10 Best Places to Visit in May in the USA for an Epic Trip

time square at night with brightly lit billboards in new york city

Looking for the best places to visit in May in the USA for an epic trip?

Well, you’re in the right spot. We’ve handpicked ten stunning locales that are perfect for a spring getaway.

So buckle up, your adventure-filled journey through America’s must-see spots starts now!

1. New York City, New York

new york city skyline at night with a sunset

As spring showers give way to sunshine, New York City in May is a place like no other. The city’s parks, such as the sprawling Central Park and the beautifully manicured Bryant Park, come alive with blooming flowers and lush greenery. Street festivals pop up in various neighborhoods, making the city’s vibrant culture even more palpable.

Top attractions like Times Square, with its electric energy, and Broadway, the mecca of theater, offer entertainment options that are unmatched. And don’t forget to indulge in the city’s diverse food scene, from upscale restaurants to hole-in-the-wall eateries, there’s a bite for every appetite.

Travel Tip: NYC can be overwhelming with its multitude of attractions. Plan your visit ahead of time to make the most of your stay. Don’t forget to explore the city’s many diverse neighborhoods – each has its unique vibe!

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona

horseshoe bend in the grand canyon

The Grand Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world, is truly magnificent in May. The weather is near perfect for exploring the vast expanse of this stunning landscape. Hiking trails offer varying levels of difficulty with awe-inspiring views, from the challenging Bright Angel Trail to the more accessible Rim Trail.

River rafting in the Colorado River provides a thrilling adventure and a unique perspective of the canyon’s depth. For those seeking a bit more luxury, helicopter tours offer a bird’s eye view of this spectacular landscape.

Travel Tip: The sun can be intense, even in May, so ensure you stay hydrated and protected. Early morning or late afternoon hikes offer milder weather and beautiful lighting for photographers.

3. Napa Valley, California

napa valley hot air balloons

In May, Napa Valley begins to shake off its winter chills, welcoming the start of the growing season in its famous vineyards. This region, synonymous with excellent wines, also hosts numerous wine festivals during this time, providing the perfect opportunity to sample a wide variety of vintages.

Beyond the vineyards, there’s still much to see. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the valley from a hot air balloon, relax with spa treatments using local products like wine and honey, or take a cooking class and learn how to pair your meals with the perfect wine.

Travel Tip: While wine tasting, remember to hydrate and take breaks. There’s no rush, Napa Valley is all about savoring the experience.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

bourbon street at night in new orleans louisiana

As spring turns into early summer, New Orleans brings on a cultural bonanza that truly sets it apart. May sees the city alive with jazz music reverberating through the air, thanks to numerous music festivals, such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The city’s distinct Creole cuisine, a flavorful blend of French, Spanish, West African, and Native American influences, is another tantalizing reason to visit. Tour the French Quarter for its lively streets, check out the historic mansions in the Garden District, and don’t forget to enjoy live music performances in local jazz clubs.

Travel Tip: Although New Orleans is generally safe, like any major city, it’s a good idea to stay alert, especially in crowded places. Also, remember to hydrate; the city can get humid in May.

5. Maui, Hawaii

Maui sunset

In Maui, May is the sweet spot between the busy winter season and the summer crowds, making it the perfect time to visit. The weather is just right for lazing on the beach, diving into crystal-clear waters for snorkeling, or hiking through lush, verdant landscapes.

A drive along the Road to Hana is a must for its stunning coastal views, waterfalls, and lush rainforests. Witnessing the sunrise from atop the Haleakala National Park is a transformative experience, and if you’re lucky, you might still spot humpback whales off the coast.

Travel Tip: Hawaiian culture is rich and sacred. Make sure to respect local customs and traditions. Dress appropriately when visiting sacred spots.

6. Austin, Texas

austin texas skyline at night

If music and food are what you’re after, Austin in May is where you need to be. Austin’s music scene, famously known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” is particularly vibrant this time of year with multiple music festivals, including the popular Austin City Limits.

The food scene here is no less thrilling. From top-rated restaurants to food trucks serving everything from brisket tacos to gourmet donuts, there’s a tasty treat around every corner. Zilker Park and the State Capitol offer outdoor and cultural experiences to round out your visit.

Travel Tip: Make sure to check out the local food truck scene. Austin’s food trucks serve a variety of dishes that are big on flavor.

7. Charleston, South Carolina

downtown charleston south carolina

Charleston in May is a delightful experience. The city comes alive with tours of historic plantations that provide a glimpse into the pre-Civil War era, and the gardens are in full bloom. The downtown area, with its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and pastel antebellum houses, exudes an old-world charm that’s hard to resist. Be sure to indulge in the city’s famous low-country cuisine – Shrimp and Grits is a local favorite!

Travel Tip: A walking tour is one of the best ways to see Charleston, but remember to wear comfortable shoes as those cobblestones can be a bit tricky!

8. Yosemite National Park, California

hiker at glacier point yosemite national park

Yosemite in May is a nature lover’s dream come true. It’s a personal favorite of mine as well. The park’s mighty waterfalls, including the iconic Yosemite Falls, are at their peak flow due to melting snow, making the views absolutely spectacular. Trails are finally clear of winter snow, making them accessible for hikers and nature lovers of all levels.

Whether you’re trekking up to the panoramic Glacier Point, spotting wildlife in the lush meadows, or capturing stunning photographs of the soaring granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite offers unforgettable experiences.

Travel Tip: Accommodation in and near Yosemite gets booked fast in May. Make sure to secure your camping reservations or hotel rooms early. And remember, pack in what you pack out to keep the park clean!

9. Chicago, Illinois

city skyline of chicago

Chicago truly comes alive in May. The city offers unique architectural boat tours that take you through the heart of the city via its meandering river, providing a unique perspective on its stunning skyline. Music festivals begin sprouting up in parks across the city, and the food scene, always vibrant, seems to kick it up a notch.

The Navy Pier is a hotbed of activity with its carnival atmosphere, and Millennium Park, with its massive public art pieces like ‘Cloud Gate’ (affectionately known as ‘The Bean’), is perfect for a leisurely stroll. Plus, the city’s diverse museums, from the world-class Art Institute to the interactive Museum of Science and Industry, offer something for everyone.

Travel Tip: Chicago’s public transportation system is both efficient and extensive, making it easy to explore different neighborhoods. Don’t miss the chance to check out areas outside the downtown Loop – each neighborhood offers its own unique flavor of the city.

10. Portland, Oregon

downtown Portland Oregon

Portland in May is a delight for your senses. The International Rose Test Garden is in bloom with thousands of fragrant roses. Powell’s City of Books, a book lover’s paradise, invites you to get lost among its towering shelves. Foodies can rejoice at the city’s famous food truck culture, with an array of diverse cuisines available right on the sidewalk. Craft beer enthusiasts will be glad to know that May is also the month of Portland’s celebrated beer festival, where local and international brews flow aplenty.

Travel Tip: Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US. Consider renting a bike to explore the city’s sights – it’s both eco-friendly and fun!


From the vibrant streets of New Orleans to the picturesque coastlines of Maui, from the musical heart of Austin to the historic charm of Charleston, the USA truly shines in May.

Whether you’re drawn to the natural beauty of Yosemite, the architectural wonders of Chicago, or the laid-back lifestyle of Portland, there’s an experience waiting for you. The magic of travel lies in experiencing new places, tastes, and sounds.

So, don’t wait – the world is waiting for you. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best city to visit in the USA in May?

New York City is an excellent option with its vibrant springtime energy. Parks are in full bloom, street festivals are common, and the weather is generally pleasant.

Is May a good time to visit the Grand Canyon?

Yes, May is a great time to visit the Grand Canyon. The weather is ideal for hiking, and the views are stunning with the Colorado River running high from the snowmelt.

Which is the best beach destination in the USA in May?

Maui, Hawaii is a fantastic beach destination in May. The weather is ideal for beach activities, and it is the sweet spot between the busy winter season and summer crowds.

Are there any food festivals in the USA in May?

Yes, many cities in the USA host food festivals in May. For example, Austin, Texas is known for its food and music festivals during this month.

Is May a good time for wine tasting in Napa Valley, California?

Absolutely, May marks the beginning of the growing season in Napa Valley, and many wine festivals occur during this time. It’s an excellent opportunity for wine tasting and exploring the picturesque vineyards.

After exploring these delightful destinations in May, consider checking out our other comprehensive guides about a variety of equally captivating vacation spots in the US.

About Ronaldo Stewart

Wantigo was born out of a deep passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. With a keen sense of adventure and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I’ve traveled far and wide, immersing myself in the beauty and wonder of the world.

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