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Where should we go?
December 21, 2012 9:31 AM   Subscribe

We have the second week in March off. Where should we go for a non-snowy vacation within a day of travel from Alaska?

We live in Alaska and would like to go someplace that at least feels warmish to us (no snow, temperatures above 50F during the day). We are not particularly interested in more than a day of travel on each end. We have passports but likely not enough time at this point to fuss with visas. I am a teacher and that's my spring break, so the dates are not flexible at all.

We like: national/state parks and general outdoorsy stuff (kayaking, hiking, snorkeling etc.), mild to moderate adventures, wandering around on foot and by public transit in real cities. Not interested in: sitting around on a beach for more than a half day, doing tons and tons of driving, extensive museum-going, shopping, gambling.

Previous successful vacations have covered pretty much any ground you can think of in Utah, Washington and the Big Island of Hawaii so we're trying not to repeat there. I lived in Los Angeles for a long time and have zero interest in going back. Beyond that, the world is our oyster.

Ideas?
posted by charmedimsure to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Victoria BC would seem to be a good fit. It's a little warmer than both Seattle and Vancouver (which are influenced by colder interior climate patterns - it should be at least 50F at that time of March. The plum and cherry trees will be in bloom.

You can go kayaking right from downtown, and the downtown itself is walkable with plenty of things to do, including cafes, lots of bookstores and art galleries. It's too cold for swimming, though.

You could also spend a couple of nights in Vancouver or Seattle.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:53 AM on December 21, 2012


I spent three days in Sonoma County last year in the second week of March, and it was really lovely. The weather was very pleasant (in the high 60s and low 70s) and sunny, it was very easy to be outdoors, and the huge crowds of wine tourists hadn't really descended yet as it was the end of off-season. In addition to visiting wineries and tasting great wine, there's great opportunities for road biking, hiking through redwoods, and visiting the coast to just stare the ocean.

If you go, make sure you're not overlapping with a big event that will draw a bunch of people (e.g. Barrel Tasting Weekend)--you could probably just plan to do non-winery things for those days, though. We drove to the coast that day and ate great seafood and watched seals. Also, we stayed at a B&B for three nights which was very nice but if I did it again I think I'd probably try to rent a house near the redwoods on VRBO (somewhere near Guernesville--close to the state park with the redwoods in the Russian River Valley).
posted by iminurmefi at 10:01 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Northern California for nature stuff, wine, good food, ocean, hikes, etc. Big Sur has good nature and literary & preservation history associated with it. Yosemite. Anything north of LA (central coast and up) will have small towns and annual food festivals, depending on the harvest season. Like the fig fair, berry festival, etc. These seem to happen all the time in Cali.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 11:21 AM on December 21, 2012


Seconding Victoria. It's a very popular tourist town in the summer but by visiting in March you'll be able to see all of the attractions without the crowds. There are plenty of hotels to choose from and March being the low season you should be able find a good deal on accommodation. Lots of parks, it's a great little city for biking and there are several gorgeous hiking trails nearby. If you fly from Alaska to Vancouver you can transfer to a seaplane that will drop you off in downtown Victoria after a scenic flight over the Gulf Islands.
posted by islander at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2012


Northern CA is great for everything you want (different world from LA, as you probably know) but stay away from the Sierras if you don't want snow - I was near Donner Pass in the last week of March last year and we got three feet. Stick by the coast.
posted by lunasol at 4:16 PM on December 21, 2012


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