With winter fully over, longer days, and summer just around the corner, May and springtime is easily one of the best times to explore the beautiful places the USA has to offer – with warm weather but before the worst of the crowds arrive.
This is the month where everything springs to life from fields of flowers to fairground rides. Looking for where to go in May? From natural wonders to cool city trips, here are the best places to visit in May in the USA …
1. Texas Hills Country – for warm weather in May and a beautifully scenic region to explore in the spring
Offering one of the best vacations in May, this region is a wonderful mix of natural landmarks, pretty small towns, and historical attractions.
Texas Hill Country is packed with rich history and culture and filled with scenic rivers, lovely lakes, rugged terrain, and beautiful flora. There’s plenty of outdoor adventures to choose from here.
Temperatures warm the state in the shoulder season from late March through May with warm sunshine and an average around 85 degrees Fahrenheit during spring.
Not to miss the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Strawberry Festival along with hiking, biking, floating, or soaking in the warm Texas sunshine before the searing summers.
- Average temperatures in Texas Hill Country in May – 30 degrees
2. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia – a perfect outdoor vacation to take in May
Renowned for its natural beauty and Civil War history, Shenandoah National Park offers a unique backcountry experience with such an accessible location.
Whether you want to chill or indulge in outdoor activities, the park has it all. Wildlife to spot here includes beautiful black bears, coyotes, white-tailed deer, big brown bats, bobcats, and spotted skunks.
Surprisingly the park is sleepy during spring with popping wildflowers, blooming azaleas, and cool temperatures away from the hoards of people.
The best time for hiking, bird watching, and star-gazing is in April and May.
The snow is almost melted, temperatures hover around 18 degrees, campgrounds are open, and in early spring you can explore the park without having to wait in lines of traffic. Easily one of the best places to explore in May!
- Average temperatures in Shenandoah National Park in May – 18 degrees
3. Annapolis, Maryland – makes a fantastic weekend trip in the spring
Vacationing in May? Combining a rich history and maritime charm, the capital city of Annapolis is a historical treasure and is a great choice for a May getaway.
The best time to explore the city is in the spring when the city is full of blossoms, the weather is mild and the sailing season kick starts with colorful boats filling up the waters.
While highs in spring may rise between the mid-60s to 70s, visitors seeking to beat the heat will find this period ideal. A season of new hope and beginnings, spring fills the city with vibrant hues and outdoor festivals.
Witness the May Day celebrations, visit the historic state capitol or explore the downtown, the lively city greets you every time with open arms.
- Average temperatures in Annapolis in May – 24 degrees
4. Yosemite National Park, California – one of the best places to visit in May with more pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds
Wowing visitors with beautiful waterfalls, towering granite monoliths, deep valleys, and giant sequoia groves, Yosemite National Park is a Mecca for daredevil rock climbers.
The stunningly rugged landscape comes alive in spring when the waterfalls are at their peak, wildflowers are in bloom and the temperatures are divine though nights can be chilly.
Early spring marks the opening of the iconic Tioga Pass, with a scenic drive across the mountains and into the high country. Head to the Cook’s Meadow Loop or Wawona Meadow Loop and watch the bright colors peek out of the snow, the park holds splendor beauty during spring. Temperatures in May hover around a pleasant and not too hot 23 degrees.
- Average temperatures in Yosemite National Park in May – 23 degrees
5. Monterey, California – makes a wonderful coastal break in May
Brimming with beaches, coastal terrain, historic site, and stunning scenery, the beautiful city of Monterey is known for its diverse marine ecosystems.
The best time to explore Monterey is between April and May and temperatures average around 19 degrees during the month of May.
With warmer temperatures, blossoming flowers, and moderate weather with occasional rains, spring marks fewer crowds and eclectic food festivals.
Experience the magic of Monterey with lovely greens, iconic museums, captivating bay, and fun food festivals including the Pebble Beach Food and Wine and the Artichoke Festival in Castroville.
- Average temperatures in Monterey in May – 19 degrees
6. Austin, Texas – for a fun city break to take in May
Austin experiences high season twice a year, mainly during spring and fall when the temperatures are perfect (around 30 degrees). Though you’ll encounter some of the biggest crowds, yet Austin is affordable even during the busiest times.
While the weather is pleasantly mild but a bit of moisture as well, gorgeous blooms can be seen throughout the region. Known for its sunny days and outdoor activities, May is an ideal time before the soaring Texan summer becomes barely tolerable.
Take a walk downtown Austin and explore Zilker Park with an ideal swim in the refreshing waters of Barton Springs.
- Average temperatures in Austin in May – 30 degrees
7. Block Island, Rhode Island – for a gorgeous May getaway
Looking for May vacation ideas? This is one of the prettiest locations in Rhode Island, Block Island, and makes for a fun and adventurous spring family-friendly break.
A beautiful place to explore year-round, Block Island offers gorgeous beaches, spectacular bluffs, beautiful lighthouses, and much more.
While the crowds drastically decrease in winter months, the “shoulder season”, especially late May or early September is the best time to plan a trip when the waters are warmer and the rates and restaurant wait times are reasonable.
Relax on Crescent Beach or explore the Mohegan Bluffs, you’ll have a completely different state of mind and atmosphere. Temperatures average around 16 degrees in May so just make sure you pack some warm clothes!
- Average temperatures in Block Island in May – 16 degrees
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a cool city to explore in May with plenty of outdoor events
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with visiting this cosmopolitan capital at any point in the year. While May is lovely and not too hot yet, the temperatures range in the mid-50s and lower 70s with reasonable hotel rates.
As the weather warms and the ground thaws, Phillies throng into the streets to welcome spring. With Spruce Street Harbor Park and beer gardens opening up in
May, it’s the prime time to see the city’s cherry blossom trees in Fairmont Park. From food fetes, blooming tulips to sporting events, and park parties, you can visit the historic landmarks for eclectic shopping and fabulous eats.
- Average temperatures in Philadelphia in May – 24 degrees
9. Bend, Oregon – one of the best holiday destinations for outdoor lovers
Depending on the adventures you seek, there’s never a dull moment in Bend, Oregon. With average temperatures barely making it past the mid-80s and the landscape is lush and green, Bend comes alive during spring and summer.
With clear skies, crisp mountain air, and blooming wildflowers during spring, Bend is the perfect destination for those who love adventures.
Take a day hiking along the beautiful lakes, rock climb at Smith Rock or go paddleboarding along the Deschutes River, this place is bound to restore the peace in your soul.
- Average temperatures in Bend in May – 19 degrees
10. Las Vegas and Grand Canyon – two of the best and most fun places to travel to in spring
Looking for fun things to do in May? Often referred to as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the world’, Las Vegas is the ultimate playground of adventures, cuisines, and nightlife scenes.
While the Sin city sees an influx of visitors during winters and scorching summers, the best time to visit the city is from March to May and from September to November. It’s still one of the warmest states in May, but temperatures are much more manageable and hover around 32 degrees in the day.
With moderate weather, comfortable daily temperatures, and thin crowds, you’ll find a variety of events taking place. Nearby the city is a national landmark of the US, the Grand Canyon.
Spring and fall make for an ideal trip to the canyon for hiking, skywalk, watching the wildflower blooms, or enjoying the scenic vistas. With daily highs ranging between the mid-70s and 80s, early summers or shoulder seasons make for an excellent trip.
- Average temperatures in Las Vegas in May – 32 degrees
11. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire – filled with charming lakeside spring scenery
Known as “The Oldest Summer Resort in America” this pretty town in Carroll County, New Hampshire makes a fabulous destination for a weekend trip or break in May.
The temperatures in spring average around 19 degrees so expect a pleasantly warm spring break without too much heat (and without the summer crowds as well of course)!
The town is nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee and is surrounded by unspoilt forests and mountains. There’s also plenty of shopping, dining, entertainment and other activities and attractions on offer too.
Don’t miss Allen Albee Beach, the Wright Museum of WWII, the Cotton Valley Rail Trail, and the New Hampshire Boat Museum.
- Average temperatures in Wolfeboro in May – 19 degrees
12. Ocean City, Maryland – one of the best beach vacations to take in May
The easy-going and bubbly Ocean City is all about seaside family fun and endless water sports. From sparkling beaches, wide dunes to amazing water sports activities and great views, the proximity to D.C only adds to its appeal.
With plenty of fun events around the year, Ocean City is at its best from late May to early September.
While the average highs range in the mid-80s and the weather is just right, spring is a great time to explore the city. Hop on a jet ski, submerge yourself in the waves, paddle a kayak, or sunbathe on the southern shore, you’ll find ample spots to relax and detox away from the crowds.
- Average temperatures in Ocean City in May – 25 degrees
13. Edisto Island, South Carolina – a beautiful and romantic warm beach destination perfect for couples
This is a beautiful unspoiled beach destination and one of South Carolina’s most popular family-friendly beach vacation/day trip spots.
The pretty island is actually part of the South Carolina Sea Islands located in Charleston County and there are plenty of activities on offer as well.
Great things to do here include the Explore the Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area which is filled with wonderful wildlife including a small beach where sea turtles nest, dolphin and whale watching, the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Museum, and Edisto Beach State Park where you can even go camping.
Temperatures here average around 27 degrees in May.
- Average temperatures in Edisto Island in May – 27 degrees
14. Sacramento, California – a perfect spring break for food lovers
Buzzing with a vibrant public art scene, historic sites, museums, and farm-fresh restaurants, there are many great things to do in Sacramento.
An affordable and family destination, Sacramento sees most of its festivals around May and June. Springtime in Sacramento is nice when it’s not too hot yet and the foggy weather has passed (temperatures have highs of 28 degrees).
While summers are too hot, spring is the perfect time to enjoy paddling in the American River. Explore the historic Old Town District, take a tour of the State Capitol Museum or cruise on the Sacramento River, this pretty city is a bit touristy yet quite pleasant.
- Average temperatures in Sacramento in May – 28 degrees
15. Monument Valley, Arizona – one of the best places to explore in May in the USA
Part of the Colorado Plateau, America’s enigmatic landscape, the Monument Valley is nature’s wonderland full of spires, buttes, red rock creations, and a stunning desert-like landscape.
One of the best parks to visit in the USA, Monument Valley has been a visitor’s favorite with its pretty unusual features.
Clear skies, warm weather, and cool nights make spring one of the most delightful seasons to visit through the months of March to late May.
The pleasant daytime temperatures in the mid-70s, stable weather, and lesser crowd make for a nice day trip to this vibrant terrain.
- Average temperatures in Monument Valley in May – 26 degrees
16. Port Aransas, Texas – one of best beaches to visit in spring
This is a busy tourist spot in Texas but it’s popular for a reason – the beaches here are wonderful. Located on the Texas Coast on Mustang Island in the balmy Gulf of Mexico, there is a great range of things to do here as well.
Highlights include Roberts Point Park where an observation tower is located for beautiful bay views and awesome dolphin sightings, Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center which offers a cool boardwalk crossing alligator-inhabited wetlands.
Boats also run from Fisherman’s Wharf to secluded San José Island. Temperatures average around 28 degrees in this month so enjoy your warm May beach destination!
- Average temperatures in Port Aransas in May – 28 degrees
17. Atlanta, Georgia – for a fun and creative city break in spring
Known for its world-class attractions, ample parks, and shopping districts, Atlanta makes for a year-round travel destination. The city’s fairly moderate subtropical climate and conditions make it favorable almost all year.
Plan a perfect trip from March to May and from September to November with average highs in the mid-60s to upper 70s.
Witness the green spaces come alive with musical concerts in full swing in the spring with pleasant weather, moderate prices, and memorable events.
Attend the Jazz Festival, explore the downtown, or plan a day trip to the nearby Georgia mountains, it’s a great time to head outdoors and enjoy a picnic in a shaded park.
- Average temperatures in Atlanta in May are – 27 degrees
18. New Orleans, Louisiana – for fun times and warm temperatures
The ever chirpy and easygoing city of New Orleans is where you can experience southern hospitality with fantastic live music & incredible food any time of the year.
Marking mild weather with many special events including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the city comes alive with visitors from all over the world during spring.
While the days get warmer with relatively less humidity, you can enjoy pleasant weather with average daily highs in the low 70s and mid-80s.
Explore the city or take a tour of the French Quarter’s beautiful homes, the comfortably cool climate makes it a great time to enjoy the Big Easy vacation.
- Average temperatures in New Orleans in May – 29 degrees
19. Savannah, Georgia – for a charming May city break
Once you decide to venture south, Savannah makes an appealing trip with its beautiful architecture, flowering streets, and blooming azaleas.
Spring is when the weather is at its best, with smaller crowds, lower prices, and lively events. The best time to visit Savannah is from March to June and from mid-September to mid-November.
The subtropical climate of Savannah makes a pleasantly warm spring with average temperatures in peak 70s and 80s. Explore the city by foot or visit the nearby seafront town of Charleston to add to your trip with Savannah’s rich history.
- Average temperatures in Savannah in May – 29 degrees
20. Sanibel Island, Florida – for gorgeous island scenery and a hot weather vacation
One of the best island destinations for a vacation in May, this gorgeous island is located in southwest Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures in May average around 32 degrees so it makes a wonderful hot May break in the USA.
It’s famous for its sunsets, lighthouse, luxurious resorts, and beautiful beaches filled with shells.
Head for Lighthouse Beach which has a fishing pier, The Causeway Beaches for water-sports, the striking 19th-century Sanibel Lighthouse, the charming boardwalk which winds itself through marshes, and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge which covers about half of the island.
- Average temperatures in Sanibel Island in May – 32 degrees
21. Napa Valley, California – for very warm daytime temperatures and fewer crowds
Synonymous with countless wineries, rich history, and a cultural scene, Napa Valley serves as a quaint getaway with a Mediterranean climate.
A rejuvenating time of the year, the season of spring brings along vibrant green hillsides, mild temperatures, and adorning wildflowers.
As the days get longer and the average highs tend to range in the mid-60s to 70s, the warm climate makes for an ideal wine tasting outdoors. Savor the sights of Napa, admire the extensive arts at Hall St. Helena, or treat yourself to a relaxing spa with decent hotel rates and lower crowds.
- Average temperatures in Napa Valley in May – 26 degrees
22. Ocracoke, North Carolina – one of the best places to vacation in May filled with tranquil and beautiful island scenery
Looking for relaxing and warm May vacation ideas? This is a lovely unspoilt destination and a great choice for a beautiful and tranquil May break. Ocracoke is a village on the charming Ocracoke Island which is part of North Carolina’s coastal Outer Banks region.
The scenery is quaint and picturesque and highlights include the historic Ocracoke Lighthouse which dates from 1823, the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum which is set in an early 1900s house, pretty Silver Lake filled with bobbing boats, a harbor lined with shops and restaurants, and 16 miles of pristine beaches.
May is also quite a warm month to visit and temperatures average 24 degrees during this spring month.
- Average temperatures in Ocracoke in May – 24 degrees
23. Sedona, Arizona – for a fantastic outdoor May getaway
Arizona’s scenic respite set against the backdrop of soaring red canyons, pine forests, towering rocks and desert, Sedona is a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts.
While summer in Sedona can be a scorcher, spring and fall offer the best weather with lower lodging rates and happening events.
With an average temperature ranging from the mid-60s to the low 80s, March through May offers refreshingly chilly weather for indulging in outdoor activities like hiking, jeep tours, and shopping in Uptown Sedona.
Relish the desert flora in Sedona with colorful blossoms and mesmerizing sunsets.
- Average temperatures in Sedona in May – 30 degrees
24. Miami, Florida – famous for offering the best spring breaks in the USA with live music, gorgeous beaches, and warm weather
An epic beach city with a sun-blessed coastline, sprawling downtown, live music scene, and wonderfully warm weather, Miami is the epitome of “Sunny Florida”.
With relatively warm temperatures and lesser rains, March to May is the best time to plan for a low-key and soothing getaway to Miami and South Florida.
While visitors can expect optimal temperatures in the 70s and mid 80’s during the dry season, a spring visit allows you to escape the peak winter rates.
Take a cool dip in the South beach, indulge in water sports, or get tanned while lounging on the wide beaches, the city offers a fine blend of history and arts.
- Average temperatures in Miami in May – 28 degrees
25. Arches National Park, Utah – incredible sights, expansive desert valleys and wide blue skies
America’s most diverse National Park, the Arches National Park holds unique sandstone arches, incredible sights, expansive desert valleys, wide blue skies, and much more.
One of my favorite times to be in the park in early spring. With sunny skies, comfortable weather, and gorgeous sunsets, the park has many family-friendly attractions for a fun adventure.
The daytime temperatures range from about 60-80 degrees, making it a perfect time to hike the longer trails of the park.
Hit on America’s National Parks Week, admire the scenery or take a scenic drive, the red rock state has some awe-inspiring vistas.
- Average temperatures in Arches National Park in May – 26 degrees
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Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. In between adventures she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele.