March is upon us. The weather’s starting to heat up (or so we hope…) and so should your travel schedules! Here is everything in New York State you can’t miss this month.

Indulge yourself

It’s not bikini season just yet, which means you still have time to enjoy all the delicious food and beverage options and festivals that New York State has to offer.

If you’re a beer connoisseur or simply appreciate throwing back a brew every once in awhile, you don’t want to miss the Spring Craft Beer Festival on Long Island in late March. Held at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the festival features more than 50 craft brewers from around the country with a beer garden, great food and more. Can’t wait that long? There’s also the first ever Snommegang Beer Festival in Otsego County on March 1, featuring 25+ award winning breweries.

More of a wine-o? March is your last chance to enjoy Winter in Wine Country, a winter wine weekend package in the Finger Lakes that allows you to sample and experience a vast multitude of New York wineries in the area for a bargain. Book your trip by the end of March and enjoy complimentary perks, such as discounted hotel stays and discounts at wineries, shops and restaurants throughout the country.

Have a sweet tooth? This is your month. The 45th annual Maple Festival will be held in Marathon, New York the weekend of March 21. Sample all kinds of homemade maple syrup, and get your pancake eating contest on and maybe – if you’re feeling up to it – compete in the Maple Queen contest! It’s a delicious weekend you can’t miss.

If you love maple syrup and want to learn something new – we have the perfect weekend plan for you. Embark on a Maple Weekend with the New York State Maple Producers Association, where you can learn how to make the stuff! The best part? All the syrup samples are free – and there are pancakes galore!

Nothing goes better with a pancake than coffee. Lucky for us – CoffeeCon NYC takes place this month as well! Head to the CoffeeCon festival on March 7 in Manhattan to learn about and taste (...our favorite part) the world’s many different roasts brewed every which way. The ultimate coffee lovers meet-up!

Spring outside

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it’s time to get prepped and ready for spring activities as well as take advantage of winter sports while the chill lasts.

For those of you itching to hit the golf course once the ice finally thaws, head to the Empire Golf Expo to pick up that new set of clubs you’ve been wanting, meet other golf enthusiasts and even partake in food, craft beer, wine and spirit tasting. You don’t want to miss it.

It’s important to point out that this is your last real month to take advantage of the winter wonderland that New York State has become the past few months. Take the last I Love NY Bus Tour of the season to Catamount Mountain on March 7 where you’ll spend the day shredding powder and reveling in the beautiful scenery.

Not much into skiing or snowboarding? That’s ok. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the last few weeks of winter. Snowmobile over 10K miles of trails across the state from the Hudson Valley to Niagara to the Adirondacks. The best part? It’s free March 7 and 8 statewide for all out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers. 

And then, of course, there are the sports that don’t require much physical activity at all (other than sporadic high-fives and bicep curls to sip your beer). Make sure to grab a ticket to this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament East Regional March 27 and 29 at Syracuse for March Madness! Everyone has to experience the excitement at least once in their lives.

Get festive

March means festival season, and there is plenty to enjoy this month across the state of New York.

The Winter Carnival at Holiday Valley is one of the hallmark events in New York State – we’re talking parades, costumes and even floats! Head to Ellicottville the weekend of March 14-15 to take part in the Mardi Gras-themed parade as well as cookouts, face painting and other activities around town for the whole family!

If you love St. Patrick’s Day (and who doesn’t), you’ll adore the Collar City Kilt Fest on March 7. Coined the race to St. Patrick’s Day, the festival includes a 5K kilt run through the city ending at the party tent where you will be encouraged to indulge yourself with food and drink and music to boot! Also make sure to head to Manhattan March 17 for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to celebrate our country’s oldest and proudest Irish tradition – what’s not to love!

Got kids? The New York Children’s Film Festival runs through March 22 at various venues throughout Manhattan, featuring thoughtful, provocative and intelligent films for kids and teens ages 3-18. This festival is the perfect destination for both fun and learning with the whole family.

Start your spring off right. The Capital District Garden and Flower Show in the Hudson Valley takes place March 27-29, and what better way to dive head first into spring than with vibrant blossoms? There will be seeds for sale, a flower show and competition, lectures, workshops and so much more.

Don’t forget to post photos of your March adventures on Instagram and Twitter with #ILoveNY #iSpyNY and tag us on Facebook!