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Great Vacations in February, March and April 2012

Updated on February 12, 2012
Huge snow  sculpture greets Carnival visitors
Huge snow sculpture greets Carnival visitors

Top Vacation Trips for Winter and Spring

Ready to greet 2012 and forge some new memories with a great vacation in a new locale. Here's some ready-made parties in fun cities eager to celebrate their history, attractions, and culture along with a lot of feel-good vibe. They'll supply the snow, sunshine or seltzer, you just show up -- alone, coupled or with family in tow for a great time.

Note, the information here is accurate as of publication; however, always check with the venue prior to booking your trip to ensure there are no changes in dates, times or venues.

Billy Crystal returns as host
Billy Crystal returns as host


54th Grammy Awards

Los Angeles, California

Grammy Awards (Staples Center)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Then take bets on which resident musician will exhibit the foot in the mouth syndrome for the viewing audience during the 54th Grammy Awards celebration. Musical great, Adele, is Rolling In the Deep, with her nomination for Album of the Year. Alicia Keys, Tony Bennett, Lil Wayne, the Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney, Carrie Underwood and many others are scheduled to perform. The Memphis Horns will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award as will singer, Glen Campbell. Jennifer Hudson perform a musical tribute to the late, Whitney Houston.

Academy Awards - Oscar Rules

Hollywood, California

Sunday, February 12, 2012

If you are into homosapien star gazing, you're sure to get your fill at the 84th Academy Awards which will be held at the landmark Kodak Theatre. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences salutes excellence in the film industry by conferring gold Oscars to winning directors, writers and actors. Nominees include Meryl Street for her role in The Iron Lady, Brad Pitt for Moneyball,The Help and Steven Spielberg's War Horse.

The televised event draws millions to watch the orchestrated parade of stars who grace the red carpet outside the theatre, dressed by famous and upcoming designers with multi-carat jeweled accessories (often borrowed). Billy Crystal makes a return engagement to host the 2012 event. Hundreds hold vigil outside the Kodak Theatre for an opportunity to see their favorite thespian up close. Wear your shades to deflect the star power and flashing lights.

Carnival 2011

Quebec Canada

January 27 - February 12, 2012

Can't get enough snow? Hop a sled to Quebec for their Carnival! The first Carnival was held in 1894 when the city's inhabitants opted to celebrate the season of snow and cold with festivities, and it has evolved to become the largest winter Carnival world-wide. The 2011 Carnival will feature the return of the snow ice palace formed from over 9,000 tons of snow complete with lighted displays and special effects.

Sculptors around the world will convene to create transparent and opaque artwork for the International Snow Sculpture event. There will be plenty of winter sports including canoe races along the St. Lawrence River with Elite Masculine, Elite Feminine and Sport classes. Events include two night parades, dogsled racing and a Kid's Fun Zone.

Quebec is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural history. Don't miss the Musee de la Civilisation which details history, cultures and Canadian identity.

Chinese New Year Parade

San Francisco, California

February 2012

Why not plan to join thousands as they celebrate the Year of the Hare during the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade. This parade, which is beautifully illuminated at night, started in 1860s by the San Francisco Chinese community as an educational and celebratory tool. The parade features over 100 units including participants dressed in festive garb, colorful floats including one carrying Miss Chinatown USA and her court, and fire breathing, dancing dragons.

Valentine's Day

Paris, France

February 14, 2012

Want to plan a V-Day sure to tantalize your sweetie? How about a journey to the most romantic city in the world to bask in the cornucopia of famous museums, parks, theatres, restaurants, architecture, history and culture. Take a romantic stroll along the River Seine, wink at Mona Lisa in the Louvre, or do some high brow shopping on Avenue Montaigne. Revisit history at the Place de la Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.


Mardi Gras

New Orleans, Louisiana

February 13, 2012 (Rock 'n Roll Mardi Gras Marathon)

March 2012 (Mardi Gras)

Mardi Gras falls on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday); the carnival's motto is Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll). Indeed New Orleans and its community with French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean origins know how to throw a party. After all, Lent is right around the bend, so now's the time to indulge in excesses.

Festivities include over the top parades such as the Bacchus Parade and Ball and the Orpheus Parade and Ball and the Zula and Krewe parades. Mardi Gras colors were selected in 1872 and are purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power).

One of the popular tradition involves King Cakes (named for the three Kings or Wise Men who journeyed to visit newborn Jesus). These rings of dough are decorated with sweet toppings. Each King Cake has a small plastic baby (representation of Baby Jesus) inserted. The person who receives the slice of cake containing the baby is said to be blessed and is supposed to host the next King Cake party.

Note: The Rock 'n Roll Marathon and 1/2 Marathon to benefit the American Cancer Society runs on February .

New Orleans hosts another great festival -- Jazz and Heritage Festival in April 2012.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Dublin, Ohio (Columbus)

March 2012

Don't have the funds to visit the original land of leprechauns; seek out that pot of gold in Dublin, Ohio. This namesake holds a green and gold parade held in celebration of St. Patrick's. Dublin is a small city on the northwest outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. This city, home to over 41,000, surrounds the Scioto River.

While there plan to drive to Columbus to visit its world famous Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the James Thurber house, and the 19th century reconstruction of the Ohio Village. Columbus is home to Big Ten Ohio State University.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Boston, MA

March, 2012

Almost 17% of Bostonians can claim Irish ancestors; however, on March 17, everyone is Irish as the city comes together for the annual St. Patrick Day's Parade. Boston devotes a week to this celebration which started in 1737 and includes Irish band concerts, food tasting and enthusiastic partying. Over 500,000 people attend this event, undoubtedly, in search of that pot 'o gold.

Bike Week

Daytona Beach, Florida

March 2012

You may want to leave the kids at home for this one. Daytona invites motorcycle riders and lovers down south for a few days of bikes, bikinis and buns. Scheduled events include the International Motorcycle Show, runs and road tours, motorcycle stunts and damp T-shirt and tattoo contests. Flea market vendors will be in attendance to sell everything related to Harleys to the close to a million spectators. And, of course, there will be music and food to share with your nearest Hell's Angel.

While in Daytona, you can spend time relaxing at the beach (well, maybe), or visit another high octane venue, The Daytona International Speedway or The Kennedy Space Center. The KSC is located on a wildlife refuge and is headquarters to NASA launches. And if you want to add some sugar to your hot sauce, Orlando and the land of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella are about 1-1/2 hours away.

Carrie Underwood -- CMA 2010 Entertainer of the Year
Carrie Underwood -- CMA 2010 Entertainer of the Year


ACM Academy of Country Music Awards

Las Vegas, Nevada

April 1, 2012

Vegas goes country for this celebration of the best in country music. Are you a lot-a-bit country? If so, feel free to lend your vote to select the winner of categories like Entertainer of the Year and Top New Artist at the website referenced below. Then join them at the MGM hotel to watch them walk the orange carpet. Nominess include Toby Keith, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley.

Vegas is . . . well, it's Vegas . . . with tons of casinos, entertainment and debauchery. Take in a show, hobnob with Elvis, or simply take in the thousands or lights and displays at the various hotels on the Strip. If you've never been, you've got to go -- at least once.

San Antonio's River Walk
San Antonio's River Walk

Fiesta San Antonio 2011

San Antonio, Texas

April 19 - 29, 2012

Historically, this fiesta started in commemoration of the heroes of Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Fiesta San Antonio celebrates its 120th anniversary in 2011. Activities are held throughout this historical city located in central Texas including activities on the famed River Walk which winds along the San Antonio River. The downtown River Walk features dozens of restaurants, bistros, shops and galleries. You can hop a river taxi or enjoy a romantic sunset river cruise.

Remember the Alamo while you are in San Antonio and visit this still standing landmark where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie along with 196 others met their end. Also, plan a visit to the La Villita for authentic architecture and unusual arts and spend some time reliving history in one of several century-old missions.

Note, the River Walk (river) is drained and cleaned during January.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

New Orleans, Louisana

April 27 - May 6, 2012

The great singer Mahalia Jackson and entertainer Duke Ellington christened the first Jazz Fest in April, 1970. This festival is as much about culture and food as Jazz. So participants are encouraged to stroll the grounds and enjoy The Louisiana Folklife Village which consists of four themed areas: Made By Hand-Crafts of Everyday Life, The Work of Many Lives-Waterways of Louisiana, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler-Ritual & Celebration in Louisiana, and The Work of Many Lives-Architectural Trades. Tradition bearers and master artisans demonstrate their crafts and interact with their visitors.

You can even witness a pow wow and sample traditional culture and dance at the Native American Village where representatives from the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Chitimacha, United Houma Nation, Louisiana Band of Choctaw, and the Jena Band of Choctaw demonstrate the art of basket weaving, flint knapping, wood carving, and pottery. And of course, you can expect nothing but the best cuisine at the Fest include creole and cajun foods such shrimp and oka gumbo, crawfish bisque, po-boy sandwiches with cochon de lait (it's all good), fried green tomatoes, Creole stuffed crab, lemon pound cake and sweet potato cookies. Indian vendors will be serving fry bread, maque chox and Indian tacos.

More Vacation Ideas

If you are looking for ideas for Spring break ideas or romantic locations to check out my article on romantic getaways or Spring Break vacations. Enjoy!


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    • profile image

      hiit 6 years ago

      Great hub, looking forward to come back and fascinted by your posts. Thank you.

      Ron from

    • john-vegan profile image

      john-vegan 6 years ago from USA

      I have went once to see Grammy awards ........

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Suejanet, Trinsick and Dee. Plan, go and enjoy! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Dee 6 years ago

      Great ideas, thanks!

    • Trinsick profile image

      Trinsick 6 years ago from Cali

      I need a vacation now, and bad, thanks for the ideas.

    • suejanet profile image

      suejanet 6 years ago

      There is nothing like a winter vacation. Let's do it.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Tylluan and mydubaistay, thanks for stopping in and commenting!

    • mydubaistay profile image

      mydubaistay 6 years ago from Dubai

      wow your article makes me feel like taking a vacation. wonderful post must say

    • Tylluan profile image

      Tylluan 6 years ago from Canada

      I am certainly gonna check those ideas out!

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks Kim and Xishan -- Hopefully, you'll get to do some traveling this year!

    • Xishan Ansari profile image

      Xishan Ansari 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Hey nice ideas for vacations thanks for providing valuable ideas nice hub cheers :)

    • profile image

      kims3003 6 years ago

      Well researched - great ideas - lots of useful and interesting information.Nice work

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Yes, Moison and JimS, Paris has to be the ideal VDay spot. Thanks for stopping in.

    • molson5070 profile image

      molson5070 6 years ago from State College, Pa

      great hub!! Paris during valentines day sounds amazing!

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Snuggle Up, Drink a Lot and Jump around A Lot, sounds like a party to me, marshacanada :) Thanks for stopping recounting your personal experiences.

    • marshacanada profile image

      marshacanada 6 years ago from Vancouver BC

      Nice ideas! Have fun!I went to the Quebec winter carnival once and I had never been SO COLD in my life. Quebecers bundle up, drink a lot and jump around to keep warm.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Edoka, I'm envious :) Have fun!

    • Edoka Writes profile image

      Edoka Writes 7 years ago

      I'll be in my hometown for Mardi Gras! Who Dat! Nice Hub.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Esmoew12, lender and dpatullo, I appreciate taking the time to review these ideas. Enjoy your travels.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Glad you enjoyed it mviadam. If you like cold vacations, consider Park City, Utah also. Thanks for stopping in.

    • mviadam profile image

      mviadam 7 years ago

      I'm a big fan of the cold weather vacations, so this was a great read, thanks for putting it together!

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Quebec is delightful and I understand Daytona is exciting. Thanks for stopping in.

    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      I would love to check out Quebec Canada and Daytona too. This is a wonderful hub.

    • dpatullo741 profile image

      dpatullo741 7 years ago from UK

      Well, I am thinking your suggestions will make my trip wonderful. Now, I am planning to take leave in Feb or March.

      Thanks buddy

    • lender3212000 profile image

      lender3212000 7 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

      Mardi Gras would definitely be at the top of my list!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 7 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      Everyone should visit New Orleans at least once for Mardi Gras. However, the original home of Mardi Gras, Mobile, AL, has a much calmer and safer Mardi Gras atmosphere for families.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for stopping in and your comments -- ktowers and customenvelopes.

    • profile image

      customenvelopes 7 years ago

      I never thought of any of these! Excellent post! And quite timely - with Valentines day coming up too, there are some nice surprise ideas here!

    • ktowers profile image

      Kate 7 years ago from England

      Excellent ideas :)

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      My comments . . . spam :) No problem, ahostagesituation. San Antonio is fun. Try a hotel on the Riverwalk if you can.

    • ahostagesituation profile image

      SJ 7 years ago

      I missed one of your comments on one of my hubs because it was marked as spam. Sorry about that! I think the San Antonio, TX one looks pretty cool. I haven't been there yet, and I don't know anything about that festival. Sounds cool.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Yeah. It's tough sometimes to get away. How about planning something close to home?

    • SUSIE405 profile image

      SUSIE405 7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      These are great ideas. I wish I could get away for a winter break.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Of course you will, Susie. Put it in your plan. Thanks for stopping in.

    • SUSIE42 profile image

      SUSIE42 7 years ago

      Hopefully one day I will get to Paris

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Yes. Both are a blast! Thanks for stopping in Ariel.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for stopping in Micky Dee and Peggy W. Paris is on my short list also. Quebec is delightful.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Me too! Paris would be something! I'd also like to see Quebec someday. Great suggestions for vacation destinations.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Great ideas. Paris! I wish! Maybe further south in the San Antone area though. God bless!