6 best places to travel in May

Embarking on a pre-summer family getaway

Beat the summer rush and start your vacation early with a trip this May. Whether you’re looking for frosty temperatures and slippery slopes or balmy weather and snorkeling excursions, we’ve got a list of the best places to travel in May to inspire your adventures.

Riksgransen, Sweden

If you’re not ready to release your ice-cold grip on winter, relish the frigid temperatures and fresh powder at Riksgransen, the world’s northernmost ski resort. Located north of the Arctic Circle, this Swedish destination boasts skiing all day and night, thanks to the midnight sun. There are 60 summits in all for you to carve, or you can attend the Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships. This annual free-ride competition includes separate classes of alpine skiers, snowboarders, and telemarkers all racing to the bottom of the mountain for the grand prize.

Exmouth, Australia

For those who have said good riddance to lingering cold weather, dive into summertime temperatures in Exmouth. This Western Australia hotspot hosts the annual Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival, which celebrates the largest fish in the world. Each May, the community welcomes the arrival of the whale sharks that gather at Ningaloo Reef. Join the festivities and celebrate at concerts, parades, and whale tours during this four-day event. 

Snorkel alongside the gentle giants during the shark festival, or discover more finned friends at the Jurabi Turtle Centre. This educational facility provides turtle observation sessions that educate the public on how to view the species safely. Visit the center to witness turtles nesting and learn about the conservation initiatives.

Brighton, United Kingdom

Brighton, United Kingdom

Choose culture over climate and visit Brighton this May. While the spring weather may still be teetering on the chilly side, the Brighton Festival will distract you from the temperature. As the largest curated mixed arts event in England, the Festival showcases dance, film, music, literature, and more. Catch performances throughout May at more than 30 destinations around Brighton and nearby Hove, from the Brighton Dome Concert Hall to the Duke of York’s Picturehouse.

Between interpretive dances and theater productions, further sweeten your vacation with a visit to Choccywoccydoodah. This chocolaterie whips up whimsical cakes and intricately designed treats that are almost too pretty eat. Don’t let the puppy-dog eyes on the Betty Bulldog chocolates fool you; these deserts are devilishly divine.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Viewfinder Tip: Tickets for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival are on sale now. Purchase in advance to save money off the gate price.

The Big Easy is known as the birthplace of jazz, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival does the city proud. During this week-long event, jam out to countless bands, from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to Lenny Kravitz. You also can saunter through the Congo Square African Marketplace, check out the exhibits at the Louisiana Folklife Village, and chow down on fried green tomatoes and muffulettas.

To taste more of Crescent City, swirl, sniff, and sip your way around the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. At the end of May, NOLA hosts this massive, mouth-watering culinary event with gourmet grub and palate-enticing wine. Attend the dining events where participating restaurants showcase their finest fare, sample more than 1,000 wines from around the globe, and show up for the seminar series during this three-day attraction.

Bonn, Germany

Not too hot and not too cold, Bonn’s weather is just right during the month of May. Revel in the spring temperatures at the famous Rhine in Flames event at Rheinaue Leisure Park. During the first weekend of May, a fleet of more than 60 ships sails the Rhine River from Linz to Bonn, shooting up fireworks and Bengal lights along the way. Timed to a soundtrack, this spectacular pyrotechnic show illuminates the region’s landmarks in colorful bursts.

As long as you’re in town and staying at one of the Bonn hotels, explore the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. Beeline to the Beethoven-Haus, which is a museum dedicated to the composer’s life and compositions. Like music to your ears, these exhibits invite you to observe the original manuscript of the “Moonlight Sonata,” Beethoven’s pianoforte, as well as countless other trinkets and personal items.

Bonn, Germany

Cannes, France

Book one of the Cannes vacation packages and watch as the city transforms into a playground for some of the world’s most famous starlets and filmmakers during the month of May. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès hosts the Cannes Film Festival, during which celebrities pose on the Red Carpet Steps and the latest movies are showcased and judged. While this cinema celebration is invitation-only, you can attend open outdoor film screenings at the Cinéma de la Plage.

Alternatively, if catwalks and haute couture are more your vacation style, the Cannes Fashion Festival is held across the street at the Hôtel Majestic Barrière.

After your fair share of film and fashion, get a whiff of Parisian history on a Molinard Perfume Tour in nearby Grasse. Discover the romance and elegance of French fragrance with a guided tour of the Molinard perfume distillery, cream room, soap factory, and sales room.

Where are you spending your holidays in May?

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Chloe Mulliner

As a staff writer for Expedia, Chloe Mulliner is dedicated to providing top travel tips for your jaunts around the world. She believes there are adventures to be had on every inch of the globe from surf spots on the Peruvian coast to the charming villages of the English countryside. Chloe specializes in showcasing all the must-see attractions on your travel wish list. She lives by the belief that every adventure is a story worth sharing.

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