March is the month when winter turns to spring, at least according to the calendar. In reality, it usually feels like more of the same, and many of us are ready for a change. That’s the beauty of travel — we can choose a destination based on whatever we’re longing for.
Is it a little excitement we could use at this point? A trip to Rio de Janeiro for its pre-Lenten Carnival celebration would more than satisfy, with its exuberant parades, colorful costumes, music, and crowds. In Dublin, the parties will center on St. Patrick’s Day with more extended festivities that we encounter in most towns. A few additional days to explore Ireland will show another side of the country, with its green rolling hills and rugged coast.
Continuing the festival theme, Agrigento in Sicily welcomes their blossoming almond trees, a sure sign of spring and annual renewal. Among well-preserved archaeological sites, a sunset walk opens the events that continue with singing, dancing, and traditional costumes. Spain has Las Fallas, also symbolic of spring’s rebirth, with parades, fireworks, and the fun of burning effigies of unpopular public figures in bonfires. In the southern hemisphere, Melbourne has Moomba and some unique traditions of their own.
Closer to home for most of us, Houston’s annual Livestock Show and Rodeo is another festival, with the traditions of the American West on display. In Phoenix, warm weather and the spring season arrive with America’s pastime — baseball — in full swing with Cactus League training games throughout the area. California’s San Luis Obispo welcomes visitors to its International Film Festival and vineyards.
If warm weather can’t come soon enough for you, a trip to Sarasota will make you happy. Anguilla’s beaches, balmy breezes, and tropical temperatures are enticing in March as are French Polynesia’s exotic islands and turquoise waters. A vacation or at least a long weekend in one of these destinations might be just what we need as we wait patiently for spring to arrive.