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Cheapflights.com Springs Into Spring With Top 10 March Hot Spots

Ranks Spots With Biggest Jumps in Popularity for March Travel

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 -- Ahhhh... March is just around the corner, finally! From Mardi Gras to St. Patrick's Day, March Madness to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March is a month with plenty to celebrate. And for many Americans, March also marks the winding down of a very long winter and beginning of that much-anticipated spring feeling. The anticipation of spring inspired the travel experts at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, to examine where Americans are headed as they kick off the spring travel season. The Cheapflights travel gurus used search data from the site to compile Cheapflights.com's Top 10 March Travel Hot Spots featuring destinations that saw the biggest spikes in demand for March versus the rest of the year.

Below are the five places from our list that saw the biggest jumps in relative popularity for travelers seeking to get away in March as well as some insights as to why people might want to head there now:

1. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - This is all-inclusive resort central, a relatively easy and affordable place to escape to when the winter gets you down -- especially from the East Coast. And this winter is sending a lot of East Coasters packing as they look to trade the polar vortex for the Punta Cana sun. With highs in the low 80s and the rainy (and hurricane) season months away, March in Punta Cana seems like just the right plan after a snowy and frigid January and February. Plenty of resorts and travel agents are featuring last minute deals; making Punta Cana an enticing spot for people to start their spring early. Just be aware that college students have figured this out as well, ensuring that a good number of vacationers heading there in March are escaping school as well as winter weather.

2. San Diego, Calif. - On March 1, the Flower Fields of Carlsbad are opening this year. Yes, flowers bloom almost anywhere in the spring but not usually 50 acres at a time in a rainbow cascade down a hill with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. We can't say for sure this is why the always popular San Diego has spiked as a favorite for March travel, but we do know 100,000 people turn out each year to see this annual display of brightly colored ranunculus 30 minutes outside the city -- and not far from LEGOLAND. Add in that San Diego's Viejas Arena is playing host to second and third round games in the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) and that you can get warm weather and off-season crowds and prices (except during the tournament weekend), and it's clear that those heading there in March are on to a good thing.

3. Panama City, Fla. - While Fort Lauderdale is the birthplace of college Spring Break, Panama City is the current reigning party spot in Florida. Each year, reportedly nearly half a million students flood the 27-mile stretch of beach as well as the night clubs, concert stages and hotel and condo pools of Panama City throughout March and into early April. Not the time to hit the beach looking for some peace and quiet!

4. Seattle, Wash. - Food and wine are always a big draw. So when a state the size (and with the food and wine resume) of Washington dedicates a month to it, people seem to notice. March is "Taste Washington Wine Month," which means wineries, restaurants and tasting rooms across the state are joining forces to entice you to visit with deals, special menus, pairings and events of all kinds. The culmination is Taste Washington, a two-day event (March 29-30), at the Century Link Event Center, next to the Seahawks home field. It's a challenge to take in the food, classes, wine, beer and more that are on hand from 200 plus wineries and vendors serving at the event, yet thousands sign up to try. There may be other reasons why this March is proving to be a popular time to head to Seattle but we know the top reason we want to go.

5. Los Cabos, Mexico - While Los Cabos is a popular destination all winter and spring, it's a bit of a mecca in March. Its spring break scene is somewhat more subdued than Cancun but still quite hopping. And trading books for beers isn't the only reason to go in March. Take your pick of the Carnival celebrations leading up to Ash Wednesday (March 5), the 11-day Fiesta de San Jose del Cabo (March 8-19) or Benito Juarez Day, a national holiday on March 21. The Los Cabos area is really two towns -- the more wild Cabo San Lucas and the more mild San Jose del Cabos. Not surprisingly, the Fiesta de San Jose del Cabos celebrates the patron saint of the quieter corner of this resort area, adding the liveliness of music, dancing, rides and food to the experience.

The next five most popular March destinations for American travelers are:

6. Salt Lake City, Utah
7. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
8. Tampa, Fla.
9. San Francisco, Calif.
10. Phoenix, Ariz.

To read the complete details on Cheapflights.com's Top 10 March Travel Hot Spots, visit www.cheapflights.com/news/top-10-march-travel-hot-spots.

About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 15 million visitors a month -- plus 7 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) and momondo (www.momondo.com) brands.

Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006.

The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen, Boston and Toronto, with a consumer base across more than 25 core international markets but users all over the world.

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/cheapflights

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