March in New England: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Smith College Bulb Show March Event in New England

Wouter van Erve / Flickr

March feels like the longest month of the year in New England, a generally dreary 31-day slog toward spring. Although the weather is still cold throughout March across the region, the temperatures are slowly rising as the month goes on. You're likely too early for spring blossoms, although some early flowers might make an appearance toward the end of the month.

However, there are some compelling reasons to visit in March. St. Patrick's Day in Irish-heavy Boston is a celebration like no other, and the maple trees around New England are in sugaring season when the sap begins to flow for making maple syrup.

New England Weather in March

As the season transitions into spring, the lingering snow begins to thaw and the dark days of winter get a bit brighter. However, March is still cold across New England, especially for visits during the first half of the month. Throughout the month, you're about as likely to experience a comfortable clear day with sunshine as you are a snowstorm, so it's important to be prepared for anything.

Average Low Temp. Average High Temp.
Hartford, CT 29 F (minus 2 C) 48 F (9 C)
Providence, RI 30 F (minus 1 C) 48 F (9 C)
Boston, MA 31 F (minus 1 C) 45 F (7 C)
Hyannis, MA 30 F (minus 1 C) 45 F (7 C)
Burlington, VT 22 F (minus 6 C) 40 F (4 C)
Manchester, NH 24 F (minus 4 C) 45 F (7 C)
Portland, ME 25 F (minus 4 C) 42 F (6 C)

Because March weather is so fickle and the climate varies drastically depending on where you visit, make sure you're checking the forecast for your destination right before you leave. Snow is possible across all of New England throughout March, although it's less likely in coastal cities compared to the mountains of New Hampshire or Vermont.

What to Pack

March's unpredictable weather makes this the month to overpack. The farther north you travel, the more likely you are to need full-on winterwear, even at the end of the month. Even if you get lucky and visit during a warm spell, evenings and nights are still cold, so you won't regret packing those extra layers and heavy socks.

Keep in mind that "mud season" often begins by the late part of March, so you'll want to pack clothes and boots with sloppy terrain in mind if you'll be spending time outdoors.

Best New England Events in March

March events tempt New Englanders and visitors to come out of hibernation. Sunny days in the mountains mean the first days of spring skiing, although the most quintessential New England spring activity may be bottling your own maple syrup.

  • Maine Restaurant Week: Celebrate the best of the food scene in the Pine Tree State during Maine Restaurant Week, which always starts on March 1 (although it usually lasts longer than a week). Participating restaurants across the state typically offer special three-course tasting menus for customers to try.
  • Smith College Spring Bulb Show: This annual festival in Northampton, Massachusetts, uses greenhouses to bring thousands of different flowers from all over the world into bloom at once. It's perhaps the most visually stunning March event in the region.
  • Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Boston, Massachusetts, is arguably better than spending it in Ireland. Take a pub crawl around the Irish bars of downtown, hang out for the big parade, and don your greenest clothing in this heavily Irish city.
  • Newport St. Patrick's Day Parade: Boston may have the biggest Irish celebration in New England, but it isn't the only one. To celebrate the luck of the Irish away from the crowds, head out to the parade and festivities in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • New Hampshire Maple Month: Sugaring season is happening across New England, but only in New Hampshire is it officially deemed Maple Month. You can find sugarhouses all over the state celebrating the yearly production with quaint festivals.

March Travel Tips

  • March is a notorious month in New England for rainy weather and muddy paths. This isn't the time to go out in your most expensive shoes.
  • While big-name ski resorts can set you back hundreds of dollars, New England has several smaller mountains with excellent skiing and at unbeatable prices.
  • For the best late-season skiing, head north to resorts like Maine's Sunday River or Sugarloaf. Another option is the charming ski town of Stowe in Vermont.
  • The second Sunday in March is when New Englanders—and most Americans—set their clocks forward an hour, so don't forget to make the change.
  • New England is known for its charming bed and breakfasts in enchanting small towns. March is still considered the low season, so you can usually find great deals on lodging.
  • Basketball fans: Make New England your March Madness destination. If the NCAA basketball tournaments always capture your attention, this is the perfect month to plan a visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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