Traveling in May is unlike any other; the cities and towns are starting to come alive again, the weather is glorious, and there are flowers everywhere! So, you’ll want to check out all of the best places to visit in May in the USA.
Throughout this article, you’ll learn all about the best spots for a May vacation in the USA, and the locations are all over the country!
Whether you’re looking to hit the beach or go on a classic road trip, we’ve got you covered.
In addition to comfortable weather, you’ll find that many of these locations will have smaller crowds and cheaper accommodation during May.
No matter which place you choose to vacation to from this list, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable holiday.
Best Places to Visit in May in the USA
Here are a few of the best travel destinations in the US to visit in May.
1. Holland, Michigan
The first destination is Holland, Michigan, one of the absolute best places to visit in May in the USA! It’s very warm there in May, with average temperatures around 58°F each day.
This is also one of the wetter months of the year, averaging around eight days of rain throughout the month.
Many people don’t even realize that there’s a place called Holland in the United States, but this small city hosts the Tulip Time Festival and connects back to the city’s roots.
It only occurs during May and is the perfect festival to attend if you visit the city during this month.
In May, other fun things to do in Holland include the Windmill Island Gardens, Holland Museum, and the Windmill Island, where you can go on a Dutch village tour.
Where to Stay in Holland
Click here to find accommodation in Holland.
Read next: Best Places to Visit in the United States
2. Monterey, California
Head to Monterey, California, one of the best places to visit in May in the US! The average daily temperature here is 57°F.
There is barely any rain this time of year in California, and the average high temperature is around 65°F.
Monterey is most well known for its seafood, so the best thing to do is stop by a local restaurant and try it for yourself.
You can also enjoy the view at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, take a visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea, and explore the 17-Mile-Drive.
The Annual Carmel Art Festival also takes place in May and is a great way to support local artists!
Beyond that, you could begin your Big Sur road trip in Monterey and drive south, stopping in incredible places along the way. Some people begin this California road trip along Highway 1 in San Francisco and drive all the way to San Diego!
Where to Stay in Monterey
Click here to find accommodation in Monterey.
3. Monument Valley, Arizona
Monument Valley is one of those destinations on this list of best places to visit in the USA in May that you’ve seen featured in many movies like Forrest Gump as well as many photos on your Instagram Feed.
It’s located in Arizona on the border of Utah right in the desert on Navajo Land, with average May temperatures of 66°F.
The best way to get there is by car, so you might consider going on an Arizona road trip (and visit the Antelope Canyon, too).
You’ll want to visit during the day because to explore it, you do have to go offroad a bit. Be sure to stop by Forrest Gump Point and see all of the artifacts that have been left where he finished his cross-country run!
Where to Stay near Monument Valley
Click here to find accommodation near Monument Valley.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
Next is another of the best places to visit in May in the US, New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the perfect place to visit if you want to have a holiday in the south!
Plus, the crowds are a lot smaller than those that you’ll witness in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
During May, New Orleans has average temperatures around 75°F, but it drops to around 68°F in the evenings. There are about four days or so of rain during the month.
The best festival to attend this month is the Bayou Boogaloo, a fun event that’s wholly family-friendly and includes live music, food, and more. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s last weekend is generally held in May.
Besides, there are plenty of opportunities to sip daiquiris on Bourbon Street, too.
Where to Stay in New Orleans
Click here to find accommodation in New Orleans.
5. Charlotte, North Carolina
For a more laid-back vacation that’s still in the city, look no further than Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the best places to visit in May in the USA.
The temperature during May is beautiful, at around 69°F on average. There are also cooler nights at around 57°F.
There are many fun things to do in Charlotte in May. While they don’t hold many significant events, there are local farmer markets, baseball games to support the Charlotte Knights, visit an amusement park, and more.
The annual City Walk is also generally held during May, where you can explore the beauty of Charlotte!
Visiting Charlotte in May allows you to explore with smaller crowds, beautiful weather, and lower accommodation prices.
Where to Stay in Charlotte
Click here to find accommodation in Charlotte.
6. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
One of the more underrated best places to visit in May in the USA is Wisconsin Dells.
In May, the average temperature in Wisconsin Dells is around 58°F, but it can get as warm as 70°F and as low as 45°F. This is the rainiest month of the year as well, with about nine days of rain.
However, if you don’t mind the water, then you’ll be able to visit some of Wisconsin Dells’ best attractions without the summer tourists.
Almost everything to do in Wisconsin Dells is family-friendly! Go ziplining, horseback ride at Canyon Creek Riding Stables, hit the water slides at Chula Vista Resort, or even attend Circus World to get a tour of parade wagons and other exhibits.
Where to Stay in Wisconsin Dells
Click here to find accommodation in Wisconsin Dells.
7. Chicago, Illinois
Set on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a fantastic city to visit in May.
This is easily the perfect month to visit because it’s around the time that the weather finally starts to get warmer after the cool, midwestern winter months.
Average temperatures during May are usually around 57°F, with highs of around 66°F.
In May, great things to do include attending the Memorial Day Parade, bringing children to the Chicago Kids and Kites Festival, and seeing the Millennium Park Crown Fountain be turned on, officially marking the beginning of summer. This is also the month that beaches tend to open for the season!
Where to Stay in Chicago
Click here to find accommodation in Chicago.
8. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, is perfect for a May vacation in the USA. With a daily temperature of around 73°F, it’s one of the warmer places on this list.
This is usually when Charleston starts to get busy, but it’s the perfect time to visit to avoid South Carolina’s heat in the summer.
One of the top things to do in Charleston during May is to attend the North Charleston Arts Fest, which usually happens during the first weekend of the month.
There’s also ArtWalk, where you can explore some of the best art galleries in the city! Other fun things to do include visiting the farmer’s markets or going to a concert.
Where to Stay in Charleston
Click here to find accommodation in Charleston.
9. Kauai, Hawaii
Who doesn’t want to visit Kauai, Hawaii? Beat the summer heat by visiting Kauai in May and avoid the tourists that flock to Hawaii later in the year.
The average temperature in May is 66°F, perfect for relaxing near the beach or just enjoying the beautiful weather.
While Kauai doesn’t necessarily have any huge events in May, there are still many fun things to do.
You can hike the Kalalau Trail (steep but worth it), relax by the water, go snorkeling, and more. Be sure to not miss out on Waimea Canyon, which offers some of the best views of the ocean that you can get while in Hawaii.
Where to Stay in Kauai
Click here to find accommodation in Kauai.
10. Anna Maria Island, Florida
Skip out on Orlando and visit Anna Maria Island instead if you want a Florida getaway! It’s easily one of the best places to visit in the USA in May.
This barrier island is nowhere near as busy as the larger cities like Miami and Orlando, and with average daily temperatures of 77°F, you can’t go wrong.
Easily, the best thing to do on Anna Maria Island is to visit Anna Maria’s beaches. There’s beautiful white sand where you can relax by the water, sunbathe, and swim! Plus, many sandy beaches have excellent facilities, including places to eat.
Other fun things to do include visiting the Anna Maria City Pier, renting bicycles to ride around the coast, eating seafood in a local restaurant, and shopping at local farmers’ markets.
Where to Stay on Anna Maria Island
Click here to find accommodation on Anna Maria Island.
11. Utah’s Mighty 5
Doing a road trip to Utah’s Mighty 5 surely deserves a spot on this list of the best places to visit in May in the USA.
So many people opt to do this road trip in the summer, which is a massive mistake with the desert weather.
Instead, by visiting in May, you’ll be able to have an easier time getting visitor permits for the parks, and you can enjoy temperatures in the high 60s.
Start the road trip up in Moab and stop by Arches National Park, then continue diagonally throughout the state to Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Zion National Park (don’t forget to hike Angel’s Landing), and then Bryce Canyon National Park.
You can also do the road trip the opposite way if you’ll be visiting from further out west, like Las Vegas.
Where to Stay in Moab
Click here to find accommodation in Moab.
12. Great Basin National Park; Nevada
While most people will rush to larger parks like Zion National Park or Grand Canyon National Park, avoid the summer crowds by stepping off the beaten path and visiting Great Basin National Park. In May, the average temperature is usually around 59°F, perfect weather for hikes in the desert.
In the park, there are so many fun things to do. You can do some scenic drives, visit the Lehman Caves on a tour, or even hike the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail.
If you want stunning views with a more challenging climb, consider doing the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail, which has around 3,000 feet of elevation. Start the hike first thing in the morning to avoid the winds!
Where to Stay near Great Basin
Click here to find accommodation near Great Basin.
13. Portland, Maine
Escape to the northeast, one of the best places to visit in May in the USA, to enjoy a vacation in Portland, Maine!
Located right on the coast, this is one of the top spots to visit in this area of the United States. Plus, most people visit Portland in the fall to go leaf-peeping, so there will be fewer tourists during this time of year.
Temperatures are a bit cooler during this time of year at around 54°F on average, but there are also around ten days of rain. If you don’t mind that, then you’ll enjoy a trip to Portland!
Some of the best things to do in May during this time of year include visiting Peaks Island, shopping downtown at the local stores, checking out the many Maine lighthouses, and trying lobster.
Where to Stay in Portland
Click here to find accommodation in Portland.
14. Block Island, Rhode Island
Located off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island is one of the best places to visit in May in the USA.
This is one of the lesser-visited places on this list, compared to spots like New Orleans or New York City. The average temperature during May is about 56°F with a breeze!
Because of its location, there’s so much beauty waiting to be explored by visiting Block Island.
Check out Mansion Beach for a great swim, take in the view from the Mohegan Bluffs, and visit the Block Island North Light, a beautiful spot to watch the sunset on the island.
Where to Stay on Block Island
Click here to find accommodation on Block Island.
15. New York City, New York
Let’s be honest; New York City is busy no matter the time of year. However, it sees some extreme weather throughout the year; cold and wet snow in winter and hot, brutal heat in the summer.
For weather only, the best time to visit New York City is in May, when the average temperature is around 63°F.
When visiting in May, the best way to enjoy New York City is to visit the many different parks, Central Park (hint: there are over 1,000 of them)! You can also celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the local restaurants or enjoy brunch for Mother’s Day.
Don’t forget to miss out on must-dos in New York City either, like The Museum of Modern Art, the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building.
Where to Stay in NYC
Click here to find accommodation in NYC.
16. Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland, is one place you may not have expected to see on this list of best places to visit in May in the USA.
During this time of year, the average temperature is about 66°F, but there is quite a bit of rain during May.
The absolute best thing to do in Annapolis in May is to attend the May Day Celebration, an annual event in the city. It usually occurs on the first weekend of the month.
You’ll see all the local shops place floral arrangements outside their door during the celebration. This is a wonderful time to support local businesses!
Where to Stay in Annapolis
Click here to find accommodation in Annapolis.
17. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Lake Tahoe is another of the colder places to visit in May. However, it’s one of the best places to visit in May in the US because of its beauty and fun attractions, especially if you want more of a relaxing getaway.
Besides, Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America.
The temperature in Lake Tahoe in May is usually around 50°F, but it gets up in the low 60s as the day goes on. There’s also very little rain during this month.
A lot of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe occur outdoors. This is right before the area starts to get busy with summer guests.
Attend the Heavenly Village Concert Series, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, and visit Emerald Bay State Park for some of the area’s best views.
Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe
Click here to find accommodation in Lake Tahoe.
18. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas, is the live music capital of the United States! So, it deserves a spot on this list of the best places to visit in May in the USA.
The temperature during this time averages around 67°F, which is relatively cool weather for Texas.
There are quite a few fun things to do in Austin in May. Attend the Annual Live Music and Magical Marketplace Weekend (yes, it’s all about Harry Potter), the Annual Austin Mac & Cheese Festival, and more.
Plus, there are many Mother’s Day events that generally happen during the month as well.
Where to Stay in Austin
Click here to know where to stay in Austin.
19. Joshua Tree National Park; California
Another excellent desert getaway that deserves a spot on this list of the best places to visit in May in the USA is none other than Joshua Tree National Park.
Even though this destination has recently gained lots of attention because of travel influencers, it’s still a beautiful place to visit.
The temperature here in May is usually around 70°F, and rain is extremely rare during this time of year. During the day, it can get as high as 85°F, while at night, it drops to around 53°F.
By visiting during this time of year, you’ll beat the warm summer heat as well as the tourists that come in summer. Fun things to do include walking the Hidden Valley Nature Trail, taking a photo at Keys View, and visiting the Cholla Cactus Garden.
Where to Stay in Joshua Tree
Click here to find accommodation in Joshua Tree.
20. Edisto Island, South Carolina
Next is an excellent alternative to visiting Charleston: Edisto Island. Also located in South Carolina, Edisto Island has beautiful weather in May.
The average temperature is 72°F, and there are about four days of rain during the month, which is low compared to March.
Some of the top things to do in Edisto Island include exploring the Edisto Beach State Park, learning at the Edisto Island Museum, and walking the Indian Mound Trail.
Another popular place to visit is the Charleston Tea Garden, where you can get tours of a tea factory that many people don’t even know exists in the United States!
Where to Stay on Edisto Island
Click here to find accommodation on Edisto Island.
21. San Diego, California
San Diego is a beautiful location to visit during May! Located in southern California, there’s so much to do there.
Even though it’ll be busy in May, there will be a lot fewer tourists than you’ll find during the summer months.
Plus, San Diego’s weather in May is unbeatable. The daytime temperatures tend to be around 65°F, and there’s no rain.
The best thing to do in San Diego in May is to visit Old Town. This is where you can easily celebrate Cinco de Mayo with all of the local businesses who often have live music as well, like Cafe Coyote.
You can also visit Balboa Park, relax on the beautiful beaches, and rent a bike to explore the city.
Where to Stay in San Diego
Click here to find accommodation in San Diego.
22. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia, is one of the best places to visit in May in the USA. May is easily the best time of year to visit Savannah because it’s around the time students move back home from college (it’s very much so a college city), and also it’s right before tourists start to flock to the area in June.
The average daily temperature is about 75°F, which is perfect. During the day, it gets closer to 84°F while it drops to around 60°F at night.
When visiting Savannah, you absolutely can’t miss out on going on a trolley tour to get to know the city better.
Other fun things to do include going on a Riverboat Cruise, attending Mothers Day Afternoon Tea, checking out Forsyth Park, and even going to the Savannah Scottish Games.
Where to Stay in Savannah
Click here to find accommodation in Savannah.
23. Yosemite National Park; California
As one of the most visited national parks in the United States, it’s easy to see why you’ll want to pay a visit to Yosemite.
The park’s main visitors tend to be families, which is why it’s popularly visited in the summer months during summer break, which begins in June. Beat the crowds by stopping by in May!
The daily temperature usually is around 59°F, a stark contrast to the temperature there in the summer. There are also usually a few days of rain.
At Yosemite National Park, some of the top things to do include visiting Yosemite Falls, going on a hike, and seeing Half Dome. Bridalveil Fall is also a must-see place in the park.
Where to Stay in Yosemite
Click here to find accommodation in Yosemite.
24. Napa Valley, California
Look no further than Napa Valley in California for a girl’s getaway in May. The warm temperatures make it perfect for exploring some of the area’s vineyards and trying local wine.
As you might imagine, there are many incredible spots to visit in Napa Valley.
The most well-known landmark is the Castello di Amorosa, but there’s also Oxbow Public Market, Cakebread Cellars, and Domaine Carneros. Many of the local vineyards also host special events during Mother’s Day weekend.
Where to Stay in Napa Valley
Click here to find accommodation in Napa Valley.
25. Miami, Florida
This list of the best places to visit in May in the US would not be complete without including Miami, Florida! It’s a warmer location, averaging a temperature around 85°F. It does cool down a bit in the evening and drops to about 73°F.
Miami hosts many different events in May. You can attend Cinco de Mayo parties, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the Bayfront Jazz Festival, and more.
Plus, don’t forget to relax and chill by the beach while you’re there! Often, local restaurants will hold Mother’s Day celebrations, too.
Where to Stay in Miami
Click here to find accommodation in Miami.
26. Texas Hill Country
Last but not least is the Texas Hill Country! The average temperature is usually around 76°F during May.
This area of the state starts to come alive during this time of year, which is why it’s divine in May.
Some of the best things to do include visiting Garner Street Park, stopping by Jacob’s Well, touring the Natural Bridge Caverns, and of course, trying a glass of wine at one of the local vineyards.
Another beautiful location to visit is Blue Hole Regional Park, where you can see beautiful nature in the area up close.
Where to Stay in the Texas Hill Country
Click here to find incredible Airbnb in Fredericksburg, Texas Hill Country.
Other Wonderful Places Worth Visiting in May in the United States
- Shenandoah National Park
- Yellowstone National Park (don’t miss Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot springs in the world and a popular attraction in the park)
- Glacier National Park
- Acadia National Park
- Washington DC
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Antelope Valley, California
Final Thoughts on the Best May Vacations in the US
From enjoying sandy beaches to sightseeing in beautiful cities, you can experience many adventures on your USA travel in May.
If you’re planning your trip now, we hope this article gave you some excellent ideas of places to go in May.
After all, you can find here some of the prettiest sceneries in North America, let alone the world.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our blog posts below:
- Best Places to Visit in January
- Best Places to Visit in February
- Best Places to Visit in March
- Best Places to Visit in April
- Best Places to Visit in June
- Best Places to Visit in November
- Best Places to Visit in December
- Best Places to Visit During Christmas
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