By the time February gives us its customary deep freeze/chinook-style melt/deep freeze snapback we’re about DONE with the fickle Weather Gods.
We. Just. Can’t. And so begins the fervent midnight internet trolling for a last-minute getaway.
Since our timing inevitably falls in sync with Reading Weeks and March Breaks all over North America, we’re searching for something decidedly more ‘Spring Vacation’ than ‘Spring Break – WHOO HOO!’ (If you’re not sure of the difference, we’ll be here quietly reevaluating our friendship as we let Chandler and Monica explain.)
Truth be told, our idea of a solid Spring Vacation has seriously veered towards Ross’ version of a good time (what’s become of us?).
Goodbye all-inclusive, week-long parties. Hello mild weather, lush surroundings, delicious culinary moments, and one-of-a-kind cultural experiences.
In fact, we think those qualities just might be the new and improved Grown-Up Spring Break – WHOO HOO!
One of the most magical spots in the American southwest, there’s something very special about Sedona. Between the jaw-dropping red rocks and renown energetic vortices, whether you’re into “spiritual stuff” or not, you can’t help but feel it. The air’s just different there.
Outdoorsy types go for the breath-taking hiking and bike trails, and stunning golf courses. Creatives love the incredible arts and culture scene. History buffs are awed by the boundless Indigenous culture and sites. Spiritualists adore the yoga culture and New Age experiences. Let’s just say – there’s a lot to do in the red rocks!
What to do: The Sedona International Film Festival runs February 23 – March 3, Vortex tours & hikes, Sedona Jeep tours, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village has a tonne of beautiful shops, restaurants, and cafés.
Where to stay: There’s loads of AirBnBs and longer term rentals to be had, but for a shorter trip we’re partial to the beautiful Enchantment Resort. They’re consistently voted #1 in the area for a reason – they take care of everything.
What to eat: Elote Cafe is a Mexican classic, while Ayurvedic and live foods restaurant and chocolate factory Chocola Tree is a delicious epitome of the Sedona lifestyle. Relax at The Chai Spot with a cup of traditional homemade chai, and stop by Red Rock Gelato Shoppe – a new ‘locals spot’ already getting buzz for its authentic Italian-style gelato and vegan sorbetto.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Some would say there’s no bad time to visit New Orleans but we would say that there might be a best time. And that time is right before or after the major festivals, when the weather is great, the food and music is hoppin’ but the crowds haven’t descended.
Of course if you want to be in the thick of things, don’t let us stop you! Mardi Gras is an incredible experience with tonnes of history, beauty, and incredible culture to take in! If that’s your jam, plan your trip for the weekend prior to Mardi Gras all the way to the culmination day itself, Fat Tuesday.
This year, that’s around Friday February 28 to Tuesday March 5.
However, to miss the crowds, book before or after that hot week. Bring us back some beignets, K?
What to do: Historic French Quarter, visit the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone, shop through the French Market, visit the central St. Louis Cathedral, and learn what you’re really getting into with voodoo at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
Where to stay: It’s tough to go wrong with either the uproarious French Quarter, or the quiet yet historic Garden District. There’s too many spots to choose from!
What to eat: Pack your elastic waistbands, New Orleans is a foodie trip! Start the day with cafe au lait and beignets at Cafe du Monde, experience ‘river food’ like chargrilled oysters, shrimp and grits, and Louisiana’s famous ‘cups’ of gumbo, crawfish étoufee, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. Muffaletta sandwiches from the Central Grocery, and Bananas Foster just about anywhere!
Harbour Island, Bahamas
Heaven on the outskirts of the Bahamas – this special spot has a New England feel that’s sophisticated and laid back. In other words, a perfect Spring Vacation when you really need to unwind.
Between the casual chic cafes and lobby bars, all you really need to decide is whether you prefer to focus your gaze on the beautiful pink sand or the stunning crystal ocean.
What to do: Glorious versions of nothing – sunbathing, book reading, afternoon cocktail lounging, or tootling around Dunmore Town in a rented golf cart (because that’s the mode of transport here). Pick up some island life souvenirs from India Hicks’ stores; India Hicks and The Sugar Mill Trading Co. (we KNOW!) and go home well-fed, relaxed, and renewed.
This feels like a gimme so we can’t figure out why we haven’t been yet! You could plan this all on your own, but with so many fantastic packaged vacays, why not let the thinking be done for you?
What to do: The options are almost endless. Day tours to see the Golden Circle, Northern Lights, and whale watching, the actual Blue Lagoon (!!!), full experiences that take you to all the highlights, or choose something more niche like the Game of Thrones – Beyond The Wall tour!
Where to stay: Definitely the central hub, Reykjavik is the place to stay. We love the look of the historic art deco-style Hotel Borg. In the Golden Circle we’d love to stay at the once-in-a-lifetime Buubble, 5 Million Star Hotel.
What to eat: We’re ‘travel foodies’, so we’d start with The Reykjevik Food Walk. It even includes a trip to Iceland’s famous hot dog stand! We’d also book into îslenski Barinn for a unique tasting menu that combines contemporary takes on traditional Icelandic dishes.
Paris is always a good idea – but the tiny village of Menton? That’s a bonafide great idea, especially in March.
You won’t compete with celebs, here but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel like one yourself. Perched on the edge of the Cote D’Azur, this is last unspoilt area of the French Riviera. French and Italian influences combine in, literally, the warmest spot in France (it’s 3C warmer on average). Our greatest draw? The chance to experience Menton’s annual Lemon Festival, where we’d pucker up to all manner of citrus dishes, desserts, curds, jams (a jam factory tour!) and of course, take in the gorgeous artistic tributes to their prized citrus fruit.
What to do: The famous Fête du Citron, or Lemon Festival, for sure. This year is the 86th anniversary, and it’s happening February 16th to March 3rd.
Where to stay: Perfectly positioned and well-appointed, we’d love to call the beautiful Hotel Napoleon our home away from home. What to eat: Splashing out with reservations at Mirazur restaurant is top of our list. It regularly makes the “World’s 50 Best” list – and that makes it an absolute must for us!
Cover image courtesy of @visitcotedazur