Best Places to Visit in May
May, with its pleasantly warm weather and few crowds, offers the perfect time to take a vacation before the expensive summer season. Factoring in sights, weather, traveler sentiment and annual events, U.S. News rounded up the top five places to visit during the month of May. Whether you're looking for an outdoor adventure or a beach getaway, you can't go wrong with these destinations. Cast your vote below to help determine next year's list.
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The nation's capital brims with bright blooms come late spring thanks to daytime highs in the mid-70s. The weather is ideal for photo ops at monuments along the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial and the National World War II Memorial. Visiting in May also ensures that you'll sidestep the tourist crowds and inflated prices of early spring's National Cherry Blossom Festival.
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By late May, most of Yellowstone's trails and attractions are open, welcoming eager nature enthusiasts seeking a breath of fresh air. The 60-degree temperatures provide the perfect atmosphere for a hike on one of the trails to Old Faithful or a kayaking trip on Yellowstone Lake. For a glimpse of wildlife, head to Lamar Valley to view wolf pups emerging from their dens. Keep in mind that if you visit during Memorial Day weekend, you'll likely run into crowds.
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While this Wyoming town is known for its superb ski conditions, Jackson Hole is home to a host of outdoor attractions off the slopes best enjoyed in the mild spring climate. Get in touch with your inner cowboy by horseback riding or go fly-fishing to catch your own dinner. You can also join the fun at the annual ElkFest, where the local Boy Scout troop auctions off elk antlers to help pay for upkeep of the National Elk Refuge. Another major plus: You'll find reduced room rates at many upscale resorts and hotels.
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Itching for a beach getaway before summer is in full swing? Miami Beach is the place to go. Not only are temperatures in the mid-80s, but by May, spring-breaking coeds are long gone leaving you plenty of space to stretch out on the sand in South Beach. You may want to catch a midafternoon nap if you plan on partying until the wee hours at the nightclubs along Ocean Drive.
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This Virginia town is jampacked with historical sites that provide a window into how colonists lived. Travelers can visit blacksmith and masonry shops or tour restored 18th-century homes complete with re-enactors dressed in period garb. If you time your visit for May – before school lets out for the summer – you'll be rewarded with fewer crowds at Colonial Williamsburg and the nearby Busch Gardens.
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