20 Best Places to Visit in May in the USA

The month of May brings warm weather to most parts of the United States, making it an ideal time for experiencing outdoor activities and exploring new destinations. Whether you want to soak up the sun on a beach, go on a scenic hike, or visit historical sites, there are plenty of options for everyone.

Here are 20 of the best places to visit in May in the USA:

1. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Nothing quite says ‘adventure’ like the Grand Canyon under the golden hues of May. It’s when this natural wonder truly awakens with pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds than the peak summer months.

Explore the iconic South Rim with its accessible trails and breathtaking vistas, ideal for both the casual sightseer and the avid hiker. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, embark on a guided rafting trip down the Colorado River for an adrenaline-fueled perspective of the canyon walls.

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider a helicopter tour for aerial views you’ll carry with you long after your visit. May also brings the opportunity for star gazing during clear nights; after all, the Grand Canyon is a certified International Dark Sky Park.

So, set up camp, cozy up by a fire with your favorite people and get ready to make memories in one of nature’s most magnificent playgrounds. Come for the views, stay for the stars, and leave with a heart full of wonder. The Grand Canyon in May is a place where epic stories begin.

2. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Ah, May in Grand Teton National Park! The snow slowly retreats, revealing a playground that beckons nature lovers far and wide. Imagine kayaking across the still waters of Jenny Lake, each paddle stroke mirrored by the majestic Teton Range.

Hiking enthusiasts can hit the trails, like the popular Taggart Lake Trailhead, for a springtime walk amidst wildflowers and wildlife emerging from the thaw.

If you’re into photography, prepare for some serious camera action as the mix of spring green and mountain snow offers a contrast that’s nothing short of magical. Birdwatchers, get those binoculars ready, because the migration season brings an avian symphony to the skies.

Keen anglers will find their zen fly fishing along the Snake River as it winds through this majestic landscape. And let’s not forget the cozy evenings by the campfire, stories shared under a blanket of stars in the clear Wyoming sky – it’s the stuff memories are made of.

For those seeking a unique view, saddle up! Horseback riding through the park with a local guide provides an authentic Western experience that’s hard to top. Remember, the key to enjoying Grand Teton in May is to embrace the unexpected; the weather can be a mix of sunshine and snow flurries, so pack layers and a sense of adventure! Come find your wild spirit in Wyoming this May.

3. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, greets May with open arms and a bouquet of Southern charm that’s as refreshing as a glass of sweet iced tea. Wander through the historic streets lined with live oaks and Spanish moss, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Don’t miss the famous Forsyth Park, where you can join local picnics or simply enjoy the fragrant blooms of the season.

Foodies, take note! The Savannah Food and Wine Festival often makes its delicious mark this month, offering a taste of local and international bites paired with world-class wines. Art lovers will relish the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Sidewalk Arts Festival, where the city’s creative pulse comes to life in vivid chalk masterpieces.

For a dash of the supernatural, book a ghost tour and delve into Savannah’s spirited past, where every cobblestone seems to whisper tales of yore. History buffs can explore the maritime museums or the historic homes that each tell their own story of the city’s rich heritage.

End your evenings by the riverfront, where live music drifts on the breeze, or catch a performance at the Savannah Theatre for a night of entertainment. Just be sure to pack your sense of wonder, alongside comfortable shoes for strolling and an appetite for the delightful indulgences Savannah serves up. See y’all in May for an unforgettable Southern escapade!

4. Napa Valley, California

Ah, Napa Valley, the heart of America’s wine country, is stunning in May. The weather is just perfect—not too hot, not too cold—which makes it the ideal time for winery tours and wine tastings.

Sprinkle your days with visits to world-renowned wineries and indulge in the rich flavors of the region’s best Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays.

For the more adventurous souls, a hot air balloon ride at dawn offers an unforgettable panoramic view of the valley. Meanwhile, foodies will adore the farm-to-table dining experiences, where the freshness of Napa’s local produce shines brightly on every plate.

Don’t miss the annual BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival, where you can enjoy live music, gourmet food, and the company of fellow music and wine lovers.

And for a touch of relaxation, treat yourself to a spa day, where the grapeseed oil treatments are as unique as they are rejuvenating.

5. Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is a little slice of bohemian paradise, especially in May when the mountains are awash with the vibrant greens of new foliage.

Adventure seekers and nature lovers, you’re in for a treat, as the hiking trails beckon with their lush scenery. The vistas from the Blue Ridge Parkway are particularly jaw-dropping this time of year—don’t forget your camera!

If you’re into the arts, you’ll love the River Arts District, brimming with galleries and studios. It’s like a playground for your creative spirit, and who knows, you might even get to chat with an artist or two while they’re in the flow of their latest masterpiece. On the quirkier side, catch a glimpse of Asheville’s charm with a stroll through the historic and eclectic downtown.

And let’s talk about the Biltmore Estate—America’s largest home is not just opulent; it speaks elegance and history. Their gardens in May? Simply divine—a floral symphony of color and fragrance.

Finish your day with a craft beer tour—Asheville’s got more breweries per capita than any U.S. city. I’m telling ya, the local hoppiness levels are just as high as the surrounding peaks! So, grab a pint, enjoy the local music, and soak in the vibrant community vibes.

Y’all, Asheville in May is a blend of scenic beauty, rich history, and a dash of hops—what’s not to love? Can’t wait to see you here!

6. Denver, Colorado

May in Denver is a dream for anyone who loves the balance of city life and nature’s wonders. The Mile High City truly comes alive in the spring with its lilac-scented breezes and vibrant urban energy!

Start off by meandering through the Denver Botanic Gardens, where the blooms are in their full glory—an Instagram paradise, trust me. If you’re a fan of the arts, Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe is buzzing with galleries, and the first Friday of May is the time to enjoy art walks and meet local creatives.

Sports enthusiast? Catch the Colorado Rockies in action at Coors Field, and even if you’re not the biggest baseball buff, the atmosphere alone is worth it.

And because we’re all about that adventure, hike or bike the trails at Red Rocks Park. Not to forget the concerts—you haven’t truly seen a concert until you’ve experienced one at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, with stars both above and on stage.

For a splash of history, take a stroll through the Golden Triangle Creative District and visit the History Colorado Center. You’re going to want to bring your family to this one—interactive exhibits galore!

End your days in Denver at LoDo—Lower Downtown—for a culinary tour de force from chic rooftop bars to cozy pubs, and yep, there’s something for every palate and mood.

7. Charleston, South Carolina

Welcome to charming Charleston, South Carolina, where May is not just a month—it’s an experience wrapped in Southern elegance and historical wonder.

Walk under a canopy of oak trees draped with Spanish moss on the grounds of Boone Hall Plantation—it’s like stepping onto the pages of a romantic novel! Don’t miss the chance to learn about the rich heritage and the architectural marvels of the antebellum South.

Take your adventure to the water with a sunset sail around Charleston Harbor. There’s nothing quite like watching the day bid adieu against a backdrop of pastel skies and gentle waves. Plus, if history is your passion, you can’t miss out on a guided tour of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point—talk about a dose of American pride!

As the evening beckons, saunter through the historic streets of The Battery, and you’ll find yourself lost in the enchantment of gas-lit lanes and antebellum homes. Charleston in May is not simply a place to visit; it’s a timeless journey that stays with you long after you’ve departed its sun-washed cobblestones.

8. Mackinac Island, Michigan

May on Mackinac Island is simply magical, as the lilacs begin to blossom and the island shakes off the last hints of winter. It’s a car-free haven where you can bike or take a horse-drawn carriage to explore the scenic trails.

Be sure to visit the historic Fort Mackinac, perched high on a bluff with sweeping views that are as informative as they are breathtaking. Don’t miss the chance to sample the island’s famous fudge and watch horses lazily trot by as you relax on the porch of the Grand Hotel.

If you can, visit during the annual Lilac Festival for a floral affair to remember! With the island’s charming atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings, Mackinac Island is the perfect destination for a peaceful and picturesque May getaway.

9. Yosemite National Park, California

In May, Yosemite National Park is truly a breath of fresh air for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. With the winter snow melting, the park’s famous waterfalls are at their most spectacular – it’s the perfect time to witness the thunderous roar of water at Yosemite Falls.

Lace-up your hiking boots and hit the trails for a trek to Vernal and Nevada Falls; the Mist Trail is absolutely enchanting this time of year. For those seeking a more relaxed visit, grab your camera and meander through the blooming meadows; the dogwoods and wildflowers are putting on a show just for you.

And don’t forget about the awe-inspiring views of Half Dome and El Capitan – they’re calling you to bask in the glory of one of America’s greatest natural wonders.

10. Bar Harbor, Maine

May in Bar Harbor is a whisper of summer’s promise, with blossoming landscapes and the awakening of the town’s quaint charm. Dive into a kayaking adventure along the serene coast, or take a whale watching tour to greet the ocean’s gentle giants.

For hiking enthusiasts, Acadia National Park offers trails that lead to awe-inspiring views of the rugged coastline. If you’re a fan of history, the walking tours of Bar Harbor’s historic district are a must.

Cap off your day with a delightfully fresh lobster dinner, the ultimate taste of Maine’s culinary treasures. Don’t forget to grab a scoop of homemade blueberry ice cream as you enjoy the early evening ocean breeze – it’s a sweet nod to the state’s famous fruit!

11. Key West, Florida

Let’s not forget the fabulous things to do in Key West in May, where the vibe is just as warm as the weather! For those culturally inclined, take a peek into the past with a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s Home, where you’ll feel the literary giant’s presence in every nook.

Fancy something more theatrical? Catch a show at the Waterfront Playhouse for an evening of high-quality entertainment.

Adventure more your speed? Charter a boat for a day of deep-sea fishing—May is prime time for tarpon!

And for a truly iconic Key West experience, join the sunset celebration at Mallory Square where performers, artists, and food vendors create a festivity like no other.

Just walking down Duval Street offers a smorgasbord of fun-filled activities—from quirky shops to lush gardens, you’ll be wanting to take a piece of Key West home with you.

12. Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee

In Smoky Mountain National Park, the springtime unleashes a spectacular display of wildflowers.

You can witness a vibrant tapestry of trillium, columbine, and lady slipper orchids. The park is also home to the delicate pink and yellow blooms of the mountain laurel and flame azalea, which paint the landscape with their vivid colors. This diversity of flora not only adds to the scenic beauty of the park but also supports a wide range of wildlife, making it a haven for nature lovers and botanists alike.

Head to Clingman’s Dome for spectacular views and stick around to watch the sunset! And don’t forget to explore the charming town of Gatlinburg, which offers plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

13. Olympic National Park, Washington

Endless green forests, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking coastal views make Olympic National Park a must-visit destination in May. Hike through the wildflower-filled meadows, explore the rugged coastline, or take a scenic drive along Hurricane Ridge to witness stunning views of the park.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, Olympic offers opportunities for camping, backpacking, and even surfing. And with its diverse ecosystems, this park is home to a variety of wildlife, from elk to bald eagles.

But don’t forget to take time to appreciate the small moments as well – like watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean or stargazing in one of the park’s designated dark sky areas.

Come enjoy nature at its finest and create unforgettable memories in Olympic National Park this May!

14. Seattle, Washington

Seattle in May is a delightful treat for the senses, blooming with countless activities to enjoy. On a clear day, head to the Space Needle and marvel at the panoramic view of the city with Mount Rainier standing proudly in the backdrop—truly a postcard-worthy sight!

Are you a coffee lover? Then, you can’t miss the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market, not to mention the bustling energy of the market itself. Foodies will adore the endless options of fresh seafood and local bites.

And let’s not forget, nature lovers are in for a treat with the blooming cherry blossoms at the University of Washington and boat tours on Lake Washington where the lush landscapes are dressed in spring’s best.

15. Austin, Texas

Ah, Austin in May—it’s like the city wakes up from its brief slumber and bursts with vibrancy!

Music aficionados, you’re in for a treat; this city’s soundtrack is live and electrifying with events like the Pecan Street Festival, where local bands play against a backdrop of street art and local cuisine.

Need some outdoor zen? Take a leisurely kayak ride on Lady Bird Lake. The bluebonnets might be saying their goodbyes, but the city’s green spaces are just as inviting.

And talk about food—the farmers’ markets are in full swing, offering the freshest local produce and quirky finds. For a true taste of Austin, grab some tacos from a food truck and picnic under the canopy of a pecan grove.

Round off your evenings with a stroll down Sixth Street, where you’ll find a blend of cozy pubs, wine bars, and an array of live music venues that prove why Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

16. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Experience the beauty of nature at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This breathtaking park is home to over 200,000 acres of lush forests, stunning waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails.

Start your day by taking a drive along Skyline Drive – a 105-mile road that winds through the heart of the park, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Then, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails to explore the park’s diverse landscapes.

For those looking for a challenge, hike to the top of Old Rag Mountain, known for its rocky terrain and rewarding views. Or for a more leisurely stroll, take a walk along Dark Hollow Falls Trail to see one of Shenandoah’s most iconic waterfalls.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the park’s abundant wildlife, including black bears, deer, and a variety of bird species. And after a day of adventure, unwind at one of the park’s cozy campgrounds or lodges.

With its stunning vistas and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration, Shenandoah National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway. Plan your trip today and experience the magic of Shenandoah for yourself!

17. New York City, New York

Ah, New York City in May, when the city truly begins to bloom! Wander through the floral haven of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is especially lovely during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Enjoy a picnic in Central Park under a canopy of new green leaves.

Whisk yourself to the rooftops for unparalleled views and refreshing cocktails, or join the energetic crowds at one of the many outdoor festivals, such as the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival.

As a city that’s always buzzing, New York offers a fantastic blend of outdoor activities and cultural events that are perfect for shaking off the last of those winter blues.

Come and embrace the vibrant energy — NYC in May is a promise of excitement and discovery around every corner!

18. New Orleans, Louisiana

Endless blues, swinging jazz, and the aroma of Cajun cuisine – this is what awaits you in New Orleans in May. As spring blooms throughout the city, take a stroll through the colorful French Quarter or join in on one of the many outdoor music festivals.

But New Orleans isn’t just about partying. The city’s rich history and vibrant culture are evident in its unique architecture, local traditions, and mouth-watering food.

And with expert storytellers leading ghost tours through the city’s historic cemeteries and alleys, you’re sure to get a taste of the supernatural.

When you’re in New Orleans, you’re in for a treat that goes beyond the music and the festivals – you’re about to dip into a culinary treasure chest! Make sure to savor the iconic gumbo, a melting pot of flavors with ingredients that include okra, chicken, sausage, and a heap of local spices. Don’t miss out on the jambalaya, a flavorful dish with a kick that’ll make your taste buds dance as joyfully as you would to a jazz tune.

And for the sweet tooths out there, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a powdery beignet – it’s like a warm hug from the inside. Wash it all down with a Sazerac, the city’s own anise-flavored testament to cocktail history, or maybe a Hurricane, a sweet rum punch that packs a playful punch.

19. Big Sur, California

End your summer on a high note by taking in the breathtaking views of Big Sur’s rugged coastline. With its towering cliffs and turquoise waters, it’s no wonder that this stretch of Highway 1 is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world.

But Big Sur isn’t just for sightseeing – it’s also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike through the majestic redwood forests, explore hidden beaches, and swim in natural hot springs. And for an unforgettable experience, take a helicopter tour to get a bird’s-eye view of this stunning landscape.

After a day of adventure, unwind at one of the cozy bed and breakfasts or luxurious resorts nestled in the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Or for a more unique stay, try glamping in a yurt or cabin for a truly unforgettable experience.

End your trip on a high note by catching the sunset at Pfeiffer Beach, where the purple sand and crashing waves make for an ethereal and romantic setting. Big Sur truly offers something special for everyone, making it the perfect destination to end your summer with a bang!

20. Holland, Michigan

If you’re looking for a charming, picturesque getaway, look no further than Holland, Michigan. This quaint town is known for its Dutch heritage and vibrant tulip fields that bloom in the spring.

But don’t let the small-town vibe fool you – there’s plenty to see and do in Holland. Take a stroll down the cobblestone streets lined with boutique shops and art galleries, or rent a bike and explore the picturesque waterfront on Lake Michigan.

For a taste of Dutch culture, stop by Nelis’ Dutch Village to experience traditional architecture, costumes, and even wooden shoe making. And of course, no trip to Holland is complete without trying some delicious Dutch treats like stroopwafels and poffertjes.

After a day of sightseeing, relax at one of the many charming bed and breakfasts or cozy vacation rentals scattered throughout town. And be sure to catch a sunset over Lake Michigan – it’s truly a sight to behold.

Holland’s friendly locals, beautiful scenery, and rich culture make it a must-visit destination for any traveler looking for an authentic and memorable experience.

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