in the United States
Those who want to remain in the continental states during February and March have some great options. For a dose of cutting-edge culture and excitement, it’s hard to beat Austin, Texas, especially in March during South by Southwest, the renowned 10-day music and film festival. Other great parties include Mardi Gras in New Orleans and San Francisco’s massive Chinese New Year celebration in February.
Meanwhile, winter travelers who would prefer to camp or hike should consider visiting some of the national parks where temperatures can get very hot during the summer months, such as Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Big Bend, and the Everglades.
Which type of winter vacation do you enjoy? Leave a comment describing your ideal February or March getaway!
Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, offbeat destinations, urban adventures, and everything in between. He blogs about his travels at http://quirkytravelguy.com.
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